A documentary celebrating 30 years of the BBC TV series "Doctor Who", with specially filmed interviews with leading cast members, producers, directors & writers, and some behind the scenes ...
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A documentary celebrating 30 years of the BBC TV series "Doctor Who", with specially filmed interviews with leading cast members, producers, directors & writers, and some behind the scenes archive footage.Written by
It is a shame that so few Americans have had a chance to see it (my copy was a surprise inclusion on a "Dr. Who Video Compilation Tape" from a mail-order "collectors' service") because this is in some ways the best of the "Who" documentaries. Sadly, it is very low-budget and some of the interviewees are not the best choices. One man suggests that the concept of the Doctor being able to regenerate, and thus be played by different actors, was part of the concept from the beginning, when it was created because William "The First Doctor" Hartnell's failing health forced him to leave the show. Actress Sally Faulkner only had a damsel-in-distress guest part in one story. While actor Brian Blessed also appeared in only one story (and his very informal clothing suggests that the producers, while setting up to interview two others, happened to see him walking by and said "Hey, Brian! Care to join the discussion?"), his comments indicate that he is a knowledgeable "Who" fan of long standing. But other people have much first-hand testimony to offer. There's Second Doctor companion Wendy Padbury, the late Third Doctor Jon Pertwee (did he not take part in every "Doctor Who" celebration that came along?), Fourth Doctor companion Louise Jamison, Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and his companion Mark Strickson, Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy and his companion Sophie Aldred and producer of the 1980s run, John Nathan-Turner. The fact that this was produced outside the BBC means that clips from the series couldn't be included (though color home-movie footage taken during location shoots is nice to see, especially that from "The Smugglers", a story which no longer exists in the BBC archives at all), but it also means that those commenting on their experiences can be very frank and candid. This results in some surprising comments from JN-T about Tom Baker's behavior at the very end of his tenure, as well as his and Colin Baker's accounts of that actor's controversial time on the show. But best of all are Davison and Strickson's reminiscences of low budgets and tight schedules. Peter's tongue-in-cheek pronouncement "It's crap!" has gotten him into trouble with some fans, but, in context, it clearly is not intended to be taken seriously. Despite all its flaws, this is definitely must viewing for all serious open-minded "Doctor Who" fans.
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