This was the most dignified version of the movie's cover I could find...

This is a hard movie to write about, as I really do love Doctor Who, both the original series and the new 2005 relaunch; and as this movie has a bit of a stigma amongst Who fans (I will not say Whovian...such an odd word). But as I have seen almost every episode of both series, and have experienced 10 out of 11 doctors, I felt as this was kind of a necessary evil, so I sat down to watch it. How did it fair? Read on my intrepid...um...reader...

Back story time!! Whoo!

For those of you unfamiliar with any of the Doctor Who saga, I will attempt to wrap it up for you real quick. A man travels through space and time called the Doctor (always the Doctor, never the Dr.). He does this via a blue police box called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space). The show has been  on since 1963 and has had a staggering 11 men playing the title role (when one doctor moves on, he is regenerated into a new doctor).

The original series ran from 1963 to 1988, and spawned books, comics, and movies (terrible, terrible movies)

Roy Castle in a terrible movie? Surely you jest, me of two seconds ago...

Anyway, as popular as the show was overseas, towards the 80's it sort of...died. The writing started to become stilted and self-plagiarized. The Doctors were less interesting, and the villains were blander than a bland thing that is bland. The show ended its television run to little fanfare in '88, but lived on in various nerd realms until, in '96, a joint venture between the BBC and Universal Television (if I am remembering correctly) breathed new life into the franchise. An attempt was made to bring a new series of Doctor Who to the American audience. This film is the pilot.

Are we up to speed? No? Good.

To its credit, the film follows continuity, moderately well, as we start the film with the 7th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, looking rather old, and sans his signature "?" sweater, escorting the remains of his arch nemesis "The Master" home to their home planet of Galafrey. The Master, it should be noted, was executed for a "list of evil crimes" by...the Daleks? The Daleks put someone on trial? And convected them of "evil"? Zuh? They are the most evil things in time and space. This is like if the Nazis put Manson on trial. Movie, we are not starting off on a logic foot here. Cybermen, sure. Sontarians, maybe. Fellow Timelords, almost certainly, but Daleks? And for some reason their voice is about 10 octaves higher than it need be, as if they have been sucking helium for a few hours. These may seem like little things, but seriously, the Daleks are the easiest thing in science fiction to get right. They murder EVERYTHING and yell "Ex-Ter-Min-Ate" loudly whilst doing so. Not hard. How do you mess that up?

EX-FOL-I-ATE!! Oh, shit, guess this might be harder than it looks, my bad...

Well the Master escapes and he is...a translucent blob of slime...ok. The TARDIS crashes in LA in 1999, and the Doctor is promptly shot by a gang. No joke. Like 3 seconds after leaving the TARDIS. You know what, screw you England.
He then dies in a hospital and is regenerated into...Snape?

The Doctor killed Dumbledore

So the new Doctor fights the Master here on earth, and saves the day. The end. I am skipping ahead because I don't really want to relieve Eric Roberts' turn as The Master. I REALLY don't. Don't make me. You can't make me. Nope. Never going to happen.

Doodle loodle doop

Ah Eric Roberts, where do I begin. How do you keep getting hired to do stuff when you prove time and time again that you are incapable of doing anything other than looking like a rapist. Why do you have lizard eyes, when the Master is a fellow TImelord, and should have normal looking eyes? Why do you spit bile at people, which burns one person, but freezes others? Why, oh hwy are you some sort of liquid snake at one point? WHY?! So much of Roberts' performance is terrible, but it in no way shape or form compares with the worst part of this movie. The worst part of any movie. Ever. Forever.

Asian David from Rosanne.


Yee Jee Tso acts about as well as Tupak dodged bullets, which, according to Wikipedia wasn't very well. He actually reminds me of the kid from Turtles 2, there is no real reason for him to be there, but for some reason the story practically revolves around their untalented asses.

Overall the movie isn't that bad, if you look at it from the right point of view. It is very easy to watch the 2005 series and then come down on this film for being cheap, poorly written, poorly acted and uninteresting (all true by the way), but that is in comparison to shows that are amazing. When viewed next to Doctor Who episodes from the late 80's however, this is an amazing piece, worthy of praise. And THAT is how people would have experienced this film, 7 years after the show fell apart in a heap of piss poor television, this had to have seemed like a breath of fresh air, and indeed, it does serve as a nice bridge between the two series, bringing an end to one and starting off on the other, despite the writers not knowing there was ever going to BE another series. Paul McGann does a worthy job as the Doctor, and I do think, had he had more time, he would have been one of the better incarnations.

The problem with the film lied in its foundations more than anything. The writing was poor. Like really poor. Birds of Prey poor. Doctor Who has always had a certain flow to its dialog that separates it from other shows. A way of saying the most absurd things imaginable, but doing it with a giant wink toward the camera to let you know that all involved are just having a great time. This film didn't have that. It seemed too forced. It wasn't fun. And Doctor Who without fun isn't a world I want to frequent.


Grade C+

 


01/28/2015 9:22am

I have seen almost every episode of both series, and have experienced 10 out of 11 doctors, I felt as this was kind of a necessary evil, so I sat down to watch it. How did it fair? Read on my intrepid...um...reader.

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