Justice For The Fugitive Doctor: An Interview With Writer, Jody Houser

by Rachel Bellwoar

Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor was one of the best parts of Chris Chibnall’s tenure on Doctor Who. With Chibnall stepping down as showrunner, though, it’s debatable how much we’ll be seeing of the Fugitive Doctor again. It’s one thing to leave the people wanting more, but this would be a real shame. Big Finish recently announced they’ll be doing an audio drama series with Martin, so that’s something to look forward to, but In the meantime, Titan Comics are stepping in to fill the void with a new series, Doctor Who: Origins, about the Fugitive Doctor. Even better: writer, Jody Houser, agreed to answer some questions about the series over email.

Cover C art by Yoshi Yoshitani

Rachel Bellwoar: You’ve gotten to write for a number of different Doctors at this point. What stands out about the Fugitive Doctor?

Jody Houser: The fact that she’s still so new. There is the core of the future Doctors we know there, but she’s still figuring out where she fits in all of this, who she’s supposed to be.

RB: You’ve also worked with Roberta Ingranata on a number of these projectsWhat do you think it is about Ingranata’s style that is so well-suited to Doctor Who?

JH: Roberta is just so great at capturing the different actors and their mannerisms while still staying true to her style. Her new aliens and worlds are also always so inventive and a delight to see.

Art by Roberta Ingranata / Colors by Warnia K. Sahadewa

RB: Other than perhaps the 8th Doctor (though he’s since appeared in audio dramas and comics), The Fugitive Doctor is one of the lesser-known Doctors, having only appeared in three episodes. Is there more freedom in writing for a Doctor whose personality isn’t as well-established or is that one of the challenges?

JH: In a sense, yes. But there’s also the fact that we know who she becomes after this story, so everything she is does need to stay true to that. There is quite a bit of run in that sandbox, though.

RB: Of those three episodes the Fugitive Doctor has appeared in, was there any detail that jumped out at you, or a piece of background information that you’re excited to explore in the new series?

JH: The fact that she gave Gat a chance to live, and had clear regrets at the choice Gat made. This Doctor may be much more comfortable with guns than we’ve ever seen, but she still does value life in the way the Doctor always should.

Art by Roberta Ingranata / Colors by Warnia K. Sahadewa

RB: Without knowing what you can and can’t reveal yet, will Karvanista be appearing in this series or a new companion we haven’t seen?

JH: There is a new companion named Taslo, and she was an absolute delight to write.

RB: What was it like getting to launch this series with Titan Comics’ Free Comic Book Day issue, and how did  the idea for that story come out?

JH: I wanted to do something that was fun and a stand-alone story that explored one of the Doctor’s first visits to Earth. The Doctor has always had such a love for the planet, I wanted to write about what those early impressions were like.

 

Art by Roberta Ingranata / Colors by Warnia K. Sahadewa

RB: Is there a Doctor you’re still hoping to write for, or one whose voice has been especially fun to capture?

JH: I’m really excited about Fourteen with the casting announcement! Beyond that, I still haven’t written Nine or the War Doctor of the more recent incarnations. Honestly, any day I get to write the Doctor is a good day.

RB: Well, it’s been a great day hearing from you, Jody. Thanks again for agreeing to this interview!

Cover A art by Simone Di Meo

Doctor Who: Origins #1 goes on sale June 8th from Titan Comics. FOC date is May 16th.

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