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Doctor Who - The Curse of Fatal Death

UK 1999
produced by
Sue Vertue, Richard Curtis (executive) for BBC
directed by John Henderson
starring Rowan Atkinson, Richard E.Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jonathan Pryce, Roy Skelton (voice), Dave Chapman (voice)
written by Steven Moffat, Daleks created by Terry Nation, music by Mark Ayres

TV-show
Doctor Who, The Master, Daleks, Children in Need, Doctor Who Children in Need Specials

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Who (Rowan Atkinson) meets his arch enemy the Master (Jonathan Pryce) on a far-out planet where its now extinct inhabitants communicated merely by farts to tell him he will retire from saving the universe to marry his companion Emma (Julia Sawalha). The Master however has not given up his plans to have his revenge on the Doctor - which is harder said than done though because the Doctor has foreseen all of the Master's deadly traps and ultimately sends the Master to the sewers out of which it takes 312 years to climb - repeatedly -, and the Master only manages to reappear again and again within minutes (yet ages older) thanks to his time machine. Ultimately though, he teams up with the Daleks, the Doctors other, robot-like arch enemies, and the only ones who can cope with the stench of the Master because they have no noses. And before you know it, the Doctor and Emma are taken captive and the Master, rejuvinated by Dalek technology, installs a new and improved drive into their spaceship ... and yet the Doctor learns that the Daleks only want to use and kill the Master - which he tells the Master in the fart language of the planet where they have met (the only language the Daleks can't grasp because they've got no noses). Ultimately, the Master frees the Doctor, but the Doctor is killed by the Daleks - and regenerates (as Richard E.Grant). Apparently though, the Dalek ship was damaged in the fight, and when trying to repair it, the Doctor is killed and regenerates twice (as Jim Broadbent, then as Hugh Grant) - before being hit by an all-powerful energy beam that kills even him for good. Seeing their arch enemy death, both the Daleks and the Master vow to stop being evil ... when by a cosmic miracle, the Doctor regenerates again - as a woman (Joanna Lumley). And as a woman, she feels much more attracted to the Master than boring Emma ...

 

A very well-written and to-the-point Doctor Who-parody that somehow manages to include plenty of bathroom humour without becoming just silly and gross, and which despite its very un-serious story manages to take the series it spoofs including all of its narrative rules and limitations seriously - without overdoing it though and boring the audience with a disguised analysis of the series.

Interestingly enough, the writer of this one, Steven Moffat, has later become a staff writer on the relaunched Doctor Who TV-series.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD