Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #4
Our yearlong celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary continues! Put on your scarves and munch on some jelly babies, as the fan-favorite Fourth Doctor takes the spotlight in this issue of a 12-part epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the Doctor!
IDW’s Doctor Who celebration rolls on this month with the fourth issue of Prisoners of Time. That means Tom Baker’s Doctor takes center stage this go around. The story is written by Scott and David Tipton with art by Gary Erskine, Mike Collins gets thank you credit as well. Charlie Kirchoff provides colors with Tom B. Long handling letters. So does this issue pick up the pace, or is it drawn out longer than The Doctor’s scarf?
The Doctor, Leela, and K-9 are lounging about in the TARDIS when The Doctor gets the idea to take Leela to the planet Agratis. It’s a farmworld noted throughout the galaxy for its bounty and its impressive feasts. There’s also the famed Jewel of Fawton, said to be the most beautiful gem in all of creation. The whole crew is ready for a feast, but they’ll try to make time for the jewel as well. When they arrive nothing is as The Doctor remembers. The place is in chaos as The Doctor and Leela see that the Judoon are on the scene. The intergalactic police for hire have been summoned to locate the famed jewel that has gone missing. The planet’s tourist industry is deteriorating every day the jewel is gone. The Doctor, Leela, K-9, and some of the planet’s higher-ups find themselves in an action-packed race to find the jewel before the Judoon cause even more damage. The mysterious man stealing all the Doctor’s companions also makes a big appearance.
The Tiptons write a much stronger story with Tom Baker. Being the longest surviving Doctor to date, there’s not a lot Doctor #4 didn’t do. The Tiptons manage to craft a new spin on the Baker years’ formula. The first three issues had their hiccups, but this one goes along very smoothly. Erskine captures the likenesses of Baker and Louise Jameson well. There are a few odd profiles of Baker, but overall he and his trademark scarf are represented well. Kirchoff’s colors are brilliant. There’s a lot of room to flex the color pallet both with the multi-color scarf as well as the alien landscapes and several action scenes we get in the issue.
Bottom Line: I may be a hard reviewer to please when it comes to the Prisoners of Time, but this issue more than does what it should. It’s a great adventure that feels like it belongs on the TV screen. The Fourth Doctor and Leela are captured perfectly. If the last eight issues are like this one, then this will turn out to be a truly epic celebration 4.5/5