Graphic Novel Review: Doctor Who – The Flood

Publisher: Panini
Release Date: October 18th, 2007
Genre: Sci-Fi/Media Tie-In

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Other Doctor Who Comic Collection Reviews: The Iron Legion / The Tides of Time / Voyager
Other Doctor Who Graphic Novel Reviews: The Eleventh Doctor Archives Omnibus Vol. 1 / The Eleventh Doctor Archives Omnibus, Vol 2

Yes folks, another of the Doctor Who Collected Comics. And possibly my favourite one so far! Unfortunately as it stands at the moment I only have two more of these left, but I’ll definitely have a look out for more as I am really enjoying this series.

This particular one has a few misses towards the beginning of the collection. One standalone story was a little dodgy, with some, um, seemingly thoughtless depictions of other cultures in ‘The Power of Thoueris’. It’s the kind of attitude and portrayal you expect to see in early 2000s media and if you do pick this up, this is definitely the weakest in the whole collection; I’d even suggest skipping it.

I wanted to put this up front, because as the collection as a whole progresses it gets much better, and definitely felt like it shifted a lot more in tone as we move into the era when the announcement had been made Doctor Who was returning.

This one focuses on The Eighth Doctor, building quite well on the TV show’s and comic’s pasts, giving it a very return of Doctor Who vibe. It fits in really well as a bridge before we had The Ninth Doctor and Rose on our screens.

“Where Nobody Knows Your Name” starts off the collection. This kind of feels like the Doctor has stepped into the Star Wars universe, in the shape of a bar full of different aliens. It’s an almost gentle one-off to set things up, with the reappearance of a familiar character (though a different face) for comic fans. “Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game” very much takes inspiration from the old 70s football comics, and was, well, a bit weak. It seemed to really drag on, too, and it’s slow paced.

“The Curious Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack” was a fun romp to Victorian London, and we get some interesting revelations about Jack and the woman helping the Doctor for this storyline. Entertaining and feels like it could be a full episode in itself. “The Land of Happy Endings” is bittersweet, and a really well placed break from the two previous longer stories. “Bad Blood” feels like the point where the main arc through this collection starts, encompassing “Sins of the Fathers” and “The Flood”.

“Bad Blood” has some cringy moments, but ultimately it does a decent job with placing the Doctor between Custer and Chief Sitting Bull, as Custer is investigating the mysterious disappearance of miners from the area. This one is decent, bringing back an old enemy I wasn’t aware of, and introduces Destrii. There’s good ideas here and they keep the historical aspects feeling well considered. “Sins of the Fathers” sees the Doctor taking Destrii to the future and to a space hospital to heal her. But before she even wakes, Destrii becomes part of a plot to take over the hospital. This was where I kind of fell in love with Destrii, as she pushes back against the aliens and reckons with some of the things she learned from her uncle.

Then there is “The Flood”. This one works really well as a bridge between the comics and the revival series, although the behind-the-scenes glimpses at the end reveal some very different plans for transition from the Eighth to the Ninth Doctor. The worst thing about this was how abrupt the ending felt, especially when you discover these characters weren’t going to return, and it feels like the writers had hit a solid stride before being told it was all going to change.

The Cybermen in “The Flood” are a really intriguing design, and they actually manage to remain a little scary through this. I do like the overall direction it went, though it felt like saying goodbye to Destrii way too soon.

This one definitely has its ups and downs, but overall it’s a pretty strong one and the best of the ones I’ve read so far, and the one that feels more like the revival version of Doctor Who in tone and themes.

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