Book Review – Eleventh Doctor Vol. 4 – The Then and the Now

  • Title: The Then and the Now
  • Authors: Si Spurrier and Rob Williams
  • Artists: Simon Fraser, Warren Pleece, Gary Caldwell, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 11th Doctor
  • Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Alice Obiefune, The War Doctor, Abslom Daak
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Collected Issues: Year 2, Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 5/30/2016

Titan Comics Doctor Who: The Then and the Now starts off it’s collection of the second year of their adventures of the Eleventh Doctor as played by Matt Smith on the BBC television series, and his companion Alice Obiefune. This story mentions the Time War and glimpses of the War Doctor (as portrayed by John Hurt) occur throughout the book. But I was expecting to see the Eleventh Doctor and the War Doctor meet – or at least a full flashback and that didn’t happen.

However, even though at times the story was confusing, and it ended on a cliffhanger, it was still a good book – exciting, with excellent characterization, and beautiful art.

This story also brings in Abslom Daak from Doctor Who Magazine and is used with permission. Daak’s a chainsaw (chain sword) wielding Dalek-killing mercenary – and an odd choice for a one-time companion.

I think this story will be interesting once it gets going, however, this particular story felt like a very confused beginning, and it had no end because of the cliff-hanger. I’m thinking that Year 2 for the Eleventh Doctor will be like Year One, in that it’s mostly a single story.

Update/Note: I have read volumes five and six, and volume six is reviewed on GoodReads; however, I want to post my reviews here on WordPress in order as much as possible. Therefore, I will re-read volume five and probably volume six as well and then post my reviews.

Book Cover for The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

  • Title: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • Series: Virgin Publishing Missing Doctor Adventures
  • Author: Christopher Bulis
  • Characters:  First Doctor, Ian, Barbara, Susan
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 3/27/2013

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is part of Virgin Publishing’s Doctor Who Missing Doctor Adventures . The Missing Adventures were companion books to Virgin Publishing’s The New Adventures line. Both series were published following Doctor Who being put on hiatus by the BBC in 1989. The Missing Adventures feature Doctors 1-6, and are independent novels. The New Adventures feature the Seventh Doctor and Ace, and later Bernice, in an inter-connected series.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is great fun and I really enjoyed it, much more than I expected to enjoy it. The First Doctor (William Hartnell), Ian, Barbara, and Susan, set down on what appears to be an idyllic forest glen — Barbara and Ian even think they may have finally made it home to 1960s England. Well, until they find a body burned to a crisp, and a village with similar burn damage. Ian convinces the Doctor they should head back to the TARDIS at least for the night, because the forest is too dangerous. The Doctor, for once, agrees. But he also decides to take a short cut back to the TARDIS, and they encounter a downed spacecraft that’s been over-grown with forest. The Doctor, Susan, and Ian investigate briefly, but soon Ian and Barbara convince the Doctor they can leave the spacecraft alone for now and return to the TARDIS. One the way back, they are attacked by a dragon.

Yes, a dragon. When they reach the TARDIS, it’s doors are jammed and they cannot get inside. However, though Barbara is injured, they are rescued by a knight. Before long, the four are involved in the affairs of Albion, literally a fairy-tale world of magic and wonder. On Albion, knights and castles, witches and wizards, fantastic creatures, and magic all exist. Susan and the Princess Mellisa are kidnapped by flying monkeys and taken to the Dark Tower of an evil wizard. Ian, and the Doctor, join a quest of a knight, elf, dwarf, and leprechaun to find the mystical Helm of Merlin to defeat the evil wizard. Barbara, recovering from her dragon injuries, starts to investigate the situation on Albion (or Elbyon as the natives call it) while staying at the castle, but eventually wonders off and into her own adventure. As wild as this description sounds, the story was great fun. There are references to classic fairy tales and fantasy novels, including Baum’s Oz, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and CS Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The story itself moves quickly, and again, is just fun to read.

Of course, the Doctor, manages to figure out what’s going on for real, which I’m not going to spoil. However, this novel does, even with the fantastic settings, by it’s end, fit into the Doctor Who universe. Highly, highly recommended.

