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Exclusive preview: Writer James Peaty on Titan's new prelude comic, The Tenth Doctor: The Ghost Ship

Contributed by
Jul 9, 2018

British actress Jodie Whittaker made a big splash when she premiered as the Thirteenth Doctor on the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special, "Twice Upon A Time," this past December, and Whovians planet-wide are eagerly anticipating her series return for the upcoming 2018 season.

London-based Titan Comics is gearing up for the first female Doctor's primetime run with the release of three prelude comics titled, The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor. This tempting, time-tripping trio of one-shots will provide more backstory to the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors leading up to Titan's new The Thirteenth Doctor comic series debuting in October from Jody Houser and Rachael Stott.

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First up on the docket is The Tenth Doctor: The Ghost Ship, written by Doctor Who veteran James Peaty and matched with vibrant art by Iolanda Zanfardino (Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension). Also added to the Who heroics will be a brand new serialized short delivered by the all-female creative team of this fall's The Thirteenth Doctor title.

In Titan's new space-spanning tale, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) embarks on a head-spinning quest with his companions Gabby and Cindi while evading the dreaded Time Sentinels as the gang answers a distress call from an adrift starship where the crew is being killed by mysterious skinless entities.

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SYFY WIRE spoke with writer James Peaty on hopping back in the TARDIS, what it's like writing the Doctor, how these three standalone one-shots were planned out, and what to expect from the evocative artwork.  After the chat, check out our exclusive 7-page peek inside a haunted spaceship infested with sinister circulatory system monsters in the full gallery below.

The Tenth Doctor: The Ghost Ship appears in comic shops on July 11.

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What were your previous associations and memories of Doctor Who?

James Peaty: It’s always great fun to be asked to write Doctor Who.  My first memories of television are of Tom Baker as the Doctor fighting the Daleks and Davros alongside the Movellans, although I really became an avid viewer during Tom’s final year and then into the Peter Davison era. So Doctor Who runs deep in my DNA. Also, getting to write the Doctor is like getting to write Superman or Batman. How can you ever say no?

What were some of the challenges and rewards on this new Who project?

Obviously, the attraction here was to write across three very different incarnations of the character and at the same time try to offer up a sort of emblematic adventure for each one. Luckily I’d written all three Doctors before, so I had a pretty good idea of what I thought worked for each. It’s also a chance to put the Doctors in very distinctive settings. So, the Tenth Doctor’s in the future, the Eleventh Doctor’s in the past and the Twelfth Doctor is in the present day. So across the three issues you get the whole format of Doctor Who.

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How was it collaborating with artist Iolanda Zanfardino?

Working with the artists on these strips was great fun too. Iolanda Zanfardino on the Tenth Doctor story brings so much character and energy to that strip and manages to make it feel very modern. I love what she’s done with the Tenth Doctor on this issue.