If the Doctor’s relationship with their own people could best be summed up as an online status, it would definitely be ‘it’s complicated’.
One minute, exiled to Earth in the 20th Century by them for interfering in other the affairs of other worlds, and the next, becoming President-Elect of the High Council of Time Lords. In one breath, saving their home planet Gallifrey from total obliteration by the Daleks in the final battle of the Last Great Time War by secreting it in a hidden pocket universe, while in another, returning home to kick the resurrected founder of Time Lord society off the planet.
At times, as the price for their freedom, the Doctor‘s ended up doing errands or favours for the Time Lords, almost as if at the end of a cosmic leash, or treated like a galactic yo-yo, pulled back into the fray when things get far too messy, and they wish not to sully their own lily-white hands, while also being able to claim plausible deniability by using the Doctor as their agent or tool. However, that history seems to be a lot more involved than the Doctor realised.
In a long-forgotten past, a countless number of secret lives ago, the Doctor actually worked for a clandestine Time Lord organisation which went by the name of ‘Division’. Just how long this arrangement went on for, and quite how it ended, has yet to be revealed in Doctor Who on television, despite a few appearances by one of those incarnations, who has come to be known as the Fugitive Doctor. The second issue of Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: Origins goes some way towards trying to flesh out her story.
Having been sent on a secret mission by Division, and paired up with a new companion – in the form of rookie Time Lord agent Taslo – the Fugitive Doctor has travelled to the planet Kreb, only to discover that the supposed threat to the future survival of the Time Lords appears to be a peaceful tribe who seemingly harbour no kind of hostility or ill-intent. Indeed, they even welcome the Fugitive Doctor and Taslo into their society, as if they were old friends. Can the duo find out what the true reason is for the Time Lords’ concerns regarding this apparently harmless race?
The Doctor has been paired with a Time Lord sidekick before, although in that case – Time Lady Romanadvoratrelundar – they were practically equals (and Romana even managed to show the Doctor up on occasion). Here, writer Jody Houser gives is a very different dynamic, with Taslo something of a volatile and unstable element, and the Fugitive Doctor being a mentor and calming influence, helping Taslo look beyond what seems to be presented at face value, as well as taking a healthy measure of scepticism when it comes to the motives of the Time Lords.
We already know that elements of Time Lord society can be devious, duplicitous, and downright untrustworthy. With the Fugitive Doctor beginning to pull back the veil on this latest scheme, uncovering her people’s true motives, it seems that Houser may be starting to sow the seeds of this incarnation’s disenchantment and disillusionment with Division, setting us up for the eventual parting of the ways, when she goes on the run from her own people in a rackety old TARDIS, in a tale as old as time (and relative dimensions).
Building upon the solid foundations of issue #1, Doctor Who: Origins has managed to deliver some twists and turns, and it seems to be coming along very nicely. If Houser can manage to maintain the current momentum and deliver upon what is being hinted at, then this could prove to be something rather special.
Doctor Who: Origins #2 is out now from Titan Comics.