07th Aug2018

‘Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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


I know some fans out there have been loving this, and I feel a little bad not being quite so gushing in my praise as they have been. This has been a reasonably good book, but not much more. I have enjoyed the novelty of seeing The Seventh Doctor get his turn in the comic book spotlight, but he doesn’t seem to dominate the book like his other incarnations do. Cartmel’s a good writer, so the assumption has to be the character lacks a certain something.

The story itself has been perfectly fine, a almost by numbers sci-fi tale that has gone down an avenue that surprised me a little, in a good way of course. We’ve had some time travel in there, some ‘the bad aliens are actually the good aliens’, a touch of ‘they live among us’, and rather than Aliens face hugging, we get some spine hugging. Delafield and Sharrow are the ‘bad’ aliens, and have taken the hostages from the Counter-Measures team to an island off Mexico, where they learned that these aliens have been infiltrating mankind for centuries, and the spine hugging aliens have come to defeat them. Took a while obviously.

The Doctor has identified the ‘good’ aliens as Markarians, and Ace is currently still symbiotically attached to one, as she learns all about them. Time is running short though, as Allison and Rachel have discovered as hostages. The base where they are being held seems to be preparing a big old missile. Ace returns from her mind-meld and updates the others, including a quick potted history, the comic book version of a montage, and the location of Rachel and Allison, which is also the location of the last operational ship the aliens have. Their plan is to launch the ship into orbit, then launch a nuclear missile from it. Remember, this is still all taking place in 1967, so nuclear technology is still very young. I’ll admit to being curious as to why a race that has cultivated power and influence from the shadows for centuries now wants to nuke the Earth, but hey, poetic licence I guess.

The Doctor, Ace, and an entourage of troops invade the volcano base (classic Sixties hiding place obviously) and an all out gun battle ensues. Gilmore chases down Delafield, with a Markarian in tow, but is trapped inside the ship when it launches…which explains why Gilmore is still alive 60 years later when discovered aboard the ship. The Markarian bonded with him and kept him alive. It’s now a world of course he no longer recognises or feels a part of. So guess who turn up to see him. The Doctor and Ace of course. Gilmore soon pitches up back in 1967 Oxford as though he had never been away.

This final issue hasn’t really changed my opinion about the book. It’s been an ok ride, but falls way down the pecking order in terms of the best Who adventures. Neither the story, nor The Seventh Doctor himself particularly distinguished themselves. You could have plugged in various Doctor’s into this adventure and had it play out the same way, nothing about it made it a Seventh Doctor adventure. Ace had more to do across the three issues, which tells you something. The highlight of this issue, and the book in general, has been the very nice artwork of Christopher Jones. Although his work can at times look a little static, I like the pacing and layouts generally, and the clean lines he draws. The Richard Dinnick/Jessica Martin back up is ok, but not for me particularly.

This may be a book that plays to the crowd, but little more. If you liked The Seventh Doctor, or anything Who related, you’ll like this. If you needed convincing, like me, you’ll still be on the fence. Does this Doctor bring anything new, like The Tenth and Eleventh Doctor’s do especially? Not really. Could he carry an ongoing book? I doubt it very much. Did he deserve a shot? Absolutely.

A decent effort, done with affection. You can’t knock that.

*** 3/5


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