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DCADWA Members Review the Doctor Who Movie
“What did you think of Doctor Who: The Last Time Lord? Tell us how you feel and why!”
When we asked our readers this question in the Spring 1996 issue, we never could have anticipated the number of responses we’d get. Of course, with a golden 19 share in the ratings, all of us here at the DC-Area Doctor Who Alliance fully expect that by the time we go to press, FOX will have announced a full series for the Fall line-up, but we wanted to hear your thoughts while the future of the program was still up-in-the-air. Obviously, we can’t print every response (Not without adding another score of pages!), but here are some of the highlights.
“Every minute of The Last Time Lord was great, except for the commercials. I really liked the fake-out when Kelly introduces herself as “the Doctor” the first time we meet her. Hugh Laurie was fantastic as the Doctor! Of course we all expected him to be a silly bumbler like in Blackadder, but I was surprised to see he could be more dramatic and weighty at times too. It reminded me of the way Tom Baker could sometimes be silly and other times grave. One thing I don’t understand is why they decided to bring back the Jagaroth. Even if Peter O’Toole was fantastic, why would they bring back a one-off villain that hardly anyone would have heard of for a pilot instead of getting a big star monster like the Daleks or the Cybermen? Even the Sontarans could have worked because they can time travel too. … When I joined DCADWA back in 1990, my one mission in life was to see Doctor Who return to TV. Whatever happens from now on, I can rest easy knowing that my dream has come true.”
LK Gerwig, Tysons Corner, VA
“How can the TARDIS still work if Gallifrey has been destroyed? Everyone knows that TARDISes get their power from the Eye of Harmony on Gallifrey! If you doubt this, you need to watch the Tom Baker story “The Invasion of Time” again. Besides, the whole idea of the Time Lords being wiped out in a “Time War” is utterly ludicrous … The Time Lords are passive observers of the universe who never get involved! They would never build a weapon like the time destructor. So much for the end of the movie, the Earth being in danger and a resolution straight out of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey … It’s like all they cared about was slick special effects. Get a clue, FOX: Doctor Who fans have IMAGINATIONS. We don’t need to see the TARDIS spinning in the vortex, we can just IMAGINE it! I can’t honestly imagine how any TRUE Whovian would be satisfied with this travesty. I never thought I would say this, but I hope they NEVER try to revive Doctor Who again if it leads to a over-hyped, over-produced “slick” attempt to recreate the smash success that Doctor Who was. From a ‘true’ fan.”
Cecil A. Norak, Lewes, DE
“Wow! What a ride! As a fan of shows like Quincy, ME and Homicide, I really loved the way the first ten minutes of the movie kind of felt like a forensic/police procedural with the focus on Dr. Grace investigating the aging deaths from the Time Destructor fallout. It would be totally awesome if they did an entire series like that, set it up like a different genre of show each week then the Doctor turns up and changes everything … Please please PLEASE give the Doctor a full series!”
Laurel J. Jameson, Baltimore, MD
“On the whole I enjoyed the Doctor Who telemovie. There are a few problems though. I think it would have been better if they could have gotten Sylvester McCoy to come back for the first scene. He could have been one of the victims Kelly was investigating and then regenerated into Hugh Laurie. It would have been a nice send off and would establish continuity with the past. Or is this supposed to be a reboot? The Time Lords being destroyed in a time war is such an interesting idea I am a little sad that we don’t get to see that ourselves. Who were they fighting? The Daleks are the only monsters big enough to be a serious challenge to them … Also, what was the deal with the Schrodinger Cell? Why bother showing it to us if he’s not going to open it? Was it just to give him the idea to use a paradox to defeat Scaroth? PS: I wonder if the decision to make the Doctor into the last survivor of a destroyed world has something to do with the popularity of a certain Man of Steel?”
David T. Russell, Red Lion, PA
“What was with that console room? It’s so dark and gothic that I expected Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing to show up. Maybe that’s it, and Hugh Laurie is really playing Dr. Who from the Dalek movies! I think the big problem most “old school” Whovians will have is that it was such an abrupt and shocking change. But remember people, there hasn’t been any Who on TV for seven years! I know the NAs went one way, but if the show had stayed on TV the whole time, it might have ended up looking a lot like this by now. There was a lot going on in this story and a lot of twists and turns that were new and fresh. I especially liked having the Doctor go back in time and set things up at the end so that they would be right where he needed them at the climax. In the past Doctor Who hardly ever tried to use time travel as a plot device itself, just as a way to get the characters to the story … One thing I’m concerned about though is how well the show would work if they pick it up as a weekly series. Will they be able to tell a whole story in just an hour? Maybe it would be better to bring it back as a series of TV movies.”
Lou Ross, Chester, MD
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for Vodaphone at the time of his death.
I was among those fortunate enough to see him at Visions ‘94, and it will be a long time before I can look at my autographed copy of Moon Boots and Dinner Suits without getting a bit weepy-eyed. Sadly, he had injured his hip earlier in the year, and wasn’t able to do the famous cabaret act that had made him among the most popular convention guests since the early 1980s. Although he was visibly frail and had to spend most of his time seated, he was the same class act as ever, at once becoming like the Third Doctor all over again as he took the lead in his panel with Nicholas Courtney and John Levine.
After Who, Pertwee continued to do radio and voice work, returning to the BBC Radio series “The Navy Lark”, a scene from which he performed at Visions. In 1979, he took on the role of Worzel Gummidge in the chidren’s show of the same name. Pertwee remained very proud of his work (despite some serious disagreements over the direction the show took in its final season), which also included recording children’s audio-books and a musical album, “Worzel Gummidge Sings”. He always hoped the show would someday gain a folowing in America.
It’s still hard for me to believe Jon Pertwee is really gone. As the Bridadier might have said, “Splended chap, all of them.”
If you have a story or rememberance of Jon Pertwee you would like to share, please submit it to DCADWA. We will print members’ submissions in the Fall 1996 edition as space permits.
- The DCADWA is inspired by The Friends of Doctor Who,