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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Fourth Doctor #5


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: 28 September 2016

The shocking conclusion of Gaze of the Medusa! Sarah Jane Smith has been turned to stone by the Medusa’s gaze, and Professor Odysseus James suffered an even worse fate, as he crumbled to his death! Has the Fourth Doctor finally met his match? Can he and Athena defeat the Medusa and use the Lamp of Chronos to restore those it has turned to stone – or are the victims of Lady Emily Carstairs petrified forever? The truth about the Medusa is about to be revealed – but will anyone survive the experience? Who lives, who dies, who tells their story…?!

Events and revelations come thick and fast in the final issue of Titan’s Fourth Doctor mini-series, as the Time Lord and Athena learn the origins of the Medusa – while the creature itself gains a means to free itself from captivity and unleash its terror upon Victorian London! If only the middle segments of this saga had been this exciting.

There’s a dramatic high point around pages 11–12, which would have made a great cliffhanger in its own right, while later events, such as the restoration of Sarah (it’s hardly a spoiler that she survives), are somewhat summarily glossed over. In retrospect, it might have been better to condense the previous four issues into three and expand this instalment into the fourth and fifth episodes. Perhaps Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby thought they were writing a six-parter, only to be told at the last minute that the series would run for only five!

The writers do find time for a fun appearance by a surprisingly familiar face (one that, coincidentally, has also recently appeared in the Ninth Doctor series).

Having tackled the Fourth Doctor, Titan Comics is now reaching even farther back in time, and at the end of this issue you will find a one-page sample of the new Third Doctor comic. Here’s hoping they do the Second or Fifth Doctor next!


Richard McGinlay

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