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Dr Who: The Five Doctors (***)
Written by Terrance Dicks
Principal Cast
Peter Davison -- The Doctor #5
Jon Pertwee -- The Doctor #3
Patrick Troughton -- The Doctor #2
Richard Hurndall -- The Doctor #1
Tom Baker -- The Doctor #4
William Hartnell -- The Doctor #1
Janet Fielding -- Tegan Jovanka
Mark Strickson -- Turlough
Carole Ann Ford -- Susan Campbell
Elisabeth Sladen -- Sarah Jane Smith
Nicholas Courtney -- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Lalla Ward -- Romana
Anthony Ainley -- The Master
Philip Latham -- Lord President Borusa
Dinah Sheridan -- Chancellor Flavia
Ratings
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Dr Who: The Five Doctors Dr. Who is a guilty pleasure, but the three stories where the Doctors meet one another are especially fun. This DVD has more Doctors and more Companions than any other.

Dr. Who is about the adventures of a Time Lord, never named but called simply "The Doctor". Because the show ran for time out of mind, actors came and went, and the internal explanation for these changes of appearance is that a Time Lord can regenerate, gaining a new face and a personality to fit. Then you add time travel to the mix, and the Doctor can meet himself coming and going.

There are really only three original Doctors in this episode, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, and the then-current Doctor, Peter Davidson. Two other Doctors appear in archival footage, the first Doctor, William Hartnell, who was no longer living at the time, and Tom Baker, who declined to appear. Richard Hurndall also plays the first Doctor, and does a good job of impersonating Hartnell. Almost all of these people, except Peter Davidson, are no longer with us, and so "The Five Doctors" is likely the last big reunion.

This episode also features no less than eight of the Doctor's companions.

Previous to "The Five Doctors", we had "The Three Doctors", and following it we had "The Two Doctors", but two really isn't a lot, is it?

Most Dr. Who stories are serials, and I've mentioned before that a half hour of Dr. Who is about as much as most people can take. This episode is billed as a 90 minute special (though the DVD lasts about 100 minutes) and so it is not broken up into chapters. But you can do that yourself with a DVD, can't you? The natural chapter breaks are the attack of the Daleks and then the attack of the Cybermen.

There is a lot of very pleasant character interaction, especially between a chauvinistic earlier Doctor and a liberated later Companion. Great fun is had by all. There are some nice extras, including biographies of all of the major actors. Terrance Dicks gives some unnecessarily modest voice-over commentary, but I turned that off. I don't hold with people talking in movies.

Copyright © 2002 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.


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