George Mann, a regular on the Doctor Who comics, kicks off this new storyline with the Doctor on a cool little place call The Twist, a space station that’s shaped like a lemniscate (or the infinity symbol that’s a sideways 8). It’s difficult to tell where exactly this is going at the moment as we’re just getting started. There are a lot of breadcrumbs and very little motivation to follow them.
We see the Doctor rocking it hard core in the audience of a punk rock concert. The Doctor then meets one of the musicians, Hattie, who shares a love for electric guitars. They end up chasing down someone who is being chased down by a bunch of black-armored police officers and dig into a local mystery involving monsters that could prove deadly.
Mann jumps into the action but doesn’t give us a lot of character exploration. Hattie runs after the Doctor because he takes off with her guitar, but why does she stick around after that? She’s really not given a strong motivation. Even if it was something as simple as cops are always up to something bad, let’s find out. That would have been enough and played into her punk rock styling. Instead, she stays relatively reluctant and only vaguely interested. To have a punk rocker team up with The Doctor is awesome, and, hopefully, as we go along her point of view will sharpen. I suppose in general giving us some more character dynamic would have helped engage me a little more in the proceedings.
Mariano Laclaustra does a fine job depicting Capaldi, though part of the joy of Capaldi’s Doctor is how expressive he is, and, here, he isn’t given quite that level of expressiveness. Carlos Cabrera with Thiago Ribeiro give a warm tone to the world of The Twist, but I’m not sure if it’s helping to tell this mystery. We’re jolted from place to place, but never quite given an overall tone to the story.
All in all, it looks and feels like the Doctor, but I want them to not play quite as safe - like the Doctor would. I want the creative team to leave their stamp. I want to hear and see their voices. I want to be surprised. For now, I’ll settle for enjoying it and see where it goes next.