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The Betrothal of Sontar by Gareth Roberts

The Betrothal of Sontar (2008)

by Gareth Roberts, Nick Abadzis (Contributor), Mike Collins (Contributor), Mike Collins (Illustrator), Martin Geraghty (Illustrator)4 more, Roger Langridge (Illustrator), Tony Lee (Contributor), Jonathan Morris (Contributor), John Tomlinson (Contributor)

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Somehow more sure of its ground than the collected Ninth Doctor which I read a while back, and surprisingly grownup in places. The title story, The Betrothal of Sontar, by John Tomlinson and Nick Abadzis, is an interesting retake on Colony in Space with Sontarans instead of human colonists; of the two protagonists, one is nasty even by Sontaran standards, the other somewhat unrealistically nice. Gareth Roberts' The Lodger, on which tonight's broadcast episode is rather loosely based, is a nice nine-page vignette of the Doctor turning up alone on Mickey Smith's doorstep and irritating the hell out of him (so who will be the Mickey character tonight?). F.A.Q., by the excellent Tony Lee, is a surprisingly dark tale of adolescent fantasies and repressed memories spinning out of control. The Futurists, by Mike Collins who is also the penciller for this and the three previous stories, combines some excellent one-liners with a thrilling combination of the Milan of 1925, Roman Britain, and sinister time-travelling jellyfish. Jonathan Morris has a space-opera pop group on its last legs in Interstellar Overdrive (the title doesn't quite say it all but does say most of it). He returns to music in the rather slight Opera of Doom, featuring aliens which absorb and also transmit musical talent. This is followed by an equally lightweight story, The Green-Eyed Monster by Nev Fountain, in which the Doctor snogs Jackie to save Rose's life (in Rose's last regular strip appearance). We finish with Alan Barnes bringing back the Brigadier in The War-Keeper's Crown - not one of Barnes' best efforts but since he is one of the best contemporary Who writers that is still pretty decent. All in all, strongly recommended. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 12, 2010 |
With the coming of the new series, DWM's comics lost the larger overarcing narrative they'd often had, moving to standalones-- a move that makes sense for a variety of reasons. But, I think, it also results in a weaker reading experience-- not that stories with plot arcs running through them are innately better, but a good plot arc can provide a bit of oomph to a weaker story. Or maybe what's weakened the stories in this volume is the loss of Scott Gray as head writer, and his replacement by a wide variety of folks, not all of them the best. Either way, this collection is a bit of a jumble. The title story by John Tomlinson & Nick Abadzis is fine for the most part, though the resolution is highly disappointing. Tony Lee's "F.A.Q." is an absolute mess, and the usually-dependable Mike Collins isn't up to scratch with "The Futurists"-- it has some nice ideas, but they don't really cohere. Jonathan Morris's "Opera of Doom!" is too slight to be effective. Morris's other effort, "Interstellar Overdrive" is quite fun and mostly faultless, but something always bothers me about stories where our protagonists would have died but for a convenient time loop that lets them do things over (as in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Cause and Effect" or Deep Space Nine's "Whispers"). It's fun to see the Brigadier in Alan Barnes's "The Warkeeper's Crown", but as I write this review, I can't remember anything else about the story, good or bad. The story Barnes seems to think he told (judging by his author's note) about the Brigadier and the Doctor coming to a new understanding now that the Doctor has been a soldier in the Time War is apparently much more interesting-sounding than the one he actually did tell. The standouts of the collection are the two "comedy" one-parters: Gareth Roberts's "The Lodger" has the tenth Doctor moving in with Mickey for a week, with hilarious consequences, of course. And Nev Fountain's "The Green Eyed Monster" puts Rose on a reality television show exploring her jealousy of the Doctor's other women-- especially Jackie! But aside from the comedy, in both of these stories, the characterization of all the regulars-- the tenth Doctor, Rose, Mickey, and Jackie-- is exactly right, making me miss what was once such an effective team.
  Stevil2001 | Jan 12, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gareth Robertsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abadzis, NickContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Collins, MikeContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Collins, MikeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Geraghty, MartinIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Langridge, RogerIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, TonyContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, JonathanContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Tomlinson, JohnContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnes, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fountain, NevContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roach, David A.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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It was the morning after the silverfire -- the ice that burns.
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Includes: The Betrothal of Sontar, The Lodger, F.A.Q., The Futurists, Interstellar Overdrive, Opera of Doom, The Green-Eyed Monster, The Warkeeper's Crown.
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The 10th Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler battle Sontarans, meet mythical monsters and face a terrifying encounter with the new 'Lords of Time'.

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