Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #5
Our yearlong celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary continues! The Fifth 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 and the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) gets the spotlight. Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #5 hits comic book stores today. The story is written by Scott and David Tipton with art by Philip Bond. Charlie Kirchoff provides colors with Tom B. Long handling lettering. So does the Fifth Doctor get his due?
This story opens up differently than the previous entries. We open on a shielded bubble house located “somewhen in a place between places.” Our mystery man who has been snatching up The Doctor’s companions all over time is plotting and planning at his base. We see the mystery man’s face, but he’s not someone we know. At least the face he’s using isn’t immediately recognizable. He goes on with a bit of internal monologue as he talks about The Doctor being “callous, capricious, and entitled.” He doesn’t want to kill The Doctor, but he does want to make him suffer. Then cut to the TARDIS landing on an alien planet. The Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric all pile out. They have to stop for a few hours and refuel the TARDIS. Luckily they happened to pass by a planet that emits enough Artron energy to fuel the old girl. What The Doctor and his companions don’t know is that the planet is the site of a skirmish between the Sontarans and the Rutans. The Doctor skips between the two camps learning about their latest clash in the never ending war. Can he end the war or will the TARDIS crew find themselves in a battle they can’t win? Will our mysterious villain step in to steal the companions yet again?
The Tipton brothers do a good job of expanding the mysterious villain and giving us a little insight into what his master plan is and why he’s doing it. Issue one introduced us to him and this issue explore him a little more. The Fifth Doctor’s story is pretty light. They land, they explore, he talks to the Rutans, he talks to the Sontarans, he tries to stop it, the end. The Tipton’s nail the Fifth Doctor’s youthfulness and how he is constantly screaming at the injustice in the world as he always tries to find another way to stop the trouble he finds himself in. There are moments where Tegan’s character is perfectly captured with her constant whining and complaining, but the other characters are underused. The Tipton’s nail the Doctors, but they haven’t come up with anything for the companions to do in five issues other than getting kidnapped. That’s really the big weakness with this series as a whole. The companions are criminally underused and misused. The art is great. Bond’s art and Kirchoff’s colors really work together well to present a stunning visual landscape. They don’t make Davison screen accurate, but they nail his youthfulness down fantastically.
Bottom Line: Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time has been an enjoyable series, but having the companions around as little more than cannon fodder has been a big drawback. The Doctors have been nailed down perfectly, to the Tipton’s credit. This is a fun and fast story with vibrant art. 3.5/5