Voyager (Panini Graphic Novel)Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 December 2017 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Voyager (Panini Graphic Novel) (Credit: Panini)
Written by Steve Parkhouse, Alan McKenzie
Artwork by John Ridgeway
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Panini UK LTD

During his tenure, The Sixth Doctor struggled to connect on the television screen. But at the same time he was sort of bombing over the airwaves, on the pages of Doctor Who Magazine he was charming and fun to read. In many ways, he was still that same Doctor that Baker was playing on TV, but more palatable, and the fact that the art is black and white makes the coat easier on the eyes. I would say that for anyone that has ever listened to Baker's lovely Big Finish audios, the Doctor of the Comic Strip was much closer to that interpretation than the brasher TV counterpart.

The introduction of companion Frobisher, the shapeshifter who wishes to be a penguin, may seem like an oddball choice...but in the zany world of comics it just kind of works. The collection opens with his introductory tale, which also sort of wraps up the loose thread from the Fifth Doctor's tenure, by giving a bit of closure to the Dogbolter story.  

The book then goes into the "Voyager" storyline, which I personally find to be one of the finest comic story runs in all of Doctor Who Magazine. It just has beautiful artwork, a weird and ethereal plot, and in many ways surpasses much of what the TV show was doing at the same time. This entire plotline was also colorized and released in the 80s as a graphic novel, also titled Voyager.  The final story in the "Voyager" plot is also the final story by Steve Parkhouse, who had been with the strip since the Fourth Doctor. 

Unlike the 80s graphic novel of the same name, Panini's book continues on with the rest of the stories that came out in 1985, the rest of the book being written by Alan McKenzie. While the Parkhouse half of the book is definitely the stronger half, McKenzie's stories are still pretty solid, and still flowed as a series up through the final story of the book. 

The running storyline in the first half of this collection is great, and even the lesser second half of the book is quite entertaining. With the gorgeous black and white artwork by John Ridgeway and wonderfully weird adventures, it is a highly recommended read for fans who want to see just how good the ongoing Doctor Who strip can be.