Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #8
Our yearlong celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary continues! The Eighth Doctor takes the spotlight in this issue of a 12-part epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the Doctor! After helping him defeat the Master, the Doctor attempts to convince Grace Holloway to join him on his travels, in this untold tale!
The gigantic Doctor Who celebration rolls on as we round the final stretch to November. Prisoners of Time is on issue #8, to that means Paul McGann’s Doctor gets the spotlight this month. The issue is written by Scott and David Tipton with art from Roger Langridge. Charlie Kirchoff handles colors and Tom B. Long provides lettering. Paul McGann had a short lived tenure on the small screen, but a long and rich run in the comics and radio productions. How does this “untold adventure” stack up against the rest?
The story opens in San Francisco in February of 2000. It has been one month since Dr. Grace Holloway helped the newly regenerated Doctor stop the villainous machinations of the snot monster that was The Master who took over Julie Robert’s brother’s body (the TV movie was really weird). Grace is back into her normal routine when suddenly she hears the sound of the TARDIS on her doorstep. The Doctor has returned to see if she changed her mind about traveling with him. She is a little bored with her life since she met him, but she’s not really up to traveling fulltime. The Doctor convinces her to take one trip. Just one trip. You know one trip with The Doctor turns into a few pit stops, a sightseeing tour, and a full blown adventure. The Doctor and Grace find themselves involved in an earth-like planet’s power structure. The planet had been saved from the mysterious Overseers. They saved their planet and in return the world’s inhabitants must give up a few of their people every so often to “ascend” to the Overseers’ cities. The Doctor and Grace immediately smell something fishy and get to work. What happens when people “ascend” to the Overseers’ city? Can The Doctor keep Grace safe?
The Tipton’s write a good issue. McGann only had one TV outing (to date), but has lived a long life in comics and Big Finish audio plays with the actor lending his voice. This story seems to follow more in line with the movie since there are a few hints and nods to that story. At times it feels like a cookie cutter Doctor, but McGann didn’t get any trademark mannerisms in the hour and a half movie. They make it feel in line with what we saw on the screen, but it isn’t quite as distinct as the other varied McGann outings in recent years. Langridge provides some great art. He has a very distinct cartoony style that still manages to capture the likenesses of Grace and The Doctor. He makes a fantastic alien world that still feels like earth, but has some weird alien craft and architecture. The Overseers do look oddly similar to the McDonald’s moon man mascot of the 90s. That’s not a critique, just an observation. Kirchoff’s colors are bright and vibrant. They complement Langridge’s style perfectly.
Bottom Line: We’re still in a predictable story structure with Prisoners of Time with the way it starts and ends, but at least the ride has been enjoyable overall. The Tipton’s present a good “lost adventure” for the 8th Doctor that really lays more groundwork for the big reveal to come. 3/5