On 16th May, the Doctor Who YouTube channel premiered the trailers for Titan Comics’ new Doctor Who comic book lines, The Tenth Doctor and The Eleventh Doctor.
Which was odd at the time, since comic book trailers aren’t a thing I’ve ever seen before. And the first thing that I noticed about these trailers is that they seem to be made on iMovie, with composite images made from publicity shots to create new material overlaid with fast, close-up zooms of the covers and information about them flashing on-screen in the most “iMovie”-ish way I can think of.
And yet, I don’t mind. Because that still spurred my interest in the new lines. I’ve never been committed to any original comic book series before and mostly read graphic novels or anything I can pick-up on FCBD. The last one I must have read is Future’s End #1. But I’ve never subscribed myself to an ongoing publication.
Even though I’m not really a fan of the artwork in every shot, and feel quite skeptical about the new companions that have been introduced, what these trailers managed to do is make me interested in the most important thing – the story. The focus of these trailers is the new adventures, and horizons and possibilities, which is exactly what this Universe is about. Creating a new comic book line will allow new writers to tell their own stories in a medium that couldn’t resemble an episode more closely without being an episode. Plus, the new companions, Gabrielle Gonzalez and Alice Obiefune are new. That’s the point. Stories are character-driven and by creating new characters for a new line of stories, an entirely new dynamic is created that will make sure Titan Comics’ continuity feels and is different to BBC Cymru Wales’ as well as being an incentive – had Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Amelia Pond, Rory Williams or Clara Oswald been seen, I might not have been as enthusiastic, because that make them feel like unproduced episodes. But the way this has been approached creates the impression that this is taking place between hidden seasons, because they effectively are. Inserting Gonzalez and Obiefune into continuity means the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors can probably remember both of them.
Which is a real testament to the way the Doctor Who universe works. Even when one Doctor has been and gone, we can still tell stories about them, and widen our understanding of the character as one. Now, the Eleventh Doctor retired not out of losing the Ponds, but from losing many potential friends. We give him new memories by adding new elements into his past, and we ourselves get new memories. Now, when watching The Snowmen, I’ll know more about his choice to resign than I did before.
And this is only one example. BBC Books, Big Finish and many others, even Doctor Who Magazine do the same. The possibilities really are endless, as we can tell stories from any point in his life we choose. Who knows… maybe these two new characters will also get a mention in the television show one day…