Review: Doctor Who Classics #5
Doctor Who Classics is back, presenting classic comic strips—many never before reprinted and in color for the very first time! This issue includes “Train-Flight” in its entirety, featuring the Seventh Doctor and art by fan-favorite John Ridgway!
We get another Seventh Doctor adventure this month in the pages of Doctor Who Classics #5. This time The Doctor reunites with Sarah Jane for what should be a simple trip to a jazz concert. There’s no simple when it comes to traveling with The Doctor though. Train-Flight was written by Andrew Donkin and Graham S. Brand with art by John Ridgway and letters from Glib. New credits include Charlie Kirchoff on colors. So is this really a classic adventure or should it have been lost to time?
The Seventh Doctor has materialized the TARDIS inside former companion Sarah Jane Smith’s home office. He’s trying to talk Sarah Jane into going to an Oscar Petersen jazz concert at the Albert Hall. Ace is off in the cretaceous having adventures, and The Doctor is hoping that his former companion will accompany him. Sarah Jane, having forged a life of her own complete with a new job and other responsibilities, agrees to go to the concert but she won’t step foot in the TARDIS. Sarah Jane wants a more reliable form of transportation like the train. When the train goes through a tunnel, something very strange happen. The Doctor, Sarah Jane, and all of the other passengers are transported to space by a primitive transmit dematerialization device. The other passengers are unaware of their predicament so it’s up to The Doctor and Sarah Jane to find out what has happened. It’s an adventure Sarah Jane didn’t want to go on, but can she survive their encounter with a group of fierce hunters out to prove a point?
Donkin and Brand present a fun, fast-paced story that reunites Sarah Jane and The Doctor. This originally ran in three issues of Doctor Who Magazine from 1990. The show had been off for a little while, so seeing Sarah Jane again was a real treat. This was long before she came back to our TVs and even got her own show, so any appearance in the comic strips was always a big event. The Doctor and Sarah Jane have a few moments to talk about old times but this is mainly a classic Doctor Who adventure with high stakes. Ridgway’s art is great. He captures Sylvester McCoy and Elizabeth Sladen very well and presents some great settings and some familiar but very alien baddies. Kirchoff’s colors compliment Ridgway’s art really well and gives it an almost painted look at times.
Bottom Line: Doctor Who Classics lives up to its name every month. With the 50th Anniversary quickly approaching, there has never been a better time to dive into the show’s history. Great stories like these offer everyone a great jumping on point. 4/5