Or – “When I Say Run, RUN!!!”

The first issue of Doctor Who – Prisoner Of Time had some odd characterization, some strange moments for the cast, and the usual array of “looking-like-the-actors” problems that often come with adaptations of live material.  Will The Second Doctor have an easier time of it?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

Writer(s): Scott & David Tipton
Artist: Lee Sullivan
Colorist: Phil Elliott
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Doctor Who – Prisoner Of Time:  The First Doctor and his companions encountered a lost colony of alien Zarbi and ended up somehow trapped by forces unknown.  How will the second Doctor fare?


The biggest problem that I had with the first issue of this series came in how odd it felt as a story featuring the characters.  As a sequel to an existing story, it wasn’t half bad, and as an issue, I would still recommend it, but it felt a bit odd as a Doctor Who story.  My knowledge of The Second Doctor’s era is a bit stronger than that of the First, and I went into this issue more vigilant of characterization.  When the TARDIS first appears, materializing in (a very convenient space in) a row of Police Boxes, I realize that I’m in trouble.  The Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and futuristic genius Zoe Heriot exit the ship, walking out into a bazaar filled with so much of everything, that they have an entire space dedicated to Police Boxes.  It’s an odd conceit, made odder by the sudden discovery of slave-traders, but I’m struck by the Second Doctor’s surprise at not ending up where he intended.  Given that Doctor #2 seldom if ever had even the slightest idea where he was going to go, it’s a problematic line, and things get weirder when Jamie is captured by the slavers for their upcoming auction.


Recently, when I reviewed The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1, I was struck by the strange fonts that IDW was using, wherein all bolded words seemed to be in a completely different faux-Greek style, something that continues in this issue, and gets pretty distracting.  As for the story itself, it’s a very basic generic adventure story, and the Second Doctor/Zoe/Jamie interaction is indistinguishable from the Eleventh Doctor/Amy/Rory interactions of recent seasons, something that makes me very unhappy indeed.  There are some nice continuity touches here and there, and a couple of clever visual jokes (there’s apparently a department stores called “Horrids”) but there isn’t really a whole lot going on that really cements this as a Second Doctor story of the era in which it is set, and the ending feels both rushed and vague, leaving a pair of Ice Warriors in command of a warship, while the Doctor is teleported away from his companions, somehow, leaving him in a similar limbo to the one where we last saw the First Doctor last issue…


It is clear from his performance (especially in the latest Christmas Special) that Matt Smith is taking some cues from the Second Doctor’s interpretation of the character, which is something I greatly enjoy.  Unfortunately, the creators use this influence in the wrong direction, with the Eleventh Doctor’s influence creeping through this story to make it feel more like a Matt Smith issue than a Patrick Troughton issue.  As The Doctor admires a nice fez, I chuckled a bit, but the character’s actions just didn’t feel 100% authentic to the Doctor of seasons 3 through 6 (and 6B.)  I’m still on board with the overall concept of a multi-Doctor series, but this was a rather disappointing story for me, causing Doctor Who – Prisoner Of Time #2 to earn a middle-of-the-road 2.5 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s not a bad book (and the cover is quite striking) but it’s not a particularly successful Second Doctor book…

Rating: ★★½☆☆


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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

1 Comment

  1. comicfan1974 on

    I was even more struck by the fact that in the first issue, the First Doctor apparently was able to steer the Tardis, taking his companions exactly where he wanted to go, something which the original series held was a near impossibility for that Doctor. I am no continuity-slave, but really? To contradict something so quintessential seemed either sloppy or lazy.

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