How Many Doctors Does it Take to Save the Universe this Time - An Interview with JODY HOUSER
Comic Book Yeti Contributor DC Horn sat down with Jody Houser in the Yeti Cave (which is also bigger on the inside) to discuss her work on Empire of the Wolf.
COMIC BOOK YETI: As a long time Doctor Who fan, I was eager to jump straight into the book, but in my research for this interview I learned that you have an impressive list of works and accomplishments. Please, tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
JODY HOUSER: My name is Jody Houser and I've been writing comics full-time for a number of years now. In recent years, I've done a lot of licensed books especially. Aside from Doctor Who, I'm probably best known for Star Wars (Marvel), Stranger Things (Dark Horse), Mother Panic (DC) and Faith (Valiant). CBY: The story of Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf spans over an awesome stretch of Doctor Who history and lore. We have the (in my opinion) criminally underrated pre-time war eighth doctor teaming up with a parallel universe Rose Tyler, and the eleventh doctor, still heartbroken after just recently losing Amy and Rory, to battle…. Rose Tyler. The Doctors used here are from very specific times in their lives. One of the Rose Tylers are actually from another Doctor Who story of yours, “Alternating Current.” How was the decision made to focus on these versions of the Doctor and Rose Tyler?
JH: The alternate Rose Tyler from “Alternating Current” was definitely a character I wanted to return to after she'd been doing her own thing for a couple decades, and it made sense that the OG Rose Tyler would be coming in at a similar age. Since it was the anniversary of the Eighth Doctor, I had the idea to use him and Eleven, the two Doctors just before and just after Rose. And of course, both of them have just been separated from companions and are handling it much differently.
CBY: Do you have any future plans with this version of Rose Tyler?
JH: I would definitely love to do more with Empress Rose. She's been set on the right path now, but I suspect she'll need the Doctor's help again someday. We all do, don't we? CBY: Yes, we do. Who is your personal favorite Doctor and why?
JH: I generally say it's whomever I watched last, but if I HAD to pick a favorite, I would say Ten. His energy when problem-solving feels a lot like my brain when I write. CBY: Who is your favorite Doctor to write?
JH: Thirteen will always be my favorite to write, as she was the first Doctor I got to write full story arcs for. But I also always enjoy tackling a new incarnation. CBY: There are some classic Doctor Who villains in Empire of the Wolf. Do you have a favorite villain or monster?
JH: I think the Weeping Angels are one of the coolest recent creations in the Who universe, and nothing in the show is quite as scary as they were in Blink. CBY: With Doctor Who being primarily a work of science fiction, what are some “must read” or “must view” pieces of sci-fi that you would recommend?
JH: A recent favorite I've been recommending everyone watch is Raised by Wolves on HBO MAX. Very weird, character-driven sci-fi, which is my favorite. I'm really hoping someone picks up the show for another season.
CBY: You also wrote a Doctor Who story about Missy called “The Master Plan,” which… first, brilliant word play. As a fan of Missy, I was thrilled to find this story and impressed at how fun it was. I could hear Michelle Gomez’s voice while I read it. What can you tell us about the process of making “The Master Plan?”
JH: This was another book that came out of wanting to celebrate a character on their anniversary. I'd been wanting to write more of Missy since Road to Thirteen, and having her come in during the era where she's trying to be more "good" made her a great foil for the Delgado Master. I also love seeing what she thinks the Doctor is. CBY: Being as familiar with the Doctor Who universe as you clearly are, how, or where, would you recommend a newcomer enter this fandom?
JH: I feel like you can't go wrong starting with the Ninth Doctor season, but I've always been a bit of a completionist and prefer watching things in order. I've seen Girl in the Fireplace recommended as a good starter episode, which I agree with. Great monsters, time traveling weirdness, and a lot of emotion. CBY: You have been writing Doctor Who stories with Titan Comics since 2018. Please tell us about Titan Comics and your time with them.
JH: I've been having a blast working with Titan, and getting to do so many books with Roberta on art has been wonderful. I love that we keep getting to do weirder and wilder stories. Hopefully we'll keep pushing the envelope for a while! CBY: As all Whovians know, the 14th Doctor has recently been cast. Jodie Whittaker will be passing the TARDIS to Ncuti Gatwa. What are your thoughts and hopes for the new Doctor?
JH: My favorite thing about a new Doctor is seeing how they see an old universe with new eyes. I can't wait to see what Ncuti's Doctor sees. And hoping to tell some fun stories with him!
CBY: I am a longtime Doctor Who fan. I never followed the comic books though. I absolutely LOVED Empire of the Wolf. I enjoyed it so much that I found myself in this Jody Houser/Doctor Who/Titan Comics rabbit hole with each story being as wonderful as the next. To anyone reading this… as one fan to another fan… if you haven’t checked out these comics books with Titan Comics, do so IMMEDIATELY! You will not regret it!