Imagine the scene, it’s the biggest party of the year and you’re not invited. That’s the central story idea to this mockumentary written, directed and starring Peter Davison who, alongside Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, tries to gatecrash the filming of the fiftieth anniversary episode of “Doctor Who” with the help, or hindrance, of a collected cast of “Who” luminaries including Paul McGann, Steven Moffat, John Barrowman and David & Georgia Tennant.
On the lead up to the fiftieth anniversary celebrations, you may have become aware of a couple of Twitter hashtags floating around – #FDR and #FishDr. Well, the fruition of the project behind these hash tags came into fruition with “The Five(ish) Doctors” which was transmitted on the BBC’s Red Button.
Mr Davison has produced sketches of this nature for the Gallifrey convention where he paints himself as a combination of a pompous Thespian and a bit of a buffoon. “The Five(ish) Doctors” extends this with a comedy of errors as he, along with two of his successors, try to get in on the anniversary filming.
Each of the three leads paint themselves as three actors who are desperate for a role in the anniversary. Davison still plays the comedy buffoon leading his two “partners in crime” around, whilst trying to call in favours from Steven Moffat, who plays up his evil genius persona whilst playing with action figures, and more comedically, his daughter (and sketch producer) Georgia who plays up her pregnancy, along with a craving for chocolate ice cream and an exasperation with her Dad as he seeks a favour from Mr Tennant in getting a role in the special.
Colin Baker portrays himself as an actor desperately hanging on the end of the phone for work, whilst subjecting his family to repeat screenings of his time in the series.
Sylvester McCoy joins in the fun by playing up his involvement as an actor in a major film like “The Hobbit”, much to Colin’s annoyance.
This combination of the three leads makes for a relationship akin to the traditional relationship in the “Doctor Who” stories where Doctors meet – all of them sniping and disagreeing with each other, but whereas the Doctors usually have a plan of some sort, these three hapless heroes wing it with comedically embarrassing effect.
In addition to the guests above, you get additional prominent portrayals by Paul McGann who is as desperate as his predecessors to get in on the special… work permitting, of course, and John Barrowman playing up his musical performer persona whilst revealing a hidden side to his private life which is hilarious (This is a case where I have to say “spoilers”), plus members of the production team including Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman and Nicholas Briggs, various companions from different eras, family members, a hilarious cameo scene by Peter Jackson and Sir Ian McKellen, and one final cameo which definitely has a big spoiler attached to it.
Needless to say, if you haven’t seen “The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot”, I highly recommend that you hunt it down.
As a humourous “piss-take” in the vein of the Ricky Gervais series, “Extras”, this little adventure lovingly has fun at the expense of the franchise without mocking it and it sits nicely alongside the other programmes that commemorate this landmark anniversary.