Tony Fyler talks to Cavan Scott, author of the new Ninth Doctor comic book mini-series, Weapons of Past Destruction, which arrives in stores today.
Hi Cavan. What unique challenges are there in writing comics for the Ninth Doctor?
We’re in the unique situation when the audience now know a lot more about the fate of Gallifrey and the end of the Time War than the Doctor. We had to make sure that we remained true to the 2005 series, and weren’t influenced too much by what we’ve found out since. Weapons of Past Destruction has to feel like it’s a missing episode.
That’s not to say that artist Blair Shedd and I haven’t had fun seeding in a few Easter Eggs into the background every now and then.
Given that the single series of Ninth Doctor on-screen adventures is a fairly cohesive arc, what did you most want to bring to the comic-book version?
When we first started batting ideas for the mini-series around, we all said that we wanted to see the Ninth Doctor in space, something that we didn’t really see on TV. The watchword I was given for the story was ‘cosmic’.
Will we see stages of character development along the on-screen arc, or
are you taking him outside that linear storyline? And where is he in his
timeline when you pick him up?
As for character development, yes, we will definitely be playing with what we saw in the 2005 season.
There’s a nice little gap between The Doctor Dances and Boom Town, where this story is set. If you look at the Doctor in Boom Town he’s come a long way since he was introduced in Rose. He’s had the trauma of Dalek, experienced the joy of saving lives in The Doctor Dances and seems to be enjoying being part of a team by Boom Town. What we never really experienced were those adventures with Jack and Rose. We heard about them, but never saw them – until now.
In the Ninth Doctor, you’re faced with a character who has many
levels of fans, some of whom want nothing to do with any other
iteration of him than the on-screen version. What do you say to bring
them on board and discover the Ninth Doctor in comics?
to repeat what I said earlier, I think. Blair and I have worked really
hard to make sure that this mini-series feels as authentic as possible,
from the pacing, the dialogue to Blair’s amazing likenesses and
cinematic colouring. Hopefully there’s a lot of the Ninth Doctor’s era
that you’ll recognise here.
Hard one since we know you’re a comic-fan first and foremost – What’s your favourite comic-book character, story or arc written by someone else, and why?
That is a hard one. In recent years, I loved Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man arc. Great characterisation, real surprises and a massive sense of scale. At the moment, I’m also really enjoying Wayward by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings, and Goners by Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona. Both lull you into a false sense of security and then deliver a suckerpunch. Worth checking out.
Oh then there’s The Wicked + The Divine by Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie too. So many good comics at the moment!
When I look back at the comics I grew up with, Walt Simonson’s run on Thor immediately springs to mind, as do John Byrne’s time on Superman and the Fantastic Four. All of those led me to delve deeper into their respective universes. I was a big John Byrne fan as a kid, and read everything he did. It all started when Marvel UK reprinted Alpha Flight at the back of the Secret Wars weekly. I was hooked from the first shot of Vindicator standing there brooding in the Department H.
There are plenty of wannabe comic writers, novelists and audio writers out there (I’m one of them!). Given the way the industry works today, what advice would you give to anyone who wanted to follow in your footsteps?
The best advice I was ever given was don’t wait to be asked to write. Get stuck in, writing comics, prose, scripts – whatever you want to do. The more you write, the better you get.
It’s especially true in comics. Some industries frown on self-publishing. Not so comics. If you want to create comics, then do exactly that. Print them, post them online, get them in front of people. People want to see what you can do, rather than hear about what you want to do.
You’ve had a successful career in a number of media – comics, novels, audios. What’s next for Cavan Scott, and what would be the ideal job you’ve yet to do if you had to be remembered for doing one thing?
Hopefully writing a lot more comics. I love working on novels and audios, but comics have always been my first love. Fingers crossed you’ll see me back writing the Doctor for Titan when this mini-series comes to an end, plus I hope to be able to announce some non-Time Lord comic projects soon.
Cavan Scott, thank you.
The Ninth Doctor #1 is released today, April 1st 2015. Read our review here.
Check out some preview art, discover the wide range of variant covers, or for more information visit Titan Comics.
To find your local comic store visit: http://www.comicshoplocator.com/
Tony Fyler lives in a cave of wall-to-wall DVDs and Blu-Rays somewhere fairly
nondescript in Wales, and never goes out to meet the "Real People". Who,
Torchwood, Sherlock, Blake, Treks, Star Wars, obscure stuff from the
70s and 80s and comedy from the dawn of time mean he never has to. By
runs an editing house, largely as an
excuse not to have to work for a living. He's currently writing a Book.
With Pages and everything. Follow his progress at FylerWrites.co.uk