By Ani Bundel

The only major Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2023 ahead of the show’s 60th anniversary was comics based. Unlike previous years where there have been several panelists, this year was just Eisner Award-nominated writer Jody Houser, who had a casual sit-down conversation with Titan Comics’ Andrew Sumner about the multi-platform 60th anniversary story, Doctor Who: Doom’s Day, and her comic series that’s a part of it, titled, A Doctor in the House Part One & Two. The transmedia project will extend across all the non-TV platforms Doctor Who occupies.

Houser started by covering her five-year journey doing Doctor Who comics, which started between the Twelfth and Thirteenth Doctors, doing comics about the adventures of Team TARDIS. She did several comic runs between Thirteenth Doctor seasons, including a few Missy stories, and Fugitive Doctor stories, filling out the potential of those characters that were never explored on screen.

Houser is one of those Americans who started Doctor Who with the Eighth Doctor movie, having had friends who watched it on PBS. She and Sumner found themselves in a conversation about Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, who is best known for being the Doctor whose story played out not on TV. (People outside the Whoinverse know him better for Withnail and I and Sharpe during that era.) However, she hasn’t really done a lot with the Eighth Doctor except in larger group situations; nor has she gotten to write her favorite companion, Donna Noble. Instead, her major projects have been a couple of Thirteenth/Tenth Doctor crossover stories.

Not that Houser had any idea of what was to come with the Thirteenth’s regeneration at the time, or the Fourteenth Doctor, it was just a fun idea to have the two working together. Despite Eight being her first Doctor, Houser said if she were forced to pick, she would say she loves the Tenth Doctor most, because, in her words, his problem-solving methods reflect her writing process. It set her up nicely for the upcoming 60th anniversary and the new comics runs.

For A Doctor in the House Part One & Two, Houser’s comics were the kickoff of the story, allowing her story to function as a stand-alone, which she said was a blessing, as her series wasn’t dependent on what others were doing. It’s why she got to bring Missy into it, who is pretending to be the Doctor, and distracts the assassin Doom from her mission to find the Doctor. As she put it, “It’s two snarky women in time and space.” What’s not to love?

The panel also featured a special video message from superstar Marvel writer Dan Slott about his upcoming Doctor Who comics project, Doctor Who: Once Upon A Time Lord, which includes Tenth Doctor and Martha adventures and Ninth Doctor stories with Rose Tyler. Slott called it a dream to live out all his fantasies of writing for his two favorite Doctors. His prerecorded video also including a sneak peek of the all-new Doctor Who art coming with the comics when they arrive in October 2023.

Slott also said he wrote it like it would be his only shot at Doctor Who, and promised it has everything he could possibly want to do. (The art had glimpses of Classic Who villains and NuWho ones as well.) However, he also swore it would also be accessible to even the newest Whovian, and that it was even perfect for introducing new fans to the series, “The way one should discover the Doctor, by an American!”

Doctor Who: Doom’s Day, A Doctor In the House Part 1 and 2 are out now. Dan Slott’s upcoming Doctor Who: Once Upon A Time Lord will arrive towards the end of October 2023, ahead of the BBC’s trio of 60th Anniversary stories.

Miss any of our earlier SDCC ’23 coverage? Find it all here!