03 January 2022

Doctor Who: The Terror Beneath by George Mann, James Peaty, Mariano Laclaustra, Warren Pleece, et al.

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor: Time Trials, Vol 1: The Terror Beneath

Collection published: 2017
Contents originally published: 2017
Read: September 2021

Writers: George Mann & James Peaty
Mariano Laclaustra & Warren Pleece with Fer Centurion

Carlos Cabrera
& Hernán Cabrera
Letters: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

"Year Three" of Titan's Twelfth Doctor ongoing has the umbrella title "Time Trials," but no kind of ongoing storyline is introduced in its first volume. Indeed, my guess is that the umbrella title is so vague because there won't be one, that kind of thing being much harder to weave into an ongoing that's beholden to what's happening on screen. (The twelfth Doctor was still on screen when these comics came out; "Year One" did have a minor ongoing plot, but "Year Two" didn't.) Like the last couple volumes of Year Two, the Doctor is still companionless here, but he does pick up one-off companion Hattie from The Twist for a perfectly okay outing about spooky underwater things in a seaside village. Mann has settled in as a serviceable writer of twelfth Doctor comics: rarely wretched, but in no way does the twelfth Doctor looking at the "camera" and saying, "I always thought the Jon Pertwee era was the best one" capture what the twelfth Doctor era was like on screen, which often pushed at the boundaries of screen Doctor Who to such an extent as to irritate me. Just try to be interesting, Mann! I do think Mariano Laclaustra is good at atmosphere, and he's probably this comic's best artist who wasn't Rachael Stott.

There's also a one-issue story by James Peaty where the Doctor lands in a town terrified by a floating smile. Warren Pleece turns in some excellent, disconcerting art, but the story itself is entirely predictable and obvious.

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 Eleventh Doctor: The Sapling: Roots

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