Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #4 - Titan Comics

Long-suffering survivors of the British science fiction television programme’s eleventh season who turned to “Titan Comics” for a quality fix of their favourite Time Lord were debatably hard pressed to take away any lasting enjoyment from Jody Houser’s narrative for Issue Four of “Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor”. Indeed, the contrived penmanship behind this twenty-two page periodical’s plot is so exasperating in places, particularly towards its utterly unsurprising conclusion as the alien Hoarder is trapped by Perkin’s sabotaged vortex manipulator, that it smacks of the “Cupcake POW!” creator becoming hopelessly disillusioned as to where her storyline was heading and subsequently rushing the comic to a very unsatisfying end.

For starters, having previously written that the TARDIS could apparently automatically ‘swoop in’ to rescue the time travellers from certain death whenever they’re at the end of a corridor packed full of angrily armed extra-terrestrials, the Rod Parker Fellowship Award-winner suddenly decides that perhaps allowing the titular character to summon her antiquated Type 40 TT capsule whenever danger looms probably isn’t the most exciting of ideas, and awkwardly states that despite the Gallifreyan always having the ability to do this, the Doctor ludicrously doesn’t because the Police Box “gets a bit prickly… If you summon her too much. It’s a little demeaning for her, to be honest.” This explanation makes no sense whatsoever, and proves as unconvincing as Doctor Schultz’s account of having somehow “managed to locate… the traveller responsible for the antidote” to her potentially lethal poisoning, despite the hulking humanoid mule presumably travelling throughout the entire cosmos in order to acquire the formula’s precious ingredients.

Frustratingly, things debatably only get worse with Houser’s artificial script as “the time-twisting conclusion of the Thirteenth Doctor’s first comic adventure” reaches its climax and the “fizzing… confident explorer” solves almost everything courtesy of a wave of her ever-trusty sonic screwdriver. Apparently now able to utilise the multi-functional gadget to re-programme a large robot “for something more important than polishing gaudy décor”, such as cleaning locks right off of door handles, the Time Lord not only manages to succinctly rescue all of the Hoarder’s other captives, but handily even outwits the blue-skinned demonic-looking creature in to admitting his numerous transgressions within hearing of a band of law enforcement time agents; “Convenient they were listening right outside your door as you confessed your crimes. Temporal kidnapping. Temporal extortion. Temporal conspiracy…”
The regular cover art of "DOCTOR WHO: THE THIRTEENTH DOCTOR" No. 4 by Giorgia Sposito & Arianna Florean

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