Every Fan loves a good crossover, whether it involves a transporter accident and the meeting of characters from different generations or a multi-publisher Superhero Event story. The thrill of seeing different incarnations of characters interact is a joyous feeling that many people have experienced, especially in the Doctor Who franchise, where multiple Doctor stories have become a tradition among the various mediums. Starting way back in 1973 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the television show, The Three Doctors saw William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee share the screen for the first Multi-Doctor Adventure.
The fascination with various incarnations of the Doctor meeting up and sharing adventures has never waned, and this year Titan Comics released the first crossover to feature the 13th Doctor, as portrayed by Jodie Whittaker in the show.
In the first arc of A Tale of Two Timelords: A Little Help From My Friends, the 13th Doctor stumbles across her past self, the 10th Doctor, who is currently stuck in the Swinging 60s. With Two Doctors come two villains, and for once, the Weeping Angels may not be the scariest creature wandering the street.
A Tale of Two Time Lords Volume 1, written by Jody Houser, drawn by Roberta Ingranata, and colored by Enrica Eren Angiolini, was released in October, and Monkeys Fighting Robots have been lucky enough to speak to the artists about the comic.
Monkey Fighting Robots: Did having a successful first year on the comic make it easier to work on year 2, or was there greater pressure to be bigger and better?
Enrica Eren Angiolini: As far as I’m concerned, I felt much more pressure at the beginning of year one, since I was still very new to the world of Doctor Who. After the first few issues, that anxiety went away. The readers were always supportive, I know I have a great team on my side, and we all work really hard, so I was never stressed about Season 2.
Roberta Ingranata: There is always a bit of pressure; personally I always want to give my best, so the idea is to improve issue after issue!
MFR: With a creative team who have been working together for a while now, has the collaborative process changed much over time?
Angiolini: I wouldn’t say it has, no. We’ve always been close and very communicative: we began awesomely when Rachael Stott was on the pencils, and things didn’t change when Roberta joined in her place. We know we can rely on each other, and we work very well together.
Ingranata: It certainly got easier. Now we know each other better, it is easier to collaborate with each other!
MFR: The Thirteenth Doctor and her companions have had a bit more air time since you started on the comic, and the characters have had a chance to grow. Has this had an effect on the writing or art? Are there any changes that you’ve made as a reaction to the show?
Angiolini: Unfortunately, being based in Italy, I haven’t been able to watch Series 12 , as it is not yet available on any streaming platform in my country. I only watched the first few episodes released last year. I’m hoping that now that I’ll move back to the UK, I’ll be able to catch up. It’s a shame, because it’d be immensely helpful to be able to watch them, but I can only wait and hope.
Ingranata: Surely, they gave us many more references to work on, making our work easier. At first, there were few images online, now the internet offers many photos, gifs, and still images useful for creating pages!
MFR: In the new story, there are two Doctors to contend with. Was it difficult to merge the two different eras, and did you have to make any compromises to the storytelling to make it fit the style of both the 10th and 13th Doctor?
Angiolini: I think that the beauty of this arc comes exactly from the mix of themes and characters. There’s not really any particular element from one of the Doctors that clashes with the other; it all comes together as a crazy, fun adventure.
Ingranata: For me, it wasn’t very difficult; working on Jody’s stories is always simple. For me it was an honor to be able to design the Tenth Doctor; they are the two of my favourite Doctor’s, so seeing them together was wonderful!
MFR: With two Doctors, four companions, and two popular ‘monsters,’ there is a lot going on. Do you have any favourite moments that you’re pleased you were able to get into the book? How much fun was it to play around in the background of one of the most popular Nu-Who story-lines?
Angiolini: Being able to contribute to such an epic arc was incredibly fun and a great treat! I think we have tons of brilliant moments scattered around these issues, but I just loved working on the two Doctors and their expressions, playing with their surroundings and switching from funky, fun vibes, to creepy and dangerous atmospheres.
Ingranata: Sure, to insert a new alien in the story was very nice; being able to draw an alien and invent it is fun and rewarding. Sure, when there are a lot of characters in a scene it’s hard to handle them, but it’s nice to be able to draw so many characters that I love.
MFR: The end of ‘A Little Help..’ has an amazing cliff hanger, one that equals some of the best classic episode endings, but there has been a long gap between the last issue and the next due in November. Did you get a break from the series or have you been working on it throughout the year?
Angiolini: We didn’t stop. The first 2 issues of this series were made back in Spring, then we worked on the 2 double issues of Time Lord Victorious, and then we finally took a couple-week break at the end of August/beginning of September, to then start working on the series once more. Breaks are very rare in comics: it takes about a month to make a full issue (from script to finished lettering), so taking breaks is often a privilege that many comic artists can’t afford unfortunately.
Ingranata: We have always worked around the numbers of Doctor Who!
MFR: And finally, what does the future hold for your Doctor? Is there anything you’re especially looking forward to, or is there something you really would like to do?
Angiolini: As a colourist it’s always a bit difficult to reply to these questions, as I have no idea where the story is going until I get a new script: we are very rarely -or never- involved in the planning of the plot, so I really don’t know what the future holds for us and the Doctor. The only thing I can say is that I hope we can continue to bring a smile on our readers’ faces and have fun while doing so!
Ingranata: I can’t spoil, but my dog has the name of a character who appeared in an episode of the twelfth season of Doctor Who, and I drew it just today on a page. For me it was an honour and a sign of destiny!
Thank you to Roberta Ingranata and Enrica Eren Angiolini for taking time out of their busy schedule to talk to us. Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords Volume 1 is available now from your local comic/book shop.