Doctor Who: Thirteenth Doctor Year 2 #1 sees the Doc and her ‘fam’ head to Woodstock… except the Tardis has other ideas. They’re in 1969 alright, but not at Woodstock. Instead, the Tardis has landed them in London, in the same vicinity as the Doctor’s tenth incarnation. The Tardis must have a reason for this detour–could it have something to do with the spate of missing people in the city?
Doctor Who: Thirteenth Doctor Year 2 #1
Enrica Angiolini (Colours), Shari Chankhamma (Flatter), Sarah Hedricks (Letters), Jody Houser (Writer), Roberta Ingranata (Artist), Richard Starkings (Letters)
Titan Comics, BBC
8 January, 2020
I love team-ups, so this book immediately caught my attention—seeing two iterations of the Doctor teaming up to solve a mystery should be great. Even though I haven’t really watched much of David Tennant’s run (I only started watching the show because there was a female Doctor) I understand that he was a favourite among fans.
However, that team-up doesn’t quite happen in this issue. We do get to see Ten in his 1969 apartment that he shares with his companion at the time, Martha Jones. But the Doctors haven’t met yet because temporal paradoxes are a thing and can destroy the universe. Which makes me wonder if a meeting will be at all possible in this limited four-issue series. I would love to see it but I don’t want the universe to implode as a result!
What Doctor Who: Thirteenth Doctor Year 2 lacks in Doctor-y team-ups, it makes up for with some fantastic moments of introspection on Thirteen’s part. In my review of Jody Houser’s first collection of Thirteenth Doctor comics, I mentioned how much I adore the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions—and a pull-quote from the review features in this book, yay!—and Houser’s understanding of the character as a whole continues here.
I absolutely love the scene where Thirteen meets Martha Jones. Martha has no idea she’s speaking to the Doctor but Thirteen has the memories of their time together, and she is appalled at herself for not realising how strong Martha’s feelings for Ten were at the time. It’s a wonderful touch, not only showing us how much the Doctor has grown from their experiences but also that she is far more concerned with the feelings of those around her now.
Plus, we get some fun scenes of Yaz, Ryan, and Graham following Ten, who despite being as quirky as ever, has so many similarities to their Doctor. It’s a surprisingly fun series of panels and draws many parallels that a casual viewer such as myself had missed. The fact that the Doctor is constantly running everywhere is hilarious—I didn’t realise this wasn’t just a Jodie Whittaker thing.
Most exciting of all, however, is that Doctor Who: Thirteenth Doctor Year 2 #1 sets the stage for the series’ antagonists…none other than the Weeping Angels. Now, I have mentioned that my Whovian knowledge isn’t great, but I’ve tracked down the episodes featuring the Weeping Angels. Their debut episode was a triumph; I loved the eerie atmosphere and the rendering of the statues. Subsequent outings never quite captured the suspense of that first instalment, but this book definitely does.
We don’t get to see the Weeping Angels in this issue but their presence is unmistakable. There’s a panel in this book that quite succinctly captures how terrifying these creatures can be and I love how it sneaks up on you. Comic pages, because of their flat, two-dimensional nature, can often lose the element of surprise that video makes great use of. But artist Roberta Ingranata manages to deliver a jump scare on the page that would thrill any horror fan.
There’s plenty of humour despite the seeds being set for nightmare-inducing horror—Thirteen and her fam are a funny group, and Ten has his quirks as well. I loved the humour in the first collection and am thrilled to see it handled well here.
The only slightly disappointing aspect of Doctor Who: Thirteenth Doctor Year 2 #1 is the art. Ingranata has a stunning eye for detail—her buildings are astonishingly realistic. But her character work wasn’t to my liking. I’m not a huge fan of the pared-back look—it often looked like the characters’ faces were drawn inconsistently. They sometimes had full faces with complete features, while at other times, a single line denoted their lips and eyes. I would have liked a bit more detail in the faces, but the backgrounds are unbelievably stunning.
Doctor Who: Thirteenth Doctor Year 2 #1 has so much of what I love about the new Doctor—humour, mystery, the potential for endless possibilities, and a terrifying and intriguing antagonist. This book captures the essence of the characters but is subtle in its knowledge of their inner worlds. Fans will feel like they’re in on the book’s secrets because the creative team understands that their fans are smart.
I’m thoroughly enjoying my journey with the Doctor and her companions, both on-screen and with Houser and Co.’s iterations in the world of comics. I absolutely cannot wait to read the rest of the series—will Thirteen and Ten find a way to team up? And what are the Weeping Angels planning? Next month can’t come fast enough!