Doctor Who #160: The TV Movie

Title: Doctor Who [aka Doctor Who: The Movie]
Year: 1996
Network: BBC & Fox
Length: 89 minutes
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Writer: Matthew Jacobs
Starring: Paul McGann, Eric Roberts, Daphne Ashbrook, Sylvester McCoy, Yee Jee Tso
Music: John Debney
I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Synopsis: The Master hopes to resurrect himself by stealing The Doctor’s lives

My reaction
Concept:1/4 (Bad)
Story:0/4 (Terrible)
Characters:1/4 (Bad)
Dialog:1/4 (Bad)
Pacing:1/4 (Bad)
Cinematography:2/4 (Indifferent)
Special effects/design:3/4 (Good) Bad effects, great design.
Acting:2/4 (Indifferent)
Music:2/4 (Indifferent)
Subjective Rating: 3/10 (Bad, 1/4 (Bad)). Who thought this plot was a good idea for a standalone movie and/or American pilot? It’s bad enough that it doesn’t make any sense, even if you know who these characters are; they also completely fail to include the stuff that hooks people into the series. The whole point of the show is that he can and does go anywhere in time and space, and this movie is set entirely in present day California. (Oh, sorry, it’s set three years in the future. For no apparent reason.) They don’t even bother to explain what the TARDIS is until about halfway through; before that, you get inexplicable images of a 1960s police box spinning in a CG vortex juxtaposed with shots of an old man in a vaguely steampunk sitting room. How can that possibly make any sense? Seen as just an episode of the series, it’s mediocre at best, but as a movie it’s a horrible mess.
Objective Rating (Average):1.4/4 (Bad)


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