Written by Alex Paknadel | Art by Simon Fraser | Published by Titan Comics
Alex Paknadel did a pretty decent job last issue, building on the pieces put in place by Rob Williams. Although the sub-plot of the renegade Silent The Scream is ongoing, as he pursues The Doctor, The Sapling and Alice, the focus shifted back to Earth, and Alice’s desire to try and restore some of the memories stolen from her. What she found was dozen’s of version of her neighbour Kushak, all displaced, like many others, from the time stream by time and space travelling soldiers called The Sixty-Eighters. An attempt by The Doctor to time travel has to be aborted as the TARDIS’s energy is sucked from it, and they are faced with having to defeat these soldiers in the present. Oh, and The Scream turns up. Yep.
So The Doctor, Alice, The Sapling, and the London bus full of Kushak’s have spent four days travelling through the decades to reach the past. Increasingly the inhabitants of each era are becoming more and more intolerant of people from other era’s, so the people of 1985 chant ’85 for the ’85 ers’. The Doctor gives a stirring speech on stopping this hatred, just as he becomes more and more worried that the force ‘eating’ time from all eras is not going to stop until time itself stops for good. Timey-wimey stuff is not all fun it seems.
Another Kushak appears, one that has been to 1968, and saw a great wall sealing off that one year from time travellers. This gives The Doctor an idea. They pick up any and all Kushak’s from all eras until they have several buses full, and get them to work trying to break down the wall. While that doesn’t work, it leads to a new idea that smashes through the wall, and what greets them is a tad unexpected. It’s a hippy party. One great, big, hippy party by ‘militarized space hippies’, as The Doctor calls them. They are having a party that never ends, by stealing from the future to pay for it. All this has been made possible by The Wayfarer, a being from a dimension without time, where change or growth never happens. He’s used this time period to help him feed, and feed well.
Although The Doctor was probably going to find a way to defeat it, The Sapling does it first. Although on the surface a friendly chap, he is of course essentially a biological weapon, and unleashes some of that power in a startling way. The Wayfarer beats a hasty retreat, fast. As time starts to reset, and the eras return to normal and everyone forgets, the Kushak Alice knows tells of his regret that, having spoken to his younger selves, he never did any of the things they planned to do. Never too late Alice reminds him.
As with last issue, a fun read that sped by. Paknadel has a good eye for dialogue, and captures the eccentricity of The Eleventh Doctor well. The story itself was good, though the tie up fell a little bit short of what I was hoping for. Good, but not great. One or two nice themes in there as well, regrets at how life turned out, irrational dislike of others different from yourself etc. Subtly done too. Art wise Simon Fraser did a decent enough job. I like his pacing and choice of layouts, technically strong, but still find the finished art a little on the cartoony side for my tastes. That being said, it suited the tone of the story very well, so certainly worked in this context.
Another solid read, with plenty of quirkiness to go round. Paknadel has a good handle on Number Eleven, so bring on issue 5.