Overview

Doctor Who Classics #1

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Doctor Who Classics #1

Credits

  • Words: Pat Mills & John Wagner
  • Art: Dave Gibbons
  • Inks: Dave Gibbons
  • Colors: Charlie Kirchoff
  • Story Title: Doctor Who and the Iron Legion
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 19, 2007

Break out your time machines and join the Fourth Doctor in an adventure through time and space!

For years Doctor Who appeared in magazine comic book pages in Great Britain and later in Marvel reprints in the United States. It has been a long time, however, since any of this material has been seen. Now IDW is collecting, remastering and reprinting all of those old stories under the banner of Doctor Who Classics. What better way to start than with a story featuring the Fourth Doctor (played by Tom Baker in the television series), probably the one most familiar to American audiences.

It’s a fairly typical day for the Doctor… drop in on the English countryside, find a store, try to get stocked up on candy (Jelly Babies of course), run into a robot army from a parallel dimension where Rome never fell and instead advanced to conquer the galaxy, get swept along into said dimension, and end up fighting for his life. The Doctor being the Doctor, there is even more to all of this than meets the eye and he just may end up having to save the galaxy while he’s at it.

This story first saw print in Great Britain in 1979 and, as such, there are some lingering elements of Bronze Age comic book storytelling detectible. Also, as the original story was serialized in five page snippets it does read a little brokenly when put together in a collection like this. Despite some of the more simplistic story elements and a few instances of clunky dialogue, for the most part writers Mills and Wagner manage to so nail the dialogue style of the TV show at that time that one can virtually hear Tom Baker’s voice saying the lines. They also embrace the freedom the comic book format gave them in creating other worlds. Not constrained by a special effects budget or the limitations of technology of the time, they craft a world that is part spoof, part satire, and wonderfully alien while at the same time having recognizable elements.

Of course to many fans of comic book art the big draw here are the pencils by Dave Gibbons. Although he does not have the artistic freedom of expression here as he would display in the seminal Watchmen graphic novel, readers can still see some fine figural and background work on display. He also truly brings Mills and Wagner’s alien world and characters to life. His work also benefits from IDW cleaning up and re-coloring the original artwork and printing it on heavy, glossy paper here.

It must be said that since these pieces were originally written for Doctor Who Magazine, the writers assumed a certain amount of knowledge on the part of their readers. If you have never seen an episode of Doctor Who before you might find yourself a bit lost here. On the other hand, if you are a fan of the Doctor whether new or old you will find a lot to love with Doctor Who Classics.

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