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Doctor Who (2009) published by IDW Publishing, was the first American comic book, comprised of multiple stories, with an ongoing, original Doctor Who narrative. It was set entirely within the 2009 Specials and featured the Tenth Doctor.

It ran for 16 issues and one annual during 2009-2010, and was the last comic strip series in the world to regularly star Tennant's Doctor, until Titan Publishing Group got the license in 2014, and made Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor.

In January 2011, it was succeeded by Doctor Who (2011), a publication that featured the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

Overview Edit

When originally published, this series was often marketed with the unofficial title of Doctor Who Ongoing. Because IDW were publishing one-shots at the same time as the early issues of this series, the word ongoing helped to distinguish the title in the minds of consumers and retailers. However, the actual indicia title was always simply Doctor Who. Since those early issues, IDW virtually stopped their publication of one-shots in 2010, and they decided to relaunch the series with a new issue #1 to herald the arrival of the Eleventh Doctor. Hence, for clarity, the Tennant issues are best thought of as "Doctor Who (2009)", while the Smith issues are best referred to as "Doctor Who (2011)".

IDW announced in February 2009 that it was planning the series to run for at least 18 issues. The company repeated this commitment at the New York Comic Con and on the publisher's page of issue #1. On both occasions, they claimed that the 18th issue, scheduled for publication in December 2010, would feature the start of original comic book adventures featuring the Eleventh Doctor.

However, in February 2010 IDW modified its schedule slightly. The Tenth Doctor's adventures were reset to end with issue #16, scheduled for publication in December 2010.[1] At that time, it was unclear whether the Eleventh Doctor would simply pick up at issue #17, whether the title would restart with issue #1, or whether the Eleventh Doctor would simply be used in a series of limited or one-shot titles.[2] Finally, IDW dropped all pretence of including the Eleventh Doctor in this title, and said that he would get his own title, with his own issue #1.[3]

Ultimately, then, the series focused on the adventures of the Tenth Doctor, pairing him with both new characters created for the comic book and occasional returning companions. Beginning with issue #6 (published in mid-December 2009), the Doctor began travelling with two companions created for the comic book, Matthew Finnegan and Emily Winter. Martha Jones appeared at the end of issue #8 and joined him for the the four-part story arc with UNIT and Captain Magambo that followed.

All stories occurred consecutively, with one story leading into the next with a cliffhanger (much in the spirit of the early seasons of the TV series). Judging by author Tony Lee's hints in issue #1, the general plan was always that the first sixteen issues would be interconnected to some degree.

In a Newsarama interview, Tony Lee said, "We do have stand alone stories set on colony worlds, Lovecraftian horrors in Oxford, UNIT in modern day Greenwich, and a two parter set in the TARDIS."[4] In order, these last three descriptions referred to what became Final Sacrifice, Don't Step on the Grass and Tesseract.

Setting for the Tenth Doctor Edit

Initially, the exact placement of the Tenth Doctor stories was slightly vague. Lee wrote in a publisher's column:

When is this set? Whenever you want. That's the joy of time travel. For me, though, it's set during the year of the specials. Maybe after Planet of the Dead, perhaps after The Waters of Mars. Either way, the clock's ticking for the Tenth Doctor. Tick tock, tick tock‚ and soon that door will knock four timesTony Lee[5]

Lee has given subsequent opinions that seem to shunt the stories after The Waters of Mars. In an interview with Comic Book Resources[6], he said that the Tenth Doctor's adventures in the ongoing are most likely set directly before The End of Time. Lee confirmed that this is where he personally sets them in his Newsarama interview. This view is supported by the Doctor's first scene in The End of Time, which revealed that following The Waters of Mars, the Doctor travelled for an indeterminate period of time (the animated TV story, Dreamland, is also said to take place during this period).

Dialogue throughout the series confirms that the stories firmly take place after the "he will knock four times" prophecy first heard in Planet of the Dead, but more exact placement is not yet possible barring a possible future reference to the events of The Waters of Mars. It is worthy of note, however, that a major plot point in both Silver Scream and Fugitive deals with the Doctor having saved the life of a woman considered a "fixed point" in history. Considering the events of The Waters of Mars, in which the Doctor learns a painful lesson about violating this rule, placement before Waters of Mars is a possibility.

Annual Edit

According to an old tradition in the American comic book industry, IDW published an annual in 2010. This special issue was 48 ad-less pages, square-bound, and contained four original short stories, Ground Control, The Big, Blue Box, To Sleep, Perchance to Scream, and Old Friend. It should not be confused with British annuals more commonly associated with Doctor Who. It was first published on 14 July 2010 in North America.

Initial publicity regarding the annual indicated that it would focus on the Doctor's TARDIS.[7]

Awards Edit

Doctor Who (2009) was recognised by MTV as the "Best Licensed Series" of 2010.[8] In giving the award, they wrote:

. . . Tony Lee has proved himself time and time again over the course of 2010, and gave anyone who longed for more time with David Tennant's iteration of The Doctor a wealth of wonderful stories.MTV Splash Page team

Stories Edit

# Title Writer Featuring Printed in Released
1 Silver Scream Tony Lee Emily, Matthew DW09 1 - 2 15 July - 19 August 2009
2 Fugitive Emily, Matthew, Shadow Architect DW09 3 - 6 2 September - 16 December 2009
3 Tesseract Emily, Matthew, Martha DW09 7 - 8 13 January - 3 February 2010
4 Don't Step on the Grass DW09 9 - 12 17 March - 29 June 2010
5 Final Sacrifice Emily, Matthew DW09 13 - 16 21 July - 20 October 2010

Issues Edit


Collected editions Edit

Volume Issues Title Stories Publication date
1 DW09 1 - 6 Fugitive March 2010
2 DW09 7 - 12 Tesseract October 2010
3 DW09 13 - 16 Final Sacrifice February 2011

Footnotes Edit

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