13th Jul2018

‘Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #2′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Andrew Cartmel | Art by Christopher Jones | Published by Titan Comics

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As far as rehabilitations of characters go, last issue was a pretty good one for The Seventh Doctor. The Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker incarnations were probably the lowest ebb for The Doctor, and personally I have little love for either of them, but last issue proved to a point there is no such thing as bad characters, just bad writing. Good writing creates good characters, and last issue was definitely some good writing. We had a lot of things to digest last issue, including the flashing back and forwards in time between 1967 and 2029, the prominent role of the fan-popular Intrusion Countermeasures Group, and the fact the Captain Gilmore has not aged a day since 1967 after being discovered in 2029 in a spaceship. Think that’s everything….oh yes, and he also has an alien creature attached to his spine.

Those spine hugging creatures first appeared back in the 1967 portion of our story, where The Doctor and the Counter-Measures team have been investigating a downed spacecraft. One has been literally ‘put on ice’ after being removed from a human host. In addition, all sorts of espionage and counter espionage is going on amongst the group, trust being in very short supply it seems. Exemplified perhaps by Delafield and Sharrow kidnapping Rachel and Allison, stealing some radiation suits, and taking off, leaving the group cut off and facing a huge storm coming their way. The Doctor though, is nothing if not resourceful.

Delafield has taken his hostages to an island off the coast of Mexico, as The Doctor and the other group members make their way back to where the TARDIS has been stored. The Doctor, of course, has a plan. It’s pretty unpopular, as it involves requiring the help of the captured aboriginal spy, Darana, the only one who can lead them to a certain site. As they arrive at the site, The Doctor reveals these creatures are in fact not the enemy at all. At the same time Delafield has revealed a secret base of sorts to Rachel and Allison, full of strangely physically perfect human beings. Hmmm.

The Doctor has meanwhile succeeded in drawing out the aliens, and Ace agreed to have one attach itself to her so they could interact. Turns out The Doctor was correct, these aliens came to Earth chasing others, these other aliens hiding by assimilating into the human population, essentially hiding in full view down the centuries. So, the question now is, how can they be finally stopped?

Another solid issue from Andrew Cartmel, though surprisingly The Doctor remains almost a background character in his own story. He also seems a tad too level headed as well, the Sylvester McCoy incarnation was always a little bit manic. Solid story building though. Christopher Jones put in an excellent shift on the artwork, I always love the cleanness of his linework and although his panel layouts are always quite orthodox the pacing is always excellent. Nice, bright colours by Marco Lesko round out a lovely visual effort. The Richard Dinnick/ Jessica Martin backup returns also, though I’m a little lukewarm on that one. The Seventh Doctor does seem more his louder self in that story, but with only 4 pages the story and art is quite limited in what it can do.

I like, but I don’t love, is a far way to put my feelings about this book. I liked the way the pieces were set up, but the way the story is playing out is a little less entertaining than I hoped. That being said, there’s nothing wrong here. Solid story, and excellent art, are things most books would settle for in a heartbeat.

Nest issue sees the wrap up, so let’s hope we get the explosive finale a story called ‘Operation Volcano’ deserves.

***½  3.5/5

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