Finally found a tiny bit of time to do this commission where I was asked to draw the Doctor meeting Sherlock Holmes. And since i never make life simple for myself, I decided to throw in pretty much the entire Victorian-era Whoniverse and make it a crossover with Alan Moore's THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN to boot.
There's a text piece to accompany this, though those not familiar with LEAGUE and classic WHO should probably turn back now... A lost excerpt from the Black Dossier...
THE BAKER STREET JUSTICE SOCIETY (1899)
(An abridged account of the short-lived "Holmes Group".)
With the Murray group essentially disbanded in the aftermath of the Invasion of 1898, the Service was bereft of the class of agents it needed to counter extraordinary threats. Worse, new intelligence brought to the attention of Her Majesty's Government made it clear that the Tripod menace was operating in league with another Martian race- reptilian bipeds later designated as ICE WARRIORS. With their alien allies, the shape-shifting ZYGONS and the energy-composed VARDANS, the remaining force began a "Secret Invasion" of our weakened Empire.
At wit's end, M had no choice but to ask his less distinguished little brother, Sherlock, to assemble a substitute group of miscreant (but obtainable) adventurers until Murray could organize something more palatable to HMG.
Holmes was an associate of the semi-legendary alien interloper known as THE DOCTOR (a.ka. "Dr. James MacCrimmon", "Dr. John Smith", "Merlin", etc.), having met him in 1887 in an investigation involving a theft from the Library of St. John the Beheaded (see MAUPERTUIS AFFAIR). Though the Doctor himself declined the younger Holmes' invitation (a pity, as HMG would have used the opportunity to carry out multiple Royal execution orders dating back as far as Elizabeth I), he did send a number of associates to his aid. Not disposed to forming any sort of "League" under his brother's direction, the younger Holmes' group decreed itself a "justice society"- cooperating with (but not necessarily subordinate to) the Home Office.
The Society, pictured clockwise from top left:
DR. JACKSON LAKE- aged 89, renowned explorer and adventurer. A seemingly typical teacher of maths from Sussex, he underwent a dramatic change under undisclosed circumstances in 1851. Suddenly a genius in multiple disciplines, Lake set about "righting wrongs" , travelling the world in a hot air balloon. Engaging in too many extraordinary endeavors to list, he was described by some as "the most interesting man in the world", and was loved by countless members of the lower classes for his efforts to cure disease, famine, and poverty across the globe. A miscegenist, Socialist, and pacifist, he was held in very low regard by this department, and HMG was glad to see the back of him after the Martian affair was concluded. He is said to have retired to India, where he engages in teaching arts and sciences to impoverished villagers- as well as other similar activities to undermine the Empire.
MR. H.G. WELLS- author and researcher, expert on the Martian threat. Mr. Wells also had a wide knowledge of astronomy (a science in which the younger Holmes proved feeble). When asked the source of his experience with alien worlds and cultures, Wells cryptically claimed to have travelled "quite widely" in his youth. One of the more distinguished members of the group, his reputation was somewhat tarnished later in life by his Socialist views and accusations that all his literary works were plagiarized from his sister, Helena.
MS. LEELA- a strange, savage warrior woman of mysterious origin. Though some claims are on record of her being found floating on a hatbox on the Amazon, she identified herself as being from "Gallifrey" (presumed to be a small Irish village of no distinction), and sometimes made reference to being in the service of a woman "Romana" or the equally mysterious Dr. Claudius Black.
JACK HARKNESS- a supposedly indestructible man, was a recent addition to Torchwood's unsavory roster of degenerates. Reputed to be a particularly poor agent (even by that wholly redundant organization's low standards), he failed in his assignment as HMG's mole in the group for the secondary objective of locating and capturing the Doctor. Worse, he was removed from active service for a week after making tawdry advances toward Ms. Leela, who defended her honor in a manner which challenged even his endless capacity for speedy recovery. A similar fate befell legendary big game hunter JOHN RIDDELL, who was briefly considered to replace Harkness in the group before equally lecherous behavior resulted in his untimely defenestration.
