One could hardly blame Alice Obiefune for being depressed. Still recovering from the recent death of her mother, Alice was sacked from her position as a library assistant and informed that her home was being demolished to make way for a new luxury flats complex. In fact, Alice has become so depressed that she’s begun considering seeking out a doctor, little knowing that one is about to seek her out!
Having just survived a second Big Bang and averting a disaster that would have destroyed all of reality, The Doctor has seen his companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams wed and given them the honeymoon of a lifetime on-board The TARDIS. With The Ponds safely home and settling into newlywed bliss, The Doctor needs to get back to the serious business of fixing the universe’s ills and inspecting this new reality for anything that might be wrong. Things like a Vreularian joy-beast (a.k.a. Kharitite, a.k.a. Big Psychic Rainbow Dog Thingy!) running lose on Earth in the year 2014…
Al Ewing and Rob Williams perfectly capture the ethos of the Eleventh Doctor-era of Doctor Who within their script. Readers who are familiar with the show will hear Matt Smith’s voice in their head as they read The Doctor’s dialogue. And the Kharitite proves a worthy addition to the bestiary of odd monsters that populate the reality of Doctor Who.
The only real weak spot in the script is Alice, who comes across as rather bland even with The Doctor listing off her admirable qualities. However, this may be a byproduct of her depression and she does liven up considerably as the story progresses. Ewing and Williams also deserve credit for treating depression as the serious condition it is and not suggesting that running off with The Doctor will magically solve all of Alice’s problems.
Unfortunately, the artwork of Simon Fraser seems ill-suited for the story at hand. Fraser is a talented cartoonist and he depicts the action of the issue with a comedic touch that plays up the humor of the gangly Doctor running around after a monster that is basically a giant puppy. Sadly, Fraser’s exaggerated style seems ill-suited for the quieter scenes in which The Doctor offers Alice a willing ear and a shoulder to cry on before showing her the inside of The TARDIS and the oft-mentioned but rarely-seen swimming pool. And Fraser’s rendition of The Doctor bares little resemblance to Matt Smith and would probably be unrecognizable as a caricature of Matt Smith taken out of the context of a Doctor Who comic.
Fans of the series may be able to look past the mediocre artwork to enjoy a story that depicts the Eleventh Doctor at his funniest and most friendly. But this book is unlikely to create many new Whovians, despite being remarkably accessible to readers who have never seen an episode of the show before.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 will be out next Wednesday, July 23rd from Titan Comics. Grab a copy at your local comic book store (Don’t know where that is? Here you go.) or digitally via Comixology.com.