Review – Doctor Who: Four Doctors #3 (of 5) (Titan Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Neil Edwards
Release Date: 26th August 2015

We’ve reached the half-way point of our five-week Doctor Who bonanza featuring Ten, Eleven and Twelve. Celebratory fish custard anyone? To recap, the doctors unwittingly created a space-time paradox, resulting in the descent of a pack of reapers that ultimately led them to the planet Marinus. Post potentially-universe-ending-photography, an array of death rays from above scatters our troupe through the rocky terrain on the planet’s surface. Said terrain swiftly reveals itself to be a maze, with a distinctly ‘dalek-y’ machine at its heart.

The machine is identified as a continuity bomb; a contraption that selects certain moments in each doctor’s history and presents an alternative timeline. We view Ten established as Time Lord Victorious over the galaxy; Eleven choosing his own happiness over the fate of the universe; and Twelve, moping alone in his Tardis. It’s a clever device by Cornell to bring some much needed depth to the series. For each timeline to exist, a key decision must be made by each doctor. For that key decision to be accessible to the bomb, the potential to make it must lie within each doctor. It’s a proposition that provokes some real soul-searching, particularly on the part of Ten and Eleven.

Narration of the issue is provided by Alice this time around. She is Cornell’s mouthpiece to examine the various facets of the Doctor’s personality and, through her, he delivers the most interesting insight so far into what makes the Doctor tick. The stand-out characterisation remains Eleven, even though funniest line has to go to Twelve for his description of his fellows as ‘legs eleven’ and the ‘skinny, low carb, free range doctor’.

There’s a fluidity to the plot in this latest issue that I feel has been missing from the series so far. Each sequence flows seamlessly into the next, with an underlying current that we are getting closer to uncovering some answers. The storyline isn’t flawless – towards the end of the issue, Alice demonstrates a depth of understanding that is a little bewildering in the circumstances – but overall it finally feels like some of the threads are drawing together.

Rating: 3/5.

The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider.

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