Reviewed: Titan Comics’ Fourth Doctor #3

Things step up a gear in part 3 of Titan Comics’ Fourth Doctor series, when we finally get to see the titular Gaze of the Medusa. But what else is going on?

True to the era, the Doctor continues to be paired with the main supporting female, Athena James, while her father, Professor Odysseus James, becomes the companion of Sarah (as she was almost always referred in those days). But while the Doctor and Athena are threatened by the giant cyclops (now revealed as future-seeing Scryclops in a clever piece of extra-terrestrial wordplay), Sarah and the professor find themselves face to face with a future that Sarah had hoped to avoid earlier in the series.

At this halfway stage, things are crystalizing in terms of storytelling and characterization, making this a good time to consider the various aspects of this series. Art-wise, things are pretty good, with strong likenesses from Brian Williamson adding to the feeling that this tale could slot with comparative ease into the Hinchcliffe era of Doctor Who.

The Fourth Doctor himself is well-realised, with phrasing of the character evoking Tom Baker’s definitive portrayal, although at times Sarah feels a bit companion-by-numbers. Limiting the number of supporting characters works, however, enabling us to appreciate the relationships and dynamics that are being developed.

But the big question is, I suppose, where is it all going – and could Titan Comics make a regular thing with the Fourth Doctor’s further adventures? Well, as you probably know, there’s a Third Doctor series coming up next, and naturally Titan want to focus on the current Doctor and his two immediate predecessors… But why stop there, really?

The mini-series approach is clearly a way to introduce classic Doctors into the mix, and if this and the Ninth Doctor series are anything to go by, it’s a winning formula. While it is unlikely that the Fourth Doctor will get a 12-issues-per-year series, I’m hopeful that bringing occasional classic Doctor serials into the marketplace will result in a sort of cycle or rotation that will see My Doctor return in the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, however, we need to get over the cliffhanger and hope that the Doctor can find a way to undo the threat of the Medusa…