The New Adventures with the 11th Doctor continues in issue #2,The Friendly Place, as he and his new companion, Alice, land on Rockhandi, the most perfect planet in the universe. Well, that’s what it used to be. The Doctor is annoyed that Alice’s first destination in the TARDIS is now a Disney World-like attraction filled with impossibly happy people.
The pair quickly figure out that everyone in Rokhandi are being controlled by a mysterious being that trades what the people want most for their souls. The Doctor offers himself up, but causes the entity to basically throw up and explode by wishing for something so complex – something he learned in Physics at the Time Lord University – it couldn’t handle it. The spell is broken and the people revert back to their normal selves, the kind of people who get annoyed by long lines at an amusement park and vomit after riding a roller coaster.
The adventure was a short one with a simple enough resolution, but that’s not what made this issue shine. The new relationship between Alice and The Doctor is refreshing. Like any companion worthy of traveling with The Doctor, Alice is clever, but she doesn’t need his compliments to feel good about her contributions to the team. She scolds him for treating her like a puppy getting rewarded with a treat when he insists on calling her a “clever library librarian.” She also won’t stand for him using her recent tragedy to shame one of the park workers in the beginning of the issue.
In addition to the excellent chemistry, this story featured yet another hint at something bigger at play. The park’s head of security seemed to have already known The Doctor and Alice, but they didn’t recognize him, which suggests that they’ve encountered him before but not yet in their timeline. He also asks about “the other one” so does this mean there’s another companion joining them soon? I hope so. And let’s not forget the Time Lord The Doctor caught a glimpse of in the first issue.
And the issue’s cliffhanger ending suggests they may not be done with the being on Rockhandi.