One of the best tropes in Doctor Who is the swing between grand science fiction and strange historical adventure. It actually goes back to the second serial of the franchise over fifty years ago, and continues in this new arc of The Thirteenth Doctor.
Jody Houser, Rachael Stott, Enrica Angiolini and Comicraft kick off this new arc in the middle of the Guelder Wars in the early 1500’s. Naturally, there’s strangeness afoot!
The crew step out of the TARDIS on the edge of a nearly abandoned village. They find a terrified local girl who warns them that the war is being fought by demons. Naturally, the Doctor needs to investigate her claim!
Houser changes up the use of voice a bit in this issue, which is interesting. It really feels like a totally new episode of the show, rather than just the next issue of an ongoing comic. She’s captured the voice and behavior of the Doctor perfectly though, immersing us quickly in the story.
She uses each member of the TARDIS crew really well, giving them an equal role in the story. In one fun touch, Yaz, Graham and Ryan even get a bit of the upper hand over the Doctor with historical knowledge she didn’t have (thanks to a podcast of all things).
Stott and Angiolini’s work together again is so consistent, but different from the first arc. Stott brings this small village to life, with absolutely gorgeous scenery. The characters seem to be running through scenic photos, each of them having a ball doing it. Angiolini adds to that, filling the pages with light and bright colors.
This issue was the right move for this series, and it’s a fun set up for a story. I’m looking forward to what Houser and Stott have in store for us.
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #5 is available now from Titan Comics.