I grew up watching Doctor Who on our local PBS station. Mainly it was episodes with Tom Baker and Peter Davidson, which got me very excited for the FOX movie that was going to air in 1996. An American movie starring the Doctor with a brand new actor in the role. I thought Paul McGann did a great job as the Doctor and I would of happily continued watching it had it been picked up. But it wasn’t. It would be another nine years before the next new Doctor Who with Christopher Eccelston in the role. But I always wondered what it would’ve been like to see more of the 8th Doctor’s adventures.
My interest in the 8th Doctor was renewed back in February when I visited the Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles and found myself talking with McGann for a few minutes. Now I know that there have been radio programs and the like, but my first chance to see new 8th Doctor stories, besides Night of the Doctor, was the recent Titan Comics trade Doctor Who: A Matter of Life and Death.
The five-part series is written by George Mann and drawn by Emma Vieceli and features the 8th Doctor arriving at a cabin he owns that a painter named Josie Day is squatting in. He’s there for a copy of an Emily Bronte book where he finds a list of space coordinates that a different version of the Doctor left for him. But before he can head off to figure out the list, it turns out the odd paints Josie has been selling of monsters are suddenly coming to life. The Doctor discovers a that Josie has a high concentration of Animae Particles which crept into the paintings and gave the creatures life. This if of course the first clue to the overall story arc too. Josie travels with him and each issue is a different spot along the list and adds more to the overall mystery of his new companion.
The story is compelling and Mann has a good handle on the 8th Doctor’s personality, his weariness of there always being a war and death, and his innocent excitement at the strange and mysterious. The art is good on average with some really nice pages / panels and then some that look a bit rushed or unfinished. Overall its a highly enjoyable series and a fun trip with a Doctor that hasn’t gotten nearly the number of adventures he deserves.
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