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Thursday, 18 June 2009

In Review: Doctor Who - The Time Machination

Doctor Who - The Time MachinationWriter Tony Lee knows his Doctor Who - inside out, back to front, old and new, spin-offs and original.

It is ten years since Queen Victoria banished Sir Doctor Of Tardis and the Lady Rose from the Empire and the Torchwood Institute is now on the track of the Doctor. With the help of not-so-aspiring author Herbert George Wells, our time travelling hero attempts to save London as well as avoiding Torchwood and one of his earlier selves.

Indeed the sheer amount of continuity in this 22-page one-shot is dizzying. This is a Tenth Doctor story which is a sequel to a Fourth Doctor story, except it is set chronologically before it so it is really a prequel, but just to confuse matters further it is takes place after a Sixth Doctor story. Still with me? If you are a fan and I told you which Fourth Doctor story it was set after it would spoil the ending: if you aren't enough of a fan to get the clues dropped in as the plot develops then there is no point telling you which story it is anyway.

And yet the plot is only half the fun, the rest comes with Paul Grist's artwork. Be it the familiar -the Fourth Doctor, Sixth Doctor, Tenth Doctor, the TARDIS, Sonic Screwdriver and an old series companion - or the new such as Torchwood operatives armed with the Victorian equivalent of tasers complete with twin prongs, the artwork is just a delight to behold. Of course it isn't the first time that Grist has visited Torchwood, having both written and illustrated a Torchwood magazine comic strip that included a Victorian as well as the modern Torchwood team, but here he gets to add in David Tennant, Colin Baker and Tom Baker as well.

IDW Doctor Who comics are contractually only available in the USA and Canada, but they are readily available to the UK over the internet and it's common knowldege that most UK comic shops carry them as "grey imports". Even if you are not that interested in the on-going IDW series, this one off special is well worth the effort of hunting down.

• More Paul Grist artwork can be found at Paul Grist's Big Cosmic Comic. More details of the comic are on Tony Lee's website.

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