MR. HENRY GORDON JAGO & PROFESSOR GEORGE LITEFOOT- Friends of Ms. Leela's who had their own reputation as amateur sleuths, having played a part in the investigation of the infamous Limehouse Murders of 1889, as well as a number of other threats since (see FAR-OFF TRAVELLERS' CLUB; GABRIEL SANDERS INCIDENT; TULP MURDERS). Litefoot, though from a good family, was an intellectual who wasted his time and fortune on the duo's meandering pursuits as crimefighters- as well as philanthropic service to the Metropolitan Police Department and general association with people beneath his class. Jago, conversely, was a drunkard whose career in theatre and vaudeville meant that, socially speaking, he had nowhere to go but up- except possibly when in the presence of the younger Holmes' riff-raff.
DOKTOR VON WER- a supposedly German scientist and inventor. Little is known of Von Wer. He dressed like a tatterdemalion panto player and was sometimes accompanied by his "grandchildren" or a strapping young Scottish man of low intelligence. The Service will leave the reader to their own conclusions, but wonders why Torchwood never tried recruiting him.
MADAME VASTRA- A discovery of Jago's, was a former sideshow performer who suffered from an unusually advanced form of Ichthyosis. Like her contemporary John Merrick, she managed to rise above her deformity, achieving a certain status in London's high society. She travelled widely, and visited Japan where she developed a particular fascination with the dying samurai culture, and acquired a sword made by the legendary Hanzō clan. She had a fearsome reputation, and this writer must admit a certain admiration for her, as a woman who stood apart from the Holmes Group's gang of deviants. She even did the Crown a special service in disposing of the Dr. Gull mess for us in 1888, as well as some other lesser threats to the Crown (see SWEETVILLE; SIMEON AFFAIR). When one Service agent asked if it was true she ate her enemies, she is said to have smiled strangely at her servant girl, Jenny, and said, "And allies too." Apparently a private joke, the meaning was lost on this Department.
JENNY FLINT- A matchgirl rescued by Vastra, and later her maidservant. Jenny was trained by Vastra in a variety of combat styles, including hand-to-hand forms and wrestling techniques Vastra claimed to have learned in India. Dedicated to her education, Jenny and Vastra were known to train in private for hours, even days on end, with an unbridled enthusiasm- and in fact often seemed interested in little else. Again, the author is forced to wonder why two such virtuous women would associate themselves with such an unwholesome group. The pair were sometimes accompanied by a STRAX, a hairless pygmy manservant of disagreeable temperment.
SHERLOCK HOLMES- The less that can be said of him, the better.
DR. JOHN WATSON- A decorated army veteran of alleged high character, and the younger Holmes' only friend. Again, one wonders why he would be found in such company.
"LT. COLUMBO" (no known first name)- The group's strangest member- a babbling simpleton of no discernible talent, use, nor origin. Having stumbled into the operation when it was well underway, he was known to repeat strange non-sequitir phrases like "Deerstalkers are cool." or inexplicably invoke the name of Apache insurgents. Despite his idiocy, he did have a seemingly limitless capacity for causing accidents that ultimately proved beneficial to the operation's success. When he was taken hostage by the Ice Warriors, he clumsily dropped one of their weapons into the ship's cooling system, causing it to overheat and explode. Nearly undone by his own dim-wittedness, he was rescued at the last moment by an alien spacecraft piloted by a Neanderthal and the long-thought-missing explorer REDVERS FENN-COOPER (see GABRIEL CHASE CONSPIRACY). When Holmes, Von Werr, and Harkness toasted Columbo afterward, he was noted to have said, "Forget it. No really- forget it." He disappeared shortly thereafter. Strangely, the three men could not provide any additional information on Columbo during the debrief, nor even recall that such a man had been part of their group.
Thankfully, Ms. Murray was persuaded to form a new League shortly thereafter, and HMG was spared any such further nonsense.