Reviewed: Titan Comics’ Tenth Doctor #2.10

Though this isn’t always the case, it helps if comic book writers also have a history of art or design. Of course, those with a great love of the medium will no doubt have an intimate knowledge of art, and specifically what makes an effective page. Nonetheless, writers who have blurred the lines in their careers can deliver a story that excels in giving the artist something amazing to draw and the reader something awesome to look at.

You can only imagine the glee on Elena Casagrande’s face when she got her hands on Nick Abadzis’ (Laika) script – in which the malfunctioning TARDIS stretches out of its normal shape, catapulting companion, Cindy Wu into a bubble universe that occupies the corridors of the Doctor’s space-time ship.

See? You’re itching to read it already.

When we last left the Tenth Doctor, Cindy, and Gabby Gonzalez, the Time Lord was in a huff about Gallifreyan children being left to the torment of the Untempered Schism. But this is the Doctor, so he hides his pain and puts on a face, promising the thrills of New Orleans to his friends. He sets a course, and –

That’s when the TARDIS warps out of proportion, and Cindy has vanished.

It’s rare that we get to explore the TARDIS – indeed, we’ve never looked around the interior of this particular set, apart from a glimpse of the expansive wardrobe in The Christmas Invasion (2005) – so it’s a real treat to be able to wander the corridors.

Granted, it’s not a Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (2013) tour, but it’s enough to show how immense this Type 40TT is. And the design is spot-on. Dare I say, it’s better than the sets created for The Doctor’s Wife (2011), which were lacking warmth; Casangrande’s vision for the hallways beyond the console room is a wonderful fusion of the rustic and the alien. There are lovely large wooden doors to the rooms, but it remains a sleek design, with hints of the clinical Classic Who TARDIS interiors.

The TARDIS isn’t the only spectacle. The bubble dimensions provide cool juxtapositions to each other: one contains globes reminiscent of the Eden Project, another like The Great Wave off Kanagawa, and further still threatening alien dragons, like something from Chinese legend. These universes float down the twisted, sometimes-cracked corridors. It’s a feast for the eyes.

What’s more, Elena’s Tenth Doctor is pitch perfect. She captures the quiet moments just as accurately as the grand gestures. And so does Nick Abadzis, who nails David Tennant’s speech patterns wonderfully.

A little while after finishing The Infinite Corridor, this tenth issue of The Tenth Doctor Year Two, it occurred to me that, in lesser hands, the comic might’ve felt like an interlude on the main action. There’s no invasion, and no great advancement on the title’s main story arc (apart from at the end…). But this isn’t mere filler. It feels important, foreboding even, so perhaps more light will be shed on these events come the series’ conclusion.

It doesn’t matter if you read it as part of the whole run, or if it’s in isolation: there’s a lot to enjoy in The Tenth Doctor #2.10, and in fact, I’d go so far as saying this is the strongest comic of Titan’s Year Two – not just of the Tenth Doctor title, but across all its 2016 releases.

The Tenth Doctor #2.10 is out now, priced $3.99.