Doctor Who: The Only Good Dalek Reviewed

On the heals of Amandatron3000’s post on BBC’s extermination of the Daleks, I give you another example of Dalek over-use in the hardback graphic novel Doctor Who: The Only Good Dalek. While I feel graphic novels can be used to expand and explore the vastness that is the Doctor Who universe, The Only Good Dalek falls short.

The Eleventh Doctor and Amy arrive at Station 7 during Earth’s war with the Daleks. Station 7 is a top secret orbiting facility researching and storing Dalek technology. The station’s scientists claim they have tamed a Dalek, and naturally, this worries the Doctor. More secrets are revealed when the Daleks show up to reclaim their property. With time running out, and enemies closing in on the station’s inhabitants from all directions, can the Doctor and Amy rely on the only good Dalek to help them?

This was my first non-television Doctor Who experience, and I must say it did not feel like a Doctor Who story. I found the sequence of the art to be confusing and difficult to follow. On some pages, there is so much dialog that I had to really look at the illustration to understand what was going on. The story itself was not gripping or engaging. I was not at the edge of my seat, and by the time I deciphered the sequence of events, I had lost interest. I felt that the story, as a whole, did nothing to advance the overall Doctor Who universe.

Perhaps this adds to the notion that the Daleks need to be put to rest for now. The fact that the universe’s ruthless and most feared race is repeatedly getting their asses kicked by The Doctor and who ever he’s rolling with diminishes the potential that the Daleks showed. I just feel that the creators of this book really missed their chance to fully utilize both the comic book medium and show us something about the Daleks that we’ve never seen.

Published by BBC Books in 2010, Doctor Who: The Only Good Dalek was written by Justin Richards who’s written other Doctor Who stories, and has many young adult works under his belt. The book was illustrated by Mike Collins, who has illustrated the Doctor Who comic strip for many years. With this much experience behind them, I’m curious to see what else they can produce when not having to consider those pesky Daleks.

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