Doctor Who Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2011
I'm absolutely bonkers about Dr. Who. When it's at its best there is no finer Sci-Fi. It manages to mix the supernatural, science fiction, horror, comedy, and history seamlessly at times. This was the failed attempt at reviving Dr Who, with a stronger focus on getting him to break America. This was probably the biggest mistake of all. It reminds me of when pop stars/comedians try and crack the ever important (in terms of money and fame) market. It seems like a lot of the Dr's identity is lost along the way.However, being able to view this after 6 seasons of the most recent incarnations, this isn't so bad. In fact, it is a damn sight better than some of the nonsense Russell T. Davies subjected the audince to (I love a lot of his stuff, but he was hit and miss). Paul McGann is fantastic. Maybe I have a soft spot for The Doctors that didn't last long, but I can't wait to read the novels based on his character. McCoy gets a decent send off and unlike the more recent Doctors it's also fairly subtle and underplayed. Eric Roberts is menacing, but also confusing at times. He starts almost off robotic, and is later camp. A mix between the terminator, a lizard alien thing, and a gay pop star. There are some awful performances, mostly because the American cast members don't seem to understand the tone they should be going for. This is most likely down to bad direction. Overall most of the plot holes that boil fans' blood can be ignored. The half human thing kind of makes sense in a way, as a planet hopping time traveller should really spend some more time away from Earth otherwise. Daleks holding a trial is confusing though. Certainly one to check out, and actually a pleasant surprise after all the negativity.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2007
The Doctor is charged with transporting the remains of his old nemesis The Master but crashes land on new year's eve, 1999 in San Francisco when his death reveals itself to be a cunning deception. The first attempt at reinventing the much loved British sci-fi character met with much hostility upon its release, but in retrospect the criticisms were actually a little unfair. Paul McGann actually makes quite a good doctor and certainly looks the part, and the back story of his regeneration is rather clever. The visuals are a little over egged in places but otherwise it looks quite good and it has a decent mix of action and humour. The biggest problem lies with the script; the plot is nonsense and Eric Roberts plays The Master like a cross between the Terminator and a pantomime villain; as for the whole rubbish CGI goo-spitting snake creature, don't get me started...It's a shame because if they'd made it a bit more "space-y" and used the Daleks or the Cybermen, it could've worked really well. The real reason it was so villified was the fact that the pedantic old school fans weren't ready for a Doctor Who who had car chases, kissed girls and was (horror of horrors!) half human and so it both alienated its faithful fans as well as failing to capture the imagination of a new generation in the way the BBC reincarnation did. It's still nowhere near as bad as it's been made out to be and is certainly better than some episodes of the Tennant series were.
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2007
Good TARDIS interior set designs and good special effects; but the plot was weak and confusing. More work should've gone into it. The San Francisco setting didn't feel much like Doctor Who. Poor Sylvester McCoy, Doctor #7, didn't have a very nice sendoff. Paul McGann was a great choice to play the 8th Doctor. He had a good costume and romantic personality. I didn't like the new Master (played by Eric Roberts) with his new guise and body-swapping abilities. The Doctor's lovely new companion Dr. Grace was a warm way to welcome the new Doctor. By writing a poor script, the writers basically wrote off the possibility of a new series with McGann every happening. It wasn't the time or the space for him. Instead we're left with an 8th Doctor animated webcast, and a series of novels and audio adventures which we can't see onscreen.
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2007
Not the best thing I've seen for Doctor Who. Paul Mc Gann was incorrect for the role and putting it in the States was also very WRONG. The 60's movie is way better than this. Please don't watch this stay with Tennent's TV Show-miles better!
Super Reviewer
½ April 25, 2007
I thought Paul Mc Gann did really well in this. He was perhaps more akin to the old Doctors than the new ones but that's not a bad thing.
Theta Sigma
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2011
The seventh incarnation of The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is transporting the remains of his enemy, The Master, to their home planet.

Unfortunately for The Doctor, The Master is not as dead as he thinks and when he is forced to crash materialise in San Francisco on the verge of the new millennium. To add to his troubles, The Doctor wanders into the middle of a gang shootout and is mortally injured.

His injuries and a botched operation to save his life cause The Doctor to regenerate into his eighth incarnation (Paul McGann)... but The Master has got a new body of his own in the form of a human ambulance driver (Eric Roberts) who wants to take over The Doctor's body, but to carry out his plan, The Master threatens to destroy not only Earth, but the whole of reality.


I remember seeing this TV movie on it's debut back in 1996. Doctor Who had been off the air for seven years and fans like myself were hungry for new Doctor Who... what we got was this co-production between the BBC and Universal Studios which was the brainchild of producer Philip Segal and had been a long term quest to get into production since the original series had been taken off air in 1989.

The production has some great points in it's favour.

The cinematography and direction by Geoffrey Sax is beautiful to look at and the choice of shots make the production pacy. The special effects compliment this and were a quantum leap from the original BBC series, that said the effects for the series post 2005 are an advance on this.

