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The Tides of Time by Mick Austen

The Tides of Time

by Mick Austen (Illustrator), Steve Dillon (Illustrator), Dave Gibbons (Illustrator), Steve Parkhouse (Author)

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perhaps the doctor's worried face on the front cover should have warned me, but i'd assumed this was five's version of that thing ten's always doing with his hand in promo shots. alas, no. this collection of 'comics' is the most depressing thing i've read in a long time (i can't be more precise than that, because i just had a look at the books i've read recently, on facebook, and none of them have been this depressing). with any fifth doctor story you expect a certain amount of five being a bit useless and generally dooming his friends and the universe, but this was unreal. he kept trying to take holidays to get over how awful the last episode had been, only to be plunged into another disaster, largely of his own making, which somebody else would fix for him after a couple of people had died, while the doctor himself lay broken somewhere just going - god, this is a bad week, even for me. i wasn't prepared for this. there had been no mention of it in the amazon.co.uk reviews - nobody had said, on his final page you will actually have to look at five crying with anger and pain :(

really dark and nasty, and the doctor rarely has any agency. not really recommended, though it's sort of interesting in a really weird, epic way - i have the first volume of eight's comics too and, although less upsetting, they were also totally entrenched in weird AUs and rassilon's matrix council and crazy shit that not even i, a reasonably hard-core fan, understood. can't imagine what peter davison (who apparently bought a copy of five's book having recorded his lighthearted stockbridge audios) thought of his doctor's 'adventures'. actually, i dare say he didn't read it very carefully. hopefully he only flicked through and saw the bits where the doctor was playing cricket and having a nice-ish time. ( )
  araliaslibrary2 | May 21, 2011 |

This is the collected Fifth Doctor comic strips from Doctor Who Monthly #61-87, all written by Steve Parkhouse and with the best art done by Dave Gibbons (Mick Austin and Steve Dillon also contributing). It's a very impressive effort - Big Finish fans will have heard Peter Davison a year or so ago admit that he had had no idea these existed, and then more recently saying how much he had enjoyed them once he finally got hold of them. What DWM and Parkhouse managed to do here was to establish a completely different Fifth Doctor continuity, where he has two spiritual bases - the quaint late twentieth-century English village of Stockbridge, and a high-tech, sinister, somewhat mystical Gallifrey - and has adventures being dragged between the two, and to other places. I remember now thinking at the time that one of the disappointments of Arc of Infinity was that the TV Gallifrey was so much less awe-inspiring than the Gallifrey that Parkhouse and Gibbons had summoned into being in the pages of the magazine. The whole sequence of stories has more unity of style and spirit than the TV series was managing at this point, and is all the better for it; and I may now go back and listen again to the recent Big Finish stories set in Stockbridge with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa (which were all rather good - the "Autumn" segment of Circular Time, and the Castle of Fear / The Eternal Summer / Plague of the Daleks sequence).

In a later story here we also have the Meddling Monk returning, in alliance with the Ice Warriors, not so different from his alliance with the Daleks in the recent Big Finish audios (though obviously played by Peter Butterworth rather than Graeme Garden). Otherwise the Fifth Doctor has various male hangers-on - two warriors of different time periods (Sir Justin and Angus Goodman), übergeek Maxwell Edison, and the sinister Time Lord construct Shayde, with brief appearances from the mysterious psycho-military group SAG 3; almost no female characters at all here. (Someone who looks a bit like Zoe makes an appearance but doesn't speak.)

NB also a short sequence at the end featuring the Fourth Doctor regressing to the First Doctor, originally published in 1980 in Doctor Who Weekly #17-18, presumably having escaped from the earlier collected volumes, and also rather good. ( )
  nwhyte | Apr 4, 2011 |
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The Doctor winds up accusing a possessed TARDIS of lying to him, getting hit by a car, and trapped by a fire. Good action panels, but not what I think of as in character for the version of the Doctor I know. And that’s my biggest issue with these stories — they could have been applied to almost any science fiction hero.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, MickIllustratorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, SteveIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, DaveIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Parkhouse, SteveAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Neary, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Skinn, DezContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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