Comic Review : Doctor Who The Whispering Gallery

Doctor Who : The Whispering Gallery
Written by Leah Moore and John Reppion
Art by Ben Templesmith

Story in brief:
The Doctor and Martha arrive on a planet where everyone keeps their emotions repressed. They start in a place called the Whispering Gallery where portraits of the dead hang and murmer their regrets in life, “I never told you I loved you” that kind of thing. The Doctor, as usual, investigates and it turns out that they hide their emotions so as not to awake a monster which feeds on them, and by his previous interaction with one of their people, the creature returned causing the expected death and destruction. The creature goes after Martha, the Doctor lets it feed on him instead and it explodes due to the overload of emotion the Doctor has felt over the years. The End.

Not really sure how I felt about it all. The art was a little weird for a start. Obviously its Ben Templesmith so its stunning looking, but some panels definately had that feel of a photo being manipulated and worked over as opposed to a from scratch drawing. Not that I have any problem with that if the end result loooks this good, just a feeling I couldn’t shake. Seemed very apparent as the Doctor and Martha looked much more realistic than the aliens which where more in Templesmith’s usual style. Gave the whole thing I kind of Roger Rabbit feel.
I did love how the world was totally grey and the Doctor carried a bright, multi-coloured umbrella with him though which was a really nice visual.

Story wise I was left a bit cold. The monster had been sleeping for years, then one teenager comes back with a smile on her face and it’s Godzilla. If it feeds on emotions, surely no matter how much you hide them, its the feeling inside that sets it off.
And there is a scene where Martha is mixing and matching paintings so the painting saying “Its me Bill, I never told you I loved you Sally” was next to the “Its Sally, I always loved you Bill” one…. but with more alien names obviously. Seemed a bit of a coincidence when this gallery was supposed to house the essences of the entire planets dead that she could arrange this so easily. Also when Martha was trapped in the Tardis by the monster, her panicked monologue, while obviously done to mirror the life regrets of the Gallery’s painted inhabitants, felt a little forced.
It was still a decent enough story, especially in light of the one issue time constraints, and it was probably due to this that some parts fell into place a little quicker and easier than you would expect.
Didnt love it, didnt hate it either.

Stars out of 5 – 3 ….very middle of the road but the art tipped it over the edge
Dry Slaps – 2.

GS Reviewer: Bluemeanie

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