You’ve seen the ads (if you buy any IDW comics at all): “CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF DOCTOR WHO! A yearlong celebration, featuring all eleven Doctors, starts here!” I was drawn in by the beautiful first issue cover art (by Francesco Francavilla) used in the ad, but I was a bit disappointed by the interior art by Simon Fraser. One of the most important aspects of artwork in an adaptation of a popular movie or TV show featuring well-known characters is that the likenesses of the actors must be recognizable, and I don’t think they are necessarily. It’s almost as if, because the actors are so well known (to Doctor Who fans), Fraser has decided to reduce them to abstract caricatures. That is, the Doctors themselves are recognizable, but the companions are not. Eight Doctors appear in single-panel cameos, and there is a montage of companions.

The story itself is engaging enough, featuring the First Doctor along with companions Ian, Barbara and Vicki. It is a done-in-one with a cliffhanger which I imagine will carry through the rest of the series, one Doctor at a time, to be resolved in the twelfth and final issue. Writers Scott & David Tipton have managed to replicate the feel of the early years and have captured the mannerisms of the Doctor as portrayed by William Hartnell. They have also brought back an alien race from that era, the Zarbi, which was not very convincing on the small screen,

Bottom line: it’s off to a somewhat disappointing start but shows promise.

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I felt the art was a little off - often times it was hard to tell who a given character was meant to be. I did like the brief cameo by Frobisher form the Doctor Who Magazine comics.  I was completely happy with the story - I thought the Animus was dispatched a little too easily. Also, I was less than perfectly happy with the characterization of the Hartnell Doctor - having him get Chesterton's name wrong is  a legitimate part of the character's personality. Having him get it wrong as many times as he was shown to here seemed somewhat excessive to me. I still am looking forward to the rest of this. The "next time" page seemd to indicate that they're pititng the Troughton Doctor against the Ice Warriors - I wonder if they're planning to pit each Doctor against an old foe?


Last month I asserted that one of the most important aspects of an adaptation of a popular movie or TV show is that the likenesses of the actors must be recognizable.” I am pleased to report that that problem I cited with the art in the first issue (that the likenesses of the actors were reduced to abstract caricatures) has been corrected in the second. Another important aspect of adapting TV shows or movies to comics is that the characters must speak in a recognizable “voice,” and I think the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe do here, definitely. I can certainly hear the voices of Patrick Troughton, Frazier Hines and Wendy Padbury in my mind’s ear as I read their dialogue. Other than that, the plot is progressing pretty much as I anticipated after reading the first issue.

Lots of little "in-jokes" in the names of the mall's stores - "Cogley's Books", and so on.

I liked the Police Box store.

ISSUE #3: It was nice to see both Sarah Jane Smith as well as Liz Shaw assist the Doctor in this adventure. Artwise, the injudicious overuse of zip-a-tone obscured Mike Collins’ otherwise lush brushwork. The stories have fallen into a comfortable routine, and so, too, I suppose, have my reactions. The intent of this series is to celebrate and observe Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, but because of the familiar pattern of the story structure, I think it might read better on a more-frequent-than-monthly schedule… perhaps bi-weekly? I’m sure the art for the entire series is already in the can. A full month between issues seems like a longer-than-necessary wait given that we know in advance how each issue is going to end. Let’s get on with it already!

Yeah, it's not bad, but one does get the feeling, "Are we going to get another eight Doctors' worth of the same story over and over until something happens. I notice the hele has one fo them time jump deals - my guess is that the reveal will be that it's Captain Jack gathering a bunch of the Doctor's buddies for a surprise party.

Ooh, I hope it's something more than that. I'll bet you're right, though.


I’ve given some thought to the “formula” of this series (done-in-one with a hook, ends with an abduction) and I’ve come to the conclusion I’m all right with it. Let’s say Bob is right, and the last issue ends with a surprise party. Okay, what if it didn’t? What if it was just a series of done-in-one stories, each featuring a different Doctor, not tied together in any way? That’d be worth it, I think. Plus, the covers provide a matching series of portraits of each of the Doctors by the same artist. The “hook” this time was seeing the Fourth Doctor interact with the Judoon.

It was fun to see Leela again. And K-9.

Yeah, so far, I'm underwhelmed by this series. I'm less certain about the "surprise party" theory, but I can't se ewhere else they might be going.  I'd be fine with a series of unrelated stories.

Then all you have to do is not read the last page of each issue! But speaking of which, this issue's last page promises to address "Who is that guy?" "Next Time." I also meant to mention I liked the fumetti-style editorial about the history of Doctor Who comics; I learned some things I did not know. Looks like the alternate cover next issue will be drawn by Dave Sim. I can't think of a better artist to render "glamourpuss" Tegan.


We learn that the Doctor’s memories of the abductions have been suppressed, but as of his fifth incarnation, he’s starting to remember. If we don’t know exactly when each abduction took place we could guess, but presumably all of the abducted came back at some time, safe and sound. Evidently the kidnapper has been working ahead in the Doctor’s timeline as well, because we see Leela and K9 in stasis tubes as well. I am passingly familiar with old Doctor Who, but I don’t know it backwards and forwards like some people [*cough* Bob *cough*] do, so I don’t think I caught all of the references. Why doesn’t the Doctor remember the Rutaran/Sontaran thing he mentioned? Are we supposed to know who the kidnapper is at this point?

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