02nd Sep2020

‘Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Jody Houser | Art by Roberta Ingranata | Published by Titan Comics

Been missing my Doctor Who fix of late, with obvious recent disruptions to monthly comics. Jody Houser had been doing a great job on the book, for me doing even better than most of the TV show episodes last series. So when I saw a new issue was out I was really pleased. What will it be… Standalone story? New multi-issue arc? Solo? Team Up? Or a huge multi platform story told across comics, novels, audio adventures, digital content, immersive theatre, escape rooms and games.

I’m guessing, like me, you probably wouldn’t have chosen the last option.

Time Lord Victorious is, as you have probably gathered, a completely different way to tell a story. Spread across six months, it will both tell an overarching grand main story, but through smaller stories in various different media. The individual stories will make sense by themselves, so not every single part needs to be experienced, but will feed into the main story. The beginning of this issue has a handy content timeline you can peruse, like a visual buffet of goodness. The basic plot is this. Going back to the Dark Times at the very beginnings of the Universe, The Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Doctor’s are forced to defend Gallifrey from a powerful alien aggressor. As a friend of mine used to say, cool beans.

My bread and butter of course is the humble comic, and we shall start our dip into this story from there. Last issue saw the conclusion of the fab team up between the current Thirteenth Doctor, and one of her previous incarnations, The (David Tennant) Tenth Doctor, set around the events of the TV episode ‘Blink’. The Tenth Doctor was then sucked into a Time Vortex, which is where we catch up with him now. He’s in the TARDIS, which is good, but has had a total memory breakdown, which is bad. He doesn’t remember any of the previous adventure and, what’s more, the TARDIS data banks are scrubbed too. What could get worse? Probably a bunch of Daleks waiting outside the TARDIS door for him…

Still, not to worry. Jump back in the TARDIS, off to another time and place, open the TARDIS door, and…more Daleks. Shut the door, off again, open the door, more Dal…you get the picture. Something has gone very wrong here. Nothing for it but to engage with them because, oddly enough, none of them fired a single shot at him. Turns out the Dalek Emperor wishes to speak with him, which The Doctor is not to keen on obviously. They have history. Off to Skaro we go. So, why have the mighty Dalek Empire summoned their greatest enemy? They need his help. Yep, turns out ‘The Destroyer of Worlds’ as they call him is less scary than an alien race called The Hond. To be fair, The Hond worry The Doctor too. They died out back in the Dark Times. So, an alien race alive who should be dead, Dalek Emperor’s requesting aid from Time Lord’s and nobody remembering a brutal Time War. Seems we have a time paradox here.

The Doctor won’t help his greatest foes will he? Turns out he will. A Dalek called the Prime Strategist is assigned to help him, which includes navigating the Vault of Obscenities, which unfortunately is not a Dalek nightclub. The Prime Strategist is an odd one, a Dalek in an old damaged casing who claims to be older than the Emperor. Almost a Dalek out of time. Still, the odd couple make their way, Indiana Jones like, through various death traps until they access a hidden chamber. Their reward?
The Hond are waiting for them. This could get messy.

What a fantastic opener to this massive storyline. Jody Houser’s script and dialogue throughout was just top class, her Tenth Doctor is just pitch perfect. The gradual reveals and teasing of future plot points was nicely done, slow dripping to ramp up the anticipation. It worked. I loved the story but have a million questions, which is exactly what you want as a writer from your audience. The art, by Roberta Ingranata, was probably the best I have seen from her, really excellent throughout. The scale of the story was reinforced throughout with lovely big expressive panels, including many half page and single page panels. They really emphasised the grandness of Houser’s script. I especially loved the Skaro spread. Ingranata also captures the essence of Tennant’s Doctor, his mannerisms and body language, perfectly.

Big events need big beginnings, and Houser and Ingranata have launched this epic event with great style. It’s a yes from me.

***** 5/5

Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1 is out today from Titan Comics.


Comments are closed.