Doctor Who: The One Review

DW The One

Continuing on catching up with the Doctor Who Year 2 Titan comics, the next volume of Eleventh Doctor somehow manages to be even more full of continuity references and characters than the previous comic collection… The Master, River Song, the Time War… Shada even plays a major role! Let’s see if they can pull all this together and still tell a good story, shall we?

Official Synopsis:

The Doctor struggles to clear his name, and rediscovers more of what his War Doctor incarnation got up to during the Time War! Plus: the Squire uncovers her true past, and Alice cracks a temporal mystery. (While Abslom Daak uses his chainsword to bash things a lot) Guest-starring River Song, and the best jailbreak of ANY century!

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

DW The One 1

Memories… of a time spent kiiilll-ing…

The Doctor (Matt Smith) – The Doctor has been accused of committing a most awful crime, and the problem is he’s only mostly sure he didn’t do it, as the crime in question took place during the latter stages of the Time War, when he was a very different person…

Alice Obiefune – Alice is The Doctor’s current companion, though given she finds herself surrounded by more and more of an odd mixture of people, she may feel lost in the shuffle…

River Song (Alex Kingston) – River has known the Doctor all her life, and is always up for a trip with him, especially during this time in her life, behind bars…

Abslom Daak – The famed Dalek Killer is travelling with The Doctor, carrying with him his dead wife, still unable to let her go…

The Squire – A companion of The Doctor’s during the Time War… she thinks.

The Then and The Now – A seemingly unstoppable bounty hunter / temporal paradox.

Plus many more!

The Good:

DW The One 4

The War Doctor, in all his grizzled veteran glory.

The opening story, Obsessions, is a nice, small tale showing The Doctor trying to break Daak out of his obsession with his dead wife. It’s actually an effective character piece between the two, though I can’t help feel it’s not justified after he did get over his dead wife in his last DWM appearance…

The two part and titular “The One” is where it goes bonkers with continuity even more. The Doctor breaks River Song out of the Stormcage Prison and adds her to his merry mix of companions and together they all break into Shada, which is housing the Master’s TARDIS. So, despite this already being about the Time War (and featuring flashbacks with the War Doctor) and featuring Abslom Daak, they add River Song, the Master’s TARDIS and the prison planet Shada to the mix! Jeez… The story has its moments, I still find it amusing having Daak and his 90s comics attitude about, but really it was just an excuse to use continuity.

Things settle down… slightly, in the rest of the collection. It does re-focus on The Then and The Now and how it’s tracking The Doctor down, plus more attempts to destroy it that fail. It does a good job of making it seem truly invincible. The reveal that a special group of Daleks called “The Volatix Cabal” is a bit of a let down, though given this all revolves around the Time War, the Daleks being behind it is obviously logical.

Alice didn’t get to do much for the first half, much like last time, but at least the last few comics do feature her more prominently. She and Daak have a connection together, then she gets tricked in the Master’s TARDIS and eventually gets thrown into the Time War itself, meeting the War Doctor in the last few panels of the collection. It’s good to see the Titan Comics original companion get some more attention.

The Bad:

DW The One 3

While neither of these are good examples of the characters, there are worse drawings of them in the Volume…

The art is once again more off than on point. River Song and the Doctor himself are frequently odd looking, particularly River.

Although not outright said, it seems The Master is the small Asian boy who has appeared in the Time War a few times in these comics… not a fan of the idea. Doesn’t fit his MO to be small and vulnerable, plus doesn’t really match up with what we know of The Master’s time in the War…

The Squire remains uninteresting, even as more of her past is revealed. Her sacrifice during the end of the volume came as a relief rather than a sad moment…

The Continuity:

DW The One 2

A hologram image of the Original Master and his lovely column… oo-er?

Well, ignoring The Time War, Daak and River Song’s history and placement (look at Vol. 4: The Then and The Now if you want a refresher on those) we have Shada, the prison planet from the cancelled (buy endless rehashed!) Fourth Doctor TV story of the same name, complete with The Doctor saying his memory of it was fuzzy “like a movie that was never filmed” (get it?)

The Master’s TARDIS is once again in the shape of a column, like so many of the Master’s TV appearances during the 80s.

Overall Thoughts:

Overall it has its moments, but I can’t help but feel the epic scope of the story is beginning to tie itself in knots. They keep throwing more continuity and characters at the wall to see what sticks rather than stick to a cohesive story. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s not a very satisfying read…

3 Star Read

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