Showing posts with label Nimon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nimon. Show all posts

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Review - Doctor Who: The 11th Doctor # 6

Doctor Who: The 11th Doctor # 6
"Space in Dimension Relative and Time"
Written by: Rob Williams
Art by: Simon Fraser
Colours by: Gary Caldwell

This issue of the Eleventh Doctor series sees the return of Rob Williams and Simon Fraser for an innovative new story that sees the writer undertaking a rather bold narrative structure as he tells a Doctor Who story completely in reverse. Beginning with the end and gradually travelling back to the starting point, the structure of the story is quite similar to Christopher Nolan’s Memento, with each successive page taking jumps back further in the timeline, but the actual panels within the page continue to tell the story in a normal fashion.

Not surprisingly, this very different style of storytelling requires a bit more concentration than the average comic, often resulting in flicking back through the pages to consolidate the prior events with the new developments discovered in later pages. Fans of non-linear storytelling like Pulp Fiction or LOST will likely get a kick out of the more cerebral take on the narrative, but those who like their stories told from A to B will possibly be frustrated or confused by this issue. Personally speaking, I loved it! This brave and experimental storytelling just demonstrates the fantastic possibilities afforded by the comic book format, as this type of story wouldn't have worked in the same way on the TV show. The natural breaks provided by each page helped formalize the temporal shifts and create rules to this new paradigm.

As with the recent issues of the Twelfth and Tenth Doctor series, there is a nod towards the Tom Baker era of the classic series with a reappearing villain – The Nimon. Luckily the creature’s appearance doesn't require any prior knowledge, serving only to reward longstanding fans of the series with a nice slice of continuity. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite gotten to ‘The Horns of Nimon’ in my watching of the classic series, only just reaching ‘Horror of Fang Rock’, so I didn't get the full benefit of the reference myself, but as I said, it didn't impact the story at all.

With the emphasis on the reverse narrative and establishing the ‘rules’ of the story, there isn't much room for character development here, which is a shame as we haven’t really had a chance to get to know ARC yet. However, we do learn that he has the ability to change his shape to mimic other life-forms and he is willing to sacrifice himself to save the others. This trait is also seen by Jones who manages to overcome his self-doubt in this issue and perform a truly heroic feat. My only criticism is that it feels like there has been adventures occurring in between the cracks of these issues and I would like to see more time spent with these supporting characters and seeing them evolve as a team rather than these quick glimpses. With another two part story on the horizon, it seems like we’ll be given a more prolonged look at the TARDIS crew next issue.

It is great to see Simon Fraser return to the series, even if it is just for the one issue. I really enjoy his rendition of the characters, including his interpretation of ARC which remains consistent with his portrayal in Boo Cook’s issues. He also does a great job bringing the varied alien environments within the TARDIS to life, providing a wonderful backdrop to a story which concentrates more on the action than its surroundings. By injecting some variety into the many corridors within the TARDIS, including some more retro designs, Fraser manages to make sure that the reader is engaged visually as well as via the script.

Overall, I would say that this issue was a grand success offering a “timey wimey” brainteaser for Doctor Who fans to decipher within 22 pages, using time travel in a really inventive and different way, which for a TV show which has been around for 51 years is really impressive. Rob Williams manages to inject a sense of glee into his interpretation of Matt Smith’s Doctor, who you can imagine grinning like a fool as things seemingly fall apart around him content in the knowledge that he has a plan…or part of a plan…or a rough concept of a plan. For fans of the TV show that feel like they can live without the ‘non-canon’ material of the comic books, the work that both Al Ewing and Rob Williams have done on this series might just prove them wrong!

Score - 9.8 out of 10

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor # 6 is now available in all good comic shops, including Forbidden Planet, as well as on the Comixology website. Be sure to put in a standing order for the upcoming issues in the series when you pick up your copy!

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