Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1

Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1 photo cover by Will Brooks

Out next week is the first of a three-issue miniseries starring the Seventh Doctor (originally played by Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred).

I wasn’t impressed by the Free Comic Book Day preview, but I found this issue intriguing and involving. “Operation Volcano” has mysterious alien spaceships and exploration of Australian cave systems in 1967 and politics around nuclear weapons and native people and time jumps and squabbles between the Brits and the Aussies, all wound together in a way that makes me want to know more. It’s written by Andrew Cartmel and illustrated by Christopher Jones, who put together a terrific cliffhanger.

Better Doctor Who fans than I may be intrigued to know that one of the major characters is Captain Gilmore, of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group. Also in this issue is the group’s scientific adviser Rachel Jensen and her assistant Allison Williams. They all appeared in the 1988 25th anniversary series Remembrance of the Daleks before getting their own Big Finish audio series. Cartmel happens to have been the show’s script editor during that period. Clearly, there’s some deep series knowledge here.

There’s not a lot with the Doctor in this issue yet, but the setup and premise feels right to me, with echoes of how stories from that late 80s period were structured and developed. It helps that this is a double-sized issue, which gives the 44 story pages lots of space to develop and room for plenty of twists and revelations. Keeping it a miniseries bodes well for a solid ending, too.

Also included is a backup series (eight pages, part one of three) that follows up on The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, focusing on the character of Mags the alien werewolf. “Hill of Beans” is written by Richard Dinnick and illustrated by Jessica Martin, who originally played Mags on-screen. I thought the art was a little fuzzy-looking for my taste but that’s certainly an impressive connection.

Here’s a preview of the first pages:

(The publisher provided a digital review copy.)


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