09 August 2021

Review: Doctor Who: Official Secrets by Cavan Scott, Adriana Melo, and Cris Bolson

Collection published: 2017
Contents originally published: 2016-17
Acquired: March 2020
Read: May 2021

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor, Vol 3: Official Secrets

Writer: Cavan Scott
Adriana Melo & Cris Bolson
Colorist: Marco Lesko
Letters: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

This is better than previous volumes of The Ninth Doctor, though I still don't get what this comic is going for. I mean, there's no reason it needs to evoke Saturday tea-time 2005 per se, but plunging the ninth Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack into a 1970s UNIT adventure doesn't strike me as particularly interesting, either-- or rather, what writer Cavan Scott does with it isn't interesting. DWM did something neat with a post-Time War tenth Doctor meeting the Brigadier way back in the day. What was it like for the Doctor himself to finally be an old soldier, meeting the man he'd always denigrated for his military mindset? But the ninth Doctor here doesn't really act much different than any Doctor would. Harry Sullivan is a focal character, but I don't know why, and he doesn't always ring true as being very Harry-y.

The second story, about the TARDIS team in Brazil during the era of Portuguese slavers, struggles with length, feeling both too long and too short. Too short in that a lot of its ideas get short shrift: it's about the Doctor confronting slavers, and about alien refugees, and about Rose discovering some of Captain Jack's secrets from his Time Agency days, and about new companion Tara's first trip in the TARDIS. Most of this is rushed and/or underexplored. The conclusion has the Doctor happily mentally subjugating some aliens to another group of aliens, seemingly just because finding a better solution would take more pages than the comic has. But it's also too long in that not much actually seems to happen; it mostly feels like two long scenes, one of Rose and Captain Jack looking at a computer, and one of the Doctor and Tara wandering around the jungle. The more I read of The Ninth Doctor, the more I feel like Cavan Scott doesn't get how to tell a comics story, but he seems to be quite experienced, having written dozens of Star Wars comics for IDW, so I dunno. That might have mostly been after this, though?

I read an issue of Titan's Doctor Who comic every day (except when I have hard-copy comics to read). Next up in sequence: The Tenth Doctor: War of Gods

No comments:

Post a Comment