Doctor Who #1029: U.N.I.T. on Call

"Yes, well, I think that's quite enough sentimentality for now!"

TECHNICAL SPECS: Released on YouTube 14 November 2020.

IN THIS ONE... A Doctor Who fan calls 1970s UNIT HQ from the future.

REVIEW: Produced for the Turn Left watch party, this webcast is admittedly less canonical than most, what with a Doctor Who fan WATCHING Doctor Who at its two extremities, but the participation of Katy Manning as Jo (and to some extent now, John Culshaw doing the voices of the Brig and the Third Doctor) make it almost count. What may be really going on here is that the fan (writer/producer Emily Cook, who has a nice presence throughout, mostly listening to her phone) imagines a call to the past, from which her favorite(?) Doctor can give her a bit of a COVID pep talk. It could have been a sweet 3-minute video, but at 10 minutes, it's way too long, and the sugar turns to syrup. Jodie Whittaker did far more in a fraction of the time with a similar message at the start of the Lockdown. As is, once we get through the obligatory UNIT dating jokes, we get speech after speech about being positive, and smiling, and keeping a stiff upper lip (can we do both at once, and does it matter with a mask on?), and how the scientists are the real heroes... It really does go on a bit. Keep the best parts, you might get a tear. At this length, it was tedious.

Just to confound the canon further, Culshaw throws out a bonus impression at the end, a passable but not quite right Terrence Dicks who shows up as... the bit's writer? A really very talented impressionist? Pulling back to reality, but still in the past? Let's call it a tribute. It inspires Emily to watch one of Pertwee's stories as the pandemic drags on. Maybe Doctor Who and the Silurians is a bad idea right now.

REWATCHABILITY: Low
- In addition to its lack of canonicity, this bit goes from cute to saccharine in no time flat.

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