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Doctor Who #5

Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009
By: Ray Tate

Tony Lee
Matthew Dow Smith, Charlie Kirchoff(c)
IDW
The Doctor crash-lands a Judoon prison ship filled with his ambassador allies: an Ogron, a Sontaran and a Draconian. Meanwhile, the evil Mr. Finch escalates his plan to take over galactic law enforcement agency the Shadow Proclamation.

Tony Lee writes snappy patter for the Doctor that emulates David Tennant's delivery. He also recapitulates plot points without impeding the progress of the tale in an exciting chapter of "The Fugitive."

I like how Lee has the Doctor arrive at a self-realization, and then in conjunction with artist Matthew Dow Smith, have the Doctor in the end seem to simply disregard what he has learned. In truth, the Doctor feels guilty about how he has affected Ogron and Sontaran society, but Lee boxes the Doctor in.

Smith's elegant depiction of the Doctor's reaction on the last page of this issue suggests that the Doctor cannot believe that he is about to say this again, but he's sorry, so very sorry, the monsters make it impossible for him to be the man of peace he wants to be, and he will stop Mr. Finch.

Smith creates characters with so very few lines. There's nary a photorealistic panel in the story, yet with those few lines, you recognize the players instantly. The Doctor, Finch and the Shadow Architect all come alive. Smith applies this same technique to his space ship construction, the garb and the backdrops. The consistency of the art gives Doctor Who a specific look, yet the style still coveys the slick cinematography of the television series.

Charlie Kirchoff's colors are amazing. When the Doctor and his allies arrive on the planet, the color scheme changes to reflect the alien atmosphere. In these scenes, Kirchoff draws upon brown and yellow shades as well as umbers for the Judoon armor. When the Doctor leaves the planet, Kirchoff streaks some bold primaries across the cosmic backdrop.

The creative team mesh extremely well. Lee's Doctor sounds like the genuine article. Smith's art gives Lee's words greater authenticity. The lack of busyness in Smith's linework opens the art for Kirchoff to paint. As a result, reading Doctor Who is the next best thing to watching the series.



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