”And the plot thickens even more. Like chowder.”
Pity the poor Sea Devils, who simply cannot seem to catch a break. Not worthy enough so far to warrant a comeback on TV in Doctor Who, their big return to the limelight in Titan Comics’ latest Doctor Who Comic adventure ends up being pretty much overshadowed by the appearance of the Tenth Doctor, as well as Rose Tyler and her family. It almost seems not worth their coming out of hibernation.
As if things could not be any worse for them as it is, they end up having their name roundly mocked by the razor tongue of Jackie Tyler, and then have only the most fleeting of cameos in what should be their major reemergence. You would think that the Sea Devils would deserve far more respect than just being hired hands or henchmen, and playing second fiddle to everyone else. It would appear that, even on an Earth stuck in a twisted timeline, the Sea Devils seem destined to never get their due.
Rose Tyler will always be held in high regard among fans and general public alike, thanks to that winning combination of Russell T. Davies’ writing and Billie Piper’s performance. She always appears to be casting a shadow over the programme, as though all subsequent companions are measured against her. No matter how much time goes by, the clamour to have her return never quite goes away, leading to her popping up in Series 4, and a cameo in David Tennant’s finale (as well as the inevitable transition to audio with Big Finish).
As the woman who managed to capture the Doctor’s hearts, Rose will always have a special place in the show’s history. In this story, writer Jody Houser certainly takes full advantage of this knowledge by presenting us with a different version of Rose who, in this timeline, never met the Doctor. You can see the hurt this causes the Tenth Doctor, without Houser’s ever needing to overplay it; in addition, the scenario gives us a chance to see things from the current Doctor’s perspective, as she has to explain to her fam who Rose is, without letting on exactly what her feelings were (or are).
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Given all of the various continuity elements already in the mix for this story, Houser throws a curveball by bringing in something rather more recent, which will still be relatively fresh in people’s memories. The way in which she chooses to use this gives a very different slant on how it was perceived during its appearance on television; interestingly, Roberta Ingranata’s artwork actually manages to make it look much more convincing and significantly better realised than it did on screen, freeing it from being some ungainly mish-mash of dodgy prosthetics and CGI.
While there definitely seems to be a promising twist in the tale, a lot is still left up in the air, with very few hints given about the direction that it will be taking. However, the next issue should certainly get things moving at a frenetic pace, given the suitably epic cliffhanger ending which tantalises you and guarantees you coming back for more.
Doctor Who Comic #2 is out on 16th December from Titan Comics.