Book Review – Eleventh Doctor vol. 3 – Conversion

  • Title: Conversion
  • Authors: Al Ewing and Rob Williams
  • Artists: Simon Fraser, Boo Cook, Warren Pleece, Gary Caldwell, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 11th Doctor
  • Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Alice Obiefune
  • Collection Date: 2015
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 11-15
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 12/20/2015

I read this a few weeks ago, but never got around to writing a review because I was busy with other things. So here it goes, although the story is no longer fresh in my mind.

Doctor Who – Conversion is the third Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) graphic novel from Titan Comics. It features the companions original to the Titan Comics series of Eleventh Doctor adventures: Alice, Jones, and Arc. The artwork, as always for the Titan Comics Doctor Who graphic novels and comics is brilliantly good! The story promises to bring about a conclusion to the Serveyouinc storyline – and it seems to, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the villain of Titan’s 11th Doctor stories returns. The story also gives us more background to Arc’s origins – and start’s off where last issue’s backwards story ended (or started). And if you think that sounds confusing, much of the novel was very confusing as well. Also, Cybermen land in Roman Times during a Civil War, and the Doctor and his companions must prevent Earth’s history from being forever changed.

Overall, I felt this graphic novel was good, though not as good as the previous Eleventh Doctor volume, Serve You, though the two volumes are very inter-related.

I can highly recommend the Titan Comics series, though. Each set reflects the era it represents: the Tenth Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor, and the Twelfth Doctor. This year (2016) they will be adding the Ninth Doctor, the Eighth Doctor and a special Fourth Doctor special.

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Quantum Archangel

  • Title: The Quantum Archangel
  • Series: BBC Books Past Doctor Adventures
  • Author: Craig Hinton
  • Characters:  Sixth Doctor, Mel
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 3/05/2013

This story is a sequel to the aired Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor) story, “The Time Monster”, which I re-watched prior to reading it. That was a good idea – several of the guest characters from that story re-appear in this one.

The Quantum Archangel features the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) and Mel. The book opens with the Doctor and Mel recovering from a disaster — and Mel is so devastated she decides to leave the Doctor. But when he drops her off, not only is he off by three years, but he discovers “the son of TOMTITT” is causing universe-spanning troubles — troubles that the Doctor, the Master, Mel, and several of Mel’s college buddies are drawn into. Not to mention several guest characters from “The Time Monster”.

The first half of this novel was slow and very confusing. However, it gradually built steam, and the conclusion was awesome. Overall, a worth-while read in the Doctor Who BBC Books Past Doctor Adventures range.

By the way, the author notes state the author is a fan of “American” comics — and it shows, there are plenty of references to various comics, which is fun – in a rather grim book. The phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility” is used often. And Oa is mentioned. Anyway, theses references lighten up the book. There’s also a lot of various Who references. And the entire plot has to do with computing and the search for a workable Quantum Computer, among other things. Enjoy!

Adding My Book and Graphic Novel Reviews – Update

Cross-posting my book reviews from GoodReads is going much better than I initially thought. This is good! I’m posting two reviews a day – one book and one graphic novel. Yesterday, I published my book review and was working on the graphic novel review when my Internet crashed. So today, I’m thinking I will technically publish (cross-post) three reviews just to be up-to-date.

I’m also getting positive feedback on my reviews! I really appreciate it everyone! And don’t be afraid to leave comments as well as push that like button!

One other thing – as anyone who reads this blog regularly may have noticed – I’m starting with my Doctor Who book and graphic novel reviews. I decided to go with a more topic-based approach for this mini-project. So, I’m starting with my Doctor Who books and Doctor Who graphic novels. There are a lot more Doctor Who books than graphic novels, and even if/when I get caught up on reviewing my Doctor Who graphic novels – there’s still a lot more books than novels. So after the Doctor Who graphic novel reviews are posted – I’m going to post my DC Comics Graphic Novel reviews, then the Other comics. I’ll keep that more-or-less chronological too, however, as with Doctor Who, I will keep series together. Once the Doctor Who books are all posted, I’ll go back and cross-post reviews of other books, again in chronological order.

