Written by Cavan Scott | Art by Adriana Melo | Published by Titan Comics
The Ninth Doctor is the one that got away, the incarnation that promised so much when he first appeared but left us wondering what could have been when he left. The one series Christopher Eccleston completed gave us a decent introduction to this Doctor, but left a lot of mystery. This has of course been of great use to the writers of the radio dramas, books, comics etc as they get to fill in the gaps and expand that underused mythology. Where this incarnation did shine was with two of the best companions the Doctor has ever had, Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harness, and Cavan Scott makes sure in this series they get as much air time as can be squeezed in. A very wise move.
Last issue had seen The Doctor asked for help by old friend Mickey Smith, whose wife had bizarrely been turned into a gargoyle. Also, why has everyone got super powers all of a sudden, including Rose, and why is that not actually a good thing. Oh, and although Mickey wanted The Doctor he didn’t want THIS one, he wanted the other nicer one. Mickey reluctantly trusts this one to help, and The Doctor soon explains that the powers and mutations are caused by a wormhole, a punchway, giving off harmful energy. It needs to be closed down, and soon, or those affected cannot be saved. Including Mickey’s wife.
While the TARDIS traces the punchway back to its origin, Rose is elsewhere enjoying her new found powers, but unaware of the nasty side effects that will soon come. That is, until a new friend ‘turns’ and Captain Jack finds her to warn her. Everyone then ends up in the punchway ,which turned out to be nothing more malevolent than a borderline legal interstellar shopping superhighway, which The Doctor manages to collapse, reversing the mutations and restoring sanity. Even more impressive, he keeps Rose from meeting Mickey, which would have cause all sorts of temporal problems. Job done.
And job done is pretty much a good summary of the story and creative team here. It was nice enough, but lacked a little substance. It felt like it could have been wrapped up in half the pages to be honest, but was stretched out to accommodate that page count. It was very by the numbers, not stretching the characters or the reader, and a story that five minutes after putting down you’ll probably forget. It was nice catching up with Mickey, but a meatier story would have been equally nice. Having said that, the pace of the story was good, as was the characterisation and dialogue, so it’s not all bad by any means.
Overall I liked the artwork by Adriana Melo, which certainly suited the fast pace of the story being told, and thought the likenesses of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, and Billy Piper’s Rose, were very good. The art throughout was nicely laid out, easy to follow, and very clean and readable. I am still not sure though as to why Captain Jack continues to be drawn as though he is a teenager; he is drawn far too young looking, a little detail that is irritating throughout
This issue did its job, it wrapped up the story nicely enough, even if it did leave you with that little feeling a bit more substance wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Doctor Who: The 9th Doctor #5 is out now from Titan Comics