EP0014: Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor: The Sapling Growth

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The Eleventh Doctor and Alice have a baby…tree (I am not Groot.) while trying to thwart a member of the Silence who refuses to shut up.

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Graham: The Eleventh Doctor and Alice and a baby tree makes three find out what it’s all about as we take a look at Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor: The Sapling Volume 1: Growth in today’s episode of the Classy Comics podcast.

[Intro Music]

Announcer: Welcome to the Classy Comics podcast where we search for the best comics in the universe. From Boise Idaho, here is your host Adam Graham

Graham: As a reference before, Titan comics when they got the Doctor Who license launched series for the previous two doctors David Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Matt Smith 11th doctor and gave each of them new set of companions, kind of to create a new era for them outside of the show and its continuity and what was going on there and indeed with the way the Eleventh Doctor was written popping in to see his first companion, Amy Pond, just every now and again, it was possible to fit in any number of companions. I think Titan created a really good companion with Alice Obiefune and I’m sure I’m mispronouncing the last name. It’s African in origin it’s O-B-I-E-F-U-N-E. For simplicity, I’ll just refer to her as Alice from the now on.
Alice’s mother had just recently died when she was first introduced to the Eleven Doctor and that sense of loss was something the Doctor comforted her over and then they ended up traveling together and having two years of great adventures. The second year was a very plot heavy arc involving the time war and some mystery about the activities of the War Doctor. The third year launched a new arc, the Sapling and the book we’re going to take a look at is Volume One of the Sapling which collects the first four issues of that story.

The book begins with the doctor running as part of a quest set about by their friend Jones, a musician who was Alice’s mom’s favorite singer and who they met during their first year. Jones would send them on a little bits of a scavenger hunts for rare memorabilia and just little bits of things is a kind of a game between the Doctor and Jones. I love the first issue has some great stuff in it. My favorite part of it is Bessie 2. If you’re a long-time fan of Doctor Who you’ll know that the third doctor had an old car that he souped up that was known as Bessie. What Bessie 2 is a monster truck which the Eleventh Doctor drives into the Tardis. It’s just a fun visual. It’s reminiscent of Clara Oswald’s entrance to the Tardis on a motorcycle, only saying let’s go ahead and raise that up to the totally crazy level. It serves establish Alice and the Doctor’s relationship and also that Alice is a bit comfortable with this whole time and space travelling thing she’s been doing it for a few years and she’s also a pretty stable adult as an exile librarian, just a pretty responsible person.
However, their next search for Jones leads to Jones’s funeral and another clue leads them to a planet where they run into a member of the Silence, an alien creature who’s part of a religious order opposed to the Doctor. The Silence power is that if you see them and then you turn away, you absolutely will forget having seen them previously unless you do some jiggery pokery. This Silence is so good that even fellow Silence forget him and this is really bugged him and he wants to be remembered and he wants to be known. His name is the Scream and he’s even got the letters on its head, the Scream, and his plan is to steal the Doctor and Alice’s memory and to transfer his own being into the Sapling, a creature who is part of a race of plants that see themselves on a planet and then shook out all existing plant life. His goal is to have his own body destroyed but to take over the Sapling and then to seed itself onto a planet where he will be remembered. The process doesn’t quite work. He gets part of the Doctor’s memories, the Sapling gets part of the Doctor and Alice’s memories and the Sapling exist as a young creature, who is made up part of the Doctor’s memory and part of Alice’s memory, which leads to a dynamic where the Doctor and Alice have a child together but not in the conventional way.

Overall the first two issues are pretty good set up. My only real problem with the book is that it involved a whole lot of monologuing by the Scream. He went on and on and I think if you’ve seen the Doctor Who with the Eleventh Doctor, part of the power of the Silence is that they don’t say a lot and if it they do say something, it’s pretty brief and barely intelligible, which creates this really creepy spooky effect. Having a silence go on and on and on kind of ruins that.

The second half of the book is the Tragical History Tour where Alice and the Doctor return home and she finds her apartment building overrun by one neighbour, one specific neighbour, however numerous iterations of him. One from each year of his live and it turns out that time has been converted into space and someone is travelling from the past in order to write the future and the Tardis can’t take them back in time because of the situation, so they have to travel back in time by bus. This is kind of the fun and somewhat ludicrous concept that I really appreciate in a Doctor Who comic. It’s played perfectly where you get to enjoy all of the oddity and strangeness of this fantastic situation. There does actually turn out to be a moral at the end of all this, believe it or not, and the overall plot arc does feature but it doesn’t really slow down the plot of the comic. It’s just a fun read. I will say that I don’t like this as much as I did the beginning of year one or year two, which were absolutely amazing beginnings and the 2nd and 3rd parts of the arcs were good but not quite as good so we’ll have to see here. But for this book I’m going to give this a rating of classy. The Doctor and Alice make a great combination and this is yet another eleventh doctor story that just manages to be a really fun comic so I heartily recommend it.

Well, that’s all for now. If you have a comment, email it to me classycomicsguy@gmail.com and be sure to rate the show on iTunes and check out our website, classycommicsguy.com. From Boise Idaho, this is your host Adam Graham signing off.

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