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Review: Doctor Who Classic Comics volume 4 
13th-Jun-2010 12:18 pm
Doctor Who Classics Volume 4 Doctor Who Classics Volume 4 by Dave Gibbons

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The stories in this volume get a bit more epic. There's a kind of multi-story arc; the fate of all creation is frequently at stake; and the Time Lords feature frequently, along with a new character, their mysterious agent Shayde. This volume also includes the stories that added the small English country village of Stockbridge to the Doctor Who mythos. I previously only knew Stockbridge from the Big Finish audios in which it featured, so it's nice to see where it began.

I think the character of Shayde is rather interesting - it's quite intriguing to have a recurring figure who's not an enemy, nor straightforwardly an ally, but someone who has his own agenda. I hope we get to see more of him in future comics. I'm less keen on the regular appearances of the Time Lords, especially Rassilon. They function more as a plot device than anything else, and it doesn't do much to enhance their air of majesty or mystery.

All these stories feature the Doctor traveling without a regular companion. Though this allows for some interesting surrogate companions, it has the unfortunate side-effect of making this a very male-centric slice of the Doctor Who universe. There's a really notable dearth of female characters. This probably passed without comment in the early 1980s when the comics were originally produced, but it jars now.

Despite this, it's an enjoyable volume, and I'm looking forward to the next one. Which I hope will feature more Shayde, more Stockbridge, and, for God's sake, more girls!

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