Doctor Who #8 Review: In Space, Can Anyone Hear The Doctor Scream?

FEB130333_1By Jorge Solis

Stuck inside a powerless spacecraft, our time-traveling adventurer has no one to call out for help in "Doctor Who" #8 (IDW Publishing). As his air supply is running out, the Doctor has to figure out how to bring the power back on. Without any of his companions by his side, will the Doctor be able to survive this solo mission? (spoilers ahead!)

The Vashta Nerada, an alien life form, has taken the TARDIS hostage and left the Doctor stranded in outer space.  While floating around in a broken spacecraft,  the Doctor has to try and save Alexey Leonov, an important man in history. Though he doesn't know it yet, Leonov will be the first person to conduct a space walk. If the Doctor doesn't rescue Leonov in time from asphyxiation, history will recreate itself and the Vashta Nerada will spread its terror over Earth.

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With a knack for dialogue, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov keeps this sci-fi adventure running at full speed. Even when everything is spinning out of control, the Doctor never stops to panic and continues to act quickly. Demonstrating that he is a true fan of the TV show, Fialkov understands the Doctor's personality as someone who works best under pressure. As if he were writing for Matt Smith himself, Fialkov keeps the Doctor talking with such energetic and witty lines of dialogue.

Fialkov  adds to the mythology while providing an entertaining solo mission for the Doctor. In this issue, readers get to see what's beneath the control panel in the TARDIS. Fialkov stays true to the Doctor's unbreakable faith in human beings. Never disappointed, the Doctor expects so many amazing things from humanity. Even when tough choices have to be made, the Doctor doesn't turn back on his own message as he preaches that violence is never the answer.

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With the artwork by Horacio Domingues and Andres Ponce, they never aim to caricaturize their protagonist, nor do they portray him realistically. While keeping Matt Smith's physicality as a reference, Domingues and Ponce depict the Doctor in their own style. In the character design, the hair is longer and the facial lines are smoother. Matt Smith looks like he jumped from the TV screen to the comic book page.

There are some great illustrations of the Doctor jumping into action and using his sonic screwdriver. This is where colorist Adrian Salmon makes these action-driven panels stand out. By focusing on the green tone, the sonic screwdriver comes to life as it becomes the only light source. When the panels are steeped in darkness, Salmon highlights the TARDIS' interiors with a rich blue tint.

If you're a fan of the TV series, then you're definitely going to enjoy "Doctor Who" #8. Geared for newcomers and longtime fans, the characterization remains faithful to the spirit of the TV show and the artwork is incredibly pleasing to the eyes. If you haven't seen an episode yet, then pick up this issue of "Doctor Who."

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