Doctor Who: The Five (ish) Doctors Reboot

Are you a fan of classic Doctor Who?  Do you still want more of the program for the 50th Anniversary, even after watching Day of the Doctor?  Have you seen this thing yet?

If not, for goodness’ sake, go watch it somewhere, because it is certainly the show for you.  Just as it was for me.

For anyone who hasn’t heard, The Five (ish) Doctors Reboot is a short project (30 minutes or so) which started as a fun fan film written and directed by none other than 5th Doctor Peter Davison, but evolved into a BBC-sanctioned project when Steven Moffat heard about it.  The story surrounds the frustrations experienced by Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who’s #5, 6 & 7) when they realize that it does not look likely that they will be asked to appear in the 50th Anniversary special.

The film starts off a bit one-note, with lots of scenes of the actors failing to get through to production office on the phone, or waiting with anxiety by their phones, or having Steven Moffat (the villain of the piece, really) delete their phone messages.  I was a bit worried that that was all there was going to be.  But as it goes on, a story does emerge as the three men develop a plot to ensure their involvement with the 50th.  And it manages to be both funny and kind of heartwarming.

Plus, of course, there are loads of cameos, not to mention in-jokes and references.  The list of guest performers includes Paul McGann, David Tennant, Janet Fielding, John Barrowman, Matthew Waterhouse, Georgia Moffett, Dan Starkey, David Troughton, Katy Manning, Peter Jackson, and Sir Ian McKellan – and many many more.  The Easter Eggs and direct or sly references to specific moments of the series are almost too much to count.  Russell T. Davies has a particularly funny  appearance near the end.

Other highlights include Colin Baker’s delight at receiving a new DVD for Vengeance on Varos, Sir Ian McKellan telling Peter Jackson that the next scene of The Hobbit will be better for Sylvester McCoy’s absence, John Barrowman “treating” everyone to his singing, the responses of the various lead actors to both Paul McGann and the prospect of calling Tom Baker, and the brilliant image of Peter Davison and his cohorts on the bus on the way home from their adventures a the end.

Ultimately, the treat here is watching Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy run around and frankly, do a lot more than if they actually had made some sort of cameo appearance in The Day of the Doctor.  The actors look like they are having a blast, and they successfully take any willing passengers with them.

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