Click here to return to the main site.

Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Eleventh Doctor #1


Writers: Al Ewing and Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Fraser
Colourist: Gary Caldwell
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: US $3.99
Age: 12+
32 pages
Publication Date: 23 July 2014

After rebooting the universe with a second Big Bang, the Doctor has seen Amy and Rory married, and given them a honeymoon to remember. Leaving the Ponds to settle into their newly-wed life, the Time Lord is travelling the cosmos alone, checking for anomalies in Reality 2.0 – a mission that is about to change his life forever…! Alice Obiefune has just lost her mother when the Doctor explodes into her life, kicking off a whirlwind adventure through eternity. But what does this grieving young woman have to do with a giant space dog, the career of a 1970s musician, an amnesiac alien, and a terrifying cosmic threat…?

If you’re still pining for the Eleventh Doctor, as played by Matt Smith, then this could be the comic series for you! Having acquired the licence to produce all-new comic books based on Doctor Who, Titan Comics aren’t restricting themselves to presenting adventures with just the current, Twelfth, Doctor – they have also afforded his two predecessors monthly titles of their own. The first title off the starting blocks is #1 of The Eleventh Doctor.

Writers Al Ewing and Rob Williams have slotted their series into the gap between A Christmas Carol and The Impossible Astronaut, during which time the Doctor is travelling on his own, having left Amy and Rory on Earth to enjoy married life. There are many other, later gaps that the writers could have exploited, but the beauty of this one is that it is quite a happy time in the Eleventh Doctor’s life – before he started to worry about things like his impending demise at Utah’s Lake Silencio, or on the fields of Trenzalore, or while trying – unsuccessfully – to locate the infant Melody Pond. It’s nice to go back to a time when this Doctor still had genuine joie de vivre.

As depicted by artist Simon Fraser, Eleven is a suitably wiry, elongated and energetic figure, though the likeness of Matt Smith is a little uneven. Ewing and Williams give him some characteristically amusing lines, such as: “Don’t do cryptic! I do cryptic. I already bagsied cryptic! You can’t have cryptic!” However, they also capture his quieter, more soulful moments, like his simple observation of Alice: “You seemed sad.”

The absence of Amy and Rory from the main strip appears to be in order to allow the writers more creative freedom, rather than being a restriction imposed upon them by the BBC. The Ponds do appear in an amusing one-page humour strip (one of two in this issue) at the back of the magazine. For the main strip, Ewing and Williams have created a new companion, Alice Obiefune, a refreshingly level-headed character who nicely balances the Eleventh Doctor’s more mercurial qualities. In common with the introductions of several recent television companions, the story opens from her point of view. It’s a bravely downbeat beginning, presented in a colour scheme that is practically monochrome. Things are going badly for Alice, who had lost her mother and her job (as a library assistant) and is about to be turfed out of her flat. It is with an abrupt burst of full colour that the Doctor enters her life, chasing an alien rainbow dog!

There are some lovely touches in this strip. In common with the TV series, it opens with a pre-credits sequence, and, though this debut issue is pretty much a stand-alone affair, a seed is sown that sets up what promises to be a recurring plot arc. As a follower of the show since the classic series, the length of the strip also appeals to me – its 23 pages just happening to coincide with the approximate duration in minutes of a 1963–1989 episode. Given its brevity, this story is somewhat shallow, but it nevertheless manages some surprisingly poignant moments.

This is an impressive start for a new era of Eleventh Doctor adventures.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.