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Doctor Who #6

Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2009
By: Ray Tate

Tony Lee
Matthew Dow Smith, Charlie Kirchoff(c)
IDW
"The Fugitive": Part Three

The Doctor and his fugitive friends confront Mr. Finch, leader of the Krillitanes and would be master of the universe. The true purpose of the trial explodes, and surprises may prove hazardous to the Doctor's health.

You need not be a Doctor Who maven to understand the plot. Tony Lee makes it easy. Comedy comes in the form of the Sontarans. Eloquence arises from a surprising source. The continuity strengthens the play. All aspects of Doctor Who just add to the excitement.

Lee's dialogue for the Doctor is utterly brilliant. The Doctor doesn't slow down. Instead, he speeds up. While you acclimate, the Doctor is already unraveling the next part of the diabolical plan. Because of the mimicry and Matthew Dow Smith's artwork, the two-dimensional Doctor is about as close as you can get to the real thing. This is equally true of the aliens.

Dow Smith creates personality and uniqueness in the alien ambassadors. While the creatures interact and battle, never do the panels look cluttered. Dow Smith's artwork sings across the pages. His staging and use of space is simply amazing. Charlie Kirchoff's colors are vivid. The openness of the pencils and inks and the vibrancy of the shades make Doctor Who especially inviting.

These elements are all well and good, but even when put together they do not add up to a five bullet book.

On the series, the Doctor will soon be regenerating, but for the first time, the producers of the show are treating this natural Time Lord process, the device that Doctor Who fans have witnessed seven times, as death.

David Tennant is my second favorite Doctor, and I will be sorry to see him go. The way the producers of the series foreshadow his regeneration makes me feel sorrier.

You get an uneasy feeling when the Ood state, "Your song is nearly at an end, Doctor." Tony Lee instills that feeling, and you can almost hear the tenth Doctor's theme as the Shadow Architect whispers, "You should be with friends at the end. When he knocks the fourth time." Lee in addition surpasses his past work through a revelation near the finale. I didn't see it coming. I never would have seen it coming, and for me, that's a rarity.



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