The Doctor’s companions, Amy and Rory, check their e-mail and unwittingly invite a holographic spam invasion of the TARDIS. To rid himself of these jim-jams, the Doctor materializes the TARDIS on a planet about to be boarded by space pirates called the Scroungers.
The comic book debut of the eleventh Doctor, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is unfortunately ordinary. On the other hand, Doctor Who lacks a past taint which colors this done in one tale. I was hoping for more “bang, wallop” to quote Russell T. Davies, but this isn’t a bad story.
Writer Tony Lee exhibits mastery over mimicking Matt Smith’s performance as the freshly minted Eleventh Doctor. While Amy and Rory need a little more interactivity with the Last of the Time Lords, they still echo the voices of Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill.
The plot is original science fiction. Although, its roots go all the way back to the Seventh Doctor’s adventure “Paradise Towers.” Of course, if you’re going to steal, steal from the best. In that televised story, the Doctor receives a futuristic junk mail advertisement about the eponymous place. Naturally the edifice proves hazardous to one’s health. Lee finds more humorous uses for the advertisements, and he doesn’t stop at just one. The holograms end in various ways that suit the Doctor’s optimistic outlook.
New Doctor Who artist Andrew Currie is remarkable. Not only does he imbue the cast’s spitting images to the characters, he also adds a flourish of fun. The Scroungers’ leader resembles Danny Trejo. So, the visual comes off as the Doctor vs. Machete.
One significant drawback affects the pleasure in the book. A printing error gives everybody a yellow tint and I suspect that same error is responsible for turning the TARDIS purple instead of “the brightest blue.” I recall that a Fantastic Four joke went awry because the colorist didn’t know what a police box was, but Charlie Kirchoff is an old hand at Doctor Who, and he knows that “Blue Box” is one of the Code Nine words identifying the Doctor.