Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Book Review: Doctor Who: Series 3 Volume 1: The Hypothetical Gentleman
Thank you to Netgalley and IDW Publishing for an advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
It is easy to write and produce bad and mediocre Doctor Who and there is an awful lot of it out there. I am a very devoted fan and I can admit that readily. But not in this case.
Collected in this volume are two 11th Doctor story lines originally published as monthly comics in the IDW Doctor Who range. The first story, "The Hypothetical Gentleman" sees the Doctor trying to visit the Crystal Palace in London for the Great Exhibition. The Doctor, Amy and Rory encounter a strange machine that is on display and get caught up in an adventure that is more than what it seems.
The second story, "The Doctor and the Nurse", is a comedy where Amy, frustrated that the Doctor and Rory seem to bicker with each other a bit too often, orders the two to spend some quality "guy time" together in a Victorian pub. However the Doctor and Rory have other ideas.
I did go into this read with low expectations. I have rarely encountered good Who comics beyond certain good runs in Doctor Who Magazine, and the recent "Prisoners of Time" releases ,which now that I look at the details are also IDW produced. And as you can tell from the score, I was pleasantly surprised. The quality of both stories were high, the artwork was great and the main thing was that it felt like Doctor Who, especially the latter half of Season 6 Who.
"The Hypothetical Gentleman" felt like a Mark Gatiss historical through and through with an intriguing premise and some good one liners. The mannerisms and speech of Matt Smith's Doctor were captured brilliantly, all backed up by spot on yet stylistic artwork.
"The Doctor and the Nurse" is written purely as a comedy. Dangerous, but it works. The sequence of The Doctor and Rory getting deeper and deeper into trouble is hilarious, yet it does not feel contrived or forced. It does parallel comedy sequences from the TV episodes, but here we a given one whole story dedicated to a laugh.
I'd recommend this collection to any Doctor Who fan, especially one who has never picked up a tie-in comic or book before. The style and quality of both stories closely mirror that of the TV series and it would be a great introduction to the world of non-television Doctor Who.