28th Feb2020

‘Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor – Year 2 #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

DW13DR-YR2-3-cover

The saying ‘hit the ground running’ is often overused, but I think it’s fair to say that Jody Houser’s first story arc of Year 2 for The Thirteenth Doctor has done just that. Having just discovered that this first arc, a fab team up with The Tenth Doctor and Martha, will be 4 issues long, I couldn’t be happier. This has been perfect Who so far. A nice blend of mystery and action, of solid storytelling and little twists, and, at its heart, heroes and villains. Throw in the fact that this story arc wraps around and threads through the TV episode ‘Blink’, and you have a winner.

So, where did we get to last time round? London, 1969. The Tenth Doctor and Martha are stranded there without their TARDIS. The Thirteenth Doctor and her companions aren’t trapped there and DO have a TARDIS, though they are trying to avoid too much interaction with Ten and Martha, tends to cause time to go wibbly-wobbly or something it seems. Things, however, never quite go the way they were intended. Martha soon works out that Thirteen is the Doctor, albeit a different gender and time period, while The Fam end up having to interact with Ten, who’s cobbled together time detector has tracked their TARDIS. Oh, and there’s the small matter of a Weeping Angel having caught up to them.

First though, there have been equally strange goings on at Martha’s shop, so her and Thirteen get investigating. Just an empty stock room with some old mannequin dummies…who move. While Martha is digesting that, Ten is helping The Fam survive their Weeping Angel encounter. This involves him getting to their TARDIS, who isn’t too happy at Ten’s opinions on the TARDIS’s new look. Hey, even sentient time travelling vessels have feelings too. While The Doctor is firing up the TARDIS, Martha and Thirteen are fighting off a wave of sentient mannequins, who are Autons of course, and make their way back to the TARDIS…Where the Tenth Doctor currently is. I suspect the Time Agency won’t be too thrilled about this time anomaly paradox thingie. Once again, two Doctors come face to face, and utter the profound statement ‘..still not ginger..’. Heh.

It’s just at this point that, slow coach that I am, I realised why Jody Houser chose the villains she did. Weeping Angels, statues come to life, and Autons, dummies come to life. Writes itself sometimes. So now both Doctors know there are two sets of villains running around Swinging London, what’s a Time Lord to do? Well, work out why for one. The ‘why’ it seems is actually them. More specifically, the TARDIS itself. The same problem the TARDIS brought them here to help with was caused by them coming to this time to help with the problem. Got that? The immediate problem are the Weeping Angels, who have tracked them all back to the TARDIS, though I guess the Autons can’t be far behind. So everyone back in the TARDIS, paradoxes be damned, and batten down the time travel hatches. Here it comes…

Another fine issue Houser is just on fire at the moment. I get the sense of a writer really enjoying herself, knocking out a great story while throwing in plenty of in jokes and little nods to this and that. A fan’s writer I believe they are called. The art, as always, suits the story perfectly, and I love Ingranata’s David Tennant. The Doctor’s characters are captured especially well, some great dialogue in there too, and the choice of villains a natural. Really looking forward to the final part of all this mayhem.

Those Auton mannequins…I guess nothings gonna’ stop them now.

**** 4/5

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