Posted in Comics, Male Author

Book #27

This book was provided to me by IDW Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Doctor Who: Dave Gibbons Collection Tpb by by Pat Mills, Steve Moore, & Steve Parkhouse. Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)

In the late 70s/early 80s, years before teaming up with Alan Moore to create Watchmen, Dave Gibbons was the lead artist for Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly. He drew 65 strips for the magazine, some of which were reprinted by DC in the United States. This collection is being published by IDW on Oct. 2nd. My review copy was provided by NetGalley. It was, unfortunately, in Adobe Digital Edition format and only included the first 200 pages.

I have golden memories of Doctor Who. I started watching in the late 1980s when our local PBS channel began running the series every week night at 6:30pm. Since the station played five episodes a week, with the occasional Saturday marathon, the Doctors passed by pretty quickly except for Tom Baker’s marathon seven seasons in the role. In many ways those seven season epitomize what Doctor Who was all about before the “modern era.” The Doctor was goofy, but brilliant. The acting was sometimes over-wrought, but utterly sincere. The plots were labyrinthine and highly serialized. And the effects…well, rubber masks, Styrofoam, and plungers were the order of the day.

What these comics present, for a modern viewer of Doctor Who, is a great hybrid of the old and new. There’s Tom Baker’s Doctor, well-written by Pat Mills, Steve Moore, Steve Parkhouse, and John Wagner, and faithfully illustrated by Dave Gibbons. Due to the weekly/monthly nature of the original periodical, the stories are serialized with plenty twists and everyone’s favorite villainous monsters. But instead of effects that look better if you squint, Gibbons gives us a great sci-fi world for the Doctor to inhabit. Something that wouldn’t happen on the screen until the series’ relaunch in 2005.

“The Dogs of Doom” is a particularly good representative. Even in the 80s there would have been no way to economically show space battles and a prison full of aliens and make them look good.

The only thing that I found distracting was Gibbons’ drawing of young Sharon, a kid that ends up traveling with the Doctor. Not being familiar with the UK’s school system, I assume Sharon is a high schooler, sixteen years old at most. Gibbons draws her as a short grown up. When a time anomaly ages her, she’s still very mannish in the face.

My ARC included:

  • The Iron Legion
  • City of the Damned
  • The Star Beast
  • The Dogs of Doom
  • The Time Witch
  • Dragon’s Claw
  • The Collector (partial, since the file ended at pg. 200)

Format: Adobe Digital Editions
Procurement: NetGalley