The Seventh Doctor and Ace are back! Titan Comics have previously brought us new adventures from the Third, Fourth and Eighth Doctors. Now is the turn of the arch-manipulator with the clownish facade. This first instalment of Operation Volcano is deeply intriguing with the action playing out on a vast scale. The grand canvas of timelines and locations fully exploits the medium and delivers a hugely enjoyable adventure for our returning heroes.
An unknown alien intelligence in orbit around the Earth. Astronauts under attack. A terrifying, mysterious landing in the Australian interior. The future of the world itself at stake. Counter Measures activated. The Seventh Doctor and Ace are slap bang in the middle of it all! This is OPERATION VOLCANO!
During Sylvester McCoy’s time as the Seventh Doctor Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch combined to deliver ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ and ‘Battlefield’ as Script Editor and Writer respectively. Now they have joined forces to bring us Operation Volcano. ‘Remembrance’ is a hugely popular story that is 30 years old this year. Characters who made their debut in that story also return. Big Finish have continued the story of the Counter Measures team on audio but in this comic Professor Rachel Jensen, Group Captain Ian Gilmore and Allison Williams are reunited with the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Although not a direct sequel to ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’, this comic manages to recapture that magic.
Had there been a Season 27 on BBC1 in 1990 then this could easily have been the debut episode. Given the budget of the show at the time however it would not have looked anywhere as good as comics illustrator Christopher Jones (The Third Doctor) and colourist Marco Lesko (The Ninth Doctor) have made it. The colours are bright, with the capturing of the Australian desert being particularly impressive. Characters are also expertly brought to the page with great accuracy. As with all of Titan Comic’s Doctor Who releases this is simply a lovely item to hold and flick through.
Hill of Beans
The Seventh Doctor comic also includes a short back-up strip written by Richard Dinnick (Twelfth Doctor). Art for this strip is actually provided by Jessica Martin who appeared alongside the Seventh Doctor and Ace as Mags in ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’. That connection is fully exploited as we learn more about what Mags did next following the events of her televised appearance. Whilst the art is perhaps a little cruder than that of the main strip, the storytelling is easily on a par. Fans who know ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ should enjoy Hill of Beans but it is a very different story. Parallels to events of planet Earth are unexpected but readers will be keen to read the next instalment.
Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor is available now from comic book stores. Don’t forget there are FOUR different covers to choose from. For further news and developments on this series join Titan Comics on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr and for more information visit www.titan-comics.com.