Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time now turns to concentrate on the final Doctor from the Classic era, originally played by Sylvester McCoy, representing the Gallifreyan’s seventh incarnation. With a breath of fresh air, Scott and David Tipton step back from the continuing overarching plot, allowing this single adventure in which the Doctor faces off against the Master to have more space.
Across the vast expanse of space and time, an unnamed foe is reaching out into multiple points of the Doctor’s timeline and abducting his companions. Meanwhile, the Seventh Doctor, along with awesome companion Ace, arrives in Scotland in 1830, discovering a strange plot involving an aristocratic family and their manor.
Upon their arrival, the Doctor suspects much awry about the set of circumstances, and begins investigating the mysterious illness plaguing the two family members. But the Master is tugging the strings, and there is more to his plan than what the Doctor and Ace could possibly consider.
The writing in Prisoners of Time continues to be of an exceptional high standard. Where the previous six issues included many allusions to the ongoing overarching plot in which the companions are being abducted, in this issue, the Tiptons allow the standalone adventure to breathe, to boost the Doctor’s confrontation with the Master – to great advantage. There are elements of the overall plot in here, and there are some fairly insidious allusions made by the Master as well.
The artwork, likewise, is excellent in issue #7. For this issue, Kev Hopgood takes the leads, with Charlie Kirchoff continuing his coloring. There are some wonderful likenesses presented in the tale, particularly Sylvester McCoy and Anthony Ainley; but Hopgood excels with his depictions of events. There are a few eccentric actions by the Doctor that are so very Doctor-ish. Nicely played!
The nice thing about this issue is how reverent the creators are to the McCoy era. This era in Doctor Who TV was plagued by interference from BBC suits and from less-than-stellar ratings that the stories suffered quite a bit. It brings me great joy to see the level of respect offered to the Syl era of Who – and I’m sure Sylvester McCoy would be quite chuffed if he saw this.
Overall, Prisoners of Time continues to be an exceptional series. The choice to step back a smidgeon from the overarching nemesis was wise in this issue, allowing the main characters to face off with each other. This is a good standalone comic in the miniseries, so casual readers may be interested in this also. Despite that, I still believe that Prisoners of Time is most definitely the must-read experience of 2013.