A change in pace comes with a change in writers on Titan Comics latest Eleventh Doctor issue.
Writer Si Spurrier’s script slows from the previous issue written by Rob Williams. Previously the Doctor, his wife River Song, former library assistant Alice Obiefune, mercenary Abslom Daak and mysterious warrior The Squire visited the Time Lord prison planet of Shada. After stealing the Master’s TARDIS to break the Time Lock around the Time War, and discovering The Squire’s past has been wiped clean, it’s up to River to break them back out.
And River’s plan, the clever creation of an improbability bubble, is enough to give any Douglas Adams fan goose bumps. It’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from the infinite improbability drive that powered the Heart of Gold in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
From there the wheezing and groaning sounds of the Doctor’s Type 40 TARDIS are heard on the planet Clundanius XI where the Time Lord and his motley crew stop for a drink in a Star Wars esque cantina (River Song even says she’d recognise the stink of the “hive of black marketeers and shady operators”) where the story slows to an almost standstill.
But that’s not a criticism of Spurrier’s script. Where better than over a drink, for a hearts to hearts that explains the whys and wherefores of what’s been happening in the last few issues. This is an issue with exposition at its heart, as the previously fast paced plot takes a breather, and it’s well needed. But that’s not to say there’s not a bar brawl thrown in for good measure.
Daak encounters an old follower while the Doctor offers them both a beer or is it a carrot juice? Either way, it’s a nice reference to the Sixth Doctor’s companion Melanie Bush as the plot, as they say, become thicker.
The dialogue is spot on, although it’s best tackled following a thorough re-read of the previous two issues, and the artwork by Warren Pleece continue to convey a good impression of all the characters although it could never be described as screen accurate.
Overall another great issue that leaves you wanting more.
Abslom confesses a Daak secret. Alice develops a bond. The Squire recovers a memory. And the Doctor discovers the horrific truth about how The Then and The Now has been tracking them – and he doesn’t like it one bit. As the universe closes in around them, is escape even possible?
- Writer: Si Spurrier
- Artists: Warren Pleece
- Colorist: Arianna Florean & Nicola Righi with Azzurra Righi
- Publisher: Titan Comics
- Page count: 32PP
- Price: $3.99
- Release date: April 20