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The prescription for “Doctor Who” withdrawal

March 1, 2009

There’s a bit of a wait until the Doctor Who Easter special hits the air, so it’s perfect timing that IDW comics has released a stand-alone adventure of the Timelord to tide fans over. Set during the Martha Jones era, “The Whispering Gallery”, written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, is solid – on par with a typical good (but not great) series 3 episode –  and centres around a trip to the home planet of a friendly traveller the Doctor encountered once, and the menace that keeps residents clamping down on their emotions except for their last, heartfelt whispers in their funerary portraints. The artwork by Ben Templesmith is hit-and-miss, at times capturing the oh so easy-on-the-eyes likeness of Freema Agyeman and the facial acrobatics of David Tennant perfectly, while sometimes rendering them so crudely as to be unrecognizable (one frame in particular stands out in my mind for making the 10th Doctor look more like Fido Dido from the old 7-Up commercials). The empathic monster was also a little uninspired, looking a lot like the creature from Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” who gives away gold nuggets and tries to eat everything – and everyone, or like one of the family members from the old Barba Poppa cartoon might have if the animator was on acid. That being said, overall the art was well done and this comic book installment in the Doctor’s adventures was a pleasure to read.

Thanks to my friend and coworker Steve, afficionado of the best in British SF and comic collector extraordinaire, for the loaner.

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