The Tenth Doctor era of Doctor Who is one of my favourites and one for which I have a great deal of nostalgia. Back then, there was quite a divide between “classic” and “new” Doctor Who and it was fairly rare for the current run of the show to have any significant references or connections to things in the 1963-1989 run. I have always viewed it as a cohesive whole and so, it’s no surprise that I was overjoyed when I heard about The Forgotten which is a comic that had all ten Doctors coming together for an adventure.
The story goes that the Doctor and Martha wake up in a strange museum, with no recollection of how they got there. What’s especially strange about this museum is that it seems to be based on the Doctor’s many lives and each exhibit is an item which has had some importance for the Doctor. The structure of the story is then that the Doctor and Martha explore the museum a bit and try to figure out what’s going on, then they look at exhibits which prompt a flashbacks to past Doctors and tell a story which help the Doctor try and figure out what’s going on.
It’s written in a nice way which helps to ensure that each Doctor gets their turn in the spotlight. What seems kind of weird to me, is that several of the flashbacks (but not all) have the past Doctor in an adventure which is reminiscent of another past story. For example, there’s the Sixth Doctor in a futuristic court of law (like The Trial of a Time Lord) and there’s the Fourth Doctor and Romana in Paris (like City of Death) and to me it’s strange to do flashbacks in this way – either tie it directly to a past story, or do something completely new. Another thing is the Eighth Doctor flashback is at odds with almost all other depictions of that incarnation’s life which is bothersome, since a story like this is surely designed to please fans with continuity, but it’s also interesting when you try and think about how it might fit in with the rest of his stories.
I really appreciated the fact that so many old characters got to make an appearance and I also enjoyed getting to see certain different characters getting to interact (I won’t spoil anything about who and why). Despite this, the main problem is that I never really felt like there was much depth this story. It doesn’t exactly do anything new and is more a case of “Wow, look at all these Doctor Who characters and references” and, yeah, don’t get me wrong, that’s enough to keep me happy and amused and I’m sure it will make most fans smile. But, I personally want a little bit more than just that in my stories… At one point, it does appear to be heading in a very interesting and unexpected direction, but actually it’s just a red herring.
Overall, a nice fan-oriented piece of fun, but nothing mind blowing.