Bluewater’s unauthorized The Cast Of Doctor Who takes a glance into the backgrounds of a few of the actors who have taken on the role of The Doctor through the years. Without a standard comic storyline, the book serves more as an introduction to the series, specifically designed for newer fans that are interested about the Classic Doctor Who series.
The comic book oddly only looks at four official Doctors (plus a fifth outside canon which we will get to later). I’m guessing this limited examination was restricted based on space available for the publication of the comic. Overall, the comic examines William Hartnell as the First Doctor, Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, and Matt Smith as the current Eleventh Doctor.
The Cast Of Doctor Who functions mainly to provide some background information on the history of the actors who took on this role, giving you a quick glance at their biographical information and highlighting some of their key film, television, and theatrical roles prior to and after Who. Despite its succinct short summary fashion, the details are (for the most part) surprisingly accurate in places.
Having said that, it puzzles me as to why the publishers opted to focus only on a few actors instead of all main eleven Doctors. While the space factor may have provided more room to focus on four, I found myself somewhat disappointed that Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy were not given a shot in the book (although Troughton and Pertwee do briefly appear).
On top of that, Nu Who fans would be horrorstruck at the exclusion of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.
The artwork in The Cast Of Doctor Who is adequate for the purpose of the book and the interpretations and likenesses of the featured actors are actually pretty well done. It does, however, take a bit of a morbid turn in the death of William Hartnell, with the artwork becoming not so much nonfigurative, but creepily darkened and beyond interpretation.
My main criticism of the comic, however, is the inclusion of Peter Cushing as the Doctor from the non-canon films made during the 1960s. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cushing and his work, but his work in the two Doctor Who films is not part of the overall mythos of the current series. Considering the book seems to be designed as a gateway media to encourage newer fans to discover the classic series, the inclusion of Cushing detracts from this. Furthermore, the writers misspell Tarkin when they get to his Star Wars role – a HUGE no-no!
Newer fans to Doctor Who will notice the biographical pages to be informative, and hopefully it does encourage them to check out the classic series. However, dedicated longtime fans will be disappointed with the book, with the lack of other Doctors, and particularly the manner in which Cushing’s Doctor is upheld in the pages. This one is just for newer fans.