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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Fourth Doctor #2


Writers: Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby
Artist: Brian Williamson
Colourist: Hi-Fi
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99, Cdn $4.99
Age: 12+
32 pages
Publication Date: 20 April 2016

Something alien and terrible screams from prehistory – with a hunger that cannot be satisfied! The plot deepens for Sarah Jane Smith. Can she avoid the hand of fate, when her future is staring her in the face? After the petrifying reveal at the end of last issue, Sarah and the Doctor pry further into the affairs of Lady Emily Carstairs and her legion of Scryclops! What mysteries lurk within her half-veiled mansion? And what light can be shed by Professor Odysseus James and his daughter Athena? Can they get to the bottom of the Scryclops scourge… before time runs out…?!

Following the fairly pacey first episode of Gaze of the Medusa, the action almost grinds to a halt in this issue, which is taken up mostly by recitations of back-story. Writers Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby try to liven this up by cutting between Lady Carstairs addressing Sarah, and Professor James and Athena talking to the Doctor, but at times this just makes for confusing reading, and it all still amounts to one big info-dump. Such a long talky bit could have worked in a novel or in an audio drama, but comics are a visual medium – they need action. It will probably come across better when this episode becomes the second chapter of a graphic novel compilation, as it will form part of a larger story with more action to come (one presumes). As a single issue, though, this feels astonishingly low on incident, aside from another ambush by Scryclops.

Brian Williamson’s art appears slightly less dependent upon reference photographs than it did last time, or perhaps I’m just getting used to the style. There are, however, a couple of instances of a deerstalker being very unnaturally plonked on top of Tom Baker’s curls. Nice time portal effects, though.

When I gaze upon the next issue of this five-part series, I will be wondering: can this story’s pace pick up… before time runs out…?!


Richard McGinlay

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