AÂ by-product of the ongoing IDW Doctor Who series featuring the Tenth Doctor is that it often feels like itsÂ trapped in two duelling time warps.
On the one hand, it has to remain interesting and unique enough to capture the attention of fans already swooningÂ over Matt Smith whilst on the other it has to bring the Tenth Doctors story to a conclusion without stepping on the toes of the TV series and its spin-off medium.
So while there are limitless stories left to tell about any past Doctors adventures it can feel a little underwhelming being so far away from the shiny new era of Who and a definitive conclusion.
According to a review by comicbookresources it all serves to work against the 2010 annual which it calls a:
‘Middle of the ground comic’.
The annual is comprised of four stories including aÂ prelude to FinalÂ Sacrifice, the finalÂ Tenth DoctorÂ taleÂ which begins in issue#13 and isÂ penned by Tony Lee and inked by artist Matthew Dow Smith.
Dow Smith also writes and draws The Big, Blue Box, a story that follows a man who is told by the Doctor that his entire life is lie and is singled out by CBR for:
“Keeping the writing personal and interesting; it puts the main character in a difficult, at best, scenario, and then provides a graceful conclusion to the story, all in the space of 11 pages.”
Faring less well, Screenwriter Jonathan Davis and artist Kelly Yates tackle the main 22 page story Ground Control, which sees the Doctor and a host of familiar faces (and a cloak wearing, spear carrying Panda) arguing over the statusÂ of the TARDISÂ as a weapon, which the website calls:
“AÂ weak excuse to show off past elements of the show but without actually doing anything with them. I know a lot of people think that if you show old faces that fans go crazy, but I think the reality is that fans like to see something done new with the old; without that, it comes across more as pandering than exciting.”
Despite a few knocks for its unoriginal story Al Davison’s To Sleep, Perchance to Scream is praised highly for the artists “lush details and psychedelic landscapes” as well as his spot-on character designs.
The Annual is only available in North America though can be picked up from Amazon.com for $7.99 (roughly about Â£5.23)
Anyone wishing to catch up with IDW’s Tenth Doctor Saga (and its recommended that you do) Volume one: Fugitive is available for Â£9.61 while Volume Two: Tessaract (which is currently unavailable) retails for Â£12.47