REVIEW: ‘Doctor Who Holiday Special,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Doctor Who Holiday Special

Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1 is published by Titan Comics, written by Jody Houser, art by Roberta Ingranata, colors by Enrica Eren Angiolini, flats by Shari Chankhamma, and letters by Richard Starkings and Sarah Hedrick. The Doctor and company begin planning some holiday merriment when they stumble upon something unsettling. They all possess different memories of the last planet they visited. Even the TARDIS has somehow been altered. Concerned about what this could mean they set out to trace their path back to where they lost their memories.

Having fallen off the Doctor Who bandwagon during the twelfth doctor’s run, I found myself very excited to finally get around to seeing what the newest incarnation of The Doctor was like. The way the character is presented in Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1 truly has me wanting to catch up with my favorite timelord. The Doctor comes across as an excellent balance of whimsy and wisdom, with plenty of energy to barrel through personalities that might slow her down.

Doctor Who Holiday Special

But, like all good Doctor Who stories, writer Houser knows only half the fun is The Doctor. The companions are also presented excellently in Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1. They provide everything from caution to insight for the story to build with.

The holiday season provides more to this story than just a simple backdrop. In the grand tradition of all things Doctor Who around the holidays, this story is jam-packed with seasonal dangers. Santa Claus seems to have a bad reputation in this corner of the universe and whoever took the TARDIS crew’s memories also seems to be none too friendly to Father Christmas. Anyone who is opposed to children getting joy, laughter, and gifts during the holidays is on The Doctor’s watch list.

Doctor Who Holiday Special

Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1 boasts some fantastic art. I find many comic artists struggle when trying to capture real people in comic-style art. Ingranata does this wonderfully. Even with the characters looking easily identifiable as their real-life counterparts, the art still possesses the ability for exaggeration that lends a plethora of expression and emotion to the comic panels.  This expressiveness is most noticeable in The Doctor herself.  Bouncing from inquisitive to concerned to challenging and back again, The Doctor almost feels like she was meant for a comic book. The lively way the character is portrayed all but forces the reader to engage with the narrative of the book.

The art of Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1 earns further applause with how well the various locales and creatures hew to the designs used in the tv show. While everything seen is new to this story, none of it feels like it wouldn’t be seen in the show. With a drawn medium that removes the concern of a special effects budget, it would be easy to go for broke and make a story not normally approachable to the show. I like how the creative team has kept this story well within the realm of a normal Doctor Who episode. As someone who’s been out of the series’s reach recently, it gives a welcoming, and familiar, feel to the story.

Doctor Who Holiday Special

Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1 starts an excellent tale of holiday adventure. With The Doctor and company up to their eyes in holiday mischief, it leaves plenty left to do for the timelord and friends.

Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1 is available November 13th wherever comics are sold.

Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1
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TL;DR

Doctor Who Holiday Special Volume 1 starts an excellent tale of holiday adventure.