Prisoners of Time is IDW’s celebratory mini-series for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. A twelve issue series that will have an issue focusing on each of the Doctor’s eleven incarnations and is set to be one of the biggest stories the company has ever produced.
Issue one kicks off with a mysterious figure studying the eleven forms of the Doctor and his various companions, narrating what makes the Doctor the Doctor, no matter what incarnation is the companions he surrounds himself with. The mysterious figure sets out on a plot to separate the Doctor from his companions. The scene is a great set up for the story and features various companions and events from both the classic series and the modern show.
The rest of the issue follows the First Doctor, as played on screen by the late great William Hartnell, and his three companions Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Vicki as they visit one of the Doctor’s old friends for a lecture. After the lecture the Doctor discovers that a number of students have gone missing from the school in the newly constructed London Underground and volunteers to help. Once underground the team discovers that the Zarbi are behind the disappearances.
The story is very much an echo of the era it was set in, with a rather dull story that sidelines the female characters to allow the men to save the day. It fits in with the way the show was in the early sixties, but unfortunately just doesn’t work too well in a modern comic.
The art in the book is not the worst I have ever seen but is very far from the best, with a number of panels feeling rather lack-lustre and dull than thrilling. I can only hope that other artists come on board for other issues of the book otherwise it’s not going to be one of the most visually engaging reads.
Issue one sets up the premise of the story well enough but isn’t the most interesting of reads. The danger with the format of the series focusing on different Doctors each issue is that whilst an average issue one can sometimes be expected (after all it’s just set up) each issue should also be treated as a stand alone one-shot story. As such issue one isn’t the best and drags in a number of places.
Hopefully the quality will pick up over the course of the series run so that it can be an exciting part of the 50th anniversary of the show. 6/10
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