Villordsutch reviews Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #8…
“Our yearlong celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary continues! The Eighth Doctor takes the spotlight in this issue of a 12-part epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the Doctor! After helping him defeat the Master, the Doctor attempts to convince Grace Holloway to join him on his travels, in this untold tale!”
I can recall waiting in my first ever home, sat with my Fiancée (now Wifey) for the Eighth Doctor to appear on television. I’d missed my Doctor Who so very much and finally it was time (Lord of) for the world to remember how fantastic Who was. I knew Paul McGann was going to be in it so that made it even better. It started great – Jelly Babies, new console room and Mr Sylvester McCoy (whom I’ve met twice and been shouted at by once) stepping in for a regeneration. Excellent! Then it went considerably worse. It’s difficult to type “Half-Human” without wanting to lash out at something. Still this was a mere glitch at the start of the new series… Damn!
Now here’s the thing, I never ever read any Eighth Doctor comic strips, listened to the Big Finish CDs, or read the novels. I couldn’t be arsed. I had been let down so massively with the furore generated by what we could have had. So under the belief that time heals all wounds I was rather hoping that this issue of Doctor Who Prisoners of Time would fix said wounds.
What struck me first was the amazingly horrible cartoon style of art this Doctor Who strip had been given. It is almost a homegrown teenage comic strip style and the culprit behind this is Roger Langridge (Popeye, Gross Point). If ever I wanted the world to take the Michael out of me for my love of comics they’d hold this issue up as Exhibit A. After they had laughed at the Doctor and villagers’ appearances they would the turn on me with the picture of the triangle-headed aliens with Elton John shades, cape and cane, and guffaw in my face. I can’t recall seeing any of Roger’s other work, but if he was asked to draw in this style to recreate the feel of the comics of that era then I’m sorry Roger, but you should have declined.
Whilst I have this angry hat on I’ll turn to the Tipton Twosome (Scott and David). What they have written here is so empty of any thought or entertainment that it feels like they really couldn’t be bothered. Horrible to say I know, but it’s the truth. We have a medieval like society on the brink of destroying themselves, when glass-jawed aliens turn up and say they will help them become peaceful; then the villagers just lay down their weapons and hand over their kids willingly without asking any questions. Taking into account that “yes they’re aliens” and “yes this is sci-fi”, would this really happen? No it bloody wouldn’t, and the first time one of these peace bringers gets a slight shove from these (so called) warring peoples the aliens drop down dead due to their frail bodies. Poppycock! However, at least we’ve been given more of a taste for the thread that is tying all of these Who tales together in this issue. I’m grateful for this, but it’s such a shame that this positive addition impacted greatly on the rest of the story.
So I’ve learnt from all of this that time doesn’t heal all wounds, it just rubs salt and lemon juice in them.
Villordsutch is married with kids and pets. He looks like a tubby Viking and enjoys science fiction. Follow him on Twitter.