The Ninth Doctor Is Back, and He’s Here to Stay Awhile

Due to popular demand, the Ninth Doctor now joins his later incarnations in the privilege of having his own ongoing comic series. Art by Shea Standefer courtesy of Titan Comics.
Due to popular demand, the Ninth Doctor now joins his later incarnations in the privilege of having his own ongoing comic series. Art by Shea Standefer courtesy of Titan Comics.

Titan Comics’ Doctor Who series has been on fire so far in 2016, with the release of The Fourth Doctor miniseries in March, and the introduction of rock album-inspired variant covers by Simon Myers for all Doctor Who titles.

Now, on April 13, the Ninth Doctor, along with his fan-favorite companions, Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness, are back in a new ongoing series by written by Cavan Scott.

Scott’s original five-part miniseries, Weapons of Past Destruction, debuted in April 2015, just in time for the Tenth Anniversary of the new era of Doctor Who. The Ninth Doctor, portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, was behind the controls of the TARDIS for only one series, but took with him a loyal fanbase of both new and veteran Whovians. Now, by popular demand, the Ninth Doctor will join The Tenth, Eleventh, and Tweltfh Doctors as star of his own ongoing series.

The new series’s first story arc offers a clue to Captain Jack’s lost memories, and it features the Ninth Doctor’s own mix of action and humor.

Scott joked he’s been doing his “Snoopy happy dance” over the opportunity to take Nine on even more adventures, and feels this Doctor, as well as Rose and Jack, absolutely have enough character strength to maintain his own ongoing series. He said this series starts at an interesting period for all three characters, including the growth and character development of Rose.

“Rose is so wide-eyed and enthusiastic. She’s still new at time travel, and while she can certainly handle herself she doesn’t always get things right,” Scott said. “She certainly has a thing for pretty boys at this point in her life, whether that’s Adam (from the episodes “Dalek” and “The Long Game”) or Captain Jack. But, in this series, I want to really get across that sense that she’ll jump in with two feet and have a go.”

Scott said Jack is learning how to be a good guy, possibly for the first time in his life.

“Again, he makes mistakes as he tries to prove himself, to Rose, and especially the Doctor,” he said of Jack. “Then there’s the mystery of why he has so many of his memories missing.”

The Doctor himself is back with a crew on the TARDIS, with friends, for the first time since the Time War.

“He’s enjoying himself, and has lost a little of the angst that we saw in his first episodes,” Scott explained. “It’s still there, beneath the surface, but he’s being carried along with the adventure, having the time of his lives.”

The new series’ first three-issue story arc, Doctormania, offers a clue to Captain Jack’s lost memories, but also features the Ninth Doctor’s own mix of action and humor. It’s The Doctor who is the star of this story, however, and not just as the title character. Team TARDIS somehow find themselves on a planet of Doctor Who–yes “Doctor Who”–superfans complete with fan clubs, selfie-snapping smartphone users, and screaming fangirls.

The confusion that follows to the cliffhanger ending of this first issue is both hilarious and rapid-paced, complete with a surprise twist.

Scott hopes, as these issues progress, to build on the relationship between the three members of the TARDIS crew.

“All three will face challenges, both physical and personal, over the course of the next 15 issues, really testing them individually while also molding them into that tight-knit unit we see in (the episode) ‘Boom Town’,” he said. “There will be banter and flirting and aliens–mostly all at the same time. But I’m also looking forward to telling different kinds of stories with the team.”

The original mini-series, which featured artwork by Blair Shedd (Legends of Oz, Ghostbusters), was met with overwhelming response from both readers and critics. Shedd will still be involved with the comic by offering his work to variant covers. Other variants were created by graphic artist Will Brooks, whose popular work has been featured on several Doctor Who items from audio books to postcards.

Nine will, of course, get his rock album variant by Myers with an AOD Collectables Store exclusive John Lennon/Ninth Doctor mash-up. This might be inside joke for Eccleston fans, who recall him portraying the iconic Beatle in BBC’s Lennon Naked. Other covers feature work by Shea Standefer for the primary cover and a variant by the illustrator known as Question No. 6.

ninthdoctorvariants
Once again, this latest Doctor Who offering from Titan Comics will have plenty of variants. Artists include (clockwise from top left): Question No. 6, Will Brooks, Simon Myers and Adriana Melo. Images courtesy Titan Comics.

Artwork for this ongoing series is provided by Adriana Melo (Star Wars: Empire), with colorist Matheus Lopes. Scott said Melo is a perfect choice the series as she is a “bundle of Whovian enthusiasm.”

“I regularly send her messages that read something like ‘just writing issue three which has (spoilers),’ and she replies with bucketloads of glee,” Scott said. “She just gets the joy of the Ninth Doctor and this team, the excitement and energy, and it comes across in her art.”

Readers might also be familiar with Melo’s work on the celebrated Marvel title Ms. Marvel and Scott said her Ninth Doctor contributions will not disappoint.

“(Her work is) so dynamic,” Scott said. “I loved her work on Ms. Marvel, but think this is some of her best stuff yet!”

Scott said readers don’t need to have read last year’s mini-series to follow these new adventures.

“This is definitely a jumping-on point, although there might be a couple of little mentions for people who were there for ‘Weapons of Past Destruction,'” he noted.

He did promise the first arc to start the series off with and action-filled ride.

“The opening arc is very much a romp, for want of a better word, but following that we’ll see some quieter, more personal stories, and definitely some scares,” Scott said. “Oh, and a few familiar faces along the way–but not necessarily the ones you expect.”

For those who want to catch up on the Ninth Doctor’s recent comic exploits, the collected 2015 mini-series is also now available in collected hardback format.

Scott said even when he first took on the mini-series, he knew there were many more tales of the Ninth Doctor he wanted to share. He is thrilled to get to share them with readers and fellow Whovians, more specifically “Niners,” as he calls them.

“Right from the off, I had a bundle of stories in my head that I wanted to tell, and was over the moon when our wonderful editor, Andrew James, told me that there was going to be an ongoing,” he said. “Writing for Doctor Who is always an honor, but this incarnation and this team is special. They’re the ones who brought Doctor Who back and made it what it is today!”

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 comes out April 13 in both comic forms and digital platform.

Writer Cavan Scott said the new ongoing series will explore
Ninth Doctor writer Cavan Scott said Nine, Rose, and Jack will all face physical and personal challenges over the next 15 issues, but the first story arc will be an action-filled “romp.” Interior art by Adriana Melo courtesy of Titan Comics.

GeekMom received a preview of the comic for review purposes.