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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Tenth Doctor
Facing Fate: Breakfast at Tyranny’s (Hardback)


Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artists: Giorgia Sposito and Valeria Favoccia
Colourists: Arianna Florean and Hi-Fi
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £17.99, US $22.99
Age: 12+
ISBN: 978 1 78586 087 4
112 pages
Publication Date: 29 August 2017

It’s the start of a brand-new year for the Doctor, Gabby and Cindy, and things are looking very different for the Tenth Doctor’s TARDIS team! Dangerously different, in fact! Did the Doctor really abandon Gabby and Cindy back to their life on Earth – and why is he wandering homeless, without his TARDIS, on a mystifying alien world? The truth will dazzle, terrify and entertain you! Renowned writer Nick Abadzis (Laika), with superstar artists Giorgia Sposito (Wonderland, Charmed) and Valeria Favoccia (Assassin’s Creed: Reflections), pilots the TARDIS through the revelatory next chapter in the Doctor’s ongoing story…!

This graphic novel collects the opening four issues of Titan Comics’ third year of Tenth Doctor adventures. It comprises two linked two-issue stories, beginning with…

A terrifying world and a whole new terror to test the Doctor and his friends! When Cindy breaks free of the bonds tying her to this realm, will she be able to rescue her friends in time? Or will the Doctor and Gabby be consumed by their subconscious visions of a reality that should never be…?

Weird stuff happens in Breakfast at Tyranny’s, the story from which this volume takes the main part of its title. The Doctor and his friends have been separated. The Time Lord wakes up to find himself sleeping rough on a grimy city street. Gabby has reached middle age but is still working as a waitress in her family’s restaurant. The reborn Osiran Anubis, nicknamed ‘Noobis’ by the Doctor’s companions, is Cindy’s pet dog.

We’ve had a lot of this kind of weirdness in the Tenth Doctor series lately: illusory worlds and alternate realities designed by evil forces in order to entrap, confuse or gain information from the TARDIS crew. Writer Nick Abadzis could do with playing this card less often, as it has lost its novelty value. Among all the madness, however, there are some clues as to who the enemy is this time – in particular when something strange happens to the Doctor’s hand…

Most of the artwork in this graphic novel is provided by Giorgia Sposito, though during the opening instalment she is assisted by Valeria Favoccia, who handles most of the Doctor’s and Cindy’s pages. The mixture of styles is quite noticeable. Favoccia’s more cartoony, angular aesthetic is just as valid (and quite exciting, really), but it is somewhat at odds with the more formal Sposito. For the final three quarters of the book, it’s Sposito all the way.



Cindy has been kidnapped by a grotesque red TARDIS! With Gabby, the Doctor and Noobis in hot pursuit to their coordinates in Ancient China, they’ll surely soon root out a new and terrifying enemy… but in a land filled with myths and monsters, will they arrive in time to save their friend…?

We go from breakfast to a Chinese takeaway… Breakfast at Tyranny’s ends on a cliffhanger, with Cindy whisked away through time and space by a giant and gruesomely veined red police box. In the second story, Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth, the ensuing chase leads our heroes to China (Cindy’s ancestral home) many centuries in the past.

Nick Abadzis takes the opportunity to embrace various aspects of Chinese philosophy and mythology, such as the sacred Yellow River, dragons, Yin and Yang, and the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – which appear in the form of monsters that the TARDIS travellers must defeat if they are to stand any chance of winning the day.

Giorgia Sposito and colourist Arianna Florean get into the spirit of things as well, giving some pages the appearance of old-fashioned Chinese illustrations. You can see the development of three such pages from black-and-white line drawings to sepia-toned art at the back of the book. Sposito also depicts the regular characters in Asian versions of their familiar costumes – with, for example, the Doctor’s brown overcoat and blue suit becoming long, flowing robes.



Facing Fate: Breakfast at Tyranny’s is not the most exciting Tenth Doctor graphic novel ever, but I suppose the third year is only just getting going. This is only breakfast. Here’s hoping that lunch and dinner will be more satisfying.

Richard McGinlay

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