Patrick Troughton takes center stage in the second issue of Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time, freshly on the stands this week. Can this installment improve upon the first? Well, it wouldn’t be difficult…
Warning, here be spoilers. And Voord.
We’re treated this month to the art of Lee Sullivan, one of the long term artists for Doctor Who Magazine. This is a vast improvement upon last month. The likenesses are spot on and the original characters are vivid and imaginative. Very impressive, given the sheer number of background characters in this issue.
The story itself is a trifle. We don’t learn anything more about the mysterious hooded man in the first issue. Last month, I said I was reminded of The Five Doctors. This month, I fear we’re in for Ground Zero, a story arc undertaken by Doctor Who Magazine in the 90s, where various companions were taken at the end of each story leading to an anticlimactic and canonical nightmare of a finale.
I’m still not certain what this series is trying to do. It’s as if the Tiptons have gone on Wikipedia and glanced at each era of Doctor Who to see what it’s about. Yet there are dedicated in jokes that only the most obsessive fans would catch *cough*. The details are right, but the broad strokes are wrong. While these touches to the past are amusing, I want to learn what the bigger picture is. There had better be forward motion next month.
Panel 1-These are three of the major TARDIS props used over the course of the series. From left to right: the current TARDIS (The Eleventh Hour onwards), the original (An Unearthly Child to The Seeds of Doom), and the bright blue 80s version (The Leisure Hive to Survival).
Panel 1-“Look at the size of that one” was a reoccurring joke between Frasier Hines and Patrick Troughton, with them managing to work it into several scripts.
Panel 1-The Babel Fish Emporium is a clear reference to former script editor Douglas Adams‘ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Yarvelling and Zolfian were, respectively, the creator and War Minister of the Daleks in the TV Century Dalek strips of the 1960s. Here, the Daleks were blue humanoids before radiation caused them to enter their metal casings. The Noble Arts is a tip of the hat to tenth Doctor companion Donna Noble. Cogley’s Books may be a reference to the Deep Space Nine episode Far Beyond the Stars, which mentioned a writer by the name of Samuel T. Cogley. Creatures spotted in the crowd include Slitheen or other Raxacoricofallapatorians (Aliens of London), a Voord (The Keys of Marinus) and a Sontaran (The Time Warrior).
Panel 4-Fezzes are cool.
Panel 1-Magister was an alias of the Master used in The Daemons. The Hath appeared The Doctor’s Daughter. The Space Pig, even though he wasn’t really from space, appeared in Aliens of London.
Jubilee Pizzas first appeared in Dalek. The pizza box prop found its way onto the Torchwood set and was a mainstay during that series. The name itself comes from the Big Finish audio play Jubilee, also written by Rob Shearman and containing several of the same character beats.
Panel 4-The original Las Cadenas was a restaurant owned by Oscar Bocherby in Saville, Spain. (The Two Doctors)
Panel 2- Every time the Voraxx are named, it appears to be in the same font as was used in the aforementioned Dalek strips.
Panel 3-The woman looks an awful lot like Dr. Girlfriend from The Venture Bros.
Panel 1-Belnap VII may be a reference to Nuel Belnap, a philosopher dealing in temporal logic.
Panel 2-The penny farthing with the peculiar awning was part of the closing titles sequence of the cult 60s drama The Prisoner. Penny farthings were a key symbol in the show and represented to creator Patrick McGoohan of progress.
Panel 6-The T-Mat was a teleportation system used on Earth during the mid-21st century. The Ice Warriors used it as a beach head during an attempted invasion of Earth. (The Seeds of Death)
Panel 1-The robots in the corner are colloquially known as White Robots. They attacked Jamie and Zoe while they were trapped in a void that lead to the Land of Fiction. (The Mind Robber) It is thought that they were manifestations of the companions’ fear of the Cybermen and in the audio Legend of the Cybermen, they are servants of the Cyber invasion force. This is their first appearance in the “real world”. The costumes of the original White Robots were recycled from an episode of the BBC series Out of the Unknown. Quatloos are the currency of the Gamesters of Triskelion in the Star Trek episode of the same name. Cubits are used in Battlestar Galactica. The Alterian Dollar is from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, though it has recently collapsed.
Panel 4- Jamie and the Doctor first ran into the Martians on Earth during the middle of a future ice age (The Ice Warriors). They, this time with Zoe in tow, came in to conflict with them again during the T-Mat crisis (The Seeds of Death). As the Doctor points out, it was the humans in the future that named them Ice Warriors, though the Martians themselves have used it in various times and places since.
Panel 1-There appears to be a Draconian in the right corner (Frontier in Space).
Panel 3-The green blobby thing with a single eye is an Alpha Centauri, a race of hermaphroditic hexapods (The Monster of Peladon).
Panel 4-The weird black teletubby is another Voord. According to the Grant Morrison comic The World Shapers, the Voord are the ancestors of the Cybermen. Perhaps coincidentally, the comic features an older Jamie after his travels with the Doctor.