Doctor Who: The Forgotten #3
IDW Publishing (October, 2008)
WRITER: Tony Lee
ARTIST: Stefano Martino
COLORISTS: Liam Shalloo & Kris Carter
SELECTED COVER ART: Nick Roche (artist) and Charlie Kirchoff (colorist)
LETTERER: Richard Starking
PRODUCTION: Neil Uyetake
EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton
As Martha tries looking for a way out of the museum, a bag of Jelly Babies helps the Doctor recall a tale from his fourth incarnation. While visiting Paris while on the run from the Black Guardian, the Doctor and Romana see a mime fall into a portal and give chase, finding other displaced time travelers and a trap involving a Minotaur. The Doctor manages to trick the dastardly pair and get everyone home. With that life restored in his memories the Doctor tells Martha about the Time Ring, while a cricket balls inspires a memory of the fifth Doctor. While playing a game of cricket while Turlough and Tegan watch, the Doctor has to rush to his local residence when a Judoon ship lands near it, seeking an object. Again, the Doctor tricks them as they rush off with a fake and a warning that the Doctor might tell the Shadow Proclamation next time, costing them their contract. These two tales of misdirection makes the Doctor realize they’re being pushed away from something…and the giant spiders surrounding Martha might be tied to that.
What was done right: I really felt like I was seeing and (in my head) hearing all parties involved. The characterization definitely matches up with their show counterparts, at least for the little time they’re “on screen”. I really hope we get full length stories with the classic crews in the future. Perhaps a “The Many Lives of Doctor Who” series or something. The best we have now is the Classic Doctor Who series, which is just reprints from the old British magazine, many of which I already have from when Marvel US reprinted them or the Panini B&W (not to be confused with BW:)) compilations. The art is also good (outside of the Nick Roche cover, but the photo covers are just the Doctor and Martha), and I like the shot of the early TARDIS that places this story before “The Five Doctors“, since the vector graphic monitors don’t seem to be present. I think it’s also the only inside showing we’ve had of the classic room, which I much prefer to the New Series ramshackle. Too bad it’s only one panel. Each issue of The Forgotten is a major improvement over the last miniseries.Having the Fifth Doctor and the crew meet the Judoon was a nice way to connect the old and new series, as both take place in the same universe.
What they did wrong: Where is K9? Not even a mention in the fourth Doctor’s story, or a mock-up in the museum. This saddens me. (And if Frobisher, an original character from the magazine comics, shows up in the Sixth Doctor story I will be sadder that my favorite companion was left out. I like him, but Frobisher wasn’t even the show!) I’m still not a fan of Roche’s art style when it comes to Doctor Who,but at least he has the featured Doctors having fun with the current one. The photo covers are just Doctor 10 and Martha. As much as Freema Agyeman inspires fantasy in my mind (and frustration, since I keep having to look her name up–I keep wanting to write Freeman Aguera, whoever that is), she and the Doctor are just the plot device to revisit the past lives. If the featured Doctors were in there somehow, I might choose that one, but the photo cover is just another art cover, which so many comics do these days instead of giving you an idea what’s inside.
Updated reassessment: I noted in the original review (where for some reason I seemed to have forgotten a Doctor myself, referring to Tom Baker as the Third Doctor and Peter Davidson as the Fourth, which I fixed in this repost) that this wasn’t the artist the comic was promoted with, but I’m not as bothered by that now. However, I did get one thing wrong. Tegan isn’t quite the same as her show counterpart. She was no Donna Noble but she wasn’t afraid to confront the Doctor here and there and stood up to baddies and the Doctor on occasion. She’s a bit different here, a little too happy to see the Doctor like Lee was on the border of shipping them. (We all know if Five was snuggling with anyone it would be Peri. Or is that just me?) I still would have liked to have seen K-9 show up, since he’s my favorite Companion but I do see how that might not have worked. Also, knowing what I know now about the story I can see the Doctor is fighting to regain himself even with the specific memories that are being unlocked, but it’s still been long enough that I don’t remember why the threat is doing what it’s doing. So I get to enjoy the issue in a new light.
Recommend: “I recommend you either hunt the previous issues down or get the trade and love it forever. A must for any Whovian. If an American writer takes on any future stories, this should be one of the guides for Who done right. Also, they should watch the shows. And so should everyone else, but I’m biased. 😀” That was my original assessment and while I’m not as jazzed for it in the re-read it’s still a very good story thus far that I do recommend taking a look at and still do consider it a must for Doctor Who fans curious about the classic Doctors but not ready to commit.