Absent from the comics page for some time, other than cameo roles in various IDW series, the Fourth Doctor – played on screen by Tom Baker – will be the star of a new Doctor Who mini series, launching in March 2016 from Titan Comics.
This series expands Titan Comics’ hugely popular and critically acclaimed Doctor Who comics line, which already includes adventures from the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors.
Entitled ‘Gaze Of The Medusa’, the five-part series starring the the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, as played by Tom Baker and the late Elisabeth Sladen, is being written by Gordon Rennie (Missionary Man, Judge Dredd) and Emma Beeby (Witch Hunter, Judge Dredd) with art by Brian Williamson (Torchwood, The Twelfth Doctor, Spider-Man, X-Men).
The all-new adventure is set in Victorian England will have plenty of echoes of the TV stories produced by Phillip Hinchcliffe such as Talons of Weng Chiang and The Seeds of Doom, in a tale centring on a mysterious woman who commands a hidden army in a house of the blind.
Scryclops stalk the streets… and something alien and terrible screams from prehistory – with a hunger that cannot be satisfied!
The publication of this Fourth Doctor series prompts the question: will we eventually see mini series featuring every Doctor? Speaking personally, I suspect that this is unlikely – I get the impression direction on the Titan Doctor Who range is being driven by US awareness of each Doctor and their relative popularity there rather than with fandom as a whole.
I’m assuming, also, that TItan has to pay an ‘appearance fee’ to use an actor’s likeness, which was certainly the case in my time at Doctor Who Magazine. (They have to pay to use TV monsters, too). Of course some kind of crossover story might be worth doing – IDW did them, just to test the waters, and if both the Fourth Doctor and just-launched Eigth Doctor mini are a success, we may well get lucky.
Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Issue #1 will come with six covers to collect: a painted cover by fan-favourite artist Alice X. Zhang; a photo variant; art covers by artists Brian Williamson, Jay Gunn (Surface Tension) and Matt Baxter; and a blank sketch variant.
• Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor #1 debuts in comic stores and on digital devices from March 2016