Friday, 10 June 2011

Doctor Who's Lust In Space

A Reeltime video, released in 1998

Starring: Nicholas Courtney and Mark Strickson

In a nutshell: Sadly nothing to do with porn, this mockumentary from 1998 shows a ‘time court’ from the future examining whether or not Doctor Who is sexist.

Review: This is an oddball from the wilderness years when Doctor Who was off-air, hiring actors from the show to perform in the piece, including (amongst others) Nicholas Courtney, Mark Strickson, Sophie Aldred and Katy Manning and to be honest, I didn’t get it. The premise is good for a documentary for BBC4 or something but not generalising on one show and made for video. The acting is terrible as well, being painfully scripted and I don’t even think Courtney cared about this show, he looked like he was just reading from a script for the majority of the shots and I can’t say I blame him to be honest.

The amount of times the writer added in ‘Splendid chaps/fellows’ for Courtney’s character to say is painful, it’s already a worn cliché in the world of Who but at least it was nice to turn up once in a while, not ten or so times in an hour. This paired off with characters making a nice comment about a character they played (Strickson saying ‘that great Turlough’ and Courtney’s character saying the Brig seems ‘a splendid fellow’) just become pathetic and cheap, made for laughs they don’t really achieve.

I think Terrence Dicks was lost through his entire interview but JNT was a good interviewee, giving some good answers and thoughts, although it looked scripted to me with Nathan-Turner bumbling his lines more than once (in the same sentence). The best part of the show were the seemingly-scripted interviews with companions ranging from Carole Ann Ford right through to Nicola Bryant and Sophie Aldred, I particularly liked Deborah Watling’s new story about Frazer Hines on set as they are always brilliantly funny to hear, although sadly Frazer never made an appearance himself.

The ending best summed up the story with Sophie ‘Ace’ Aldred taking charge of the courtroom and making some good points about Doctor Who itself and how pathetic this show is. I’m knocking this to pieces but it is an interesting piece of footage, not well executed, but good to look on just to see something different done with the series, although it’ll always piss you off with the line “every episode of the series is on this micro-disk” which turns into more dialogue revealing even the ‘wiped’ episodes are surviving in this time court. Worth a watch but don’t expect anything.

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