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Doctor Who - The Five Doctors

episode 130

UK 1983
produced by
John Nathan-Turner for BBC
directed by Peter Moffatt
starring Peter Davison, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Richard Hurndall, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Elisabeth Sladen, Carole Ann Ford, Nicholas Courtney, Anthony Ainley, Philip Latham, Dinah Sheridan, Paul Jerrico, David Banks, Mark Hardy, Richard Mathews, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Caroline John, Richard Franklin, David Savile, John Leeson (voice), Roy Skelton (voice), John Scott Martin, Stuart Blake, Stephen Meredith, Ray Float, John Tallents, William Kenton, Keith hodiak, Tom Baker (archive footage), William Hartnell (archive footage), Lalla Ward (archive footage)
written by Terrance Dicks, Cybermen created by Kit Pedler, Gerry Davis, Daleks created by Terry Nation

TV-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Peter Davison), Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee), Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton), Doctor Who (classic series), The Master, The Master (Anthony Ainley), Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sarah Jane Smith, Cybermen, K9 (cameo), Liz Shaw (cameo), Daleks (cameo)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Some evil whatever plucks four of the five regenerations of Doctor Who (Peter Davison, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, Richard Hurndall) out of their respective timestreams and places them in the Death Zone of the Doctor's home planet Gallifrey, together with a bunch of companions (Janet Fielding as Tegan, Mark Strickson as Turlough, Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane, Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier, Carole Ann Ford as the Doctor's daughter Susan) and his arch enemies, the Cybermen.

For some reason, the Timelords (= the Doctor's people) are getting totally worked up about this (even though they hardly gave a ratfart about the Doctor before), so they have the good idea to send the Doctor's other arch enemy, the Master (Anthony Ainley) to the Death Zone to save him. Somehow, the latest version of the Doctor, number five (Peter Davison) gets hold of the master's teleportation device and teleports out of the Death Zone to Gallifrey's high council, while the other Doctors and their companions make their way to the Tomb of Rassilon, where they hope to find the answers to their questions and a way to get out of the Zone. Soon, they get to the last resting place of Rassilon, where an inscription promises them immortality.

Doctor number five does a bit of investigating and finds out there mast be a traiter within the high council - who is soon enough presented to him on a silver platter in the person of the Castellan (Paul Jerrico) ... who is conveniently shot though before he can be questioned. The Doctor soon comes to the conclusion that the Castellan was too tailor-made a suspect to be the culprit, ande soon enough he suspects president Borusa (Philip Latham) to be the real baddie of the piece ... and he wants Rassilon's immortality, and thus teleports to his resting place with the fifth Doctor to force everyone to let him become immortal.

In the end, he gets what he wants, but Rassilon (Richard Mathews) always had a bit of a mean but fair streak to him, and he makes Borusa one of his tomb's petrified guardians. All the rest of the cast are allowed to return to their old lives ...

 

A TV-special created to celebrate the 20th birthday of Doctor Who, a special that was basically created to bring as many of the series' regulars as possible and all of the actors who have ever played the Doctor together - which failed first and foremost because of the five actors who played the lead one - William Hartnell - was already dead and substituted not all that greatly by Richard Hurndall, while another - fan favourite Tom Baker - had no interest in appearing (which is why the title in itself is misleading).

This however is not the main problem of The Five Doctors, the main problem is that the whole story is terribly over-crowded on one hand and very feeble on the other. Plus, there is no real reason to involve all these people, one of the Doctors would have been quite enough, especially because other aspects of the story could have been fleshed out much better as a consequence.

As it is though, the whole story is a terrible hode-podge that offers nothing above and beyond an almost tiring collection of the series' stars, and it sadly lacks the humour to carry such an event even - humour that unfortunately had left the series pretty much altogether with the advent of the 1980's.

Not worht your while, even if you're a Doctor Who-fan.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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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
Michael Haberfelner

 

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
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD