03rd Oct2015

‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.1’ Review (Titan Comic)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Nick Abadzis | Art by Eleonora Carlini | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp


After the sweeping epic that was the Four Doctors, where the 10th Doctor met the 11th and 12th Doctor versions of himself, we return to the relative normality of just the 10th Doctor and his Companion, Gabby Gonzalez, as Titan Comics kick off their second year of adventures. This issue has the deliberate feel of a change of pace to what has gone before, a new start of sorts perfect for new fans to jump aboard and older fans to get something different.

Nick Abadzis stays on traditional territory with this first foray into Year 2 as The Doctor and Gabby visit a deep space colony and Earth Station Presley, supposedly a holiday of sorts for Gabby but we know how those things tend to go don’t well. True to form, the apparently harmonious relationship between the settlers and the native Shan’tee is soon ruined by the appearance of a dangerous virus which may have been deliberately brought to the planet to destroy it. The Shan’tee are quite unique in that they are almost ethereal, and can only be perceived by humans as music. That music has apparently been corrupted, and the Doctor actually brought Gabby deliberately, not as a holiday but to answer a call for help.

Writer Abadzis deliberately foregoes the complications and often headache-inducing time travel shenanigans and concentrates on a straightforward Doctor, in space, helping those in need plot. The Tenth Doctor has helping alien species in need as something of a mission statement, an integral part of his character, so it will be interesting to see if Abadzis focuses on this for the run, rather than the more zany timey wimey stuff. Anyhow, it’s a promising start, the somewhat wordy exposition slotted in quite well so the story doesn’t drag but rolls along nicely. The character of the Doctor is again captured very nicely, and Gabby’s character improves every time I read something with her in it. She is very much the readers entry into this world, we see much through her eyes, and she makes a good chronicler of events. I also wonder if Gabby will start to question just how much the Doctor values her safety.

The artwork I found a little cartoony, a little too busy and loose for me to fully enjoy it. Not bad by any means, and cartoony Tennant Doctor is actually quite fun, but it gave the story the feel of a cartoon more than the TV show. This takes some of the dramatic effect away for me as a reader. The cartoony style did seem to suit the frantic pace of the last third though, if not the quieter dialogue heavy moments earlier.

Nothing was ever going to live up to the fine Four Doctors storyline of the last month, so it was always a tough ask but I think writer Abadzis played it quite safe with this first adventure, and it works well. It does feel a little intentionally low-key, so I hope to see bigger and better plots further down the line.

*** 3/5

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.1 is out now from Titan Comics


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