Having exhausted the available television episodes of the new Doctor Who series and only getting classic series episodes every so often (Netflix is only so fast), I’ve been experimenting with the other available media. I haven’t yet decided if I want to go through the trouble of listening to the Big Finish audio works, but I have been looking into the novels and comic books. I’ve read Only Human, which was good enough; while the story wasn’t particularly compelling, the author wrote the Ninth Doctor very well. I am now in the middle of Beautiful Chaos, a Tenth Doctor novel that is so far magnificent.
I’m less excited about delving into the world of Doctor Who comic books, if only because I have a slight prejudice against them. I very much enjoy graphic novels when they are excellent – my favorites include The Sandman and Marvel: 1602 – but I feel that when comic books are average, they really aren’t worth reading, and when they’re bad, they’re terrible. It’s very difficult to find information on which Doctor Who comic books are considered good, but when I saw the synopsis of The Forgotten, I had to get it.
It describes itself as a Tenth Doctor adventure with Martha Jones, and says that all ten Doctors appear in it. That’s all I needed to persuade me to order the book: if you’ve read my other posts, you know that I have a soft spot for tales which include previous incarnations. The book arrived in the mail yesterday and I read it.
I’m going to say right now: Get The Forgotten and read it.
If you’re missing the Tenth Doctor, this will be a breath of fresh air. If you like previous incarnations, the comic is a treat. But the story is very inventive and well-told. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but I will suggest that you pay close attention to everything that’s said; if something seems like it’s out of place – that it doesn’t match with the history you’ve seen in the show – then it’s probably important.
The other thing that’s wonderful about this book is the title. When you finish the story and figure out just how it all fits in, you’ll see that the title is all-important. The Tenth Doctor realizes what he really had forgotten, before the book had started, even, and remembering now, he knows how it important it is and it shapes what happens to him next.
In other words, this is a fantastic story, well-crafted and imaginatively told, that brings out the Doctor’s history to the front and center, and is tightly integrated into the television series. It doesn’t get much better than that.