Friday, April 8, 2016

TV Review: Doctor Who The Movie (1996)

Doctor Who The Movie (1996) directed by Geoffrey Sax and written by Matthew Jacobs

The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is transporting the remains of the Master to their home world of Gallifrey. The Master isn't quite fully dead and manages to escape his locked urn as a puddle of goo. The goo messes up the TARDIS, forcing it to crash land in 1999 San Francisco. The Doctor leaves the TARDIS and is caught in gangland crossfire. He's taken to hospital where cardiologist Grace Holloway fails to save him since she can't figure out his internal workings (you know, the two hearts and all). His body is carted off to the morgue where he regenerates as the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann). He's got a bit of amnesia which slowly recovers as he has more interactions with Dr. Holloway. Meanwhile, the Master in goo form has infested the ambulance driver and plans to take the Doctor's body for his own as well as hijack the TARDIS. Action and mayhem ensue.

The production values are quite high for the old Doctor Who series. The editing is well done--as the Doctor regenerates, the morgue attendant is watching TV on which the Boris Karloff Frankenstein come alive. This is further intercut with the Master taking over the driver. The plot still has some big holes which are made up for by quirky little moments with side characters. The music is too obvious and over the top. McGann is good as the Doctor and probably would have had a good run with a full series. The Master looked a bit too much like The Terminator, making him more cheesy than threatening. Grace is an interesting companion and shows lots of potential. Too bad they did not keep going with a full series.

All in all, a fun story worth at least one watch.

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