Across trillions of years, on billions of worlds, and in millions of languages, they tell stories, stories of the blue box and the man inside who is known as The Doctor. In some stories, he is a warrior; in others, he is a healer or a trickster; and in some stories, it is said that he met his end on the planet of Trenzalore after a thousand-year battle with his greatest enemies. That is the history that was written. But sometimes Time—as The Doctor is fond of saying—can be rewritten, and the man who was meant to be the final incarnation of The Doctor regenerated into someone new. Someone different. Someone ruder. Someone Scottish!
This is a source of consternation for schoolteacher Clara Oswald. Although she is The Impossible Girl who shattered her soul across time and space, living thousands of lives to save every version of The Doctor in existence, she can’t quite reconcile her image of the previous Doctor with this older, harsher man. Still, the new Doctor seems to be a good man… or at least he’s trying to be one despite his rough edges, so Clara is content to continue traveling with him (for now).
This new Doctor Who series by Titan Comics perfectly captures the spirit and humor of the Twelfth Doctor era. Author Robbie Morrison proves to be a splendid idea man, putting forth outlandish scenarios that seem perfectly at home in the Doctor Who oeuvre. More importantly, he captures the voices of the regular characters flawlessly and one can almost hear Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman while reading the two stories contained in this volume.
The first story, “Terrorformer,” sees The Doctor and Clara journeying to a famous ice planet so Clara can learn to ski before a school trip. They quickly discover the planet has been changed into a tropical paradise as part of *the* celebrity wedding of the 25th century. This, however, turns out to be a minor problem compared to the ancient evil awakened by the planet’s transformation!
The second story, “The Swords of Kali,” sends The Doctor and Clara traveling across five centuries, teaming up with women warriors and futuristic astronauts to stop the resurrection of the alien warlord who was known to ancient Earthlings as the goddess Kali! This story is reminiscent of the gothic horror tales that took up much of the Fourth Doctor’s run on the television show. Indeed, Robbie Morrison’s script references and pays homage to “Pyramids of Mars,” which also dealt with the idea of alien conquerors masquerading as gods.
The artwork of this series matches its scripts in quality. Artist Dave Taylor accurately caricatures The Doctor and Clara from the television show, yet Taylor’s animated style also proves to be effective in depicting the book’s many action sequences. Fans of the show will no doubt be delighted.
This hardcover collection is rated for readers 12 and up and I believe that to be a fair assessment. The language is a little complex for younger readers, but there is nothing in the story or artwork that would be inappropriate for teen audiences or out of place on an episode of Doctor Who.
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor, vol. 1
by Robbie Morrison
Art by Dave Taylor
Titan Comics, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: 12+