Paul McGann is a brilliant Doctor. He has boyish charm and cheekiness alongside an older man's wisdom and the eccentric charm of an alien who's an adopted Brit. It was a big shame that the film was not picked up as a series, if only for seeing more of McGann's interpretation of the role.

Daphne Ashbrook is a great foil as his "partner in crime", Dr Grace Holloway who goes from being the woman who accidentally kills his seventh persona, to the woman who doesn't believe that the eighth Doctor is the same man and, eventually, to somebody that he wants to travel with him.

Now for the points, that aren't so good.

Firstly, nobody really appeared to have given Eric Roberts notes on how to portray The Master. The character is meant to be a cold blooded killer with ambitions of domination. Unfortunately, what we get is a portrayal that changes from The Terminator to a camp parody of the character.

Yee Jee Tso is given an interesting premise in the role of Chang Lee, a street boy who wants to get further up the ladder either through a gang or an alliance with The Master. The problem is, his character is swamped by Roberts's Master.

Finally, the storyline by Matthew Jacobs is a slave to several production partners and fan bases/prospective fan bases, and that is it's Achilles' Heel.

Imagine, you're a TV exec commissioning a back door TV, would you commission a TV film that's based on over 30 years of televisual history which slavishly talks about the series' past including Time Lords and their home planet, a long standing feud between two Time Lords and introduces the concept of regeneration PLUS you want to get a new audience base in the US to get on board? Didn't think so.

That was one area where the introduction to the new TV series in 2005, 'Rose', worked really well. You learned about The Doctor as his new companion learned about him - no weight of history around it's neck and learning about the character and his world like peeling away layers from an onion.

It would take another nine years for Doctor Who to come back on to television on a regular basis. That said, it's an entertaining film and glimpse at what could have been.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2015
Totally unnecessary. This made for TV Doctor Who film was very cringe worthy, it was fun at times but generally predictable and filled with punchable characters and overused Jellybaby jokes.
Super Reviewer
½ May 31, 2011
As a DR Who it was exciting when this was announced in the mid-90's and the addition of McCoy meant that at least they were planning to link the old series with the new. Unfortunately for all the great things here (McCoy, the regeneration, the new interior of the Tardis and McGann) there are too many Americanisms for any true fan and it doesn't quite work. The Doctor should never be half human and there are way too many kisses for a Who story. Roberts is trying to be a fun villain but he isn't really The Master. The theme tune is also bloody awful! I suppose we should be glad this attempt failed or we wouldn't have the current series but it would have been nice to have some more McGann adventures and it would be great if his Doctor could reappear in the current series.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2011
Good performances and some nice new ideas in this slight reimagining of the good Doctor but far too much of the Holywood car chase and action movie.
Super Reviewer
½ February 14, 2008
muh, some discrepancies between this film and the rest of the Doctor Who canon it was just okay
Super Reviewer
½ May 23, 2008
Great story, but the interior of his TARDIS was too far off the mark. The locker seen with him trying on the scarf broke me up though.
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2007
It's good, sort of. Paul does a good job. But in the future never ever let the Americans do the Doctor again!
January 8, 2012
The writers and set design for this movie are so NOT what the series was about. I think McGann did a good job with what he had to work with (not much) and the Master plays like an evil Schwarzenegger in a Dracula cloak. Overall, it's too Americanized to succeed with fans.
December 28, 2011
I'm a huge Doctor Who fan, but this is a pretty bad movie. The TARDIS set looks fantastic, and Paul McGann is well cast as the Doctor...but no one else is well cast. Ashbrook is pretty uninspiring, and Roberts is not a good actor. Having McCoy is nice, but he is wasted here and takes away screen time from McGann. But the movie tries so hard to acclimate viewers with the world of Who that it actually misses out on all the fun it could be. Leave a little mystery and get right to the party! For die hard Who fans only.
January 16, 2010
As a Dr. Who fan, i was disappointed. The elements where there but I didn't really root for the Dr.. The movie was kind of flat and lifeless. It would have been better as TV show not a "MOVIE"
September 18, 2008
I'm a Whovian from WAY back so when the series was cancelled in 89 I was STARVED for Who when 96 rolled around. Now granted this isn't any kind of great cinematic masterpiece, but I do think it was as WHO as a bunch of Americans could get. Paul McGann is actually one of my top 5 favorite Doctors because he made this incarnation so different and yet still The Doctor. It was refreshing to see the Doctor so free and full of life again. He got a bit dark as Seven. Weellll, I say dark I mean Semi-Machiavellian. It's a fun watch, I'd recommend it. :D NOT the Enhanced Version put out by the BBC though. Ran that throught a blender, they did. Awful mess.
½ August 6, 2008
Even though, it wasn't the direct BBC take on the Doctor. It still held it's own. With an intriging storyline, and being the first appearance of the Doctor during his somewhat diminshed appearances untill the newer series, it was a good dose.
½ July 8, 2008
Interesting take...had some issues...but nice version of classic show. But new series by RTDAVIES is better.
½ June 23, 2008
An Americanized version of Doctor Who. Gun fights, car chases. Didn't like this movie much but I own it anyway.
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