1963. Shoreditch, London. The Dalek Civil War – the battle between the Imperial Daleks who remained loyal to their creator, Davros, and the Renegade Daleks who saw Davros as unworthy of respect as a non-Dalek lifeform – has come to Earth. Though the Intrusion Countermeasures Group (ICG) has protected England from a number of strange threats in the past, they are woefully unprepared for The Daleks… until the fortuitous arrival of a strange man called The Doctor, and his companion, Ace.
1967. The Australian Desert. Professor Rachel Jensen and her assistant Allison Williams – both part of The ICG – are examining ancient cave paintings in the Australian Outback. This is an unusually risky venture, given the close proximity of a hydrogen bomb testing site used by The United Kingdom a decade earlier. Yet new dangers are unearthed – literally – when a routine flyover reveals what appears to be an alien spacecraft partially-buried in the middle of Ground Zero. It’s a mystery that warrants calling in the rest of the IRG… and The Doctor.
2029. High Earth Orbit. Astronaut Emily Sposato is flying the European Space Agency vessel Jubilee Shout on a routine mission to clear up space junk that has become trapped in orbit around the Earth. The mission becomes much less routine, however, when she discovers a strange vessel, with even stranger contents!
What do these two incidents have to do with each other? What strange evils threaten The Earth now? And who will survive when The Doctor pays a visit this time?
While Titan Comics’ line of Doctor Who books to date have done an excellent job of capturing the essence of each individual era of The Doctor ‘s adventures they’ve chronicled, Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1 may be their greatest venture yet!
Part of this is due to the script, written by Andrew Cartmel, who was the Script Editor on all of The Seventh Doctor’s televised adventures. Unsurprisingly, Cartmel does a fine job of capturing the voices of each of the established characters, who first appeared in the classic Seventh Doctor story Remembrance Of The Daleks. The so-called Counter-Measures Crew, created by Ben Aaronovitch, are among the few supporting characters in Doctor Who‘s long history to warrant their own spin-off, the Counter-Measures audio series produced by Big Finish, and it’s interesting to see them here again.
The other part of why this book is so wonderful is the artwork by Christopher Jones and Marco Lesko. Jones’ fantastic gifts for caricaturing the actors from the show and drawing a rousing fight scene were well-displayed in the recent Doctor Who: The Third Doctor mini-series. Lesko has also worked on a number of Titan’s other Doctor Who books and does a fine job of rendering the finished art in this issue with eye-catching colors.
Admittedly, this all may be a bit slow-paced for those who didn’t appreciate the late-1980s Doctor Who stories, which tended to be more philosophical in tone than action-based. They also focused more on the supporting cast and how they reacted to the strangeness around them and Ace’s growth into a more aware and capable heroine under the tutelage of a Machiavellian Doctor. That being said, fans of the Seventh Doctor and Ace will be delighted to find this story perfectly replicates the aesthetic of The Sylvester McCoy era on every level. If you’ve never experienced a Seventh Doctor story, this is a good one to start with.
Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1 is due out on June 6, 2018.