Book Review – Fourth Doctor Vol. 1 – The Gaze of the Medusa

  • Title: The Gaze of the Medusa
  • Authors: Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby
  • Artists: Brian Williamson, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 4th Doctor
  • Characters: Fourth Doctor
  • Collection Date: 2017
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 1/27/2017

**spoiler alert** Gaze of the Medusa is Titan’s first collection featuring a classic Doctor. The graphic novel features the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker and Sarah Jane Smith. Even though you know where it’s going from the title, it’s still an enjoyable story and the art is excellent. Sarah and the Doctor are observing a Wild West show in Victorian England when they are attacked – Sarah is dragged off by large brutes with a single eye, and the Doctor is rescued by Professor Odysseus James and his daughter Athena. Professor James is fascinated by the study of Chrononautology. They journey to Chiswick to rescue Sarah from Lady Emily Carstairs – a veiled woman with strange servants and a gallery of rather life-like stone statues. Lady Carstairs shows Sarah a statute of herself.

Lady Carstairs possesses the Lamp of Chronos which she thinks can bring her back to her deceased family – but all she sees is a window to a prison in 5th or 6th century BC. Before the Doctor can do anything about the Lamp – Sarah and Athena’s father fall through the open gateway. The Doctor takes the Lamp and Athena to his TARDIS and also travels back. But this takes time. Sarah is Quantum-Locked by a Medusa – a creature that is related to the Weeping Angels (whom this Doctor has heard of but never met). Sarah isn’t dead, but she’s locked – and food for the Medusa. Before the Professor, Athena, and the Doctor can escape the professor is not only turned to stone, but smashed – killing him. Lady Carstairs, a servant of the Medusa, has been turned partially to stone. Promised the ability to see her deceased family again – she’s also killed.

The Doctor and Athena are teleported to Zeus, a hologram of a being from another world, who’s ship crashed a long time ago. The ships defenses realise the Medusa is about to escape – so the self-destruct is activated. The Doctor offers to bring the Medusa to a land with abundant non-sentient life for her to feed on, but she refuses. So Athena throws the Lamp of Chronos back in her prison with her – where it will eventually be dug up by Lady Carstairs’ husband, a dabbler in antiquities. Thus the very long time loop is completed. The Doctor frees Sarah and the other statutes from stone. Just before leaving Athena introduces Sarah and the Doctor to her fiancé, Naval Lieutenant Dr. Albert Sullivan.

Gaze of Medusa gives a well-known story a bit of a twist by making the Medusa an alien, but it’s still an enjoyable tale. I liked the Professor (though he’s a bit pompous and chauvinistic – that’s very time-appropriate) and his daughter, Athena, is a character I’d like to see again. Fans of the Fourth Doctor will enjoy this graphic novel a lot. The art is also gorgeous!

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