COMIC REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Only Good Dalek

The Only Good Dalek

The Only Good Dalek

Writer: Justin Richards
Pencils: Mike Collins
Publisher: BBC Worldwide
RRP: £12.99 (Hardback)

The first original Doctor Who Graphic Novel for many years, The Only Good Dalek also stands apart by being a BBC publication rather than a Panini or IDW one. With a proven creative team, how does this experiment fare? …

Justin Richards is now an old hand at writing Doctor Who, having written for practically every medium that the show has reached. Mike Collins is an old-hand at drawing Who, being one of the principle artists for Panini’s Doctor Who Magazine for some years now. With these guys on board, and being a fan of Dalek stories- whether epic or smaller scale, I had high hopes for this book.

Unfortunately, I forgot two key points when picking this up to read. 1) It is aimed at the younger audience. 2) The BBC’s commercial policy means that the Daleks are the New ones. Now this second point shouldn’t be a major concern as I think the design is one that would work well in the comic medium, despite it’s other drawbacks. Where it does become an issue for me is that it seems the story is set around the year 4000. Earth’s Special Space Security group are in operation and their uniforms match those seen in the Dalek Masterplan all those years ago. Additionally, comment is made of Brett Vyon being a contemporary of the characters in the book. Surely, then, these Daleks should be classic pre-time-war designs? I admit, this may be a bit fannish of me, but such things are known to get me going.

The book being aimed at a younger audience has less of a detrimental effect for me than it might. The tale told is at it’s core quite mature – dealing with segregation and to some degree slavery and the action is fun. Seeing hordes of Daleks is always a joy and at times they are quite devious in this story. The dialogue is fairly snappy, if a bit basic in places – but again – given the audience this is not overly a concern.

Given that this is a unique Graphical presentation, it’s a shame that the art is pretty standard fare. The pencil work is good – The Doctor and Amy are recognisable for the most part as Collins captures the essence of their appearance in good order. Unfortunately, the Inking and colouring lets the whole down somewhat. Both appear somewhat unrefined and “scratchy” at times which does serve to detract from some otherwise detailed environments.

Both Richards and Collins show an appreciation for Dalek stories of yesteryear througout. There are Magnedons, Ogrons and Robomen in the story – not forgetting the SSS, and Collins takes delight in providing other references – such as a Remote control for the Daleks in the story which looks exactly like those packaged with the 2005-2009 Remote Control Daleks. Most of these references are likely to be lost on the intended audience, but they are there for those who know.

A fun-romp, but nothing spectacular. The Only Good Dalek is worth picking up, but don’t expect anything too specatular from it.

Rate It: 3 / 5
Dry Slaps: 1
GS Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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  2. Thats an all around good article..

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