The new adventures of the Seventh Doctor and Ace continue this month in the second instalment of ‘Operation Volcano’. Issue 2 provides the filling of our classic Doctor Who sandwich. In fact, it serves the purpose of filling the reader in with the plot.
To recap, there’s an alien spaceship in the Australian outback. The Counter Measures team are on the scene but with saboteurs and spies on every side. Meanwhile, in the far future Group Captain Gilmore is seemingly under alien control.
In Issue 1, writer Andrew Cartmel and Executive Producer Ben Aaronovitch created an abundance of intrigue. With this second issue, the plot continues to develop, peeling the onion of the original setup. Whilst we don’t hop between time zones as in Issue 1, the action is solely contained within the Aussie outback.
Since the bulk of the story continues in Australia, it allows for some beautiful work. Artist Christopher Jones and colourist Marco Lesko combine their skills well to convey the stunning environment ‘down under’. In the late 1980’s Doctor Who was limited to areas of England travelling distance from London. The possibility of seeing the Seventh Doctor and Ace in Australia was remote at best. Yet with this adventure, the scope of storytelling is practically limitless. Australia provides an ideal setting as the story twists and turns in unexpected directions, the mystical characteristics of the country come to the fore.
Characterisations of the Seventh Doctor and Ace are spot on. Their personalities are skillfully conveyed by both their actions and the visual representation on the page. Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred’s combination has proved consistently popular. Adventures in books, audio and previous comic outings have cemented their legacy as a formidable duo of the Classic era of Doctor Who. With only the finale to come the levels of intrigue have been elevated further, setting things up for an exciting finale.
Hill of Beans
Additionally and also continuing from Issue 1 is the backup strip, ‘Hill of Beans’. Written by Richard Dinnick (Twelfth Doctor) and with art by Jessica Martin (Mags in Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy), this short story provides a delightful aside from the main story. Nestled between an iconic Dalek story and a Cyberman adventure, ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ is often overlooked. Mags is a character who benefits from having her backstory expanded upon whilst also including the events after her televised appearance. ‘Hill of Beans’ is an enjoyable inclusion that plants this comic firmly in Season 25.
Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor is available now from comic book stores. Don’t forget there are two 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.