Blimey, this issue of Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor: Year Two has proved to have more twists and turns than a twisty, turny thing.
Just when it seemed like this tale would be your common-or-garden story of a pair of the same Time Lord fighting off the Weeping Angels during a gap in established chronology, we get a massive curveball thrown, which makes absolutely perfect sense in hindsight, and explains why shop dummies played a part in earlier issues. Yes, fans should have maybe twigged before now, but you daren’t think that writer Jody Houser would take such an audacious step.
Colour me totally intrigued at the direction this story has taken now. Maybe the best way to describe it is like one of those episodes of the 1960s Batman series where two of the ‘Rogues’ Gallery’ team up in order to try and take down the Caped Crusader. You don’t often get to have pairings of the Doctor’s adversaries joining forces on screen, so this is a rare treat, and manages to set the comic apart from the TV series in a rather distinctive way.
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Or maybe it’s not that at all, and it’s just pure coincidence they’re in the same place at the same time. That too would be pretty unique. It’s open-ended enough for it to go either way at the moment, so at least there’s scope here for some mystery.
Another lovely touch is the way that the much-anticipated first meeting of the Doctors Who is handled. Usually, there’s lots of comic arguing with himself, as evidenced in previous meetings of past and current Doctors. Here, the whole thing is pitched absolutely perfectly, as rather than making a big deal out of things, it’s almost low-key, with a fan-pleasing throwback to a running gag going all the way back to David Tennant’s first full episode. The understatement is spot-on, even if we miss out on some potential top bantz.
In the midst of all the timey-wimey shenanigans, there’s a genuine worry about creating a temporal paradox with this temporal pair-‘o’-Docs (I’ve already got my coat, worry ye not), due to Thirteen’s fam giving away details of what lies in Ten’s future. However, there’s no need to sweat the small stuff, as the show already has an inbuilt mechanism to deal with just these sorts of situations, but it remains to be seen whether Houser will actually use it, or instead go in an entirely different direction altogether.
It seems a multi-Doctor story might’ve been just the kind of headline and ratings-grabbing ploy that Series 12 could have used to try and get people tuning in again, with the numbers of viewers dropping incrementally week-on-week. Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor: Year Two has so far been as good as anything we’ve seen on screen in this year’s Doctor Who, and – in a few cases – significantly better.
The Thirteenth Doctor: Year Two #3 is out now from Titan Comics.