Following a season of significant change, with the introduction of an older (and more alien) Mad Man in a Box, Doctor Who fans a lengthy wait before series 9 of the show premieres. For months, viewers spent the off-time debating whether or not current companion Clara Oswald (played by Jenna Coleman) would be back for another set of adventures in time and space; however, the 2014 Christmas Special made it clear that, despite rumors of her exit, the character would be returning for at least one more season.
Since confirmation of Coleman’s return, there’s been little news about the beloved BBC series. We know production of season 9 has begun but specific details about where the show is headed and what new threats the Time Lord will encounter are still being kept under tight wraps. As a result, fans eager for more trips with the Doctor must turn their attention toward supplemental tie-in materials: novels, audio dramas, and video games. Fortunately, Titan is set to debut a new Doctor Who comic book series – one that will explore the aftermath of an especially heart-breaking companion exit: the days after 10th Doctor David Tennant was forced to leave Donna Noble behind.
Catherine Tate wasn’t universally loved among Doctor Who fans but even viewers that didn’t care for the character can agree that her ultimate fate was, in many ways, more gut-wrenching than many prior companions. In her final season 4 appearance, Donna Noble absorbs all of the Doctor’s knowledge and saves the entire universe but cannot contain the information – pushing the Doctor to erase every memory of her time journeying with him. All of the alien worlds, all of the lives she saved: gone. Even when the Doctor attends her wedding years later, and gifts her a lottery ticket, it’s hard to imagine that Donna wouldn’t trade the life-changing winnings for the knowledge that she traveled throughout time and space.
Donna’s fate was especially hard on the Tenth Doctor, and while the upcoming Titan comic book series, won’t focus on the companion’s post-Doctor life, it should provide further insight into the Time Lord’s regret (briefly explored in the 2008-2010 specials) that never fully unpacked – since David Tennant was succeeded by Matt Smith shortly after.
According to Titan’s press release, each issue of the comic book series will explore unknown adventures of the 10th, 11th, and 12th Doctor as well as new comic book exclusive companions:
Join the Tenth Doctor as he deals with the aftermath of Donna Noble’s heart-breaking farewell. The Doctor feels he may never again have another companion, but maybe an adventure with some psychic aliens, a New York laundrette operator and the Mexican Day of the Dead festival can help change his mind.
When, while Amy and Rory are away, the Eleventh Doctor will play. Experience a time-twisting adventure as he hurtles down a collision course into a terrifying cosmic threat. Can the Doctor save the day once more with a grieving young woman, a 70s’ musician, and an amnesiac alien? Find out in this issue!
Finally, Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald set off on a brand new adventure in the TARDIS. The Doctor is off to his most challenging destination yet. Whether he’s battling a fearsome, millennia-old entity on a freshly-terraformed planet or fighting the forces of an ancient alien, expect shocks, surprises and time-shaking revelations.
It’s unclear at this point just how much time the comic will dedicate to the 10th Doctor’s mourning over losing his “best mate” but any further exploration of the character’s feelings in the immediate time after Donna Noble’s exit should provide welcome insight for fans. As indicated, the time between Donna’s departure and 10th Doctor’s regeneration (into the 11th Doctor) was depicted in a jumbled set of one-off specials that aired between 2008 and 2010. While Donna returned for a final two-part appearance in “The End of Time,” along with her grandfather Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins), the companion’s fate remained largely unchanged – still unable to recall the excitement of her life in the TARDIS.
Normally, the Doctor’s regret would play a significant part in the upcoming season (e.g, the Doctor’s self-imposed exile following the fate of the Ponds); yet, with a new Doctor (Matt Smith), companion (Karen Gillan), and showrunner (Steven Moffat), the Russell T. Davies story thread was cut short to make room for the next (re)generation of Doctor Who.
Hopefully, the upcoming comic book series will help provide a bit more closure for Doctor Who fans that are still mourning Tate’s brief run on the series – as well as offer up some fun storylines for the 11th and 12 Doctor!
Doctor Who sesaon 9 will air in 2015. Titan’s new Doctor Who comic book series will begin its run on February 26th in the UK and release a new issue every four weeks thereafter.
Source: Doctor Who News