Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor Holiday Special #2 Review

by Jay Hill on December 19, 2019

Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Roberta Ingranata
Colors by: Enrica Eren Angiolini
Flats by: Shari Chankhamma
Lettered by: Richard Starkings & Sarah Hedrick
Published by: Titan Comics

Forgoing any sort of introduction, I will link to this YouTube video of Merry Xmas Everybody by 70s British rock band Slade. It has appeared in many Doctor Who Christmas Specials since the series’ return and, I feel, is the only thing missing from this comic. - JH

There is a certain magic to Doctor Who stories that this comic has captured perfectly. Mix in that magic with the magic of the holidays and that’s what makes this such a special delight. The “Fam” is on the hunt for answers after shaking the imposter Santa Claus. They eventually find the answers behind the mysterious Mr. Henderson. Unfortunately, the cover for the issue spoils the reveal, but it’s still interesting to see play out. Although there wasn’t much of a grand over-arching message to the alien’s plan, the explanation for why they used the Santa façade made a lot of sense, along with the reason they used “naughty” and “nice” lists. That was just another sign that writer Jody Houser gets the things that make these stories so fun. Doctor Who is known for taking a concept and weirding it up with alien ideas. The conclusion is exactly what you’d want from the story, if even slightly predictable. But it’s the end that brings in a Who style message. Doctor Who stories can either end up with a philosophical message or an emotional one and this story chooses emotional. The heartwarming, holiday-appropriate ending wrapped up the comic with a bow (Christmas pun intended) and proved The Doctor still has the ability to warm my cynical, Grinch-like heart.

The art, which, in my review of part 1, I’ve already talked at length about how much I enjoy, stay great in this issue. The fantastical quality of it adds to the immersion. The cohesion between artist Roberta Ingranata, colorist Enrica Eren Angiolini, and flatter Shari Chankhamma is amazing. The settings are drawn well to make you feel the dimensions of the rooms, and the character figures are excellent. The expressions are one of the best aspects of the art, especially when used for humor or to show contemplation by The Doctor. The coloring has a great palette for the seasonal story. The shading on faces and surfaces are great. My favorite aspect of the coloring is the use of lighting effects. It was used well in this issue to give warmth to certain scenes and a spectacular eye-popping quality to others.

The Holiday Special of Doctor Who came in the form of a comic book this year, and I couldn’t be happier. The adventure in this book is filled with sci-fi mystery, hilarious humor, and heartwarming holiday cheer. And, with seemingly more tales of The Doctor to come from this creative team, they’ve got a new fan aboard their TARDIS.

Our Score:


A Look Inside