Titan has teased and tormented us for months with their upcoming Four Doctors series of Doctor Who comics. Seriously, months, but we’re almost at the end of the rainbow, since issue #1 comes out this week. Series writer Paul Cornell took some time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer some questions for What’cha Reading, and to tease us some more (he’s not going to give the game away this close to the end, now is he?).
Julie: Hi, Paul. So glad you could take some time to answer questions for What’cha Reading! What can you tell us about the Four Doctors series? Is it similar to what we’ve seen from the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctor comics, or are you taking things in an entirely new direction? What adventure will the Doctors be getting themselves and their companions into?
Paul: It’s an entirely new direction, that still recognizes the character changes from the three comics. It’s a summer blockbuster adventure that’s all about the interaction between the Doctors. It’s about a photograph that could destroy the universe.
Julie: The cover previews Titan released hint that the fourth Doctor in the title is going to be the War Doctor. How was he chosen for the adventure over, say, the Ninth Doctor?
Paul: Well, there are many reasons why this is called ‘Four Doctors‘, and that’s all I should say about that, but also I think to have Nine interact with the others would utterly ruin his story. How much extra hope could they give him? Clara could just tell him he didn’t have to feel guilty about destroying his world. That, in itself, would be the whole story. And even if he forgot it afterwards, Rose and Captain Jack wouldn’t. I like the feeling of that one season, complete, without intrusions (although added to in the middle, by Titan and others). What I do want to say is that it’s no slight at all on one of my absolute favourite Doctors.
Julie: Between audio plays, novels, TV episodes, and now Four Doctors, you’ve written many (if not most) of the Doctors. Who is your favorite to write and why?
Paul: Writing for Twelve was a joy. I think right now I’d pick him. So many surprising responses.
Julie: Obviously something keeps your writing for Doctor Who in all these various forms. What is it about the series that attracts you to it? Maybe a better way of putting this is “Why are you a Whovian?”
Paul: I was imprinted when I was very young, and it’s always formed this thread through my career. I pushed away from it for a while, not wanting to be typecast, but now I think I’ve made a name for myself doing other things, so feel more comfortable going back to it.
Julie: This is a busy summer for you with Four Doctors and This Damned Band (which I am dying to check out since my fellow What’cha Reading staff member Nancy gave it a rave review). What else is on the horizon for you?
Paul: Thanks for that review! I’ve also got A Better Way to Die, my collected short stories out now, and a novella from Tor.com, Witches of Lychford, out in the first week of September. I have five different releases in five weeks! Bit busy!
Julie: And finally, What’cha Reading?
Paul: The first part of John Scalzi’s new novel, and Peter Bebergal’s book about Satanism in rock in the 1970s, Season of the Witch. Both of which are excellent. I just finished an advanced copy of Dave Hutchinson’s Europe at Midnight, which is, frankly, a work of staggering genius.
So there you have it, Whovians. Sounds like Four Doctors is going to be amazing. I just got my hands on a review copy, and I’ll give you the rundown a little later this week. It goes on sale Wednesday, August 12, and don’t forget about Doctor Who Comics Day on Saturday, August 15! In case you’ve missed the run up to the series, take a look at the trailer Titan released for it: