Thursday, 11 August 2011
Dr. Who: The Three Doctors
Gallifrey is under attack by Omega, a renegade Time Lord who has been trapped for millennia in a universe made of anti-matter. The besieged Time Lords call on Dr. Who for assistance (bit cheeky considering that they'd previously sent him into exile), sending him the second and first doctors as back up (the first doctor gets trapped in a ‘time eddy’ so does not appear in person, but offers somewhat cryptic advice via a video link). Doctors deux and trois allow themselves to be transported to Omega’s wacky world where, after a load of running about and some pretty awful acting from the chief villain, they blow up everything and are returned to their own respective time streams. As a reward, the third Doctor’s exile on Earth is ended (rubbish!) and he is, once again, free to roam the galaxy poking his big nose in.
Designed as a special story to celebrate the tenth year anniversary of the show, William Hartnell could only appear on film due to illness (he died three years later) but Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee have a marvellous time bickering, shouting and telepathically communicating, and the show is a real joy to watch, despite its slightly negligible story line.
The idea of bringing the Doctor’s former selves together is a very clever one, although it later became a bit of a cliché, a device used again and again to try and boost ever failing ratings. The simplicity of this first effort works well and, of course, the Doctors look like themselves, not the increasingly elderly (or replacement) versions of later team ups.