Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension (Book One)
Writers: George Mann, Cavan Scott, Nick Abadzis
Artists: Rachael Stott, Adriana Melo, Chris Bolson, Mariano Laclaustra, Carolos Cabrera, Leandro Casco, I.N.J. Culbard
Colors: Rod Fernandes, Marco Lesko, Dijjo Lima, Hernan Cabrera, IHQ Studios
Letterers: Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
Publisher: Titan Comics
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
Could there ever be an event in space-time that requires just about every incarnation of The Doctor to intervene? In Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension, Titan Comics’ epic crossover event, we drop in on the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors in the middle of their own adventures when a mysterious white force of energy begins to consume the universe—and the people in it. We are also given the privilege of a reunion with Jenny, The Doctor’s daughter, who drops in on the Twelfth Doctor to warn him of the coming threat…but is she too late? Is there hope for their friends trapped in the void or becoming mind-controlled zombies?
Book One of The Lost Dimension collects the first half of the crossover event in graphic-novel form, and it really is quite the wild ride for fans of the series, old and new. The arrival of Jenny to Bristol as she unapologetically crashes through buildings sets the tone for the graphic novel nicely as the story moves largely at a breakneck speed that is an enjoyable experience for the reader. Newcomers to the series get enough character introductions and background information to not feel lost as they progress through the story (this was also helpful to me being a fan of the series but also a very forgetful person…ask my wife), and Whovians are treated to a smorgasbord of Doctors and companions we’ve come to know and love very well.
Every chapter of the graphic novel feels like its own self-contained episode that gives way to the overarching threat that each modern-era Doctor will (eventually/presumably/hopefully) face down together—along with the classic Doctors who make special cameo appearances. Some of my favorite moments were the space station invasion that the Tenth Doctor has to endure (is this because David Tennant was my favorite? Maybe, but I like to think I liked this more because the stakes were incredibly high) and the chapter that catches us up on what Jenny’s been up to since we last saw her years and years ago (relatively, of course).
The book certainly isn’t without weaknesses. I thought the chapter that primarily focuses on the Eleventh Doctor was a little slower-paced, but that’s not quite a knock against the overall graphic novel as sometimes the reader needs a little time to breathe in-between high-stakes situations. It also felt like, with the exception of Rose and Bill, most of The Doctor’s companions had a pretty good grasp of what was going on around them without much need for The Doctor to translate things into human terms. This, to me, makes the situations a little un-relatable as I feel that most of the companions in Doctor Who have that, “Wait, what did you just say? What’s going on?” element to them that allows us viewers to insert ourselves into the story as The Doctor’s companion. So, when the Tenth Doctor is solving a “power beam destabilized by a magnetar crust shift” and his companions roll along with it, that makes things feel a little fuzzy. Maybe it’s just me, but reading the jargon that The Doctor rattles off as opposed to hearing it and let it roll over my head slows down the overall experience.
There’s also the art, which had me very conflicted. Since there are many different artists involved in this project, you can expect different styles throughout the book. The first half had a lot of impressive artwork to it—especially the backgrounds, the space scenes, and even the sea monster—but somehow the characters looked like wax sculptures of the actors they’re based on that took me to the edge of the uncanny valley. In the latter half of the book, the art takes a more classic, less 3D tone that I found myself preferring more. One panel that particularly impressed me was the Picasso-esque frame after a TARDIS test drive goes awry. I also enjoyed the use of the “ye olde style” script that was employed as The Doctor and his companion found themselves in ancient Gallifrey.
Buy it! This is definitely essential for fans of Doctor Who. The stories all felt distinctly “Who” and the portrayal of each of the modern-era Doctors captured the personality and wit that each actor brought to their interpretation of The Doctor. I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion of the story and how all the Doctors will use their combined strengths to face this ever-growing threat. This definitely helped hold me over while waiting for the much-anticipated Jodi Whittaker regeneration that hits our screens this fall.