Overview

Doctor Who #8

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Doctor Who #8

Credits

  • Words: Tony Lee
  • Art: Al Davison
  • Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
  • Story Title: Tessaract Part 2
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Feb 3, 2010

The Doctor is in…his Tardis…kind of.

We pick up this issue with the Tardis (The Doctor’s tiny/expansive ship) in disarray and on the brink of total destruction. In the previous part of this story, an Acari space shuttle has breached the Tardis’ hull, causing a rip in the time/space continuum, and threatens to wipe the two vessels and all their occupants off the face of the universe. That’s just how this starts.

Upon completion of reading this issue, one thing is for certain. This is not a jumping on point.

Writer Tony Lee constructs a story that dances between the raindrops of the television series’ canon. We’re traveling with the whimsical and peppy tenth Doctor and his (two) companion(s). One companion, Emily Winter, has been thrown into the fifth dimension by the collision. In this realm, she is threatened, praised, and forewarned by its otherworldly inhabitants, mostly within the same breath. Talk about mixed messages. Not being familiar with this ongoing, but with the TV show and its history, the issue is difficult to follow on the first read through, proving to be one of this story’s biggest flaws. For a conclusion, it sure is dense.

The breezy and playful dialogue, not to mention the tone of actor David Tennant is all but lost in this book’s characterization of the Tenth Doctor. Even with his voice in my head, there is a major disconnect when brushing over what is literally alien exposition. A problem not heard in the show or radio plays, due to all the actors’ delivery.

The subplot featuring a manipulative Acari trying to plant the seeds of distrust in the Doctor’s other companion, Matthew Finnegan, is fine if not a little uninspired. Having read and seen the same type of scenario with a “seduction of the innocent,” it seemed very easy for the villain. Over the matter of minutes, Matthew is in serious doubt of a man with whom he just recently trusted to travel the stars. Not to mention, probably having seen him save the day on more than one occasion by now. Sure, the journal of a former companion comes into play, but the whole affair comes off as mechanical more so than organic.

The art by Al Davidson is keen, giving detail when it is needed and keeps the eye moving with his fluidity and panel layout.  He also has the ability to have his renderings actually act, as opposed to simply emoting grand gestures.  This ability is a pro and con when it comes to the title’s namesake. A big problem is seen when trying to capture the Doctor’s spastic nature.

In what I can only assume are attempts to show his eclectic attitude, his over the top facial expressions give the reader pause and sometimes stop the flow of the book. It makes the reader question the interpretation of words as opposed to having the character illustration depict it accurately. It was disorienting at times and hurt the overall enjoyment of the proceedings.

The whole creative team is talented, but this interpretation of the Doctor does not strike me as one that will bring in new readers or the desire to learn more. As a fan of the source material, it was even hard for me to be completely on board with the story.  Being my first dip into the Who-verse as a comic, I’m not sure I’ll be going out of my way for further trips. Introducing others to the magic and wonder of Doctor Who may be a job better suited for the DVDs. 

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