Writer’s Commentary: Cavan Scott on ‘Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor’ #1
After a successful miniseries run with the character last year, Cavan Scott is reuniting with Doctor Who's Ninth Doctor --- brought to the screen by Christopher Eccleston --- for a second series from Titan Comics, this time on an ongoing basis, and joined by artist Adriana Melo and colorist Matheus Lopes.
The first two issues are already out, and the third is on the way, but we wanted to go back to the start with Scott to learn a little bit more about his ideas and his vision for the series. Grab your copy of Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 and read along as Scott offers a behind the scenes look at the series, complete with a rundown of the Easter eggs you might have missed!
Page 1: OK, here we go. Doctor Who means lots of running, so we get our TARDIS team sprinting early. And how gorgeous is the work of our new art team? Adriana Melo’s wonderful line art is just perfectly complimented by Matheus Lopes’ bold colors.
Got to love a giant alien worm too! This is how I described it in the strip:
“Behind, a hideous red monster is chasing them, roaring. It’s the size of a T-Rex, but definitely alien, perhaps with a trisected mouth, lined with teeth and more eyes than is strictly necessarily.”
Page 2: Ah, Vworp --- the comic FX of the TARDIS dematerializing, as first coined by Steve Moore in Doctor Who Monthly, issue #46, thirty-six years ago! I still grin every time I write it.
Page 3: For those who haven’t read the Weapons of Past Destruction mini-series (out now as a shiny trade paperback, blatant plug fans), the Doctor, Rose and Jack came up against an alien race using weapons from the Time War. That’s the Unon mentioned in panel four. As for Taggani --- well, if you picked up the Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day edition, you’ll already have met him.
Page 4: Jack’s missing memories were first mentioned in Stephen Moffat’s 2005 episode, "The Doctor Dances," although they were never really mentioned again.
Page 5: Thanks to the official and very real world Doctor Who Appreciation Society for permission to use their name in the comic. They’ve been operating since May 1976. I was a member back in the day!
Page 6: Penny was the name of a companion that Russell T. Davies almost gave the Tenth Doctor in 2007. She’s mentioned in the book he co-wrote with Benjamin Cook, The Writer’s Tale, which I was obsessively reading when writing this issue. Poor old Penny disappeared when Catherine Tate agreed to reprise her role of Donna Noble, hence the little tribute here.
Page 7: Did you spot the probably not-so-subtle reference to the 1975 classic Genesis of the Daleks on this page?
Pages 8-9: The Chumblies one and only appearance happened in the 1965 William Hartnell story, Galaxy 4. Of course, back then they didn’t fly or speak English, but are these real Chumblies?
Page 10: The other Doctor’s skimmer is based on the Third Doctor’s flying car, which first appeared in 1974 in "Planet of the Dinosaurs." Known as the Whomobile, it was never referred to by name on screen, and was personally commission by Jon Pertwee himself. I’ve always loved how proud Jon is when he drives the Whomobile onto Blue Peter!
Page 11: This was the first page Adriana drew of the Ninth Doctor series!
Pages 12 - 13: The other Doctor wears a polo-neck beneath his leather jacket, referencing the early costume tests of Christopher Eccleston wearing a similar sweater, one of which can be seen in the picture of the Doctor at JFK’s assignation in ‘Rose’.
Page 14: The other Doctor’s book signing takes place in Prohibited Sphere, a comic store the Eleventh Doctor visited in the 2015 Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day edition. The Doctor would return to the shop in Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor issue #2.5. Any similarity between Prohibited Sphere and London’s Forbidden Planet is completely coincidental… probably.
Page 15: My old chum Will Brooks has been producing wonderful photo-cover variants for this series. When he created a version of the mob scene for issue one, each smartphone was branded Magpie Electronics, the name of the TV rental company in Mark Gatiss’s "The Idiot’s Lantern."
Page 16: The PF1 on the screen refers to Platform One, the space station the Ninth Doctor visits in "The Long Game." Hopefully all these little references are nice little Easter eggs for people who’ve seen the episodes, and don’t distract for those who haven’t!
Page 17: Here’s how I described the natives of Gharusa in the script: "Gharusans are aliens with light purple skin. They’re no taller than humans, but have smooth faces with three eyes, no nose and wide mouths."
Pages 18-19: I’ve always thought Rose was a bit of a closet SF fan. After all, she calls the Doctor ‘Spock’ in "The Empty Child." So, here she drops Lois Lane’s name as she tried to bluff her way past security.
Of course, it could have been Mickey making her watch that stuff when there wasn’t football on the telly!
Page 20: This cliffhanger was the springboard for the entire story. I had it in my head from the moment I started thinking about the first story arc. Everything else ran from there --- and doesn’t that very familiar alien look wonderful in Adriana and Mat’s hands?
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #2 is in stores now; issue #3 is in stores later this month.