Friday, 15 February 2013

Doctor Who Prisoners of Time pt 1

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who IDW is producing a 12 issue story with each issue featuring an incarnation of the Doctor, presumably the final issue will feature all 11 given that there have only been 11 Doctors but that’s only a guess. Each issue is part of a bigger picture when they there all put together will build up to a drawing of all 11 Doctors and the TARDIS, the first issue features the Doctors first incarnation as played by William Hartnell.

A hooded figure (aren’t they always) is looking over the Doctors life’s both past and present he / she seems to have knowledge of the Doctor and the way he operates, they have noted that the Doctor is never alone that he always has companions no matter what incarnation he currently is. The figure has decided to hinder the Doctor by taking away his companions, thus leaving him alone and vulnerable.
The TARDIS has landed in Victorian London the Doctor has sent a message to his old friend the famous Biologist Thomas Huxley and is taking Ian, Barbara and Vicky to see one of his lectures, as school teachers both Ian, and Barbara are very excited about this but for the 25th century educated Vicky the lecture is somewhat of a bore. Once the lecture is over the Doctor and his companions meet up with Thomas and it during this time the Doctor finds out some of his friends students have gone missing, they were collecting samples in the newly constructed London Underground and never returned. Not been ones to pass up a mystery the Doctor and his companions join the search party in the underground tunnels, and it’s not long before they run into something very familiar that should not be there.
The Zarbi a giant ant like race are living in the tunnels and taking anyone they come up against, the Zarbi are normally peaceful but are susceptible to mind control. Through the Doctors dialogue we discover that his last encounter with the Zarbi was on Votis where they were been controlled by the Animus, a creature that was apparently destroyed by the Doctor so it’s a surprise to find that the Animus is now in the tunnels under London controlling the Zarbi again. The inevitable face to face encounter between the Animus and the Doctor takes place where the Animus tells the Doctor its plans for world domination, battle ensues and the Animus is destroyed by Ian running into it on one of the underground steam trains. That must have been conveniently parked up ready to roll and is apparently not that hard to drive (Casey Jones had me fooled all these years), after ushering the now docile Zarbi back to their home world by means of the portal they arrived through the Doctor then persuades his friend Thomas never to speak of what he has seen, so Job done.

As the Doctor ponders how the Animus got to be in Victorian London and who helped him as he could not have done it alone, he suddenly realises that he is now alone as all three of his companions has just vanished.

The comic gives new fans a glimpse into the world of first Doctor and his companions however they may find this none action style of Doctor little hard to embrace, this is a more thinking and organising Doctor due to been physically older than the incarnations that follow although he is technically the youngest of all the Doctors (timey wimey).

The story by Scott and David Tippton is excellent although I would expect nothing else from the writers who gave us the resent Star Trek / Doctor Who crossover, I also enjoyed use of the Zarbi and Animus classic monsters for a classic Doctor. Unfortunately the artwork is a bit of a letdown and I don’t think it did the story justice, my understanding is that there are different artists on each book so I'm hoping the art will improve as the story continues.

Now the issue did throw up a few interesting questions none more than who is the hooded figure taking the companions out of time, most fans are speculating the Master but that seems a little too obvious to me, I will throw in the War Chief the renegade Time Lord from the War Games story line but it’s only a guess.

Other point I noted was the Doctor getting Ian’s last name wrong calling him Chatterton, Chitterton and Chiggerton instead of Chesterton, now I don’t know if this is something the first Doctor did on the show although I am not aware of it or it has something to do with the companions been taken out of time and the Doctor starting to forget them. At worst it was a spelling mistake and I am creating scenario's out of nothing, if anyone has any thoughts on this please let me know.


  1. According to the Doctor Who Wiki (TARDIS Data Core) the actor who played the first doctor, William Hartnell, would occasionally get his lines wrong. The included getting Ian's last name wrong, a feature that was eventually added to the First Doctor's personality.

  2. Thanks for that info I wasnt aware of it, I can stop running reasons why he kept doing it through my head now.