20th Jun2017

‘Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #3.6’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by George Mann | Art by I.N.J Culbard | Published by Titan Comics


It says a lot for the editorial team on this title that even though it has already, in its mere six issues, had a multitude of writers and artists it still manages to continue an interesting ongoing central plot while building smaller stories around it. Several writers and artists have come and gone, and this issue sees the arrival of George Mann and the welcome return from last issue of I.N.J Culbard, offering at least a little consistency in the art department. Although the other stories have come and gone, the central ongoing story is of The Sapling, essentially a planet destroying biological weapon with the mind of a child, and the mixed memories of The Doctor and Companion Alice. The Doctor and Alice are trying to save The Sapling from his terrible destiny but as he grows, his powers are making that more and more tricky. The Doctor, though, does love a project.

After last month’s slightly troubling encounter with The Ood, we are back on territory more than familiar to The Doctor. A giant, seemingly abandoned spaceship drifting through space. How could you not investigate that? And worth investigating it is indeed. Firstly, it has a language that even The Doctor has never seen before. Secondly, it’s bigger on the inside than the outside, rather like a certain police box. The Doctor, of course, is like a kid in a candy shop. Mystery, danger, transdimensional doorways on bridges over rivers in a spaceship. Time Lord heaven.

The next discovery is even more startling. A red giant star, also inside the ship, billions of years old and dying. Oh, and they run into a Thrake, a memory parasite that feeds on brains. Time to leg it. Which they do, but from the proverbial frying pan into the fire as more Thrakes come for them. Then things get even weirder, if possible, as reality itself breaks down. The Doctor realises all these things have been just echoes, memories that existed until The Thrake started feeding on them and breaking them down. Off they go again, this time finding what seems to be an engine room of sorts. The Doctor investigates the engine, and finds it contains a person inside…

A very simple premise this issue, resulting in a very minimal script, but still a nice little story done well. The premise felt very typical Dr Who, and the bulk of the script consisted of The Doctor and Alice talking, with some nice little lines here and there. A nod to the ongoing Sapling storyline was in there too, but nothing more than that. Always good when a good storyline still keeps a little back to keep you interested. The art by Culbard was as consistent as always, nicely laid out and paced. The minimal script was also obvious by the fact we had six full page panels in there, a quarter of the book, as Culbard had to stretch things out a little. Nicely done, of course, but not totally necessary.

Overall I am enjoying the tone of this book at the moment, with the one and two part stories, and a rotating creative team. Always fun to get fresh perspectives, and new approaches, all the way ensuring nothing is too jarring from what came before and what will come after. As I said earlier, the editors do a great job on this book. I would like to see some more done with The Sapling storyline sooner rather than later though, as it can start to over stay it’s welcome if it’s not careful. That, though, is not a problem just yet.

No Timey-Wimey stuff this month, just Spacey-Wacey. And a touch of Wibbly-Wobbly. That’s ok though, we like Spacey-Wacey.

***½  3.5/5


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