The Eleventh Doctor and his companion Alice find themselves put on trial by a dying species who blame their situation on the Doctor’s last visit; nine hundred years previously.
I’ll be honest; when I first read through this issue I thought that it was storyline in progress. After a brief scene with John Hurt’s Doctor, we find Eleven and Alice already held captive. Of course, ‘In Media Res’ is an effective story telling technique that allows you to jump right into the action. And it’s also true that it’s not exactly unusual to find the Doctor trapped and in peril, so it does sort of work.
The problem with this is that it adds to the massive amount of exposition that has to be got through and this hampers the story. With so much background to cover, present events have to be compressed. As a result, the Doctor’s captors manage to set a trap to lure him to them, but fail to check his pockets. Therefore, the Doctor and Alice escape via the unimaginative tactic of having the Doctor use his Sonic Screwdriver.
Inconsistent pacing issues aside, the issue does make good use of a less than original plot. The whole, ‘the Doctor’s past catches up to him’ plot isn’t exactly new territory; especially for Eleven. That was basically the story arc for his entire run. Nonetheless, I did find myself interested as to what the Doctor may or may not have done to these people (if they have a name, I completely missed it). Also, you can never get enough of John Hurt’s War Doctor, so I look forward to seeing more of him.
This issue could be described as ‘making the best of a bad job’; with good characterisation and foreshadowing balancing out poor pacing and a recycled plot.
Publisher: Titan Comics
Published: 7th October 2015