Once everything from GoodReads is cross-posted (all the reviews, that is), I’m thinking of re-reading and reviewing some Doctor Who books and some DC Comics Graphic Novels that I read years ago. Anyone with strong opinions on that, feel free to post a comment or shoot me a message. Just be nice. I’m a bit too stressed right now to deal with mean people. As always, all reviews will be posted to GoodReads first. I like the site, and I really love having a reading journal. If you’ve never used the site, check it out.

Book Review – Eleventh Doctor Vol. 2 – Serve You

  • Title: Serve You
  • Authors: Al Ewing and Rob Williams
  • Artists: Simon Fraser, Boo Cook, Warren Pleece, Gary Caldwell, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 11th Doctor
  • Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Alice Obiefune
  • Collection Date: 2015
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 6-10
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 10/26/2015

The first story in Titan Comics 11th Doctor Doctor Who graphic novel, Serve You is presented in a very unique, confusing, but ultimately successful fashion: backwards. It opens with Alice and the Doctor lamenting the loss of Jones. The bottom panel is even marked, “The End”. But then the story leaps back in time. Every page or so is earlier than the previous one, and even the page numbers run backwards. This is disconcerting, but eventually the Doctor, who remains conscious through the time leaps, even if his “other body” has been knocked unconscious, explains what is happening. He’s able to save both Jones and Arc with help from Alice and defeat the Nimon who has gotten into the TARDIS. The Doctor even saves (and protects) the planet the Nimon had destroyed. Despite the initial confusion, the story works.

Chapter 7 and 8 tell the story of an eons-long space war that comes to Earth but doesn’t involve Earth. Never-the-less the Doctor and his companions become involved. It’s a good story and I liked Alice’s involvement. Bits of the story, without giving too much away, reminded me of Farscape (crossed with the film 2001).

Chapters 9 and 10 resolve the on-going Serveyouinc storyline from volume 1 of the Titan Comics 11th Doctor graphic novel series. I must admit, I found parts of it to be very confusing. I liked some parts and not others. Overall, I was a bit (just a bit) disappointed as to how the conflict which has been building through two graphic novels was resolved.

Still, overall Serve You is an excellent Doctor Who graphic novel. The art is gorgeous, as it has been for all the Titan Comics I’ve read so far (in the Doctor Who line). The stories really feel like episodes from the Matt Smith era, even though the Doctor has new companions. There is a slight young adult feel to the stories, but they are still quite enjoyable for adults. Both Serve You and the series of Doctor Who graphic novels are recommended.

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Ultimate Treasure

  • Title: The Ultimate Treasure
  • Series: BBC Books Past Doctor Adventures
  • Author: Christopher Bulis
  • Characters:  Fifth Doctor, Peri
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 2/23/2013

This book opens with Peri and the Fifth Doctor, on vacation at the world’s biggest shopping mall. Actually, it’s a planet-sized space station that IS a shopping mall. They are about to leave when Peri announces she wants a souvenir. The go to the lower, less respectable levels of the mall and end-up in the middle of a robbery and murder. But all this is mere set-up as the Doctor and Peri get caught-up in a big treasure hunt.

The treasure hunt consists of a series of mental, physical, and logical tests, as well as tests of character. Several other people also end up on the treasure hunt, with a variety of motivations. As with all novels of this type, after making their way through a number of tests, all the various characters have to make a very serious choice.

The story moved fast, and although some of the tests were familiar (the Doctor even jokes that he, “faced something similar on Mars,” about one logic puzzle,) overall I found the short episodic nature of The Quest to be interesting. The final choices, which I won’t spoil, made a logical sense.

Overall, it was a fun and fast read. This particular story wasn’t the best Past Doctor Adventure I’ve read, but it certainly wasn’t the worst, either. Recommended, if you can find it. Yes, despite it being very early in the PDA series, I only found a copy a year or so ago, it’s well out of print.