05th Dec2017

‘Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #3.12’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Alex Paknadel, Rob Williams | Art by Ivan Rodriguez, JB Bastos, Luiz Campello | Published by Titan Comics


Seems an age since I reviewed The Eleventh Doctor’s solo shenanigans. He was quite pivotal in The Lost Dimension crossover of course, but for a character with their own book there’s no place like home. Seems a good time to check back in too, as this issue and next are the conclusion of Year Three. For those playing the long game story wise, and who have followed the entire run, the plotline running throughout the year has been that of The Sapling. The Sapling is essentially a biological weapon that The Doctor has been trying to repurpose. It has accidentally absorbed memories from The Doctor and Alice, giving it a character and personality, and The Doctor is hoping that is enough to keep it ‘good’.

As always of course, life has a habit of getting in the way. The Sapling has of late been increasingly placed in pressure situations, the stress of which have given a glimpse of just how powerful he is, and how dangerous he will be if The Doctor cannot save him. The latest adventure was the worst, in that The Sapling had to save the TARDIS from being destroyed, as it absorbed the immensely powerful Time Lord weapon the Orphaned Hour into its core, and could only do so by growing. A lot. The entire TARDIS has been engulfed. Oh, and The Scream has chosen this moment to again reveal himself, initially to Alice but who swiftly forgets him as his power demands.

The most pressing problem of course is to stop the TARDIS leaking time energy. It ia having to fight to try and suppress The Sapling as it spreads and engulfs the entire TARDIS. The Doctor, although a tad stumped, thinks up what may be a reasonable plan but is rather rudely interrupted by  The Scream, who has some sort of plan using itself, The Doctor, and The Sapling in a sort of unholy trinity. The Scream is a bit miffed when he confronts The Doctor, and The Doctor mischievously pretends he still doesn’t know who he is. ‘Clive, from Number 42 perhaps?’. Classic line. The Scream unfortunately doesn’t share The Doctor’s sense of humour, and lashes out at Alice. Time to set that plan in motion.

That plan involves the TARDIS treating The Sapling as an infection and ejecting it, while the TARDIS destroys itself then rebuilds itself instantly. While not a great plan, as it throws everyone into space for a few seconds, it’s the only one. The good news is, it works. The bad news is, The Scream grabs The Sapling just at the exact moment their atoms are being reformed, and the two merge into a single being. A single being dominated by The Scream, who plans to infect and destroy every planet it comes across. That’s bad enough, but Alice has now also been completely stripped of her memories. she has no idea who, or where, she is. Yep, that’s very bad, but not as bad as The Scream making an entire planet from the memories of The Doctor. Welcome to The Doctor’s World. Wipe your feet.

I really enjoyed this issue, really felt like the first part of a satisfying resolution to a year’s worth of stories. The story sped along at a good pace, action and drama leaving little room this time round for some of that trademark wit. Paknadel and Morrison crafted a nice tale. The art, with three credited artists making me a little wary, was actually very good. The Doctor had a perfect Matt Smith likeness, and The Scream was suitably menacing. Simple layouts yes, but perfectly paced and illustrated. Great work.

Who lives, who dies? We’ll know next issue, but this was the perfect starter for next issue’s main course. Who’s hungry?

**** 4/5


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