Doctor Who: The Forgotten #5
IDW Publishing (December, 2008)
WRITER: Tony Lee
PENCILER: Pia Guerra
INKER: Kent Archer
COLORIST: Charlie Kirchoff
LETTERER: Richard Starkings
PRODUCTION: Neil Uyetake
EDITOR: Denton J Tipton
Re-edited from the original review: The last two previous Doctors are featured this round, as current Doctor (at least for now) begins to figure out what is and what isn’t real. Martha is not the real Martha Jones, but she insists he focus on regaining his memories. The blanket from the morgue The Eighth Doctor woke up with has him remember the time he found himself in a prison during what I assume to be the Time War. With the help of a fellow prisoner he manages to escape, grabbing the Key Of Rassalon, which is the key to a deadly weapon he hopes never to use. The Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler (yeah, who’d you expect?) start a soccer (or “football”, for us non-Americans) game during World War One at Christmas time. It’s a nice moment, and probably the only Christmas story that doesn’t involve turning Yuletide symbols into weapons of death. Soon the Doctor realizes who “Martha” is, the embodiment of the TARDIS herself…just as they run into the master behind all this…though it looks a lot like a mirror universe 10th Doctor.
What they got right: I get annoyed at every Christmas special involving turning Christmas symbols into instruments of fear during Russel T. Davies run since he hates Christmas and did interviews derogatory of Christians and Jesus Himself. Yeah, I know that’s what Doctor Who, especially the New Who are experts at (take that, Goosebumps), but some everyday things should never be turned into nightmares, and Christmas is one of them! Still, the Ninth Doctor story is the best part, though I’ve softened a bit on the story itself. Not much happens but by the Ninth there was too much focus on the death around him so seeing him get to relax and do something positive was nice. However, setting a story during the Time War, even if we don’t see any of the fighting itself, is interesting, and once again a New Who alien shows up in (semi)Classic Who. I didn’t see the (alleged–I still remember the last scene last issue) foe coming. And of course the War Doctor didn’t exist at this point since that incarnation was introduced during Moffat’s run…though it does make me wonder who this accidentally mentioned third life left is supposed to be then? Now it’s a lucky fluke on Lee’s part but back then was he hinting at another Doctor? It was only announced around the printing time that David Tennant was scheduled to leave, so hurray for lucky flukes I guess.
What They Got Wrong: I have not softened on the Nick Roche covers. I’ve never been a fan of his work but this cover I had more to say on in the original review, as follows: The Doctors look like wooden dummies, and David Tennant looks like he wants to kill me. It’s also the most uninspired cover of the series. I know he can do good layouts (check issue 3’s cover) but you wouldn’t know it here. Inside, the only major disappointment was not seeing the 8th/movie TARDIS control room, and none of the companions he’s had in the comics and audio dramas. However, being set during the War, I can let it pass. I would have loved to have seen Captain Jack as written by Tony (updated thought: even though I’ve come to not like the character over the years), but we do get a mention of Jack in a big of foreward-shadowing (no relation) which puts him pre-Torchwood and post new season 1, so that was nice.
Recommendation: This is still as good as I remember and next week should be the last issue (though I hope to come across the page with the missing dialog put it–if anyone can scan that for me or find it online I’d appreciate it). This is a miniseries worth getting for fans.