You Can Always Spot The Aristocracy

No politics today just an observation again that escapism seems more necessary than ever.

The autumn leaves are rattling down the street and dusk comes around six-thirty. A Time Lord-y post again today.

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Capaldi Series One continues to disappoint with its bafflingly late time slot, its BAFTA aspirations and general sense of deja vu.  The Caretaker wrapped a dreary workplace romance in the comic strip notion of “The Doctor works in YOUR SCHOOL!”  One we’d already seen more winningly rendered in 2006’s School Reunion. Capaldi’s Doctor was spikey and drily funny but there was little else to recommend this flimsy effort. Also, why does no one in tv drama teach in a modern, fit-for-purpose school?

Happily, I can report that Big Finish delivers a satisfying adventure for the 30-year-old Sixth Doctor in Scavenger. It’s quite slow – and the cliffhangers are pitched in an oddly undramatic way- but this hard sci-fi story reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke.

A futuristic Indian space agency discovers an ancient alien robot probe in Earth orbit . Sixie then finds himself in a race against time to rescue his Essex girl companion Flip before she is absorbed by the invader. I had found Lisa Greenwood’s character a little thin and generic in previous stories but her uncertain fate here is both touching and dramatic.

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I read the first issues of Titan Comics two new Doctor Who series in Aberlour at the end of July. The Tenth Doctor series begins with Revolutions of Terror. Gabby Gonzalez, a shift worker in a laundromat, helps the Doctor fight an invasion of Cerebravores in present day Brooklyn.

Nick Abadzis and Elena Casagrande capture the tone of the RTD era although Latina Gabby is quite like Rose Tyler.  However, I preferred The Eleventh Doctor series by Al Ewing and Rob Williams.

Ewing writes one of my favourite Marvel series, Mighty Avengers. It features a group of  ethnic minority heroes in urban adventures with nods to Marvel’s funky Seventies era. Naturally, it’s about to be cancelled. (And relaunched, but still…)

Ewing captured the ludicrous heights of Moffat’s first season as The Eleventh Doctor saved the House of Commons from a rainbow-coloured giant space dog accompanied by bereaved library assistant Alice Obiefune.

This sensitive and well-observed character study was followed by a satire of customer  service and theme parks and the series reminds me more of the DWM strip at its best.

Are these comics better than the previous IDW series- and are they as hard to obtain? The answer is yes in both instances. Further, imagine launching a Pertwee Doctor comic in 1982 as Peter Davison got started.  It’s an odd idea. However The Twelfth Doctor’s adventures are coming to Titan this month courtesy of Robbie Morrison ( whom I think worked in the 1991 Census Office in Hillington with me – and scores of others – long ago).

Coming soon: Zatanna. Black Canary. Arrow.

All images presumed copyright of their respective owners

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