Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #1

#1 Posted by inferiorego (24588 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good

Another Doctor Who book that features all 11 incarnations of the Doctor? I'm in. IDW takes on this new series featuring writers Scott & David Tipton and Simon Fraser on art (featuring Gary Caldwell on colors) in which someone wants to take the one thing away from the Doctor he always has: companions. In this issue, the first Doctor, and his two companions, head to 1868 London where they have to deal with a mystery involving aliens underneath the city.

Even though I was a tad put out by some of the story presented to the reader (more about that later), I found this issue to be a fun, right on the money Doctor Who story that fit in with the Hartnell era of Who. The Doctor and companions find aliens, discover what's going on, and stop it. It's pretty cut and dry, but then again, the first season, from what I've watched, is a lot like that as well, so this book's feel and tone are in spirit with the original show.

Writer's Tipton & Tipton seemed to get Hartnell's voice down very well. Personally, I like my first Doctor a bit more surly and talking down to the people around him, but this version works very well. I'm very much looking forward to how the Tiptons handle the other Doctors, including the Collin Baker era Doctor. Here, however, the Doctor only said "HMMMM!" once. Is it weird that I was anticipating that more than anything else in this issue, just to see if the writer's captured his voice correctly? I was just very glad to see it in the issue. The overall issue can get a little dialogue heavy, but again, it's keeping in tone with the original television series, and the dialogue helps spin the tale of where these aliens come from.

The Bad

My main problem with this issue is that the story I want out of this series is almost like a 3 page throw-away moment at the beginning of the issue. We are told who the Doctor is and shown a few different incarnations of him, then the reader is told that he always has companions by a mysterious man. After that, we get a very typical Doctor Who story, and that little piece, in the opening, is completely forgotten about, until the last panel of the issue. I wanted something larger than what this was. And while, it eventually may lead to something like that, the first issue was a bit of a letdown in that department.

I'm not a Doctor Who expert, but I've seen and read quite a bit. That being said, I felt like I jumped into the middle of something and not the beginning of a new series. This feels more like issue 4 than issue 1.

The art is just ok. Later in the issue, we get a bit bogged down in medium shots and close ups. It would have been a bit nicer to see some more long shots, especially some more straight on shots, since so many times the "camera" is placed at bizarre angles.

The Verdict

Not an amazing start to this series, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. I think future issues will be a lot better, as it gets more into the over-arcing story, but there's enough here to keep the reader interested and on board for next month.

The writers have Hartnell's voice down here, and they even got a "HMMM" in. We get a fun little Doctor Who story that really fits in the Hartnell era that is pretty cut and dry.

On the down side, I felt like the over-arcing story should have been played up a bit more because this feels way too much like a one-shot IDW story and not enough like a mini-series. And although it's a new series, I felt like I dived right into issue 4 and not issue 1. Lastly, I wasn't too keen on the art here.

Overall, I give this issue a mild recommendation.

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