Doctor Who: The Forgotten
by Tony Lee and Pia Guerra
Cover Artist: Pia Guerra * Kelly Yates * Stefano Martino * Nick Roche
Review by Gayle Surrette
IDW Publishing Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781600103964
Date: 21 April 2009 List Price $19.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The Doctor (David Tennant's Doctor) and Martha Jones wake up in what looks to be a museum. After investigating a bit, it appears that it is a museum of items related to the Doctor's life and history. The TARDIS is nowhere to be found, at least in the areas that they've checked. The Doctor tries to call the TARDIS with his key but there's no reply -- none at all. They do find a room with displays of the clothing and special keepsakes of each of his past versions of himself.
That's when the Doctor begins to lose his memories -- all of them. Martha suggest gathering up the keepsakes from the displays and having him hold them one at a time hoping they trigger memories that will bring back memories of his past. It seems to work but also there's a mysterious someone behind it all that tries to thwart Martha's efforts to help the Doctor regain his memories.
The graphic novel is in six parts: Amputation, Renewal, Misdirection, Survival, Revelation, and Reunion. In each section there are flashbacks as the Doctor holds an object and a memory is triggered. Each flashback is a mini-story of the Doctor related to that object.
In Amputation, the flashback is a short sequence with the William Hartnell Doctor and his companions, Susan and Barbara. The flashback is in sepia tones while the main line of the story is in full color.
For Renewal there are two flashbacks. The first features Patrick Troughton's Doctor with his companions Jamie and Zoe. The artwork for the flashback is also sepia tones. The second flashback features John Pertwee's Doctor with companion Jo Grant. This time the flashback is in color but more to pastels than the darker colors of the main story line. After this section all the flashbacks are in color with tones closer to the main story line.
The Misdirection section has a flashback with the Tom Baker Doctor and Romana, as well as another with Peter Davison's Doctor and Tegan and Turlough. Survival features flashbacks to Colin Baker's Doctor and his companion Peri and another with Sylvester McCoy's Doctor and Ace.
There are another two flashbacks in the Revelation section. The first is with Paul McGann's Doctor and his companion Chantir. The second flashback is with Christopher Eccleston's Doctor and Rose.
In Reunion, as most of you will probably guess, all the previous Doctors join to work together to solve the crisis that the current Doctor finds himself in. There's also opportunity to pull in some of the companions that haven't previously shown up in a flashback: Leela, Harry Sullivan, Adric, and Sarah Jane.
The art work is realistic and the various Doctors are identifiable when they show up. You can even recognize the companions from their faces (except for the ones that I wasn't familiar with, and since I recognized the others, I have to assume the facial drawings for these others were also accurate).
The story seems to be mostly a walk down memory lane for readers and fans of Dr. Who. A chance to visit with some of the past Doctors that we've come to care for and well as their companions. The over arching story line is built to allow this nostalgic trip through the Doctor's time line.
I will note that I read an electronic version of the graphic novel on my Android Tablet. I'm not sure if I had an advanced copy that hadn't been optimized for digital display or not. I did have some problems with viewing the story as it was set up to be a two-page spread that displayed too big when I held tablet for a landscape aspect -- I had to scroll down to read the bottom of the left hand page then up again for the top of the right hand page and down for the bottom of the page. When the tablet was held in portrait mode the two-page spread was centered and fit in the screen but too small to read. I could enlarge it so I could see one page at a time but then the graphics tended to pixelate and blur a bit but it was much easier to read one page at a time. You'll be fine with the print edition, but if you opt for a digital edition check for a sample to see how it works on your viewer or try the methods I used for optimum viewing. NOTE that when viewed without enlarging the page to read text, the artwork was great.