The Thirteenth Doctor to relive her past in a new Doctor Who comic


The Thirteenth Doctor’s first official adventure will be a trip back into her past, thanks to a new comic anthology entitled The Many Lives of Doctor Who.

Jodie Whittaker will debut as the first female Doctor in more formats than one when Doctor Who returns this fall. Not only will her Thirteen take over the flagship TV series, she’ll also head the series’ comic run.

However, before any aspect of Thirteen’s story begins in earnest, Titan Comics is going back to the beginning. A new anthology-style comic entitled The Thirteenth Doctor Vol. 0 – The Many Lives of Doctor Who will see the Doctor look back on her previous incarnations.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the 64-page comic, which apparently takes place during Twelve’s regeneration into Thirteen, will basically be the Doctor’s life (or lives, depending on how you look at it) flashing before her eyes.

Each story will tell a previously “unseen” tale from each Doctor’s era from the First to the Twelfth. (Yes, including John Hurt’s War Doctor.)

EW also has several early preview images from the various Doctor stories up, each with its own style and feel. (Spoiler alert: The Fourth Doctor panel is extremely adorable.)

However, with just these tiny tidbits to work with, it’s impossible to make any educated guesses about the stories we might see. Some companions are visible, including Ian, Barabara, Ace, Rose, and Tegan. These help orient these memories in the Doctor’s lifespan, but that’s about it.

Since these are all stories that didn’t appear on the show (or apparently in any other comic) that makes sense. But this is not just an incredibly exciting development for Doctor Who fans eager for more tales of their favorite Doctor. It’s really smart marketing, too.

As the series prepares for what is likely its most important transformation in its history, it’s smart to remind everyone — hardcore and casual fans alike — that Whittaker isn’t just a female Time Lord. She is the Doctor. Thirteen is the same character we’ve been watching for over 50 years. She’s just a woman now. And she’ll have adventure after adventure, just like all her previous incarnations did. Because that’s what the Doctor does.

Sadly, I have a feeling we may have to remind some folks about that fact, a lot.

But much like her costume allows her to carry around literal pieces of her predecessors by incorporating them into her current outfit, this comic aims to do something similar. It takes pains to give her shared memories with them too. That’s kind of an awkward phrasing — they aren’t shared memories, they’re her memories too. She is the Doctor, as much as Three, Six, Nine and Twelve are. But allowing us to see her story in this way, to watch her relive her past lives again before embarking on a new one offers fans the chance to do the same. (And get some new stories for ourselves in the bargain.)

Furthermore, the advent of a female Doctor will likely bring more than a few new faces into Doctor Who fandom. How many young, female genre fans might give this sci-fi classic a try now that a woman is in charge? Comics like these, which succinctly introduce all previous forms of the character in an easily digestible format, are gold.

As the Doctor herself said, just this once — everybody wins.

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The Many Lives of Doctor Who is due out this September. Season 11 of Doctor Who will hit screens sometime this fall.

Change is coming, yes. And that’s extremely exciting. But it’s a change that is still respectful of what has come before. That’s maybe the most thrilling thing of all.