Doctor Who: Origins features a brand-new adventure – as well as The Fugitive Doctor’s comics debut!
The series 12 episode of Doctor Who “Fugitive of the Judoon” introduced Whovians to The Fugitive Doctor. Jo Martin played a regeneration of the Doctor forgotten by the Time Lord themself. But what really happened while the Doctor wore this face?
In Doctor Who: Origins, the Doctor uncovers something insidious while working for the mysterious DIVISION on a dangerous assignment. It’s time to discover why this regeneration became known as The Fugitive!
Doctor Who: Origins #1 Review
Doctor Who: Origins #1 is a tricky issue because it’s shouldering the burden of a lot of firsts. Sure, it’s the first issue of this comics arc, which always means a certain level of exposition and story-setup needs to happen. But it’s also a story centered around Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor – a regeneration we’ve had little TV screen time with in established canon.
The result? Origins has to work a bit harder than most first-issue stories to situate us in both the story and this enigmatic Doctor’s personality. I think that might be why I found this story a little harder to get into than most other Doctor Who comics; it takes a minute to find that connection to the Fugitive Doctor again. Whether that’s a result of the actual storytelling here or just a result of it being a year and a half since I watched “Fugitive of the Judoon,” I’m not sure. But it does feel like Origins needs to throw you in the deep end a bit to kick things off: new companion, new mission, new perspective on Division, new trouble for Gallifrey, and a mostly-new Doctor on top of it all.
Still, I do think Origins gets there in the end. Part of the appeal of the Fugitive Doctor is that she’s a bit of a mystery to us. We don’t fully understand her background or the life she leads working for Division. The initial issue of this arc suggests the comic could take advantage of this in a unique way, keeping us in the dark a bit about the Fugitive Doctor’s intentions, making us guess what motivates her actions and what she will do next. It allows this story to subvert expectations and to keep the reader on their toes.
For instance, I thought the Doctor agreed to a destructive Division mission too quickly in this issue; it felt out of character to me. But then it’s later revealed she never intended to go through with the mission at all, and had her own plan the whole time! Then her behavior made total sense, from a story and character perspective. This leads me to believe that Origins might be able to spin the mystery of the Fugitive Doctor in a really compelling way.
Visually, I also really like the way Martin’s Fugitive Doctor comes to life on the page. Based on her appearance in “Fugitive of the Judoon,” she’s a more calm, put-together regeneration. Instead of bopping around with manic energy like Matt Smith’s or Jodie Whittaker’s Doctors, she conveys a lot through her facial expressions and small gestures. This translates super well to the comics medium, which can easily linger on a sidelong glance or a hard glare over her yellow glasses. These mannerisms combined with her (iconic) outfit brought to life on the pages of Origins really helps establish a feel for the Fugitive Doctor.
I’m looking forward to more Fugitive Doctor content, and to seeing this story evolve over time. (Place your bets on the Big Evil now: Is it Division, or Gallifrey itself?)
Get your first look at the Doctor Who: Origins premiere issue in the preview pages below.
Doctor Who: Origins #1 is available from Titan Comics June 8.
Description: A brand new, never-before-seen adventure featuring The Fugitive Doctor in her comics debut! Working for the mysterious DIVISION on a dangerous assignment, The Doctor uncovers something insidious afoot. Discover why this regeneration became known as The Fugitive!
Author: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata
Release: Monthly (Issue #1 June 8, 2022)