Titan Comics is releasing the first issue of Doctor Who: Four Doctors, a five-issue weekly series starring the Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and War Doctors. I was able to interview the writer, Paul Cornell, in advance of its release.
Josh: What is the basic story for Four Doctors?
Paul Cornell: A photograph that could destroy the universe brings Clara and her fellow companions together to try to stop what she calls ‘some sort of multi-Doctor… event’, but fortunately they fail, and Doctor on Doctor on Doctor chaos ensues.
J: How do you approach each Doctor? What do you think their defining character traits are, and how did those traits affect the story?
PC: I could write an essay on that question. Basically, I have Doctor speech patterns, body language and attitude imprinted on my brain from my ancient Whofanness. The Twelfth Doctor doesn’t want to tell the other two when he came from or how he can even exist, which leads to Ten being deeply suspicious of him. Eleven tries to keep the peace between them.
J: Were there any surprises in that occurred when writing this story? Did you discover an unexpected affection for one of the Doctors? Did the Doctors interact in ways that were different from what you originally planned?
PC: I gained a whole new level of respect for the hugely talented Neil Edwards, whose skill with likeness and body language are amazing.
J: What role do the Companions play in this story? How do they perceive these different and unfamiliar iterations of “their” Doctor?
PC: The companions are our point of view, each one narrating at least one issue. They’re swapped around to get to know different Doctors, and their reactions to the ones they didn’t know are very important.
J: You’ve written episodes for the show in the past as well as Doctor Who novels. What is it that draws you to the character and his adventures? Were you a fan before you began writing him?
PC: I’ve been a fan since I was a child. It’s the thread that runs throughout my whole career, the ladder that got me to where I am. Yes, a thread can also be a ladder. It’s early.
J: What can readers expect from this story?
PC: A summer blockbuster event with tons of Doctor interaction.
What They Say:
August 12th sees the launch of Titan Comics’ Doctor Who summer event – Doctor Who: Four Doctors.
This spectacular 5-part weekly event will be penned by Paul Cornell and illustrated by Neil Edwards, and stars the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, as portrayed by David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi onscreen. They’ll be joined on the adventure by their comics companions – New Yorker Gabby Gonzalez, currently on board the TARDIS with the Tenth Doctor and Londoner Alice Obiefune, the Eleventh Doctor’s companion, as well as Clara Oswald, played onscreen by Jenna Coleman, and now travelling with the Twelfth Doctor.
What’s more, the three incarnations of the Time Lord are joined by another face from their past. The series sees the reappearance of the War Doctor for the first time since he was memorably played by John Hurt in The Day Of The Doctor.
The first issue hits comic stores on Wednesday 12th August and is supported by the global Doctor Who Comics Day on Saturday 15th August.
Each of the five issues comes with three covers to collect: an art cover, a photo cover and a companions art cover!