Doctormania, by Cavan Scott, Adriana Melo,Cris Bolson, Matheus Lopes and Marco Lesko

Second frame of third story (“Transformed”):

The end of Rose, New Who’s first episode, from Mickey’s point of view

Second in the series of Titan Comics graphic novels about the Ninth Doctor, with three stories:

“Hacked”, a very short story with a reference to the Eye of Orion and the Braxiatel Collection, in which the Ninth Doctor, Jack and Rose are kidnapped by an intergalactic criminal who they duly defeat.

The title story, “Doctormania”, has the crew landing on a world where everyone is a Doctor Who fan, an immediately glorious concept. There is a fake Doctor who everyone loves and a fan who gets annoyed with Rose. But it turns out that a familar foe is behind it all. Nicely executed.

The third story, “Transformed”, brings Mickey back into the narrative (though at a point where he has already met the Tenth Doctor). The whole team ends up in San Francisco for an adventure with shape-changing gargoyles with super powers. Nicely done.

Enjoyed it. You can get it here.

Weapons of Past Destruction, by Cavan Scott, Blair Shedd, Rachel Stott and Anand Setyawan

Second frame of third part:

Continuing to work through my stash of Doctor Who comics, here’s the first of the Titan Ninth Doctor stories, set between The Doctor Dances and Boom Town, featuring the full TARDIS crew of Nine, Rose and Jack in an adventure with Time War technology looted by an alien race. The plot is nicely twisty and the characterisation of the leads (which after all is the main attraction) is bang on. Definitely good fun.

There’s an actual YouTube trailer for the story:

You can get it here.

Ninth Doctor Adventures: Old Friends

Trailer:

As previously noted, I’ve been increasingly enjoying the Big Finish audio adventures with Christopher Eccleston reprising his role as the Ninth Doctor, and this was another good set installment. Unusually the three stories are a singleton and a two-parter, so you’ll need to plan your listening accordingly.

The first story, Fond Farewell, is set in an intergalactic funeral parlour where the decedents are resurrected in replica to preside over their own memorial ceremonies. Roger Zelazny had a similar idea in his short story “Walpurgisnacht” (collected in the original and better Unicorn Variations). All is not what is seems, as the deceased archæologist who the Doctor wishes to honour has left a complex situation of romance and memory.

Heavy star power in the form of Juliet Stevenson as the grieving widow, though Emily Taaffe (a rare Irish voice) is more dominant as one-off companion Sasha. It’s by David K. Barnes, who also wrote the First Doctor/Second Doctor mashup Daughter of the Gods and one of the episodes of Doctor Who: Redacted. Good enough.

The two-parter Way of the Burrymen / The Forth Generation brings together Eccleston, Cybermen and the Brigadier (this is not a spoiler as they all feature on the cover). It is by Roy Gill who wrote the first of the Class spinoff audios and a Tenth Doctor story. The Tardis lands in Edinburgh in the present day where there is anthropology, the Forth bridge, and tragic doomed romance.

Jon Culshaw does a very good and respectful job of evoking Nicholas Courtney in his later years (and of course the very first UNIT adventure also featured the Cybermen). But there is a lovely dynamic between the two lovers at the centre of the story, played by Warren Brown and Elinor Lawless. A good cap to the first dozen Eccleston audios.

You can get the set here.

Ninth Doctor and Thirteenth Doctor audios

The end of a week of Doctor Who audio-blogging – book-blogging will return shortly, but I also will try and keep more up to date with the other media I have been consuming here.

Lost Warriors is the third volume of plays featuring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, following from the welcome first set and the excellent second set. Two are OK and one that is excellent.

The first of these is The Hunting Season by James Kettle, a new writer for me, bringing the Ninth Doctor to a posh country house in the early twentieth century, which he naturally dislikes, with aliens infesting the estate. Not all is as it seems of course. Annette Badland is great as the cook, but it doesn’t quite seem to find its soul. One reviewer comments that it is the only one of these three not rooted in historical events, which may be part of it.

We’re on an upward curve with the next one, The Curse of Lady Macbeth by Lizzie Hopley. This is largely a two-hander between Eccleston and the lovely Neve McIntosh as Gruach, the historical Lady Macbeth, with an optimistic reading of her role in Scottish history which surely nods to Dorothy Dunnett’s King Hereafter, bothered by aliens again of course but also fulfilling a progressive government role.

And it peaks with Monsters in Metropolis by John Dorney, where a lone Cyberman gets involved with Fritz Lang’s movie-making in 1920s Berlin. It has a similar plot to the TV story Dalek, with Nicholas Briggs playing the monster which is changed by its survival in a human world, but the historical setting and intersection with early sf make it very different. Helen Goldwyn, a Big Finish veteran actor, director and writer, shines here as one-off companion Anna Dreyfus, Fritz Lang’s assistant.

You can get them here.

Dorney throws in a lovely and not completely gratuitous reference to Norman Hartnell, the fashion designer whose career was just getting started at the time that Lang was making Metropolis. His cousin William, seven years younger, is also known to Doctor Who fans.

And finally, I finish this write-up of recent Doctor Who audios with one that didn’t come from Big Finish.

Doctor Who: Redacted is a ten-part audio story featuring Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, released by the BBC between April and June 2022, mostly by Juno Dawson. Although Whittaker makes frequent appearances, along with Anjli Mohindra as Rani, Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver as Kate Stewart and Osgood, and a recast Doon McKichan as Madam Vastra, the protagonist is Charlie Craggs starring as Cleo Proctor, supported by Lois Chimimba as Abby and Holly Quin-Ankrah as Shawna, three podcasters who are trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Doctor and her blue box – especially when people associated with the mysterious traveller start to disappear. It’s all very well done.

The whole thing is very different from a Big Finish production – much more podcasty, much less TV-on-the-radio. It’s something of a hymn to fandom, but given Dawson’s authorship and Craggs’ leading role, it’s not surprising that it’s also a salute to Who as a safe space for inclusivity. And it’s the BBC showing the way yet again: it’s difficult to imagine Big Finish running a story with a trans lead and the two most important supporting roles played by actors of colour, or at least it was until the BBC showed it could be done.

Even outside the UK I was able to download all 10 episodes (none longer than half an hour) for free from here.

Back to books. Soon.