Written by Rob Williams | Art by Leandro Casco, Wellington Diaz | Published by Titan Comics
What a great start to year three last issue was. Rob Williams brought a real breath of fresh air to the book, and I especially enjoyed the little tongue in cheek pop at Brexit, delivered in typically Whovian style. The main story itself saw The Doctor saddened to discover that Jones, the Bowie-esque Tall Pale Earl and greatest pop star in the universe, had died. At the funeral, The Doctor is asked to go to a planet for some mysterious purpose. Being a probable trap, he has to go, and finds himself face to face with The Scream.
The Scream is an outcast from the collective The Silence, who have the uncanny ability to make you forget you had ever seen them, very handy as they tinker with history all the time. The Scream, though, was so powerful even his own people would forget him, making even him lonely. He chose the Time Lord for his trap as over a thousand years of memories is pretty attractive, especially to the creator of a memory engine machine. The Scream, of course, has a dastardly plan, to essentially turn himself into an organic virus, cover an entire planet, and control and ‘be’ that planet. To do this, he is sucking the life-force out of The Doctor and Alice, who start to age dramatically.
The Doctor and Alice manage to free themselves, but at the cost of some of their memories. The TARDIS, rather like everyone’s cat when trouble shows up, disappears in defence mode. The Scream reappears, burning from the intensity of The Doctor’s memories, meaning the pod he had with the organic virus is still in the TARDIS, also with some of those memories. Just as all seems lost, who turns up? David Bow….er, Jones. Turns out The Doctor had sent out a call over the time stream. Jones makes short work of The Scream, being too cool for school and all that, and The Doctor and Alice are reunited with the TARDIS.
The TARDIS has a new occupant it seems. The Sapling, the organic virus, now has the memories and emotions of The Doctor, and is essentially a child with the knowledge it’s role is to destroy worlds. It doesn’t like this, and invites The Doctor to basically bump him off. ‘We don’t really do destroy. My gaff, my rules’ notes The Doctor. So what’s a Time Lord to do? He has The Scream on his tail, now in possession of some of his memories and knowledge, he has a homicidally inclined organic virus child on board, and both him and Alice are struggling to fill in the gaps the loss of their memories has caused. Sounds like a ‘come back next time’ moment for me, and of course it is.
Though not quite as good as last issue, this was still good fun. Great dialogue especially carried us along nicely, and Rob Williams has a great feel for Matt Smith’s speech and mannerisms. I still feel companion Alice needs a little more spotlight, though, sometimes she almost seems an afterthought. The art was more cartoony than last issue, as Leandro Casco and Wellington Diaz replaced I.N.J Culbard. While I didn’t hate it, and some individual panels were very good, as a whole I found the art a little bland. The action sequences especially needed a bit more dynamism to them, as they often didn’t do the script justice. Matt Smith’s likeness was pretty good though, always a plus.
Although a slight dip from last issue, Rob Williams is still the best Eleventh Doctor writer for quite some time. We just need to find him a suitably strong and consistent artistic team now, and this book will be gold.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #3.2 is out now from Titan Comics.