THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) is back in the TARDIS for more of his comic adventures in a new Titan adventure. Written by James Peaty with the artist Warren Pleece.
In the previous issue, Cindy had been captured and whisked away to a new destination in the Time Vortex. The Doctor and Gabby must rescue Cindy from the Red Jade Doctor, and free thousands of Cindy’s clones. The series featured spectacular art throughout. In this issue, Revolving Doors, the Doctor takes Cindy back home to recuperate from her misadventures in China and the loss of her true love to the Nocturnes. He and Gabby decide to take a quick, flying visit somewhere fun. Gabby notes that she now hears the TARDIS’ mood in her signature sound. What mood will the TARDIS be in for this trip?
Flying Visit Gone Wrong
The Doctor explains that the TARDIS had used its Randomizer to send them off. When Gabby exits the TARDIS, she exults when she see the London Underground sign. The Doctor has the opposite reaction: he wants to leave immediately. “Us. Leave. Now” he demands. When Gabby protests, “Doctor?! This isn’t like you”, the Doctor turns to her with a biting reply. “How would you know, Gabby? What do you really know about me?” Gabby is stunned, and then hears a nearby scream. She does know the Doctor well enough to know that the Doctor has to help when he hears trouble.
Aldous Huxley’s famous essay, The Doors of Perception, makes its first comic book appearance in a London stockroom. The screams came from an employee who claims to have seen a monster – so the Doctor decides to stay for five minutes. “When is a stockroom not a stockroom?” the Doctor asks rhetorically. “When it’s a doorway to another dimension.” A squid-like monster awaits them, and it’s being controlled by a mysterious figure who speaks in an eerily black and red speech bubble. The figure is (or was) a tech entrepreneur named Aaron Crossland, whose logo is a large key. Perhaps it represents the way to unlock the doors to separate dimensions.
Crossland has been taken over by an alien force that feeds off of sorrow, so the Doctor is divided from Gabby and meets a former companion – you’ll never guess who – but the Doctor resists being the contractor who will smash the walls between the worlds.
Exciting Artwork, Bittersweet Friendship
The artwork from Warren Pleece is often excellent, but the drawing of the Tenth Doctor himself is not always spot on. Both the Doctor and Gabby don’t look the way they have in previous issues. But the depiction of Crossland is exciting, and the lettering throughout is fantastic.
The story itself is wonderfully melancholy. Does Gabby really know the Doctor? Can any human truly understand the mind of an alien? Even though the two have battled enemies over the universe and travelled as close companions, Gabby doesn’t understand the Doctor at all – and in the end, Gabby is filled with butterflies in her stomach.
Blogtor Rating 8/10
TENTH DOCTOR YEAR THREE #5 is now available in both digital and print forms.