COMIC REVIEW: Doctor Who – The Child of Time

Who is the mysterious Child of Time and how is she connected with these nine stories featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond?

The Doctor has a new companion – Amy Pond – and together the two of them embark on a thrilling journey through time and space. Along the way, the two friends arrive on a planet with some extraordinary plant life, encounter a society that keeps bursting into song, and enter a surreal dream world where they meet the mysterious Dark. The Doctor also faces his old enemies, the Axons, in Tokyo, and a new mystery begins: just who is the strange little girl, Chiyoko, the enigmatic ‘Child of Time’…?

This collection of Doctor Who stories, originally published in Doctor Who Magazine, contains nine different stories written by Jonathan Morris with a number of different artists. These stories all feature the Eleventh Doctor with his companion Amy Pond and are set not long after Matt Smith took over the role.

As with most anthology titles the stories vary greatly in tone and artistic style, from Planet Bollywood! (with art by Roger Langridge) where the clue really is in the title, through to the rather trippy Forever Dreaming (with art by Adrian Salmon and cameos by a number of historical figures). None of the artists go for photorealistic character likenesses and I think that’s for the best, the closer you try to get to reality the more obvious any variance becomes. They each manage to capture Eleven in their own way, although Amy’s appearance does wander a little.

My wife is the great Whovian in our house and I have to admit I’m not familiar with the Axons, who were first encountered by the Third Doctor but I don’t think this was necessary to enjoy their appearance, the stories don’t require masses of Who knowledge to be enjoyed. I’m not used to this over-arching story approach in Doctor Who comics, the others that I have read, either classics from the Panini collections or more recent IDW issues, tend to have “one and done” storylines. However here the stories tie together, initially in subtle ways but then more obviously as we build towards a conclusion in the Child of Time story-arc itself.

The writing here seems a little less constrained than for the TV series when it comes to pop culture references, although I’m not sure what readers in 30 years will make of them. It’s particularly funny hearing the Doctor refer to the 1960s series of Star Trek as a TV show knowing that he himself has crossed over with that universe on a number of occasions.

I enjoyed this more than I expected to, some of the stories would make for fantastic episodes, I would love to see a musical episode based on Planet Bollywood! The overall plot mechanism is a good one, which I won’t spoil here, and the art is good throughout being well matched to the individual stories.

Title: Doctor Who – The Child of Time

Publisher: Panini

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: Dave W

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