09th Nov2015

‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.2’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Nick Abadzis | Art by Eleonora Carlini | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp


If you remember from last issue, things are not going particularly well for the Tenth Doctor on Presley Station. Nick Abadzis and Eleonora Carlini’s tale had The Doctor dealing with the corruption of the Shan’tee, a race of beings conceptually visible to others as pure song. The Shan’tee, or a group of them called the nocturnes (in contrast to the uninfected Shan’tee being arias), had effectively been corrupted by a virus that was being passed to humans and, more personally, to The Doctors Companion herself, Gabby. It was an interesting, if not wholly satisfying, first issue.

As we begin the second part, The Doctor decides the virus is a deliberate attack and decides to take the TARDIS and find the source; Gabby stays behind in what The Doctor, mistakenly as it turns out, believes is the safest place. The Doctor manages to track back to the original source of the infection, another conceptual life form that seemingly piggy backs on to other similar life forms. He formulates a musical cure of sorts, (playing a keyboard and singing ‘my old man’s a dustman’ was pretty amusing, but not sure if completely in character with the David Tennant version of the Doctor) and gets back just in time to save Gabby from the infected colonists. A neat wrap up, and a little epilogue followed that leads us nicely into the next adventure to come.

Although enjoyable enough, seemingly hitting enough of the right notes (no pun intended) I still think this was Dr Who by numbers. Nick Abadzis has done much better in the past, and he needs to stretch himself a little more than he does here. He set up quite an intriguing world, an interesting set of inhabitants, and then an interesting dilemma, yet it was all resolved far too pat and the great ideas used in the set up were a little wasted. I did however like the way Abadzis translated the breathless pace of a Tenth Doctor TV episode to the book, it did feel like Tennant running all over the place.

I am also still not sold on Eleonora Carlini’s art. It is that bright, brash style of art that seems to transform any and all characters into teenagers. Tennant’s Doctor is a little fresh faced admittedly, but not as much as Carlini thinks. The technical side of the art is fine, it flows well from page to page, and carries the reader along nicely. The one element I felt her art did really suit was the depiction of the Shan’tee, being conceptual beings they were a tough artistic ask.

Final impressions are that Abadzis and Carlini delivered a very safe two-parter to launch volume 2 of the Tenth Doctor. For me, that came over as a little bland, especially in comparison to the very high standard of Doctor Who comics at the moment. I hope to see the envelope being pushed just a little more to truly engage the reader. Worth a look, but only just.

*** 3/5

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.2 is out now from Titan Comics


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