Review: Doctor Who: Titan Comics: The Eighth Doctor #1

eighthdoctorWritten by George Mann

Art by Emma Viecelli

The Doctor finds a surprise guest in his house – an artist who has unusual creative powers…

Titan’s series are slowly working their way backwards through the Doctor’s timeline – in addition to the ongoing series for the 10th-12th Doctors, we’ve had a very enjoyable 9th Doctor miniseries, Paul Cornell’s Four Doctors (which we’ll be reviewing when it comes out in hardback form next month) and now this short outing for Paul McGann’s incarnation. It’s a real oddity though: the blurb at the start deliberately tries to tie it in to the list of companions the Doctor reels off in The Night of the Doctor and suggests that this is a Doctor post-Dark Eyes and Doom Coalition. I suspect whoever wrote that hasn’t listened to those stories, because the version of the Eighth Doctor that George Mann writes here is the fluffy, Byronic hero of the TV movie, not the much darker, layered character that he has become, both at the hands of the Eighth Doctor Adventures print authors, but also in the Big Finish audios. Sure, he may be dressed in the less fancy clothes, but his whole outlook is much more upbeat.

That is assuming that the character being drawn is meant to be the Eighth Doctor: there’s a panel on page 6, and another on page 24 that resemble McGann, but otherwise, the character in the long coat doesn’t look like him at all, and while I don’t expect photographic art necessarily in a licensed product, I do expect more than this. The quality of Alice Zhang’s cover suggests that it’s not a question of McGann not allowing his likeness to be used…

The plot is there more to introduce new companion Josephine Day who has an ability that has turned up in genre stories across the years (notably in an early Sapphire & Steel Look In strip) – the question is how she will fare once in Time and Space; the jury remains out on what distinctive elements she will bring to bear.

Verdict: Not the Eighth Doctor’s finest hour. 5/10

Paul Simpson

 

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