Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.


(→‎Availability outside North America: propogating term "trade paperback" as this is an American subject)
Line 56: Line 56:
==Availability outside North America==
==Availability outside North America==
All IDW publications are widely available in the US and Canada. It has not yet been announced whether ''Doctor Who Ongoing'' will be available outside of North America in issue form, however graphic novel omnibuses have been announced for UK publication in 2010.
All IDW publications are widely available in the US and Canada. It has not yet been announced whether ''Doctor Who Ongoing'' will be available outside of North America in issue form, however the trade paperbacks — or what the British would call "graphic novel omnibuses" — have been announced for UK publication in 2010.
==Future of the publication==
==Future of the publication==

Revision as of 20:55, 18 March 2010

Doctor Who Ongoing, Doctor Who: Ongoing, Doctor Who: The Ongoing Series and simply Ongoing are all names the American publisher IDW Publishing have used to market what is most properly called Doctor Who (2009) — a monthly comic book launched in July 2009.

Its notability derives from the fact that it is the first truly ongoing, original Doctor Who comic book series printed in the United States — and, indeed, the world - as opposed to mini-series, or titles that are simply reprints of Doctor Who Magazine comic strips. It began with a run of several stories featuring the Tenth Doctor set sometime after Planet of the Dead, and may continue, in 2011, with stories starring the Eleventh Doctor.

Ongoing and original

The series' main claim to fame is the fact that it is both ongoing and original. Whilst Marvel's 1984 Doctor Who, Doctor Who Classic Comics, and IDW's own Doctor Who Classics were all "ongoing" titles, they all reprinted previously-published material (in most cases, comic strips originating in Doctor Who Magazine). And though IDW's Doctor Who (2008) had in fact begun as the ongoing title Doctor Who (2008), this plan was scrapped in favor of releasing a "series of miniseries", forcing that title to become retroactively known as Agent Provocateur, after its only story arc. Doctor Who (2009), by contrast, both publishes original material, and has, as of March 2010 already published three distinct stories. Moreover, the title offers a largely inter-connected narrative with occasional stand-alone stories, in a practice common to both 21st century US comics and the BBC Wales version of the parent programme.


The cover and indicia titles are simply Doctor Who. This name is again confirmed on the publisher's page of issue #1, where readers are welcomed to "the first issue of Doctor Who". According to the strict conventions of US comic enthusiasts, this means that its technical title is Doctor Who (2009), to distinguish it from Doctor Who (2008) and Doctor Who (1984). However, it is solicited to comic shops and marketed on the IDW website as Doctor Who Ongoing for easier identification (in part due to the fact that at the time of its launch in mid-2009 IDW was also publishing occasional standalone stories which were solicited as separate publications). Nevertheless, except for this title, all of IDW's other Doctor Who content — save for the brief 2007 flirtation — has been published under indicia titles which include the story title. For example, The Time Machination is legally known as Doctor Who: The Time Machination. This is the only periodical, as of 2009, to be legally known as simply Doctor Who in the United States.

Content overview

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

However, in February 2010 IDW modified its schedule slightly, with the Tenth Doctor's adventures now scheduled to end with issue #16, scheduled for publication in December 2010. At that time, it was confirmed that Eleventh Doctor storylines would begin in this title in 2011.[1] However, later interviews suggested that perhaps the Eleventh Doctor adventures would perhaps not be a part of this title, after all.[2]

Either way, the series currently focuses 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 traveling 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 story arcs published to date occur 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 is for the first sixteen issues to be mostly interconnected, although he has hinted elsewhere that at least one of the stories may be somewhat less "connected".

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."[3] In order, these last three descriptions referred to what became Final Sacrifice, Don't Step on the Grass and Tesseract.

According to an old tradition in the American comic book industry, IDW also plan to offer annuals under the title, starting in 2010. These annuals will have higher page counts than monthly issues, and contain multiple original short stories. They should not be confused with British annuals more commonly associated with Doctor Who. The first Annual is to focus on the Doctor's TARDIS. [1]

Also, as it has done with its one-shots, Agent Provocateur, and The Forgotten, IDW has begun reprinting the story arcs as trade paperbacks. The first volume, Fugitive, published in March 2010 reprinted the first six issues of the title.

Setting for the Tenth Doctor

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[4]

Lee has given subsequent opinions that seem to shunt the stories after The Waters of Mars. In an interview with Comic Book Resources[5], 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, DW: 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.

Availability outside North America

All IDW publications are widely available in the US and Canada. It has not yet been announced whether Doctor Who Ongoing will be available outside of North America in issue form, however the trade paperbacks — or what the British would call "graphic novel omnibuses" — have been announced for UK publication in 2010.

Future of the publication

It had been originally announced in issue #1 that the plan for the comic was that the Eleventh Doctor would simply replace the Tenth Doctor, and the publication would go on, unabated by the regeneration. However, at the Gallifrey 21 convention in late February 2010, editor Denton J. Tipton announced that they were no longer sure how exactly they would proceed with the Eleventh Doctor's adventures. "Right now," he said, it looks like we're going to end the ongoing with #16, and then we're going to re-launch with the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith." But he added that a final decision had not yet been made on whether this meant that they would continue with some type of ongoing title or a flock of limited series.[2]


Tenth Doctor

  1. Silver Scream (2 parts)
  2. Fugitive (4 parts)
  3. Tesseract (2 parts)
  4. Don't Step on the Grass (4 parts)
  5. Final Sacrifice (4 parts)[1]

Eleventh Doctor

  1. Future in this series uncertain

Cover Gallery

Comic Books

External Links