Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #6
Written by Scott & David Tipton
Art by John Ridgway and Charlie Kirchoff
Covers by Francesco Francavilla, Charlie Kirchoff, Dave Sim
Release Date: June 26, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
If the first five issues were love letters to classic Doctor Who, then the sixth issue of Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time is a marriage proposal!
The Sixth Doctor era of Doctor Who, with Colin Baker taking up the mantle of the Time Lord, is an interesting era. It suffered from high criticism from the BBC, the beginning of a period that would inevitably lead to the cancellation of the series; and also made Baker don the costume that fashion forgot. Besides this, it’s the comic book era of Colin Baker’s personification that is of great interest – and an aspect of which that gets a great tribute in this new issue of Prisoners Of Time.
Continuing from the ongoing series, an unnamed nemesis is stalking all of time and space to kidnap the companions of the Doctor, in an effort of seeking revenge. The Sixth Doctor, accompanied by television assistant Peri, and the shapeshifting being taking the form of a PENGUIN known as Frobisher (from the comics), arrive on Antarctica in the year 7214.
Antarctica is now Antarcopolis, a sprawling metropolitan continent reformed from its icy heritages, with small sanctuaries of natural areas left for the native fauna. As they explore the area, the Doctor and his companions fall under attack from robotic security guards, and he is taken to an asylum as a part of a devious plot by the Master.
But the Master is not alone, and employing elements of the Nestene Consciousness in the form of Auton soldiers, Peri and Frobisher find themselves chased further while they search from the Doctor. Meanwhile, as the Doctor begins to remember the ongoing onslaught by the unnamed kidnapper, a voice from the future provides warning and guidance to an unexpected character, providing a surprising but opportune twist.
The convolutions of this issue may be lost on some younger fans, but the long term Whovians who regard the Classic era with high esteem will absolutely love the abundant references to the old series in this issue.
The writing by the Tiptons in issue six is beyond that of brilliance, finally displaying a fascinating twist that will have several huge consequences in the long term of the series, no doubt. The inclusion of Frobisher was WONDERFUL, and definitely an inclusion for the fans of the classic comic strip. Besides this, the structure is sturdy, and plays nicely into the overarching plot, more so than fans may expect before reading this one.
The artwork by John Ridgway is significant for many reasons. First of all, he is the artist who established a core following of fans throughout his work on the classic Doctor Who comics in which he illustrated the Colin Baker era. His efforts during that time are legendary among fans, and highly regarded, and it’s just wonderful to see him return for the 50th anniversary in this issue.
Ridgway’s artwork stays very close to his work from the old series, but paves the story along nicely so as to fit in with the Prisoners of Time narrative. The likenesses of the Doctor, Peri, and the Master are (as always) astonishingly excellent, with much attention paid to shadows and lighting using the underrated use of line-art and line shading. And to have Ridgway return to truly expand upon Frobisher’s shapeshifting abilities is a wonderful thing to see.
Charlie Kirchoff continues his wonderful coloring, this time working closely with John Ridgway – previously he was responsible for adding color to Ridgway’s old works as they’re republished by IDW; but this time the two have joined forces, and the results are luminary and magnifying. It truly is a wonderful experience to read.
And if it sounds like I’m experiencing a fangasm here about this issue – you’d be right. Issue 6 of Prisoners of Time collects all the best elements of the television presentations and comic book representations of the Colin Baker era, and envelops them flawlessly into the current overarching plot. The twist mentioned above is delightful, as is the cameo appearance from the "voice from the future", an addition Nu Who fans will squee over.
Yet again, like a broken record, I say that Prisoners Of Time is the must-read event of the year. While some of the classic references may be lost on newer fans, Issue 6 is perhaps one of the tightest issues of the series thus far, and works wonderfully to add to the overarching storyline. Everyone needs to read this series, for sure – and "not a moment too soon!"
And I’ll say this one more too: If the first five issues were love letters to Classic Doctor Who, then the sixth issue of Prisoners of Time is a marriage proposal!
Overall Rating: 5 Frobishers out of 5