With gods, monsters and a Dalek sleeper agent threatening everything, how does Si Spurrier (Judge Dredd, X-Men, The Spire) open the final chapter in the story arc of Doctor Who, The Eleventh Doctor Year Two #15? He springs a Monty Python joke on the reader. Right now, it is possible to believe that if the BBC were to offer Spurrier the role of head writer on the Doctor Who TV series, he might turn them down because he is having too much fun writing the comic.
The Doctor and his companion, Alice Obiefune have been betrayed by The Squire, a former companion during the Time War who turned out to be a sleeper agent for the Dalek gods. The Squire has set up an enlightened race called the Overcaste to be devoured by their enemies The Malignant. She uses the energy of the Malignant to summon the Dalek gods. The Doctor’s hopes are all pinned on Abslom Daak, a famous Dalek killer, who is dying while paraphrasing Monty Python.
Spurrier, in many ways, is the perfect writer for Doctor Who. He can deftly shift tones from dark to light and drop humor in the story without breaking the dramatic tension of the scene. He is also clever with how he plays with time as an element in a time traveling story. He trusts his reader will keep up with him when he does something unusual.
All of this is handled well in the story where The Doctor remains the king of exposition throughout.
One element that makes Spurrier a joy to read is that he is excellent at keeping each character’s voice unique. All of them get turns at telling large elements of what happens or what they think happens. Each of them remains distinct, which is a harder trick to pull off than many people imagine.
Simon Fraser’s (Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time, Panels for Primates) art plays well in this story as well. The characters look like real people, exhausted and determined. The only time people look perfect is when they are clearly illusions. In a medium where everyone is usually shown in a stylized ideal this is a welcome change.
My biggest criticism of Fraser is the depiction of The Malignant as a black swirling cloud thing. Can’t we get something that is equally threatening but unique?
Overall, this issue wraps up this adventure with the Doctor well and leaves the reader ready to hop in the TARDIS to see where Spurrier will take us next.
Writers: Simon Spurrier and Rob Williams
Art: Simon Fraser
Publisher: Titan Comics