Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Vol. 1--Gaze of the Medusa HC
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Price: $19.99
Creator(s): Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby (writers); Brian Williamson (artist)
Format: 128 pgs., Full-Color, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-7827-6755-8
Age Rating: Teen+
ICv2 Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

For "modern" Doctor Who fans that have only seen the recent incarnations, this book would be a good introduction to the Tom Baker period of stories.  Not only does the cover have a great portrait of the actor in full Doctor regalia, but the writers captured the flavor of the episodes of that time. They were as much horror stories as they were time travel SF, with a bit of the surreal, and that’s all here.  Even the "episode title" is a giveaway about part of the nature of the menace, but as with all good Doctor stories, there’s a bit more to it.  That there is a group of Cyclopes in Victorian garb gives a good idea of what kind of story this is: complex and alternately scary and silly.

As with the old TV episodes, the audience "at home" will figure out some of the details before the Doctor and his companion do, but that, too, is a comforting reminder of how those stories were told.

Brian Williamson’s artwork is very good, conveying "scary but not too scary" in a fashion similar to what the show achieved.  It was viewable by both children and adults back then, and this manages to be horrific without being gruesome, fitting that nicely.

Fans of the modern version of the show who like such things as the Weeping Angels stories will probably like this.  This is not a grand, cosmic story, just a battle against a narrowly defined fightable enemy, but one who is still very dangerous.

Written for teens and adults, but suitable for older children.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.