THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE TV
EPISODE "PLANET OF
COMIC STRIP "ROOM
WITH A DÉJÀ VIEW."
IDW GRAPHIC NOVEL
RELEASED IN MAY 2009
(NORTH AMERICA ONLY).
London, 1889 and a
needs the help of an
old friend to fix the
TARDIS... but is beset
by pursuers sent by
How is this connected
to a previous tale of
the Sixth Doctor and
a Fourth Doctor TALE
that hasn't happened
yet? And what will
happen if the Doctor
is captured by the
IDW are fast becoming one of my favourite comic publishers. They’ve cornered the market in television and movie tie-ins, with their Doctor Who range in particular going from strength to strength. The Time Machination is their latest original release; the second one-off, following The Whispering Gallery.
Tony Lee, fresh from the anniversary special serial The Forgotten, once again provides
a twisty tale full of continuity references. This time it’s a much tighter tale, with a stronger structure, due in part, no doubt, to the much shorter length. This time, we have the tenth Doctor, travelling alone, looking up his old chum HG Wells, a few years after the events
of Timelash. Not my favourite serial, I have to say, but the idea of re-using Wells is rather irresistible. It also ties in with the new series ongoing trend of the Doctor meeting famous authors throughout history. We’ve had Dickens, Shakespeare and Christie, and now we have Wells. Lee even reuses the joke of having the Doctor quote from Wells’ works, the
hint being that he’ll then use those quotes as inspiration. The difference here is that Wells has yet to decide to become an author, seeing writing as a mere hobby, and the Doctor is desperately trying to convince hi to take it further.
The continuity references don’t end there. Events here take place just before the events of The Talons of Weng-Chiang, while Torchwood, around ten years old here, are still out for
the Doctor. There are some interesting little asides – it’s here that Torchwood learn about the Doctor’s ability to change his form; they’ve been on his trail through the events in Perivale and Krakatoa; and it’s posited that the Gelth weren’t merely using the Rift, but had created it for their own purposes. The
plot is brief but effective, with Wells utilising the talents of his
scientist friend Jonathan Smith to help the Doctor repair his
TARDIS. However, Smith is more than he seems, and it isn’t
long before Torchwood are involved. Fortunately, the Doctor
is ahead of the game, and has a trick up his sleeve that his
scheming seventh self would be proud of.
Paul Grist provides the artwork here. I’ve not been sure about his work previously – I enjoy
the style, but it’s almost impossible to recognise his characters sometimes. However, he
gets the Doctor just right here (and it’s great to see him
don his deerstalker and cloak again). Indeed, the art is
actually fine throughout, quirky but effective; together
with some sympathetic colouring by Phil Elliott, it works
very well indeed. With the exception of the info-dump
towards the end, this is top-notch writing and art. It may
be a trifle fannish for some, but that suits me fine.
Copyright © Daniel Tessier 2009
Daniel Tessier has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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