After a visit to the town called Christmas in the Time of the Doctor, Who fans are sure to miss Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.
Just the day before, on Tuesday, December 45th, IDW Publishing marked its regeneration cycle by releasing a 53 page year end special in tribute not only to Matt but to the publisher’s claim to the Time Lord.
Since 2008, IDW was the first US publisher to have the comic rights through the BBC to new stories with the tenth and eleventh doctors, and this book is a sign off for them. Written by longtime Doctor Who television and comics writer Paul Cornell and drawn by Jimmy Braxton (Cornell’s partner on Batman: Knight and Squire).
Rarely does a single issue deem itself worthy of a run on the Cosmic Treadmill, but as the New Year, a new Doctor, and the next 50 years of Doctor Who are all converging on a timey wimey convergence, this one is definitely worth picking up.
Comics fans suffered a lost Wednesday as they collect their thoughts and pull lists this week, post Christmas may see a trickling of books sent through the pipeline that shipped last week.
Here is one for the Doctor Who fans that should be on the shelves at your local retailer or on ComiXology.
Doctor Who 2013 Special #1 has a heartfelt introduction and farewell by IDW Editor in Chief Chris Ryall about his time literally in the TARDIS as he scoped out the publishing deal. The comic itself is a brilliant tribute to Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor, brilliantly clever and just as emotional.
Cornell starts the scene off in the TARDIS, and the crack in the universe is up to its old tricks again. A warning bell sounds, and the time machine lands in present day England on the set of the filming of Doctor Who!
Seriously, what a great concept from the get go. This year has been amazing for Doctor Who comics stories from the 50th Anniversary Prisoners of Time series to the regular ongoing, which ended in the Old West in Deadwood. Ending the series with the Doctor himself meeting the actor who plays him in ‘our world’ is exactly what Who fans are looking for.
A young fangirl named Ally is bullied on her way to school, immersing herself in the fandom as a way of protection. She follows the Doctor after his landing and the interaction is done better than every time Santa is made real in a movie. She takes The Doctor to her room, showing him her immense collection of toys including a life-sized K9 and her Strax the Sontaran poster! He wraps his head around it of course (he is The Doctor!) as she reveals her extensive DVD collection, including The Fourth Doctor’s The Android Invasion.
Ally’s mum isn’t as much of a fan as her daughter, but reveals that Peter Davison was ‘her Doctor’. The Time Lord seems to have met each of the actors playing him, once saving Davison from a Krynoid.
The three head to a Doctor Who convention with cosplay Krotons, Daleks, and all manner of monsters. Using his psychic paper, he gets backstage to meet Matt Smith and even comes in second place in his own costume contest!
But, as they say, “Spoilers!”. The rest of the issue is packed with on-set action with the Cybermen and more clever uses of two Doctors being the same spot at the same time! Great dialogue between Matt and the Doctor throughout.
As we move on to a new Doctor and perhaps a new publisher for the comics, IDW did a fine job with the British property, even teaming up the Doctor with Star Trek in two Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation . We will see what the new year has in store for us with Peter Capaldi as the 12th incarnation. Hopefully Titan Comics can intelligently feed the long tradition of Doctor Who stories into comic book form!