The mysterious being who has been stealing the Doctor’s companions through time stands revealed, and his end-game nears its climax. Can even the brilliant Tenth Doctor stop his rampage, or will Martha Jones fall along with the rest? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
A nice adventure with continuity nods.
I like the art here.
The through-line is lacking.
I wish the Doctor had reacted sooner.
DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME #10
Writer: Scott & David Tipton
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Colorist: Arianna Florean
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Doctor Who – Prisoners Of Time: A few centuries ago, a Time Lord from Gallifrey took his granddaughter, Susan, and escaped his home planet in a rackety old time machine. Some years (and several new bodies) later, going by the named of The Doctor, he met a young man named Adam who seemed to be companion material, but whose own greed and personal failings caused the Doctor to send him back home with a stern admonishment. Somehow, though, Adam has returned, and has been making his way through the time stream stealing away The Doctor’s companions to punish the man who abandoned him. Nine times the Doctor has crossed Adam’s path, and nine times has he failed. Will Ten be the one to break the streak?
The biggest failing for me of this series is the fact that each story has been a pretty-much unrelated vignette featuring its respective Doctor, ending with Adam arriving to steal his companions. Last issue, the Ninth Doctor lost his Rose, and it seemed that he was prepared to take action to retrieve her. This issue opens with the Tenth Doctor and Martha arriving in Hollywood circa the 1950s, ostensibly to view Gallifrey from Griffith Observatory. Things quickly spin out of control, with Martha getting drawn into the production as a new female lead, and the Doctor encountering an old foe in the shadows. The good part is, the Tipton brothers know their Tenth Doctor pretty well, as well as any of the Doctors thus far. The bad part is, the characterization her is highly reliant upon existing catchphrases and quirks, making it seem like a “Tenth Doctor’s Greatest Hits.” I suppose that, in an anniversary celebration, that’s not a bad thing, but it is one of the largest roadblocks to truly enjoying the book for me…
I’M SORRY… I’M SO, SO SORRY.
As for the plot itself, it’s paper-thin (aliens want to make a movie with subliminal messages to control the human populace) and the use of old-school baddies The Quarks is cute, but the sudden spur-of-the-moment choice of a Hollywood producer to replace his female lead (!!) halfway through production strains credulity, especially for an unknown, untrained actress. The fact that she’s a woman of color and it’s the fifties doesn’t help matters. Finally, though, The Doctor has enough memory of Adam to respond when he teleports in to steal his companion, and while Martha is taken, the Tenth Doctor finally gets proactive, heading back to the TARDIS and making a call for backup. “Frobisher! Listen up, we don’t have much time!” Shape-shifting penguins HOOOOOO! The text piece in the back of the story annoys me (although, to be honest, many of them have) by directly opining that the Eleventh Doctor is the bestest Doctor ever and that next issue will feature the REAL hero in action. Is some of that interpretation my own personal bias? Undoubtedly, but it doesn’t make me any less irritated…
THE BOTTOM LINE: WEEEELLLLLL…
In short, the 50th anniversary tribute comic has meandered a bit getting here, and I’m quite bothered that it was only the modern Doctors who were able to actually DO anything about the plot targeting all their lives, a product of the writers clearly being bigger fans of the modern material. That isn’t a fatal flaw in the book, as this issue serves as a nicely drawn one-shot adventure of the Tenth Doctor and underrated companion Martha, but it does mute some of my appreciation of the series as a whole. Doctor Who – Prisoners Of Time #10 does an okay job, and reads well enough, but the flaws of the overall series have started to accumulate, leaving the book with a middle-of-the-road 2.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’ll be interested to see how this whole thing wraps up in the next few weeks, and whether or not it will stack up against the television anniversary episode…