Since taking over the license in 2014, Titan Comics has found great success with their comics set in the Doctor Who universe. With the exception of a recent Eighth Doctor mini-series, all their books so far have focused upon the Doctors born of the series’ 2005 revival. Even then many Whovians don’t count The Eighth Doctor as part of what is commonly called The Classic Series, due to his official television appearances being limited to one TV movie.
Regardless of where one stands on that argument, Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor represents the first series that nobody can deny is based upon Classic Doctor Who. The Fourth Doctor – portrayed by the legendary Tom Baker – was the most widely recognized incarnation of The Doctor outside of England for many years. This was due, in part, to his series being the first to be widely broadcast on various PBS Stations in the United States.
Even today Tom Baker remains one of the most popular actors to play The Doctor. And many consider his performance to be the most definitive of The Doctor’s character. Given that, it’s no surprise that Titan Comics would choose The Fourth Doctor as the focus of a new mini-series. This begs the question – do they succeed in telling a tale worthy of the most larger-than-life of Doctors?
The answer, thankfully, is a resounding yes!
This issue opens in the grand gothic style of many a Fourth Doctor story, with our villain being introduced before we learn what The Doctor and his current companion are up to. In this case, a mysterious veiled noblewoman in Victorian London gives orders to her cyclopean guards to keep an eye out (no pun intended) for time-travelers.
Meanwhile, The Doctor and reporter Sarah Jane Smith, are enjoying the wonders of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. In short order, the guards come after them and Sarah Jane is abducted for some sinister purpose. Thankfully, The Doctor is rescued by a spirited young lady and her scientist father – a man who claims to be the world’s first time-traveler and a fighter of other-worldly invaders!
Writers Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby perfectly capture the spirit of The Fourth Doctor era. The story feels like a lost Robert Holmes script. And one can’t help but hear the rich voices of Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen as they read the dialogue. The artwork by Brian Williamson perfectly captures the likenesses of the established cast and inspires a suitably spooky aura. This is further enhanced by the color art of Hi-Fi.
If you’re a classic Doctor Who fan, you will love this book. And if you aren’t, this book may yet turn you into one. It’s that good!