Written by Scott and David Tipton
Art by Philip Bond &Charlie Kirchoff
Published by IDW Publishing
What with all the kerfuffle regarding Matt Smiths departure from the show this seems like a reasonable enough time to take a look at a Doctor Who Comic. In the interests of full disclosure I’ll put this out there from the get go: I am that one guy who doesn’t like Doctor Who, there’s no malice involved, I just don’t like it.
Like everyone in the UK, I grew up on Dr Who. I was sad when it went away. I was happy when they announced it was coming back with Christopher Eeccelston. But I could never get into it. So obviously, I have not been following IDW’s line of comics and am diving in at issue five of what is presumably an eleven issue limited series
Much like with James Bond, people decide who the “best “ Doctor was based on whoever played the role when they were growing up, and for me that was Peter Davison (who was for the record the first Doctor that didn’t LOOK like he had lived thirteen lifetimes). So its nice to see his version of the Doctor captured so accurately:The flippant boyish charm , the playful banter ,the boyish good looks . All are present and accounted for. Writers Scott & David Tipton (of the excellent Comics 101) have a very good handle on what Doctor number five was all about. They have also crafted a competent generic science fiction story here, which are both a blessing and a curse in this instance. As I said earlier I haven’t been following the series, but the simplistic dual premises (war is crap, you must be true to your nature) make it an enjoyable read to someone who has come to the party late. Unfortunately that same generic feel means that this could be almost any other franchise (which to be fair is a problem with much Sci -Fi since time out of mind) and you could replace the word “Adric” with “Wesley” or “Twiki” and it would make no difference at all. Artist Philip Bond does a good job throwing in little background references (such as THE BRIGADER) to make it more Whovian, and his Spartan artwork does a good job of making this look not only like an early eighties episode -all empty quarries and control rooms with big orange lights- but also like a Marvel UK Doctor Who comic. So there is at least a little extra garnish for the true fan.
All told this is a passable bit of storytelling that happens to have the Doctor Who brand name plastered across it. Completists wont need it but will buy it; casual fans would enjoy it but not read it. So it goes for licensed comics in the current era. Mores the pity.
3 out of 5 nerds.