Four Doctors #1

By Paul Cornell

Titan Comics’ much-anticipated crossover event is finally here – In Issue One Clara Oswald has discovered information suggesting that a potential gathering of Doctors Ten, Eleven, and Twelve could have devastating consequences – her attempts to prevent such a meeting of minds doesn’t go entirely according to plan…
The Doctor: So now. All right, okay… we’re all going to have some sort of ‘multi-Doctor event!’ Whether you like it or not!
As far as we can tell from this first instalment, Four Doctors is going to be an epic adventure to remember. (Or possibly not, depending on which regeneration you are and the Blinovitch Limitation Effect…) As has been well observed, multi-Doctor team-ups like this can be something of a double-edged screwdriver – fans clamour for them constantly, but are often disappointed by the results. Thanks to a sterling script from Paul Cornell, we reckon that this latest attempt at the genre will be a crowd-pleaser. Cornell has nailed all of the Doctors involved precisely, giving them each distinctive dialogue that allows the reader to easily ‘hear’ the various personas. 
Four Doctors, courtesy of Titan Comics

The plot is fairly dense and requires following closely, but we’d rather clever complexity than stolid simplicity and don’t mind working to follow a more labyrinthine narrative when it yields rewards like this one does.

You’ll be pleased to hear that this premiere episode jumps right in and that the three incarnations get to spend plenty of time interacting with each other – there’s great fun to be had seeing the Peter Capaldi Doctor react to his two immediate predecessors. There’s also an intriguing prologue featuring a fourth Doctor – The War Doctor – fighting alongside the Voord of Marinus during the time war. This series hasn’t been especially promoted as an ‘anniversary special’, as so many previous multi-Doctor tales have been, but it’s easy to view this as a celebration of the revived series – which marked its tenth birthday earlier this year. (It does seem a slight pity, then, that the Ninth Doctor isn’t involved – almost as if Christopher Eccleston can’t be bothered to turn up even in a comic…)
Four Doctors, courtesy of Titan Comics

The Doctor: Unlike my former selves, I don’t make grand promises about anything.

The art from Neil Edwards is a treat, beautifully capturing likenesses of all the Doctors and his companions. And there are some truly lovely full-page splashes, including the final one depicting the surprise appearance of some old foes…

We look forward to seeing how this series pans out – enough seeds of intrigue have been sown in this opener to grab our attention and leave us eager for more. A perfect aperitif to whet your appetite for the new TV series in September. Happy birthday to Who!


Thanks to Titan Comics

Review by Richard Unwin

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