If you’re a regular reader of our Titan Comics PUBWATCH column, you know that a multimedia Doctor Who event is coming this September. Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious will feature several Doctors on the run to save the universe in a story that will span comics, novels, audio stories, vinyl, digital — even an escape room! Today, we checked out the Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious ComicCon@Home panel to find out more.
We peeked into the TARDIS with the help of BBC producer James Goss and the Doctor Who comics creative team: writer Jody Houser, artist Roberta Ingranata, colorist Enrica Eren Angiolini, editor Jake Devine, and senior creative editor David Leach. Throughout the panel, viewers saw a slideshow of scenes from Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1 showing a perturbed Tenth Doctor and plenty of Daleks.
To give you a sense of how massive this project is, James Goss shared that this will cross ten different platforms and 35 different products. He had plenty of free rein to craft this as he pleased — in his words, the BBC’s marching orders were, “We’d like to do this thing, Time Lord Victorious. Go!” And while you can read each aspect of the event independently, from comics to novels to audio, the hope is that reading one will allow you to explore others. I know that there is a long and lovely tradition of Doctor Who audio dramas that provided entertainment during those dark years without the series, and I’m eager to use this as an excuse to discover this new medium.
The larger interconnected nature of the story is also also a challenge for writer Jody Houser. Her past comic stories only tied in other comics, so she has to think more holistically and ensure her script ties in with the stories taking place in other forms. But that’s also the beauty of such a large event, she adds. With different media at play, you can tell the story that best fits the way you are telling it. (Added bonus: you can tell stories that just may not work logistically on television!) It’s not her first time writing the Tenth Doctor, but it’s the first time she’s writing a companion-less Doctor. And she’s excited to introduce “a villain that’s scary enough that the Daleks are freaked out by it.”
What was everyone’s entrance to the series? For many folks, like Roberta Ingranata and Enrica Eren Angiolini, the 2005 revival series brought them in as fans. There are a few, like Jody Houser, who discovered the series during the 1996 TV movie. Others are classic series fans, such as David Leach. He had a very up close and personal experience with the series as a child, as one of the Auton stories filmed right on his street! Ultimately, whenever you find Doctor Who, “You always get into it at the right point for you,” James Goss said. (Even if that is an episode when the Doctor falls off of a tower to his death.)
While the pandemic has left many longing for convention season, others, like Ingranata, are finding comfort and distraction in their work. She’s enthusiastic to share her vision for some of the new aliens and enemies we’ll meet in Time Lord Victorious, and she revealed that her inspiration was her own imagination.
Surprisingly, aspects of the event that require contact with other people, such as the escape room and the theater experience, are still ongoing. Goss did reveal during the panel that the production company for the theater experience is the same one that put together London’s The Great Gatsby immersive theater experience, and it will reopen in October with new safety policies.
Finally, the panelists discussed the future for Doctor Who comics and what characters they wanted to tackle. According to them, it’s not so much Doctors (though David Leach has a soft spot for Tom Baker, as does Enrica Eren Angiolini for Peter Capaldi), but companions and villains. And that future is also female, they noted, with most of the answers being women like River Song, Clara, Missy. All in all, the future looks exciting and bright.
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1 will be available from Titan Comics on September 2nd.