Doctor Who has captured the minds and hearts of a worldwide audience since 1963, when William Hartnell first debuted on the BBC as a renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey, known only as “The Doctor.” The Doctor’s mission is to explore the universe in a stolen TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) and fight off alien adversaries while protecting people in need.
When Hartnell was physically unable to continue shooting the series in 1966, producers introduced the idea of “regeneration,” a process by which Time Lords are reborn, undergoing a change of appearance and personality when they are old, grievously injured, or dying. This regeneration process has allowed the producers to recast the main character twelve times and allows for each new actor’s interpretation of the role without paradox.
Doctor Who 10th TPB Vol. 1 Revolutions of Terror collects Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1-5, including two story arcs, Revolutions of Terror (#1-3) and The Arts In Space (#4-5).
The first story in this book, Revolutions of Terror, picks up in the tenth Doctor’s timeline right after the television two-part episode The End of Time, where the Doctor has left behind his companion Donna Noble for her own safety and sanity. The Doctor finds himself in Brooklyn, investigating unusual activity involving psychic alien parasites that have entered this dimension via an open portal in a laundromat.
Enter Gabriella “Gabby” Gonzales. Gabby is from a traditional Mexican family who own and operate the laundromat. Gabby is the wild child of her family. Her father wants her to take over the family legacy, but Gabriella wants to be an artist. When Gabby catches Ten sneaking around the family business, she interrogates him about his intent, then jumps at the chance to help The Doctor. She will take just about any opportunity to free herself from the drudgery of daily existence in the laundromat.
In the second story, The Arts In Space, The Doctor rewards Gabby for her invaluable assistance in Brooklyn by offering her “just one trip” anywhere in space and time aboard the TARDIS. With all of space and time laid before her, Gabby chooses the biggest and best art gallery in the universe, the No-Gallery of Ouloumos. Ten is a friend of the artist, Zhe Ikiyuyu, who has been in seclusion on the planet’s moon for a century following a bad critique. Of course, when they arrive at the gallery, things are not as they should be and need to be set to rights.
One of the things I look for in a series that is based off an existing fandom is authenticity. I am very impressed by the research and attention to detail paid by Nick Abazdis and Elena Casagrande. Abazdis has brilliantly captured David Tennant’s tics and mannerisms. Ten’s stream of consciousness monologues and lack of verbal filter are spot on. The writing uses callbacks to previous incarnations of the Doctor and television episodes. Casagrande’s artwork looks like it was taken directly from storyboards for the show. Her likeness of David Tennant is exceptional, from his messy spiked hair right down to his Chuck Taylors.
The most brilliant thing about this comic series is how it fits right into the Who-verse continuity. With The Doctor being 900+ years old and an alien time traveler, it’s not even possible that we could have seen all his companions or all of his adventures. Who’s to say that there wasn’t a Mexican girl from Brooklyn between companions Donna Noble and Martha Jones? It’s not like he talks about previous companions with his current companions. The new season of the television show won’t be airing until 2017. In the mean time, I’m looking forward to digging further into this series to get my Doctor Who fix.
Doctor Who 10th TPB Ltd Ed Vol. 01 Revolutions Of Terror, Titan Comics, released June 29, 2016, written by Nick Abadzis, art by Elena Casagrande, colors by Arianna Florean, letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt, $15.29
Review by Brendan Allen