The Ninth Doctor is BACK with a brand-new miniseries: WEAPONS OF PAST DESTRUCTION!
Leaving World War II behind, The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market!
Now the threat of a NEW temporal war brews on the horizon. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?
Cavan Scott’s Ninth Doctor mini-series opens immediately following the events of the television episode The Doctor Dances. Captain Jack is new to the TARDIS and the writer has managed to maintain the antagonistic banter between Jack and The Doctor seen in the preceding two-part story. I’ll admit a modicum of disappointment when I realised that the story was set post Rose. Having scanned through the story’s premise I’d missed the first line entirely and hoped that this story would feature a newly re-generated Ninth Doctor. I assume that is out of the question, however.
The opening issue of this five-part series does exactly what it should. It teases the forthcoming arc without giving anything away. The audience (and indeed the TARDIS crew) are introduced to two original races – the Udon and their as yet unnamed opponents. Both races have a certain “roboticness” about them but it remains to be seen whether they are artificial life-forms or beings in armoured life-suits. The design of the Udon is unique – space-centaur being the best way I can sum them up.
I liked some of the little touches in the issue. Scott, for example, seamlessly writes out Jack’s Sonic disruptor in a permanent way that certainly makes it’s disappearance from the television series make a little more sense.
The issue is fast-paced and as such is reminiscent of the television series. It almost feels as if this issue is the pre-titles segment for an episode and the remaining issues will make up the four acts that follow. The cliff-hanger for this ending is suitable – though it’s clear that the individual involved is not in as much jeopardy as it may seem due to the set-up work performed by Scott earlier in the story.
Blair Shedd is on top form with on art duties. The artist has managed to capture the likenesses of the three leads (Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper and John Barrowman) across the entire issue. While there are a number of expressions that are reminiscent of the publicity stills used for the show, the consistency shines through in the non-posed shots of the cast as well. This realism of style helps sell the comic as a missing episode of the 2005 television series.
One element of the art I’m not a huge fan of is the use of brown background and cream figure-work silhouette panels throughout the issue. There are eight instances of this and while some of those do seem to be used to give an impression of drama to a panel, it almost seems as if the art team ran out of time and left some panels un-finished as a result. These panels seem particularly out of place against the detailed artwork that is on show throughout the rest of the issue.
As I’m sure you can tell, I thought the combination of Scott’s writing and Shedd’s art worked well and the mini-series is off to a strong start. I’ll be interested in following the story through and finding out more about the Udon and their seemingly robotic opponents. Definitely going to see this series through.