Since we’re still in that irritating hiatus between the end of the regular Doctor Who season and the Christmas special, I am taking my Doctor Who where I can find it, largely in binge reads of fan fiction at FFN and AO3. And while I adore Doctor Who fan fiction (even wrote some of it back in the day), the visuals in my mind are somewhat lacking. Just in time, Titan Comics came out with Issue #5 in their Eleventh Doctor series to save me from myself.
The last time we saw the Eleventh Doctor and his Companions, Alice Obiefune and Jones, they were on a research base investigating a creature that was wiping the memories of the research team. Returning baddie August Hart (they met him in his future and their past) had told the Doctor that the creature was a SERVEYOUinc experiment, Alice was thinking about getting back to her life on Earth, and Jones was having a run in with the creature in the W.C. Just another day in the life of the TARDIS team, right?
We know that nothing sets the Doctor off like human/alien rights infringement, and so the arc of this story and even how it turns out are not really surprising. That’s not the point. Where this series shines is in the way the characters interact, the TARDIS team with each other and with the people/aliens they encounter. Alice is the glue that’s holding the team together, and I love her. She is completely willing to call the Doctor out and put him in his place, but it’s also clear that she genuinely cares about him and Jones. I also like how the Doctor reacts to being challenged by her. Remember, this is an Eleventh Doctor who is post-Ponds, the man Clara’s Victorian echo eventually found living on a cloud because he just hurt too much to deal with the world. Alice Obiefune is nudging him back to being the man he’s supposed to be. And Jones…I get an unearthly amount of delight playing “spot the David Bowie references” in each issue.
Al Ewing’s storytelling is already operating on many levels, but it’s little touches like the Bowie jokes that kick everything up another notch. (It doesn’t hurt that “Starman” is one of my favorite Bowie songs, either.) Thanks to him and Boo Cook, who has a knack for capturing Eleven in all his moods from Drunken Giraffe to Oncoming Storm, I’ve really enjoyed this arc. They’re a good team and I’ll miss them next month when Rob Williams and Simon Fraser take the helm (although I know that Rob and Si will knock it out of the park—it’s the “Timey Wimey” issue that I’ve been looking forward to since hearing about it at NYCC). Marc Ellerby’s humor strip (involving Oods and apps) made me laugh out loud as well—a lovely addition to the issue. I’m giving Eleventh Doctor #5 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts. Well done all around.
DOCTOR WHO: NEW ADVENTURES WITH THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #5
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Boo Cook
Letterers: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover Artists: Verity Glass and AJ
Humor Strip: Marc Ellerby
Release Date: December 3, 2014