13th Jul2017

‘Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3.5′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Richard Dinnick | Art by Brian Williamson | Published by Titan Comics

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It’s Bill. Bill who? Bill Potts. You know the one, the girl with the boy’s name who The Doctor met at the University he was teaching at. Bill makes her comic book debut somewhat ironically this issue just as we saw her and The Twelfth Doctor’s final adventure screen on TV last week. The TV show helped us see how their relationship began, and how it seemingly ended, this book will help us see what great adventures they had in between. The cover this issue, by Claudia Ianniciello, of The Doctor and Bill is an absolute stunner too, capturing likenesses and personality in one painted picture to perfection.

The Wolves of Winter arc takes us off to the Ninth Century Atlantic Ocean, and a Viking ship carrying a mysterious treasure to a mysterious place. Colour me intrigued. Led by chieftain Sundvik, they dock to avoid a fierce storm and make camp on the snowy mountains. All is relatively quiet, until a blue police box appears out of nowhere, and The Doctor and Bill jump out. Supposedly heading to thirteenth century London to see a polar bear at the Tower of London, they have gone slightly off course. The superstitious Vikings think them gods, but are unsure if they are good or bad ones. Is The Doctor Odin or Loki muses one.

After his beloved TARDIS is called a garderobe by the Vikings (a toilet to you and me) he allows them inside to witness ‘the finest ship in the universe’. To them, it is the Skidbladnir, a legendary ship of the Norse gods that could hold everything yet fold up very small. Certainly sounds like the TARDIS. It is noticed that Halfdan is missing, a warrior sent to investigate something that fell from the sky earlier. The Doctor of course cannot resist a mystery and, as he tells Bill, he suspects a spacecraft of some kind. The Doctor, Bill, and some of the Vikings set off to investigate, and certainly discover a crashed space craft. And a not so crashed one. Seems one was chasing the other, and perhaps shot it down.

As The Doctor studies some strange runes, he suddenly becomes aware who the visitors are. It’s a welcome return, for us Who fans anyway if not the people in the story, for the Ice Warriors from Mars, reptilian armoured human like beings who are among The Doctor’s oldest foes. They first popped up to trouble the Second Doctor many years ago, and have reappeared now and again. The Ice Warriors are here looking for something, and it is clearly dangerous. So dangerous the Doctor is aware of it too. What though has infected Halfdan, and seemingly at least one of the Ice Warriors? is it something in the water? Is it Martian? Can The Doctor, Bill, and The Vikings stop it? Why am I writing the nest issue blurb for Titan?

This kicked off the new era nicely. Firstly, the story was a little on the simplistic side, but it brought back the Ice Warriors so I’ll forgive it that. The real story was the introduction of Bill, and the portrayal of her relationship with The Doctor. The relationship, full of banter, quips, and generally light hearted fun is captured here to perfection. Great dialogue between the two make you feel you are reading the actors playing these roles in the book. So hats off to scripter Richard Dinnick. I also enjoyed Brian Williamson’s art. Very clean lines throughout, nice mixing up of panels and layouts, and not bad likenesses either. I get the impression as well the art will only get better the more Williamson draws on the book.

Great start for a new era, of both cast and creative team, and nice to see Bill shine in her first appearance. Bill liked this book. Be like Bill.

**** 4/5

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