DW2012_1aOnce there was a man with a blue box—which was bigger on the inside—who could travel anywhere in time and space. For over 50 years, this has been a familiar, well-loved story to the legions of Doctor Who fans around the world. Whether you’re inbetween episodes or seasons, or just missing your favorite Doctor, the third series of Doctor Who comics is a great way to get your Whovian fix.

The three volumes feature several writers and artists depicting the adventures of the Eleventh Doctor and his companions, meaning The Ponds in most of the stories and Clara in volume three. The artistic styles vary and readers will likely prefer some more than others. I personally prefer the more realistic styles found in the first two volumes and I suspect most fans will, too. But they have all of the usual adventures that you expect when picking up a Doctor Who comic, the colors are rich and appealing, and the sound effects are perfectly rendered. It’s as fun reading the noises the TARDIS and sonic screwdriver make as it is hearing them.

The first volume, The Hypothetical Gentleman, contains two stories: “The Hypothetical Gentleman,” (Andy Diggle, Mark Buckingham) and “The Doctor and the Nurse” (Brandon Seifert, Philip Bond). In the first story, the Doctor and the Ponds find a curious piece of advanced technology hidden in a Victorian exhibition. It has a realistic style that captures the actors from the television show very well, and pitch-perfect dialogue that is excellent at evoking the characters. You can just about hear the actors speak the lines as you read them. The second story is also good at this, but is drawn in a more sketchy, cartoony style. Within it, Amy tries to make The Doctor and Rory spend some quality time together, while she is caught in a historic beer flood. Overall, it’s a solid book.

Next, The Eye of Ashaya has three stories, “The Eye of Ashaya” (Andy Diggle, Josh Adams), “Space Oddity,” (Joshua Hale Fialkov and Horacio Domingues) and “Time Fraud” (Richard Dinnick, Josh Adams). There are variances in style similar to the first volume, where the first story is more realistic, the second less so, and they both have interesting, thoughtful plots. In “Eye of Ashaya,” a search for a thief interrupts the Doctor’s attempt to give Amy and Rory a trip on a luxury starliner. In “Space Oddity,” the Doctor climbs aboard a cosmonaut’s spacecraft to try to save him from a dangerous shadow. “Time Fraud,” in which the Doctor and the Ponds are pulled off course by a time corridor, is by the same artist as “Eye of Ashaya,” but it seemed less consistent, and the dialogue wasn’t as spot on as the previous stories.

The third volume, Sky Jacks, contains one main story, “Sky Jacks” (Andy Diggle, Eddie Robson, Andy Kuhn), plus an extra short story called “In-Fez-Station” (Len Wein, Matthew Dow Smith). The art in the first story is more cartoon-like and has an interesting plot featuring Clara as the Doctor’s companion. When the Doctor goes missing, she finds him in a strange steampunk world with endless skies, where there seems to be no escape. The shorter story about a case of mind-controlling fezzes in Morocco didn’t fit as well and had a boxy, angular style to the art that I didn’t connect with as much.

The books would be appropriate for about the same age group that could watch the television show, so they are definitely appropriate for teens through adults. The only consideration for younger teens might be the complexity of some stories and a few intense scenes when the characters are in dangerous situations. It’s a nice supplement for Doctor Who fans in general, or fans of the Eleventh Doctor who miss him on the show. It isn’t essential reading, but there are some great stories that are worth a look.

Doctor Who: Series 3, vol. 1-3
Vol. 1: The Hypothetical Gentleman
ISBN: 9781613777916
Vol. 2: The Eye of Ashaya
Vol. 3: Sky Jacks!
ISBN: 9781613777916
by Andy Diggle, Brandon Seifert, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Richard Dinnick, Eddie Robson, Len Wein
Art by Mark Buckingham, Philip Bond, Josh Adams, Horacio Domingues, Andy Kuhn, Matthew Dow Smith
IDW, 2013
Publisher Age Range: 16+

  • Rachel Hoover

    Past Reviewer

    Rachel Hoover is an Adult Services Librarian for the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, Illinois, where she develops the library’s graphic novel collection. Rachel writes reviews for Library Journal, collaborates with the Who Do Collective of Arts and Music, and geeks out about horror on her own blog, Librarian of the Dead. Not surprisingly, her love of comics can be traced back to reprints of EC’s classic horror anthologies. She’s also an avid gamer, musician, fiction-writer and film buff.

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