22nd Nov2017

‘Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3.9′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Richard Dinnick | Art by Pasquale Qualano | Published by Titan Comics

Doctor_Who_Twelfth_Doctor_3_9_Cover-A

So now we have finished with all that big multi-title crossover malarkey, we can return to good old solid solo adventure fun. Well, not entirely solo as The Doctor has Bill of course, but you know what I mean. Comic book Bill only has a few appearances under her fashionable belt, and I’m still interested to see if she is portrayed as well as she comes across on the TV show. Or did, of course, these all take place prior to the end of the last series. This issue it’s Richard Dinnick’s turn up at bat, so let’s see how good his swing is.

We start with Bill trying to explain the merits of the film Back to the Future to The Doctor, who is horrified by the interfering with time and interaction with both others and their earlier selves. The Doctor, of course, fails to see the irony. His ranting is only ended by the arrival of Nardole, who informs them that The Vault, currently holding Missy (or Scary Poppins as Bill likes to call her), the female incarnation of The Master, has broken down. A shopping trip is going to be necessary to replace the dimensional stabiliser for one. Time to grab that intergalactic currency credit card and head for the Ubermarket, a huge shopping mall in space.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a shopping trip to the mall without someone getting lost, and Bill manages to in a matter of minutes, though to be fair it is absolutely huge. Bill bumps into another young girl seemingly lost, Olivia, who she goes off with to try and locate her parents. Is Olivia all she seems? hmmm. Olivia it seems can detect when things , or people, aren’t exactly what they seem, and she has noticed two human looking people are in fact very odd looking aliens, and ones that don’t appreciate being found out. Bill assures Olivia The Doctor can help, if they can find him. He is, in fact, currently perusing the gobstoppers, and it is Nardole who first realises they have lost Bill.

For once, The Doctor does the right thing and reports Bill missing to the Ubermarket robot security, but things don’t go quite the right way. When do they? Things sort out, eventually, and much to Bill’s horror The Doctor leads her and Olivia right back to the ‘monsters’. Let’s just say they weren’t entirely what we thought they were, and Olivia wasn’t entirely what we thought she was. And Bill was a snack.

This was a short and snappy one issue story, although quite welcome after the slightly overblown crossover that preceded it. Richard Dinnick showed he has a perfect grasp of the personalities of the three main characters, The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole, and I enjoyed the little Missy cameo. The dialogue was sparkling, very witty and perfectly in keeping with their on screen personas. The story was slight, but a fun concept, and executed perfectly. Who is at its best when it combines a little humour, a little talking and a little action. Perfect.

The art, by Pasquale Qualano, and the vivid colours by Hi-Fi, also helped to cement this feeling of fun throughout. Nice large panels, lots of expressive faces, nice likenesses and, what I always look out for, nice pacing. Good or bad layouts can make or break even the best script, but here they work seamlessly. Nice clean lines too, something I always like.

Yes, it’s not going to be win any originality awards, but this is a solid Dr Who tale. Funny, full of witty dialogue and sprinkled with a little drama. Dinnick is proving himself quite the master of making good stories from any situation. You don’t have to save the world every week after all.

**** 4/5

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