Empire of the Wolf (Titan Comics).

Comics  Empire of the Wolf is a Decide Your Destiny novel starring him, Amy, Rory and a host of were-people.  It's now also a four part comics series published by Titan starting last November starring the Eleventh Doctor, two Rose Tylers and the Eighth Doctor which is why we're here.  What with one thing and another, the publication of the first standard issue passed me by so I decided to wait for this reprint as a graphic novel because ultimately it would also be slightly cheaper and glossier and have nice brand new book smell.

Despite the cover art, this is another of a series of increasingly contradictory stories which catches up with Rose on "Pete's World" as she navigates life with the human Doctor.  She's having dreams of a version of herself who's a military dictator and the thrust of the story is about them meeting and comparing notes, with the latter, who exists in yet another dimension the result of a time paradox from an earlier story in the Titan Comics series, being reminded of the fundamentals of who she is what it is to be the Doctor's friend and that invasion is not really peacekeeping.

As such both Doctor's are pretty superfluous to the story, with the Eighth Doctor in particular acting as more of taxi service to get Rose from Whoniverse Prime to the planet were her Empress counterpart lives.  Empire of the Wolf was apparently publicised as celebrating the 25th anniversary of the TV Movie but apart from him being here, there's nothing carried over from that film or most of anything of his succeeding years worth of mythology, presumably for licensing reasons.  It's one of those generic 2013 stories all over again.

Writer Jody Houser does capture his voice and insights.  As he says to Rose at one point, "The universe is full of mysteries, but friends, good friends, are a far rarer and more precious thing.  Strange disappearing armies can wait."  You can just hear Paul's emphasising the words "good" and "wait".  But he mainly ends up being the Eleventh Doctor's straight man, the writer clearly more comfortable enunciating Matt Smith's eccentricities.  He also has a lovely moment when he notices the Eleventh's in pain after having recently lost Amy and Rory.

The artist Roberta Ingranata has worked on the other Titan comics which led up to this mini-series and her Eighth Doctor is fine although there's a heavy reliance on publicity shots.  Compared to the other likenesses his face doesn't move much and is usually shown in profile, like a more detailed version of his image in Comics Creator.  One curiosity is we don't see much of his TARDIS interior.  When he's travelling its usually replaced by a starfield or a kind of blue glow even though Eleventh's TARDIS control room is given the full works.

What we're left with is something which as a story is enjoyable but as an Eighth Doctor story lacks bite.  The problem with having so many multi-Doctor stories, and this true across media, is that they lose their novelty especially when you're not hearing the original actors bantering.  Not to mention because Eighth usually can't carry his story across licenses, he loses some vital context especially when, as is made abundantly clear here, he's not even going to remember this adventure even happening once he leaves.

Placement: He's wearing his Time War costume but the implication seems to be that it hasn't started properly yet for him, so I'll put this just before Titan's previous mini-series 

"Considering he said he didn't want to go ..."

TV  So yes, the least kept secret in fandom has now been confirmed, David Tennant is back again for the 60th anniversary although the news that Catherine Tate will also be along with him which is fantastic news.  On the instas, RTD2 says:

"THEY’RE BACK! The Doctor and Donna! But… how?! He wiped her memory! If she remembers, she’ll die! But, but… is it a flashback? A dream sequence? A lie? A fantasy? A parallel universe?! Alt Doctor? The Land of Fiction?! You’ll find out in 2023 as Doctor Who hits its 60th - diamond! - anniversary!"

Which is basically him telling us to wait and see.  I think this has partly been announced now because David was seen in Cardiff recently or some such.  Considering he said he didn't want to go ...

The 60th anniversary was always going to be a complicated construction once Jodie and CC decided to leave.  How to you introduce a new Doctor in the 60th anniversary special and pay off the show's legacy without one becoming undermined by the other?

I think it would be wrong for Ncuti’s new incarnation to have to deal with a series of flashbacks to earlier Doctors while he's finding his feet.  But I also can't imagine them making a big announcement about the return of the Doctor Donna without their participation being substantial.

My theory?  That we'll be getting a short anthology type series featuring earlier Doctors or adjacent characters which lead into Ncuti’s first episode, the 60th in which he'll have the chance to find his feet and that this won't be the last of the Sunday announcements.  I'll squee myself silly if the Eighth Doctor returns.

Either that or the 60th is going to be some mad regeneration crisis thing where earlier incarnations show up and then Ncuti wanders in at the end.  In which case how does Donna figure into that?  Whatever happens I hope RTD2 gets a proper sleep pattern this time and isn't desperately filling ashtrays at 3am again.

It's interesting that he reminds us the Donna's memory was wiped.  I get the feeling he's always somewhat regretted that.  Maybe, just maybe, in the meantime he's worked out a mechanism for her to gain those memories back.  Anyway, if we thought the 50th was wild, this is going be something else.