5 More Sci-Fi Films to Drop the TARDIS Into

Consisting of five further ideas for Doctor Who role-playing games (or simple daydreaming) taking very simple inspiration from the world of cinema. One cherry picked from reader suggestions, the rest not.

I had fun last week putting the TARDIS into various films - and I wasn't alone, check out DWAITAS guru Craig Oxbrow's 5 Horror films to drop the TARDIS into - that I just had to do it again. My 5 SF suggestions last Tuesday felt pretty obvious, so I put a little more thought into my spacetime locations this time around:
The Planet of the Apes. In the Whoniverse's convoluted human timeline, there's got to be room for a far future in which apes have enslaved humanity. The Doctor and companions (or Your Own Time LordTM) will find there a good healthy mix of horse action, trying to convince the apes that they are intelligent beings, and discovering the awful truth they knew all along. It's a planet ripe for revolution, which seems to attract the TARDIS like the floor does buttered bread. And because it's a franchise, you can easily use elements from the other films to squeeze a few more episodes out of it. Cultists worshiping the atom bomb is very Doctor Who already. And then go back in time to the prequel to stop it from ever happening!
Solaris. A strange planet. Scientists on a space station in orbit. Hallucinations and identity theft. A first contact scenario. Existential "hard SF" questions. If that doesn't sound like a Doctor Who script, then you're not looking hard enough. You even have a choice of era/feel. The slow, long Russian version would work in the black & white era (do gamers sometimes simulate these shows, or is everyone doing New Who?), and the Soderbergh/Clooney version can play in your normal game.
The Fifth Element. It's the suggestion by Jeff R. that made so much sense, I was kicking myself for not including it in the first place. The colorful world of The Fifth Element is almost perfect for Doctor Who (I'd remove a few gun fights is all). The Moebius designs. The open satire. A quest that's part archaeology, part fighting an ancient evil, part alien opera singers. It's got a good OTT villain too. And hey, I just want to see a scene in which the Doctor shows his psychic moolti-pass.
Sunshine. The TARDIS lands on a spaceship bound for the sun. And people are mysteriously dying. A perfect blend of hard SF concepts, desperate "Apollo 13"-type crises, and a whodunit that provides an 11th hour climax. Danny Boyle isn't considered a genre director, but he could be. He definitely could be. Heck, I'd probably stick the TARDIS in his non-genre pictures too, like Millions and Slumdog. Maybe not Trainspotting though.
Westworld. What's got silliness (robot amusement park), a history/SF twist (the characters think they're in the Old West, but they're in the future) and YUL BRYNNER AS AN OUT OF CONTROL KILLER ROBOT COWBOY?! Only Westworld, that's what. I've never seen Futureworld or the TV series Beyond Westworld though. Could provide more story fodder if found? Warners says a remake is in the works, so it's time to strike while the iron is fresh!

Time rotors are go! Where are you setting the dial?


De said...

I initially bristled at the notion of a Who/Planet of the Apes mash-up but then it occurred to me: The Doctor matching wits with Dr. Zaius could be pretty damn awesome. Also, there would be lots of running.

Siskoid said...

You know it!

And I couldn't resist putting the TARDIS on that beach. I could insert the TARDIS into stuff all day, really.

Craig Oxbrow said...

I now feel decidedly slack about my lack of TARDIS insertion shots, especially after the Solaris one. (I've seen a convention game specifying "the classic era" but didn't play in it, and DWAITAS does model the frenetic RTD era particularly well.)

And if not Apes, then certainly Silurians. They call us Apes after all.

Also, guru? Shucks.

Siskoid said...

I climbed the mountain and there you were, sir.

Scipio said...

DO NOT WATCH "FUTUREWORLD". Even I, a fan of bad movies, painfully regret the time I wasted on seeing "Futureworld".

Makes me wonder... aren't the Delos movies ripe for a remake...?

Mitchell Craig said...

Going to the cheese section of the sci-fi store, I'll put up one of my goofy favorites, The Green Slime. You have a space station under siege, red cyclopeds that electrocute their victims with their tentacles, and of course, my favorite movie quote ever: "The creature's blood is like seed! It can spawn new creatures from its own blood!"

Siskoid said...

Scip: Duly warned!

Mitch: Hahaha that sounds like an awesome episode of Doctor Who!

Jon H said...

Re: Sunshine:

Seems like that would be too much like the episode End Of The World, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Actually, what it REALLY sounds like is the episode "42"

Anonymous said...

Well, reading this and the previous post, I think you missed 5 pretty obvious ones:

1. War of the Worlds (1953 version): The ending seems very Whovian.
2. Star Wars Episode IV: Don't tell me you've never thought about it. "Right, you lot go find the princess, I've got a tractor beam to disable. Come along, K9-D2!"
3. The Omega Man: except that the Doctor would cure everyone
4. Star Trek First Contact: This actually IS a Doctor Who episode, only with different characters.
5. The Time Machine: The Doctor, the Morlocks and the Eloi!

Maybe too obvious, on second thought... but these are the ones I've always wanted to see the Doctor take care of, myself!

Siskoid said...

Some excellent suggestions, David.
-War of the Worlds, yeah better keep it to the 1953 version, the Tom Cruise one goes way too far on the side of apocalypse
-Star Wars, I've never thought about. Don't tell anyone, but I'm not a big fan.
-Omega Man, but of course.
-First Contact is all Cybermen all the time
-Time Machine, a classic.

Siskoid said...

As a postscript, it amused me to imagine the Doctor of the era each film was made as its star. That would mean...
-Planet of the Apes (1968) with the 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Victoria!
-Solaris (2002) with the 8th Doctor
-Fifth Element (1997) 8th Doc scores another one
-Sunshine (2007) 10th Doctor and Martha revisit 42!
-Westworld (1973) 3rd Doctor and Jo Grant


Blog Archive


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 Class 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 FW Team-Up 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 Orville 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 Shut Up Star Boy 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 Streaky 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 Zero Hour Strikes Zine