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Graphic Novel Review: 'Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time' Volume 1

Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment

50 years of Doctor Who is no small feat. As a way of celebration, there will be twelve issues of a comic series titled Prisoners of Time released throughout the year, showcasing all of the Doctors. The final issue will, presumably (this is unconfirmed) feature all of the Doctors, together. Here's IDW's brief summary:

November 23, 1963: A day that changed the world forever. That day saw the broadcast debut of Doctor Who, which was to become the longest-running science-fiction series on television. And now 50 years later, we pay tribute to one of the greatest pop-culture heroes of all time with this special series, which tells an epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the intrepid traveler through time and space known simply as... the Doctor.

The first three issues have been collected into a first volume, set to be released between May and June depending on where you look, and I've been lucky to have an early look at it. By the way, there are no spoilers ahead!

Each of the three chapters contained in PoT Vol. 1 focuses on a different doctor and his companions.

Someone wants to get to the Doctor, and has decided to go after his companions. All of them. He wants the Doctor to be completely alone. Think about what I just said...all of the companions. This new, mysterious adversary knows the identity of the Doctor across all of his incarnations, and can time-travel to get to them all.

In the first chapter, we see the first Doctor and his companions attending a lecture by Thomas Huxley. All in a day's fun, until Huxley reveals that some of his students are missing, and were probably lost in some nearby tunnels. The Doctor, of course, jumps at the chance to help someone in need, and aids in the investigation.

In the second chapter, we see the second Doctor and two companions arrive at a huge inter-stellar mall. A detour - another normal happenstance in the adventures of the Doctor. While exploring, they discover a group of "businessmen" who are involved in slave trading, and the Doctor is compelled to further investigate.

Finally, in the third chapter, we see the third Doctor with Sarah Jane Smith, answering a call for help from a friend on Earth. It's storming nonstop and they quickly discover that an alien race is trying to turn the planet into a water world. To make matters worse, the US Government, backed into a corner and unable to find any way out of the situation, orders a nuclear attack on Great Britain to eliminate the alien threat and "save" humanity. The Doctor won't stand for that, of course.

All three issues are very much in the spirit of Doctor Who, which is not surprising considering the team is well-versed in sci-fi writing; and in the case of one artist Lee Sullivan, particularly experienced in this franchise. If you've read any Doctor Who comics series, chances are you've seen Lee's work.

For Doctor Who fans, this is a worthy addition to any collection, especially if you're not into collecting individual comics issues.

Prisoners of Time Vol. 1 is a great kick-off to what is sure to be a year full of fun stories. I couldn't help but hear the Doctors' actual voices in my head as I was reading the dialogue, and the artwork is delightful. Three chapters seems like a small amount to wait for until June, and I thought so too at first, but the third chapter ended so perfectly as a break point that I can't see it any other way.

I read Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time Vol. 1 Graphic Novel digitally as a review copy from Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley.

Purchase individual issues from IDW.

Pre-order Volume 1 of the graphic novel (paperback) on Amazon: