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Comic Book Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #4

prisonersoftime4Caliburn24 here with the best Doctor in any regeneration.

The Prisoners of Time limited series has moved through every Doctor so it will most likely reach Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor with one more issue to conclude the series.  The art covers by Francesco Francavilla features a Doctor with different lighting on his face and the villain in the background.  In this case, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor has a glaring orange glow with a Judoon behind him.   The interesting part is that the background also features the outline of the Tardis so once the series is complete a full Tardis can be made out of all of the covers.  A mysterious cloaked figure was observing the Doctor and sees the key to his downfall is his Companions.  The first issue featured William Hartnell’s Doctor along with school teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, and Vicki, a school girl from the 25th Century.  They meet Thomas Huxley at the Royal College in 1868.  The group defeats the alien Animus and returned the giant ant-like Zarbi back to their homeworld, but all of the Companions disappeared. 

Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor appears at the futurisitic Frenko Bazaar with his Companions, Zoe, an intelligent girl from the future, and Jamie McCrimmon, a Highlander from 18th Century Scotland.  The crocodile-like alien Voraxx kidnap Jamie to sell to the slave market.  The Doctor and his Companions free Ice Warriors to lead a revolt against the Voraxx.  They return via a Transmat device, but the Doctor finds himself alone.  Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor shows up in 1974 London to find Sarah Jane Smith, a reporter who moved onto her own series, and Liz Shaw, a member of UNIT.  Pertwee’s Doctor was exiled to Earth so he doesn’t travel in the Tardis.  They find that Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is acting unusual.  The Doctor uses a device to eject the Ramoraxian parasite.  He travels in his vintage roadster Bessie and later the Whomobile to reach the UNIT sea base.  The Ramoraxian Prime, sort of Jabba the Hutt as a blue sea creature, wants to flood the world to make it suitable for his species.  Richard Nixon sends bombers to destroy England and the Ramoraxians.  The Brigadier and the Doctor convince the Ramoraxians that Earthers are cray cray and they head off in their ship.  The hooded figure appears (for the first time since the first issue) and uses a Vortex Manipulator (used by Captain Jack Harkness) to steal away Sarah Jane, Liz, and the Brigadier. 

Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor was restored to traveling the Vortex in the Tardis.  The issue continues with the writing team of Scott and David Tipton.  The artist is Gary Erskine who maintains the likeness of the actors and there seems to be new artist with a new Doctor.  The opening is set in the Tardis with Companion, Leela, wearing the Doctor’s hat and working over a math problem presented by K-9.  Leela was played by Louise Jameson and she was a savage warrior from an alien planet.  K-9 is of course the faithful robot dog, “Bark Bark” (wait that was the South Park episode).  The Doctor promises Leela a banquet on the farmworld Agratis.  He also mentions the Jewel of Fawton that has brought tourism to the world.  They exit the Tardis to find the world covered by armored vehicles and rockets.  The Doctor rushes them back to the Tardis, gets his long scarf caught, and slams the Tardis door before the Judoon close on them.  The Judoon were the rhinoceros cops that were introduced in the Tenth Doctor’s run.

K-9 reports that he has found transmissions that indicate that the Judoon were called in because the Jewel of Fawton was stolen.  The Doctor travels back to the planet to see his friend Mason Vox.  He and his daughter, Celia, have bright red skin.  They all travel to the museum where they see Curator Frez, a bald alien whose face looks like the Twilight Zone episode where the masks distort the faces of their wearers.  Celia reveals to her father that her boyfriend, Roget, had stolen the jewel.  The Judoon will rip apart the planet, but the Doctor hopes to find Roget, the jewel, and restore it to its proper place.  The Doctor sends Leela and K-9 to distract the Judoon while the others go after the jewel.  They travel to wind carved caves that resemble something out of 127 Hours’ Canyonlands National Park.  Mason Vox and Curator Frez explain that the world was harsh until they found the jewel and terraformed the planet.  They enter some crystalline caverns and Mason falls.  Switch to topside at the city, where Leela leaps to the top of one of the armored vehicles.  She pops into the hatch and the next moment, the Judoon is seen hurtling out of the door.

Leela picks up two explosive bandoliers and has K-9 pilot the vehicle as she kicks down a Judoon riding a hover bike.  Then, she passes under the legs of a Judoon scout walker and uses the explosives to destroy its legs.  Back in the cave, the Doctor uses his long scarf so Mason can pull himself up.  They find the young Roget, he is busy placing the jewel back where it was found, with Curator Frez not wanting him to activate it Total Recall style.  Crystalline insect-like creatures start to move.  Roget explains that when their crystal was removed, they went into a hibernation state.  The Doctor explains that now that the jewel is returned to its rightful rulers that the Judoon will withdraw.  Leela is sitting at a banquet table with three Judoon.  The Doctor offers them a jelly baby.  This is his favorite way to smooth relations with hostile aliens.  Absolutely delicious, which I loved eating in the UK, but for some reason their dye color bars them from the US.  The hooded figure watches the Doctor through binoculars and uses the Vortex Manipulator to appear at the banquet.  He takes away K-9 and Leela before the Doctor’s startled eyes.  The series has not failed to bring in favorite Companions, aliens (new and from different eras), and keep up the mystery of the hooded man.