Featuring the third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, Prisoners of time is set in the UNIT era. Amidst unusually fierce and pan-global storms, the emergency call goes out to recall The Doctor to UNIT. He and Sarah Jane arrive to find The Brigadier is acting very strangely, deploying troops all over the globe without wit or reference to others, and refusing to listen to any sort of reason. Eventually he makes one decision too far, and is able to be relieved of duty.
Written by Scott and David Tipton
Art by Simon Fraser
Published by IDW
This new comic series from IDW will see each Doctor take a monthly spotlight, rather like the Big Finish/Audio Go Destiny of the Doctor series. And, like those audios, IDW have one big fat arc plot up their, and a mysterious cowled figure’s, sleeves.
This first issue features the First Doctor, Ian and Barbara – no surprises there. But instead of ‘granddaughter’ Susan Foreman, the second female companion is Vicky Pallister, for this opener is set mid second season of the TV show. This allows for a wider range of aliens to feature, and here The Web Planet provides its cast of characters to face up to the Doctor and his companions.
The Doctor takes Ian and Barbara to meet Thomas Huxley, the Victorian champion of Charles Darwin’s theories. But a clutch of missing students sees the main action take place in the developing London Underground system (a nod to the newly back in vogue Great Intelligence, maybe), where the villains of this piece are revealed, via a Primeval-esque anomaly.
The art style is very effective, and Hartnell’s voice comes across well in the script, though there is little to tell his companions apart. The ending is something of a cliffhanger which begs the question how the Troughton era second issue will open. For now, this Doctor Who fan is hooked.