After a few years of waiting, Once Upon A Time Lord has finally been released by Titan Comics. The story is written by Dan Slott who is a critically acclaimed author of The Superior Spider-Man and Silver Surfer for which he won an Eisner award.
His run on Silver Surfer was very reminiscent of Doctor Who and there is a reason for that: Slott is a huge Doctor Who fan, saying it’s his favourite television show of all time. Talking to Starburst in a recent issue, he said:
“Whenever there’s a convention, I ask, “Who’s going to be your guest from Doctor Who?” before I decide to do the convention or not. I don’t abuse my Spider-Man status for anything else really, other than Doctor Who.”
His love for the show began back in the 1970s when PBS started to show entire stories in the late evening. For a fan as young as he was, it was a struggle to stay awake, though his earliest memories are of Robot and Genesis of the Daleks. It wasn’t until his family moved to the UK when he would begin to shop in Forbidden Planet and would pick up all the Target novels, starting with An Unearthly Child all the way through to The Armageddon Factor so he was all caught up on the show. And he could then experience the show the right way, in its serialised format.
Slott also had a lot praise for the return of the show in 2005, saying it made it cool to be a fan again. He went on:
“There are all these very clever things they did – I love the psychic paper. The special effects were better. The idea that he was the last of the Time Lords was really good; it gave him that kind of fun Superman: Last Son of Krypton feel.”
With a comic history spanning 30 years, Slott has never had the chance to write for Doctor Who before, but he worked exclusively for Marvel for the last 20 years. He explained that when he would come to a convention in the UK, the folks from Titan Comics would take him to dinner and try and persuade him to write a series for them.
Unfortunately, his contract with Marvel meant he simply couldn’t. Luckily for Slott and Titan, his contract came up for renegotiation and he was given a little more leeway, and allowed him to do one comic for Titan a year.
The result is Once Upon A Time Lord — a tale that sees the Tenth Doctor and Martha facing off against an alien threat who loves stories. But it plays into every writer’s fears, as he explains:
“The main threat in this story is the storyteller’s dilemma, the Shahrazad problem. Something that every writer can relate to is that you have to keep telling stories, and if the next one isn’t as good as the last, you’re dead. That’s really what it feels like writing a comic book every month! So I wanted the companion who was the best storyteller, and that’s got to be Martha Jones, who walked the Earth telling stories of the Doctor.”
Once Upon A Time Lord is a good little read, and Slott feels very lucky and privileged that he has finally gotten to write for Doctor Who.
He’s also slated to write a further two comic one-shots for Titan so it’ll be very interesting to see how he will tackle different TARDIS teams.