-This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.
Guest Writer: Tim Myers
Another fantastic work by the team at Titan Comics is chocked full of wonderful artwork and not just one, but three stories that will positively delight newcomers and old fans alike. This delightful paperback contains story lines by the duo of George Mann and James Peaty that will keep readers awake past their bedtime as the enjoy every nail-biting scene, outlined and colored by a grand team of ten artists (Culbard, Rodriguez, Diaz, Junior, Casco, Farrell, Renne, Ribeiro, Pavey, and Qualano), not including the lettering done by Starkings and Betancourt. As the 10th Doctor is inclined to say: that’s brilliant.
Our first story finds the Doctor joined by his chosen traveling companions: Alice and the Sapling. As they make their way on board an abandoned Starliner, the Doctor sees some old ‘friends’ from a few previous episodes: the Ood. When the Doctor saves his companions and some other innocents with a bit of sonic screwdriver trickery, he, Alice, and the Sapling are transported to none other than a space terrorist’s hideaway, although she is disguised as a janitor. Her goal promises devastation and horror, but the Doctor thwarts her immediate plans and figures out her plot to drive the Ood into a rage. As Martha Jones was accused of being a FOTO activist in those episodes from 2006, so this terrorist is, but she is murdered by her victims, the Ood in the end. As usual with the Doctor, he fools the baddies, makes nice with the oppressed, and protects his companions before the end of the incident. Bravo!
Our next serial finds a derelict spacecraft of unknown origin boarded by the Doctor and both of his companions, Alice and the Sapling. For once, the Doctor is flabbergasted by something bigger on the inside: much like every companion he has brought aboard the TARDIS. After a bit of cheerful exploration, the team is accosted by Thrakes, but when they escape the Doctor finds what is powering the ship and all the curiosities aboard. It’s a being older than the Timelords: a Xerxes. In a bit of a history lesson, the Doctor explains who and what they were. In the end, the Thrakes are destroyed and the ship is cleared of danger. Score another one for the Doctor and his companions.
The third story in this serial finds the Doctor, Alice, and the Sapling find themselves back on Earth at a street fair and, upon seeing a statue of the Sapling, reminisce about having become too well-known during a trip to the renaissance. Memories play tricks on the Doctor’s companions and strangers alike as an unknown trickster deceives all nearby. Upon remembering, the Sapling recalls a photographer who seems to be the commonality among all of the victims and they attempt to locate and force him to return the memories. After a lengthy chase, they corral the trickster and make his camera return all of the memories he has taken. The Doctor unmasks the villain, revealing a krovian, a commonly deceptive species. After destroying the camera, all is set right, and the Doctor goes about his childish ways. Another notch in his belt and everything is back to normal.
All things considered, a great read and well-worth it to both longtime fans and first time readers alike!
4.5 out of 5 stars