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Comic Review: DOCTOR WHO — PRISONERS OF TIME #4

I so desperately want to like this series. I grew up on classic Doctor Who. I learned to read due to Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons’ Doctor Who and the Iron Legion. All the elements are here, but it keeps leaving me cold.

Whereas the last few issues have been tributes to the comics of the Doctor du jour, this issue takes a different approach. Perhaps wisely, we are not treated to a rehash of the much acclaimed John Wagner/Mills/Gibbons run on Doctor Who Weekly. For a start, we are given fan favorite Leela to play with, who seldom appeared in comic form. And there are the Judoon as well! I’ve never been particularly fond of the Judoon, thinking them to be second rate Sontarans, but the Judoon vs Leela fight is easily the most exciting thing we’ve seen thus far. In some respects, it is an inverse of Tony Lee’s tenth Doctor comic, Fugitive, wherein the then current Doctor met several enemies of his third incarnation. I’m sure this was unintentional, though.

Prisoners of Time 4

The art, this time handled by the usually stellar Gary Erskine, is a mixed bag. For a comic based on a long running series, the likenesses have been uneven to say the least. There are panels in which he’s nailed Tom Baker dead on and then later on the same page the Doctor looks like someone entirely. As I say though, the action sequences are quite good. The crystalline caves are similarly striking and I could easily imagine what the BBC scenic department of the era, say under Roger Murray-Leach, would do to bring it to life.

We get a little more with the mysterious cloaked figure, this time perhaps catching a couple more clues to his identity. In the next issue, we’re promised a few answers. Will it be enough to sustain interest for another seven Doctors? We’ll see.

You can pick up Doctor Who: Prisoners in Time #4 at a comic shop near you and online via Comixology and wherever else digital comics are sold. 

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Steven Sautter

Steven Sautter