Written by Cavan Scott
Art by Blair Shedd
Titan Comics, out April 1st
The Doctor is perturbed when one of his favourite planets isn’t where it’s meant to be…
Cavan Scott – co-writer of the first original Ninth Doctor tale in some time with his Night of the Whisper for the 50th anniversary Destiny of the Doctor – confirms that he has got a firm handle on the final line-up in Christopher Eccleston’s TARDIS in this first of five issues in a new mini-series. (Hopefully sales will be sufficient to ensure that this becomes as regular a series as the 10th/11th/12th incarnations’ runs.) The banter between the Doctor, Jack and Rose which made The Doctor Dances come alive is recreated as the Time Agent gently takes the mickey out of the Time Lord and Rose finds herself caught in the middle. You can almost hear Eccleston, Billie Piper and John Barrowman speaking the lines, with Murray Gold’s pre-BBC National Orchestra of Wales score thundering behind them.
Blair Shedd’s art complements the story well – licensed product is always going to get more attention given to character likenesses, and these range from the excellent (particularly Eccleston) to the odd (Piper with her tongue wrapped round her teeth). The use of the layouts is very effective, although there’s a slight over-use of silhouettes for certain panels which works well the first couple of times – when in more than one panel on a spread, it almost looks lazy (and I’m quite certain that’s not the case, or the reason for using it).
The main cover is a stunning painting of Eccleston’s Doctor by Alice X. Zhang, which really is of poster quality; the gallery at the back puts the lie to the often-repeated claim online that Titan weren’t allowed to use Billie Piper’s likeness on the cover – Shedd’s own cover shows her, as does Mariano Laclaustra’s. Covers don’t always match the quality of what’s inside (for better or worse, as readers of our coverage of the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes issues will know), but on this occasion, it’s a perfect fit for a terrific opener.
Verdict: The trip of a lifetime begins again. 9/10