These stories are largely unconnected (save for one or two details that serve as the revel towards the end) which gives this volume the feel of an anthology. Rather than a single story, the readers get five separate stories which serve to establish the dynamic between the Doctor and the new companion that has been created for the comic book. 22 pages isn't a lot to tell a story with but each of the issues in the volume manages it by cutting straight to the heart of the story and avoiding any lengthy digressions.
The Doctor's companion in this collection, Josie, is what you would expect from a companion in Doctor Who. She is thoughtful of the world around her, asks questions of it, and speaks out when she sees something she thinks is wrong. She doesn't stand out as much as other companions, but that feels more like it is due to the fact that by this point Doctor Who has been running for over 50 years (so there have been countless companions to measure her against) than because of any flaw with the way she has been written. As with a lot of companions lately there is more to her than first meets the eye but examining that aspect of her in any detail would spoil one of the few twists this collection has.
Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Volume 1: A Matter of Life and Death is a decent example of what Doctor Who can be in comic book form. All of the stories feel like they could quite easily have been written for the show (albeit in a less condensed form), the Doctor shares good chemistry with his companion, and the threats the two meet in this collection all avoid the feeling they are treading over well-worn ground (thanks to a decision not to use more commonly appearing villains from the show). This collection is worth reading for fans looking to enjoy some good Doctor Who stories.
DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR VOLUME 1: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH / SCRIPT: GEORGE MANN / ART: EMMA VIECELLI / PUBLISHER: TITAN COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW