Review – Doctor Who: The 13th Doctor #1 (Titan Comics)

Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Rachel Stott
Colourist: Enrica Eren Angiolini and Viviani Spinelli Flatters : Sara Michieli and Andrea Moretto
Letters: Richard Starkings, Sarah Jacobs, John Roshell
Release Date: 7th November 2018

I had the great opportunity to read the first issue of Titan’s new 13th Doctor series this week, and I can tell you now that it was well worth the wait!  In true Who fashion we catch up with Team Tardis in the middle of one of their outings in the far future,  with each character not only looking but acting exactly like their hilarious on-screen counterparts.

Suddenly and without much explanation a hole in space time opens up, taunting the Doctor to pursue it to its mysterious source. But things don’t turn out to be quite as simple as pulling a time traveller out of an open vortex, and Team Tardis are quickly wrapped up in a scheme that involves historical art thieves, alien overlords and a robotic militia, meaning that the Doc and her friends really do need to get a shift on this time!

I loved this issue, just like I have all of Titan’s Doctor Who comics. Much like the Big Finish audio dramas and the many novels that have spanned the decades, so much thought has clearly gone into the story here, while still making sure it fits into the established canon.  It’s impressive the way it manages to fit in perfectly with the current series, and after learning in the most recent episode (minor spoilers, and shame on you if you’re not up to date!) that The Doctor and Team Tardis have been travelling for a while now, this feels like just another one of the many adventures that didn’t make it to screen.

In that respect, this first issue feels like a TV episode in every way, even down to the sequencing as we start off with a quick setting of the scene and the introduction of new characters before moving back to the Doctor and her companions on a beautifully depicted alien planet.

One thing that really stood out to me was Rachel Stott’s depiction of the characters. The Doctor continues to shine on the page with her bonkers Northern enthusiasm and call-backs to past incarnations, but most important for me was the way Stott managed to capture the downright hilarious facial expressions that Jodie uses, expressions that have had me creasing with laughter in every episode so far.

The companions too are recreated perfectly, with Graham the grumpy granddad complaining away, Yaz the faithful companion filled with wonder at every new sight and Ryan the hands-on lad ready for action but with a heart of gold. This along with the wonderfully drawn backdrops make for an easy transition from viewer to reader, with the orange/gold glow of the Tardis radiating its warmth through the page with clearly inked outlines and shading blurring into each other in a rainbow of colours.

This is a great Who story and yet another reason to love  number 13. For me it’s all about the little touches and nuanced moments that the comic carries over from the series, like the doctor’s sense of fun in the face of new knowledge and danger, the fact she has “mates” not just assistants or companions, and little lines such as “ordinary blokes can’t be dangerous?”, a line that’s short but still manages to holds so much depth to it.

Much like the new series this comic breathes new life into the story and characters while still maintaining the feel of both classic and new Who stories. As the doctor would say herself, “Brilliant!”

Rating: 5/5.


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

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