Doctor Who #920: The Five(ish) Doctors

"Why are we doing this?" "For the fans!"
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired on the BBC's Red Button service on Nov.23 2013. Available on the Internet.

IN THIS ONE... Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy try to get on the 50th Anniversary Special.

REVIEW: The OTHER Anniversary Special is an often hilarious, but loving take-down of everyone who deigned make an appearance in it, written and directed by Peter Davison himself, and co-starring the other Big Finish Doctors in some capacity. I'd say the biggest part of the fun is how everyone plays a self-obsessed version of themselves. While the three principals may, after some thought, say they're trying to get into the official Anniversary Special, it's clear from their behavior they're really doing it for themselves. All three are desperate has-beens looking to impress their respective families, or in McCoy's case, perhaps because playing the Brown Wizard in The Hobbit isn't all it's cracked up to be, unless you like waiting around in your trailer until Peter Jackson has a moment of inspiration. Only McGann is doing well, so he's quick to ditch the others (strangely, there's no mention of Moffat contacting him for The Night of the Doctor). And of course, Tom Baker is stuck in a temporal anomaly as per The Five Doctors (and, for that matter, Dimensions in Time).

If it were just them, you might believe the classic Doctors really don't get any respect, but Davison's managed to get the good will of the production itself and more besides, and everyone's relishing playing parodies of their public personae (shades of The Larry Sanders Show). Tennant and Georgia Moffett are obvious gets, since they're in Davison's family, but Moffat, Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, John Barrowman, Janet Fielding, Matthew Waterhouse (and plenty more old companions besides, reenacting the 5th Doctor's death scene), David Troughton, Sean Pertwee (so we're only missing a member of the Hartnell family then), Nick Briggs, Russell T Davies (who gets treated as the ultimate has-been), Olivia Colman (who was rumored as a potential female Doctor around this time), and OMG, Peter Jackson and Ian McKellan! The guys even wander on set in Cardiff and may very well be part of the 50th Anniversary Special, though no one's confirmed it was really them. I choose to think it is. Don't tell me if it isn't.

And of course, there are plenty of references to the past. Quotes and misquotes. Musical cues. Chases down corridors (which is kind of a lull towards the end there). Peter Cushing name-dropped. Georgia eating her ice cream with a celery stick. Susan's "That's not right" spoken by the kid at the Doctor Who Experience. It's just loads of fun for old-time fans.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - It's great to see Doctor Who celebs laugh at themselves like this, and though tongue-in-cheek, it fills the gaps in the Anniversary by giving us a fun dose of 80s Doctor Who.

10 comments:

LiamKav said...

Hearing the man say "It's Russel 'The' Davies" is enough to make me forgive every bad thing he has ever done.

Brian said...

Matthew Waterhouse being so excited to be alive and Tom Baker getting caught in another temporal anomaly were both beautiful, but the most beautiful thing was somehow John Barrowman's deep dark secret that no one must know... (*and* how everyone apparently pays for entry to the Experience in Barrowman CDs)

LiamKav said...

"You were always my mum's favourite Doctor"

...


"I mean, my favourite Doctor."

Why on earth this isn't on the 50th Anniversary disc I have no idea.

Siskoid said...

Davison apparently hopes for a stand-alone release with loads of extras. I'd be happy with a Doctor Who comedy release, with this and Curse of the Fatal Death on it.

Anonymous said...

The Tom Baker punting scene literally made me throw my head back and laugh.

And I happened to need a good laugh at the time, so I have extra good will towards these guys.

- Jason

Peter Wood said...

I hope this gets included in the 50th Anniversary RPG post. A few different fun directions to take it.

Siskoid said...

Oh you know it will! Somehow...

Siskoid said...

Just announced: Colin Baker revealed at an event that Five(ish) WOULD get a DVD release.

"The actor reported that it would appear on an as-yet unscheduled special set featuring former Doctor Matt Smith." I have no idea what that bit means.

Andrew Gilbertson said...

"Russell T Davies (who gets treated as the ultimate has-been)"
Indeed- and this special did more to generate affection for him, to me, than anything he did in his tenure as the show's producer. His bit was fantastic.

Siskoid said...

Now THERE'S a good multi-Doctor episode!

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine