Review: Doctor Who Through Time and Space Part 2

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This is Part 2 of my review of Doctor Who: Through Time and Space, a trade paperback / graphic novel that brings together 6 one shot issues of Doctor Who originally published by IDW Publishing.  Part 1 can be read here.

Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher:
IDW Publishing (December 2, 2009)

With his Ninth regeneration, The Doctor found a companion to travel with him who found a special place in his hearts; her name was Rose.  He gave up one regeneration to save her life and, with his Tenth, she planned to stay with him forever.  Then came the Daleks ( managing to escape the timelock ) and the Cybermen ( bleeding through from another reality caused by the Daleks escaping the timelock ) and Torchwood ( created by Queen Victoria to act as a defense for the Empire against the alien hordes ).  Rose is transported to the alternate reality, leaving the Tenth Doctor to travel alone again.  Or, perhaps with some new companions.

Cold Blooded War by Richard Starkings and Gary Russel

The Doctor and Donna are off to a night at the opera.  Both are dressed for the occasion and ready to go.  Unfortunately, The Doctor has once again missed his landing slightly and they arrive on the planet Draconia, several million lightyears away from the opera.

They arrive in the middle of a civil war, one that many different powers throughout the galaxy have inserted themselves into in the interest of bringing peace to Draconia, a male dominated society where, for the first time in centuries, one of the royal houses has selected a female leader.

The Doctor is mistaken for an adjudicator sent from Earth to foster peace talks and Donna as a member of Earth royalty.  No sooner do they arrive than they are split apart, The Doctor kidnapped by the forces opposing the rule of Empress Adjit Kwan while Donna is whisked away to ‘safety’ at the Empress’ court.

Now it’s up to them to bring peace to this world before the opposition executes the Doctor or the Empress is forced to allow Judoon troops from the Shadow Proclamation to occupy the planet as a peacekeeping force.

Ok – artwork.  Again, I don’t care for it.  Donna is drawn as a wispy thing once again.

Writing/story – if you’ve been wanting a non-human, non-London, non-Earth based Doctor story, this one delivers for you.  Though the themes and settings mirror some of the things going on in our world today, the characters are all alien.

I think the writers went overboard trying to capture the Doctor and Donna through catch phrases they’ve used in the show and they did it way too much (this is actually true of all 6 stories, imho).  Again, there are some references and tie-ins to classic Who (like the Talons reference from 2nd story).

Room with a Deja View by Rich Johnston and Eric J

The Doctor is traveling alone.  Worse, he’s sitting in a corner of the TARDIS… Sulking?

Suddenly, the TARDIS picks up a distress signal and the Doctor lands on a ship deep in the void where there are no stars.  He is arrested immediately and knocked unconscious.

When he wakes, he learns that the inhabitants of the ship are out in the middle of nowhere because they’re hiding from a plague that’s been ravaging through the galaxy.

Now that they know who he is, they want the Doctor not to help them fight the plague, but help them with a puzzling murder.

They know who the murderer us, they even know that he sent the distress signal that brought the Doctor to the ship, but they don’t know why and they aren’t having any luck interrogating the suspect.  They hope the Doctor can help.

This is my least favorite of all these stories and it has my least favorite artwork.

Let's just see how ugly we can draw the Doctor, shall we?

The Doctor does a couple of things I deem to be ‘out of character’ for him; he crosses his own time stream and he SULKS in the TARDIS.  Beyond that, the story itself, while clever, is difficult to follow.  I get what they were doing (I won’t spoil it for you), what they were trying to accomplish and it’s bold, but falls flat for me.  Again, if you’ve been looking for more non-human, non-London, non-Earth stories, this one will appeal to you.

Black Death White Life by Charlie Kirchoff and Tom Mandrake

Traveling with Martha, the Doctor plans to take her to Apple Records in January of 1969 to see the Beatles play their rooftop concert.  Alas, this is not to be as the Doctor instead lands the TARDIS in 1669 where the plague is running rampant in a small village.

Only, the plague shouldn’t be running rampant anymore.

Upon hearing that there is a faith healer in a nearby church who is able to completely heal anyone suffering from the plague, Martha and the Doctor split up (Surprise!) to investigate.

Left alone, Martha is infected with the plague by the mysterious Plague Doctors and it’s up to the Doctor to figure out what’s going on.

This is an okay story; it has its silly bits and its serious bits and the artwork, though dark, fits the themes and the time period and isn’t terrible nor does it distract from the story.

So, there.  Six stories, six very different bits of artwork, six very different plots.  The trade paperback itself is very nicely put together for a softcover.  It’ll run you $20 at a brick and mortar barring any discounts you may have or you can pick it up online for around $12.

~P

4 comments for “Review: Doctor Who Through Time and Space Part 2

  1. Rich Johnston
    July 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks!

    The “sulking” was very much trying to keep in spirit of the end of The Parting Of Ways and the beginning of The Doctor Dances. He ends sulking and goes straight to cheerfulness. I wrote it as a way to explore that journey.

    As for the timestream thing – have you seen the end of the new series? 😎

    • Patrick Hester
      July 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      Whoa! Not used to getting the writer or artist of something on the ol’ blog. Welcome!

      On sulking – I don’t know, it just felt out of character to me. I could be wrong. I have seen his mood change instantly so I suppose there’s a precedent there.

      I have seen the new series and I have struggled with it. It’s been a roller coaster with 1 excellent episode followed by three lackluster episodes, then another excellent one. It lacks something this year and I think that it has been the writing.

      The timestream thing was clever in the comic. I mentioned this on the Functional Nerds podcast recently (http://www.functionalnerds.com). I don’t think the series 5 timestream schtick was as clever. The original Angels episode did a better job playing with time than the end of series 5 managed, imho.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and checking out the review. I picked up vol 1 of the graphic novel for the ongoing series a week ago or so. I’m sure I’ll put a review of that up sooner or later 🙂

      ~P

  2. Rich Johnston
    July 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I said Doctor Dances. I meant The Next Doctor. How odd.

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