The Thirteenth Doctor and her companions have been brought back to London, 1969.
However, it just so happens that the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones find themselves stranded by the Weeping Angels – but why has the TARDIS brought them there (again)?
Following a stellar first season, Titan Comics‘ Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor series is back for a second run. It’s safe to say that the current television series, which concluded this Sunday (1st March) with game-changing finale ‘The Timeless Children‘, was highly ambitious. Without delving too far into spoiler territory, it’s safe to say that our understanding of just who the Doctor (and by extension the Time Lords) are has been seriously challenged. What’s more, we’ve been treated to a brand-new incarnation of the Master (as brilliantly portrayed by Sacha Dhawan). We’ve even met a previously unseen incarnation of the Doctor, played by the excellent Jo Martin, not to mention the return of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness!
Similarly, over in the world of Doctor Who comics, writer Jody Houser, along with regular artists Roberta Ingranata, Enrica Eren Angiolini, and Shari Chankhamma, plus letterers Richard Starkings and Comicraft‘s Sarah Hedrick, have shown themselves to be no less bold. This season of Titan’s Thirteenth Doctor series’ opening arc features not only the current TARDIS team, but also the Tenth Doctor and companion Martha Jones, as portrayed on-screen by David Tennant and Freema Agyeman respectively. In a re-imagining of Steven Moffat‘s now-iconic 2007 television episode ‘Blink‘, these two incarnation of the Time Lord, along with their friends, are set to join forces to stop 1960s London becoming a battleground for the Weeping Angels and Autons.
Houser and co. are certainly adventurous for setting out to put a fresh spin on one of the best-loved Doctor Who television stories of recent years. Nevertheless, January’s issue, which kicked off this current arc, served to dispel any doubts readers may have had.
So far, this story is shaping up not to be a mere re-hash of ‘Blink‘, or, by contrast, an unwelcome reinvention of the original story. Instead, the opening issue began to provide a fresh perspective on the 2007 television episode. We’ve already been given a closer look at the Tenth Doctor and Martha’s side of the story, and how they passed the intervening time between becoming stranded in 1969 by the Weeping Angels and their eventual rescue by Sally Sparrow and Larry Nightingale.
At the conclusion of the previous issue, Graham, Ryan, and Yaz were tailing the Tenth Doctor, who was picking up some kind of disturbance using his newly-constructed timey-wimey detector. Meanwhile, the Thirteenth Doctor has found out from Martha and her shop colleague Janice that people had been going missing in London recently, and it’s not long before a mysterious figure emerged from the shadows to attack Janice!
Now, the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions are left wondering just why the TARDIS has brought them back to 1960’s London, and risked causing such an enormous paradox by bringing two incarnations of the Doctor together?
The Fam’s Investigations Continues, and the Weeping Angels and Autons Draw Closer…
As this issue opens, the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham, Ryan, and Yaz regroup to assess the situation. They resolve to continue staking out the Tenth Doctor and Martha, in an attempt to figure out just why they’ve been sent to this particular time and place.
Naturally, the Thirteenth Doctor fails entirely to be an inconspicuous observer. Thankfully for us, however, this leads to more interaction between this Doctor and her former companion. As in the previous issue, it’s a real delight to see the Thirteenth Doctor and Martha together as they reflect on their respective pasts and futures.
Meanwhile, the rest of the ‘fam’ are back to spying on the Tenth Doctor as he tracks an unknown signal using his timey-wimey detector. It’s very satisfying to see Graham, Ryan, and Yaz being trusted to investigate this former incarnation of the Doctor using their own initiative, rather than having the Thirteenth Doctor take total charge of the situation. What’s more, in a (likely unintentional) parallel with Sunday’s on-screen series finale, Yaz proves herself to be the bravest and boldest of all three current companions. She instinctively rises to the occasion when Graham and Ryan hesitate to interfere with the Tenth Doctor’s actions for fear of creating an even greater paradox.
As for this story’s antagonists, this issue continues to hold back on any major action from the Weeping Angels or Autons. For now, they’re content on lurking in the background, both literally and figuratively (at least for the most part) thanks to some cleverly subtle work from Ingranata, which it might take readers a couple of read-throughs to spot in its entirety! Plus, it seems that at least one of these creatures won’t be in hiding much longer, judging from that surprise cliffhanger!
Ultimately, Titan are still leaving us in anticipation of the moment we’re all waiting for, namely the all-important meeting between the Tenth and Thirteenth Doctors, plus their respective companions. Nevertheless, knowing Houser and co., I’m certain it’ll be worth the wait!