Advance Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #6
Our yearlong celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary continues! Mmm, I wonder… aha! It is the Sixth Doctor who takes the spotlight in this issue of a 12-part epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the Doctor! As Peri and Frobisher attempt to free the Doctor from an asylum, not one, but two villains are revealed!
IDW’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary celebration rolls on this week with the release of Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #6. The number should clue you in to the fact that 6th Doctor, Colin Baker, gets the spotlight this month. The story is written by Scott and David Tiption with art from John Ridgway. Charlie Kirchoff provides colors and Tom B. Long provides lettering. The 6th Doctor’s era was a troubling time for the TV show, but he fared much better in the world of comics. Does this issue continue in that long line of great comics, or is this Trial of a Time Lord all over again? [Next paragraph is a short story summary, so there are a few spoilers. Skip over the next paragraph if you're worried about spoilers]
The story opens with The Doctor, Peri, and Frobisher in Antarctica so Frobisher can talk to some fellow penguins. Side note- Frobisher is an old Doctor Who companion from the comic books who was a shape shifter who usually lived his life looking like a penguin. Yeah, it sounds crazy but it worked and he was a huge fan-favorite when the comics were coming out. As Frobisher goes off to talk to penguins, he runs into a wall. It’s then we find out the TARDIS crew is actually in the year 7214 in a nature preserve. They find the exit and walk out into the larger city. Frobisher’s penguin guise startles some of the people. They think The Doctor and the parka wearing Peri are stealing a penguin. This kicks off a wild dash as the three travelers have to go on the run from blocky robotic guards. It’s Doctor Who, so of course the three get separated and The Doctor is captured. The Doctor and his separated companions find out that the asylum The Doctor is thrown into has some very villainous guards who are being controlled by a MASTER manipulator (hint hint). With not one, but two old Who villains appearing, The Doctor really has his hands full. There’s also a very surprising new twist in the plot about the mysterious stranger snatching up The Doctor’s companions. But can The Doctor make it out of the asylum with his friends? After all these years is it a straight jacked and a padded cell that finally do The Doctor in?
The Tiptons write one of the finest issues yet. They have nailed down the various Doctor’s voices, but this time they find a great use for the companions and actually have a reason for them to be there. Frobisher seemed like and odd choice at the start of the story, but by the end you see there is a big reason he is needed. They also throw in one heck of a surprise to crack the mystery of the Doctor’s time hopping villain wide open. Somebody pops up that will please a lot of readers. John Ridgway is a Doctor Who comics legend, so it’s amazing to see him drawing the 6th Doctor again. His art is as close to perfect as you can get. He perfectly captures the whole cast. Kirchoff colors help give it an extra kind of retro flavor.
Bottom Line: The Tiptons give readers a lesson of why the 6th Doctor dominated in comics. A combination of a strong script and art from the legendary John Ridgway make Prisoners in Time #6 and absolute must get. All of my previous gripes about the companions are wiped away as Peri and Frobisher get their fair share of the action. Prisoners of Time shows why Doctor Who makes for a fantastic comic 5/5