Whether you are a comic book/graphic novel reader or not, you’ve probably been living under a rock if you don’t yet know about the new Doctor Who comics coming from Titan Comics this month. For those of you that have been under igneous structures, let me recap the news for you – coming this month, Titan Comics, in their first time publishing Doctor Who, is releasing two new comics series, one each starring the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, along with new companions. They’ve both been given gorgeous covers with the help of artist Alice X. Zhang and will take readers on thrilling new adventures.
Recently, Comic Book Resources sat down with the co-writers of the series, Al Ewing and Rob Williams and spoke about how co-writing the series works, why they chose to write for the Eleventh Doctor, and what we can expect from the new books.
How did you two wind up as co-writers of “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor?
Rob Williams: Titan approached us after they got the “Doctor Who” license…we’d written together once so figured we wouldn’t come to bloodletting this time around. From there it was a case of choosing which Doctor to go for. Al had a strong preference for the Eleventh (Matt Smith), so off we went. Together. Hand in hand. Two hearts, living in just one mind.
What’s special about the Matt Smith incarnation of the character? What sets him apart from other Doctors?
Williams: …I loved the dichotomy of Matt’s youth compared to the old man behind the eyes. His sense of joy and playfulness and wonder was lovely, but there was a great righteous anger there too. There’s a definite ‘don’t mess with me’ feel to the Eleventh Doctor. He can flash a menacing look in a second.
Ewing: One thing that really struck me about the very first series of Matt Smith is that every episode seemed to have some form of dreadful mistake on the Doctor’s part. He seemed very fallible, which I think was what was needed — or I thought so, anyway…he’s absolutely, completely, not perfect — he’s a madman in a box who tends to get involved in things.
What’s your first story arc about?
Williams: Initially we’re introducing our series’ main new companion — Alice Obiefune, a woman of African descent living in 2014 London, who’s dealing with the death of her mother and the loss of her job. The color’s gone out of her world, and then the Doctor comes bounding in, chasing what appears to be a very colorful giant alien dog down a London street. Alice is a bit older than your usual companion, which is a nice change.
I admit that I am not normally a reader of comics but ever since becoming a fan of the show, I’ve dipped my toes into the world of comic books. I’ve picked up a number of great titles and am looking forward to these new characters, one that I have a feeling I’ll be wishing were actually on-screen companions! I think what has me most excited is the next question that Williams and Ewing answered about those new friends of the Doctor.
What companions will the Doctor be traveling with?
Williams: Alice I’ve already mentioned. The other two are fun and really unlike anyone you’ve seen The Doctor travelling with before. One has a certain similarity to a recognized pop culture figure — you’ll have to guess who — and the other is really playing on the strengths of comics. We have no budget constraints. For the TV show to do this character would be a massive struggle, as he’s quite… alien. And that’s fun to do. Why shouldn’t the Doctor have an alien companion? He’s not human. Why only humans. And while the TV show might be limited to prosthetics, we’re not.
Ewing: Ah, yes. Companion number three. I don’t really want to spoil it at this point, but Rob’s right, in that I wanted to do something that was completely alien, and thought differently to humans. It may be quite hard to empathize with our third companion, at first, but I’m confident he/she/it will grow on the readership.
An alien in the TARDIS? I can’t wait! Even though I’ve only been in the fandom a short while, and still haven’t seen or read everything, I’m someone who is already wishing for a different kind of companion, one who isn’t from our current time maybe, like Jamie, or someone who is not human at all, like Nyssa or Turlough – a type of character we haven’t seen yet on the rebooted show. Is it wrong to hope that new characters like these might give Steven Moffat some new ideas for the show?
What do you think of these new comics? Are you excited to read them?
Check out what else Williams and Ewing had to say about the new comics series and about what it their childhood selves would think about their adult selves getting to work on Doctor Who over at CBR!
And if you’ve not already seen it, check out our review of issue #1 by Kasterborous’ own Philip Bates!