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Evening's Empire by Andrew Cartmel

Evening's Empire

by Andrew Cartmel, Dan Abnett (Author), Marc Platt (Author), Richard Piers Rayner (Illustrator), John Ridgway (Artist)

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A collection of Doctor Who comic strips from the early 1990s, an odd time for the franchise when fandom and tie-in media were kicking their heels in the vague hope of a new season being announced (they'd have a long time to wait).

Andrew Cartmel, the final script editor of the show's original run and the man generally credited with leading its late rejuvenation, contributes two stories (including the title one) and continues the good work he did on the show.

The influences on the stories collected in Evening's Empire are totemic of the period and worn openly – Aliens, cyberpunk, The Punisher – but that's fine; they at least show an awareness of the franchise's wider cultural context. As late as 1987 Doctor Who was still acting as if the competition was Blake's 7 rather than Predator.

Occasionally the attempts to push the tone in new directions are misjudged, but failure is an important step towards success. Look at the strip "Ravens", for example, in which the Doctor takes a bereaved samurai from feudal Japan to a near-future service station so he may save a different mother and daughter from a murderous gang of yoofs.

The violence and idea of the Doctor commissioning direct slaughter don't feel appropriate for either the brand or character, but the story is a terrific exploration of the show's concept. The Doctor walks between times; actions and consequences, problems and solutions can be five hundred years and 6,000 miles apart for us, but clearly connected for him. The TARDIS isn't just a protagonist delivery system.

'Success' is a difficult and absolute term. A casual reader might be confused by this collection (by both the tone and the stories' increasingly complex relationship with the contemporary New Adventures tie-in novels) but for the die hards interested in the evolution of Doctor Who, this is a fascinating little source text. ( )
1 vote m_k_m | Jun 2, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrew Cartmelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abnett, DanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Platt, MarcAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rayner, Richard PiersIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ridgway, JohnArtistmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Buylla, AdolfoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Danks, VincentIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gray, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lane, AndyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pini, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Riggs, RobinIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, CamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitaker, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williamson, BrianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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