Or – “Oh, He’s Just Like Any Other Man, Only More So. “

We have a complete dossier on you: The Doctor, Gallifreyan, age 907.  Cannot return to his planet…  The reason is a little vague.  We know what you did on Mondas, Doctor, and also we know why you left Skaro…”

“Are my eyes really brown?”

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Doctor Who:  The Eleventh Doctor, Rory Williams and Amy Pond have landed in the city of Casablanca, on the eve of World War II, only to discover that the city is overrun with Silurians (an ancient reptilian race whose backstory is complicated and bizarre:  suffice to say that they believe Earth to be THEIR planet, and the pink-skinned interlopers are a menace to be wiped out.)  Amy has been captured by the Silurian leader, who plans to make the lovely lass his queen, while The Doctor and Rory are at the mercy of a reptilian battle force, seconds from annihilation…  Where’s Slartibartfast when you really need him?


I admit it:  I’m a sucker for a good mash-up/crossover/hybrid.  You show me somebody parodying the Beastie Boys and Star Trek at the same time, and I’m a happy guy.  So, when the previous issues of Doctor Who Volume 2 landed Eleven and his pals in Casablanca, I began watching for the parallels to Bogart’s classic film.  This issue, sadly, is in full swing plotwise, so some of the clever tips of the hat of the previous issue aren’t here, but things are fun anyway.  The Doctor and Rory escape from their deathtrap to find something horrible beneath the city, while Amy is thrown in the back of a police paddy wagon.  The incredibly entertainingly named Matthew Dow Smith does a good job with the art in most places, reminding me a bit of Paul Grist and Keith Giffen during his Muñoz period.  The story reads well, especially the bits where The Doctor goes off on his Doctor tangents, and writer Fialkov is skilled at creating chunks of dialogue wherein you can clearly hear Matt Smith (the actor, not the penciller)’s voice speaking the Doctor’s lines.  The sole problem with the art is the difficulty in translating Karen Gillan’s features onto the page, leaving Amy occasionally as a shadowy figure identified solely by her fiery locks.


There’s a couple of nice saves in the book, and the reveal that the Silurian leader has secrets of his own is a very Doctor Who sort of premise, one that I could easily see happening in the series, as happened to Dalek Sec under the Tenth Doctor’s tenure.  The issue ends with a cliffhanger that threatens the very planet Earth itself, as the Silurians put their ancient (more ancient even than it seems) plot into motion.  Overall, there’s a nice balance of adventure, science fiction and philosophizing, and I find the coloring nicely muted, fitting the desert settings of Morocco very well.  The Casablanca references don’t overwhelm the plot, most importantly, and there’s a clear countdown for the last Time Lord to beat, something that is always important in a good Doctor story.  It’s telling that I couldn’t see this story being told exactly this way with any other incarnation of the Doctor (save maybe the Second, and that with some serious tweaks), and Fialkov shows the same virtuoso character work that have made his ‘I, Vampire’ such fun over at the New Fitty-Two.


As with any licensed property, the first question I ask myself is, “Does this look like the people it’s supposed to represent?”  The answer here is “80% of the time”, which is better than most licensed books, especially given that Amy Pond has a very strange quality to her beauty that the standard shortcuts of comic book facial structure don’t really lend themselves to.  The Doctor looks right, sounds right, Rory’s good, and most importantly, it’s not a story that reminds me of one of the OTHER Doctor Who stories in the last 50 years over half a dozen different media.  Doctor Who #15 is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and I promise that’s the last one I’m going to put in, making the grade with 4 out of 5 stars overall.  Fialkov has really taken the ball and run with it here, and I’m excited to see what happens in the final chapter…

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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