Review – Doctor Who: 12th Doctor Year 3 #9 (Titan Comics)

Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Richard Dinnick
Artists: Pasquale Qualano, Hi-fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
Release Date: 15th November 2017

It’s fair to say that Peter Capaldi had a bit of a shaky start to his turn as The Doctor. A combination of terrible writing going in all directions and his companion Clara hanging around like a fart in a space suit meant that the show had to play catch-up with his impressive acting skills. Unfortunately, it has taken until his latest (and unfortunately last) season to show just how brilliant he was as The Doctor, to the point where there is now many a Whovian anticipating his final outing this Christmas, where the tears will no doubt flow in equal measure to the excitement of greeting history’s first female Doctor.

That said, while the 12th Doctor’s swan song fast approaches, it’s good to see that there’s more to the characters of Bill, Missy, Nardol in a format other than the wonderful (but always far too few) BBC episodes. What Titan have done with the Doctor Who series is similar to the Big Finish audio adventures, taking advantage of the fact that there is no set time frame to the episodes and series. Every episode could take place with a few hours or a few centuries between each other, meaning that there are countless untold adventures referenced in the show which we never see. This leeway allows writers to create entirely new adventures fitting perfectly into the existing canon.

Richard Dinnick does a wonderful job here, creating a fast-paced adventure with overtones of classic Doctor Who or the Russell T Davies era, while still using characters from Moffat’s last series. The premise is classic Who – a part of Missy’s prison is broken and they have to obtain a replacement, so of course they go to an interstellar supermarket to find it. Once there, Bill – being the companion – wanders off into trouble, leaving The Doctor to rush to the rescue. It’s a story we’ve seen countless times before but that’s why Dinnick was clearly the right man for the job, capturing that feeling you get watching any other episode. The combination of everyday events from a timey wimey perspective, ghastly aliens, classic fan references, nerdy humour and a family friendly message at the end of it all help to make you feel fuzzy and warm inside.

The only thing I will say is that it might not necessarily be for everyone, as it’s a bit too fast paced. Now any Who fan will recognise this from the show’s tendency to try and squeeze too much into 45 minutes, so in that sense it’s a bit too accurate of a representation, but there’s still a whole lot of fun to be had in these pages.

Pasquale Qualano is a good pick too, as he takes the writing and paints a picture which feels like it has been lifted straight from the TV show. The characters are exactly as they appear in real life which aids the transition to comic form, and as soon as I read the first panel I instantly pictured the tones and mannerisms of speech of Capaldi and the like. The sarcastic comments and perplexed look of Nardol, the angry eyebrows with a tender elderly uncle feel of the Doctor slipping into dad humour and the genuine warm down-to-earth nature of Bill Potts are all present here and are all brilliantly done.

Allons-y Titan! Keep up the good work!

Rating: 4/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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