Four Doctors by Paul Cornell

After Clara Oswald discovers a photo of the Twelfth, Eleventh, and Tenth Doctors together, she takes steps to try and stop them from ever meeting, fearing that their coming together would be the catalyst of a terrible disaster. In the process of trying to keep them apart, however, she accidentally plays a part in bringing them together.

I think that’s all I’ll say about the overall story, because there are so many little twists and surprises, that I think it’d be best for fans to enjoy it as intended. Paul Cornell is, in my opinion, one of the best writers to ever write for Doctor Who, because he always manages to tell really amazing stories that maintain a really strong emotional centre, and this is no exception.

This is a story that’s set during Series 8 for the Twelfth Doctor and Clara – this was a fantastic series and Four Doctors fits in really well into it. Indeed, it ties in very cleverly with one of the most emotionally impactful moments of that series (which I shan’t spoil), but, gosh, is it powerful (and sad). It dives deep into the mind of the Twelfth Doctor (my favourite one) and does so just as well as any of the best TV episodes from his era.

Meanwhile, it’s also great to see the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors interacting with the Twelfth. They are both suspicious of him, because they don’t believe there’ll be any incarnations after the Eleventh, thinking that he might even be the Valeyard, with the Twelfth Doctor’s antagonistic behaviour not helping matters. It makes a great dynamic, and they’ve all been written brilliantly.

On top of that, the story provides a glimpse into timelines which show how things may have altered if each of the Doctors in the story had made the wrong decision at particularly sensitive moments – my favourite was the scene that showed a particularly sinister look at the dark side of the Tenth Doctor. On the flip side of that, I found the Eleventh Doctor especially charming in this comic – moreso than I usually do on television. Everyone is characterised perfectly.

While the story is primarily focused on the “new” era of Doctor Who, it does still contain some nice connections with the classic era of the show – specifically by featuring the Voord, the enemies from the story The Keys of Marinus. If you’ve never seen it, don’t worry – I had never seen it when I first read it and it’s really not essential to understanding or enjoying the story. Indeed, the TV story itself doesn’t do much to develop the Voord or make them interesting.

All in all, it’s one of the best Doctor Who comics I’ve ever read and one that I recommend highly. If you’re a fan, there’s so much to enjoy in it.

Rating: 9/10

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