Rob Williams is a legend in the comics community. He’s been a writer for countless amazing projects – including Suicide Squad, 2000AD, Judge Dredd, Deadpool, Wolverine, Star Wars…the list is both endless and epic.
Williams is currently writing Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor for Titan Comics, and his story arcs have been nothing short of brilliant. Last year in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Williams gave some insights into what may happen to the Eleventh Doctor: “a mysterious, very pivotal figure from the Doctor’s past,” as well as “space battles, blues music, a big alien dog, time doing things it shouldn’t, teaching someone how to live. Oh, and monsters and running away from monsters. Obviously.”
The most recent issue of Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor, was, as always, a delight to read and there is no sign of them stopping anytime soon as the Eleventh Doctor approaches his third year.
Ahead of issue 3.1’s release next month Williams has graciously answered some questions from Blogtor surrounding the creative process, the collaboration with artists and the comic book world of the Eleventh Doctor. So let’s start with the all important story…..
Series 2 of the Eleventh Doctors (Matt Smith) adventures includes a story arc involving the War Doctor (John Hurt) and the Time War. How did you create the background and stories for the most mysterious of the Doctors?
RW: With the help of our editor, Andrew James. Andrew has a vast knowledge of all things The Doctor. He was very complimentary about George Mann’s War Doctor novel. Aside from that, it’s watching the few episodes so we fit the voice. The plot of our Time War episodes is our own, really. And Si Spurrier and I came up with the child incarnation of the Master, which was a lot of fun. That’s a new slice of Who canon.
Companion Alice has a very strong reaction to the War Doctor. Does her response shape the War Doctor and the subsequent Doctors (9, 10, 11)?
RW: I like to think that Alice’s encounter with the War Doctor does push him in a certain direction in the future. He’s lost hope and a lot of his humanity when he meets Alice. Her just being there offers a little tinge of hope for him.
The Eleventh Doctor is of a whimsical personality and hides his dark side better than the previous Doctors. How have you been able to reflect the War Doctor into Eleven’s personality?
RW: The ‘angry God’ is there in the 11th Doctor just as in all his incarnations. It’s fun to play with that. You can’t show it too often. And the 11th and the War Doctor don’t meet in our storyline. But it’s interesting to show the 11th’s reaction to the Time War. Alice wants to go back there. This mystery we’ve created comes from there. And just the thought of it is abhorrent to the 11th. He’s not as directly traumatised by it as the 9th, say. But he still carries it.
Comic book writers work closely with the artists to create a seamless vision of what the story should look like. How does the creative team decide on that look? What leads your stories? The graphics, the text or an amalgamation of both?
RW: Si and I come up with the main plot beats for the series together, then we each have individual scripts to write. Once they’re written, and signed off by Andrew, they go to the artist. There’s usually a few emailed questions then, so there is a discussion. Comics is such a collaborative art form. For a comic to be good or great, everyone has to be on form – writers, editor, artist, colourist, letterer. It’s very much a team game.
The Eleventh Doctor was a huge fan favourite, and his voice and mannerisms are special to fans. How difficult was it for you to take that well-established character and remain true to the past while adding your own touches?
RW: Well, that’s the job. I like to think we’ve stayed true to his voice and the feel of his stories. But you always want to add something new. Alice has been a very grounded companion for him to travel with. Especially her dealing with grief in series one. They meet at a time when they both needed each other, really. In the second series, we’ve told this ambitious novelistic story that has a very dark question at its heart – did the Doctor do this terrible crime in his past? We know he’s a manipulator. How far will he go? It’s interesting to play with that question while always remaining true to the spirit of the character.
Your graphic novels are all focused in the Sci/Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. What attracts you to this type of story?
RW: Probably the endless possibilities of it. A Doctor Who story can be set anywhere, can have any subject, any theme. And grand visuals too.
A writer of such a varied collection of characters, Williams was excited to have the chance to explore Doctor Who, a show he had watched since childhood. Everyone has ‘their’ Doctor. Who was your first Doctor growing up and how did it influence you?
RW: I swear my first memory of the Doctor was Pertwee. But he left when I was around three, so that must have been repeats. Tom Baker was my Doctor. I love the sheer joyful exuberance of that period. That’s what sticks with me most. The horror was to be met with a smile.
Finally, is there anything or anywhere else that you would like to take the Eleventh Doctor? What further adventures do you foresee?
RW: We’re coming up with that at the moment. Hope you like them!
We can find out where the Eleventh Doctor Adventures are headed when year 3 arrives in stores on the 19th October.
Year Three unfolds in single issue stories, as the Doctor and Alice Obiefune, seeking a fresh start after the stresses of last year’s epic mystery, set off in search of strange new worlds and amazing new sights! Every issue is packed with story and wonder! Dive deep into the unseen reaches of time and space!
Super-accessible jumping on point for new readers – come see what the fuss is all about!
Doctor Who: Eleventh Doctor #3.1
- Writer: Rob Williams
- Artist: Simon Fraser
- Colorist: Gary Caldwell
- Letterer: Comicraft
- COVER A – Josh Burns
- COVER B – Photo
- COVER C – Question No. 6
- COVER D – Simon Fraser
- COVER E – Simone Di Leo
- COVER F – Blank Sketch Variant