If only it were possible that Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time could be a simulcast event. What an amazing spectacle it would be”¦ but therein lies the charm of this comic series: Scott and David Tipton are able to jump through time and grab Doctors and Companions as we remember them – amalgamating them into a major story that has become the comic book story of the year as far as I am concerned.
Issue #11 of Prisoners of Time shifts gears from the previous issues. Whereas 1-10 all had a particular stand-alone adventure for each Doctor, with an ongoing arc in which a Nemesis is kidnapping the companions; in this installment, the issue BEGINS with the kidnapping – forcing the Matt Smith Doctor to investigate where this man from his past (and now his enemy) could be.
Moving about through space and time, the Doctor retraces his steps – to the locations he recalls where companions have been kidnapped. He must find his nemesis, and rescue his companions. But his enemy is CLEVER and is already many steps ahead of him – including forming a union with the Master (though how, where, and in what form he shows up, I shall not spoil for you).
The writing persists in being an exceptionally high standard. Scott and David Tipton KNOW the Doctor, through and through, and if I had my way, I’d be tapping Steven Moffat on the shoulder and demanding they be allowed to write a few episodes for Doctor Who Series 8.
The tone of Issue 11 is very melancholy and dim – gone is the manic, ridiculous side to the Smith Doctor, replaced and dominated instead by his very serious demeanor. The writers capture this brilliantly, and should be thoroughly praised for their uniformity and dedication to this project.
The artwork in #11, by Matthew Dow Smith (sharing the name of this Doctor by the way) with colors by Charlie Kirchoff, mirrors the dimmer and darker tone of the writing. Shading and shadows are heavily emphasized, with a thick reliance of inks to assist in these somber moments. The colors are likewise dimmed somewhat, with deliberately less saturation – with the exception being accents throughout: a splash of blood on the floor, the light from the sonic screwdriver, a red mark on a map, all being some examples of this.
The overall story arc has now hit its peak, forecasting for a major conclusion in issue 12. This penultimate chapter is essentially an orientation tale, setting up the Smith Doctor into finding his enemy, and preparing for the closing chapter. Typically, these tales drag on for me – but the Tiptons, with Dow Smith and Kirchoff, manage to keep interest levels high throughout – transforming an orientation tale into a mystery and investigation.
Prisoners of Time is a spectacular piece of work – and I exceedingly encourage not only Doctor Who fans, but also all comic fans to check it out. The writing is tight; the artwork is diverse and unique, making for a wonderful reading experience. My review for the finishing issue is coming soon – but I cannot emphasize enough how fantastic this series has been. You all should check it out.