Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor #3.5 (as in year 3, issue 5) is a fun break from the long story arcs that are typical of most comic books these days. Being titled an interlude, this is a standalone story that does a good job of expanding on the tenth doctor’s overall story. The TARDIS is set to “shuffle” and picks a location at random, which happens to be London (of course). The Doctor sings the praises of how “random is good” and “surprises are good” to Gabby, but is startled and wants to leave immediately when he finds out where they are. Why is the Doctor so afraid of being in London? The Doctor is not one to run away from a person in need, so a random cry for help causes the doctor to stay in London and to explore the situation.
At its core, this is an emotional story about the doctor coming to grips with the rage and pain he associates with London. The main antagonist of the story, “The Reach”, is a creature that literally gathers rage and pain to use as a weapon.
I enjoyed the theme of this issue and it’s very much in tone with the Tenth Doctor’s series. Countless memes can be found on the internet exploiting the emotional scenes that were so associated with the Tenth Doctor. The creative team does a great job of capturing the manic sense of exploration as well as the dark moodiness of this incarnation of the character. I wasn’t expecting too much from this issue, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. This issue isn’t a game changer and doesn’t alter your perception of the Doctor, but it is a solid issue that captures the feel of Tennant’s Doctor and gives you another adventure to enjoy, which I feel is what these expanded stories should do. This issue, in particular, is also a good jumping on point, as it is in between major arcs and does a good job of bringing the reader up to speed -through an early ‘recap’ page- on where we are with the Doctor and his new companions.
The art was decent. It is workmanlike, with nothing outright wrong, but nothing standing out. It’s pleasant, but unremarkable on its own. I did enjoy the main cover, but the floor and background seem off. Tennant is recognizable and his pose and facial expression make you wonder what is happening inside the issue. As with many Titan Doctor Who books, a lot of variant covers are available.
I give this issue 3.5 out of 5 stars. While it doesn’t break new ground, it’s a well told, emotional story that captures the feel of the Tenth Doctor’s television adventures.
Written by James Peaty
Art by Warren Pleece
Published by Titan Comics