Saturday, 7 February 2015

Doctor Who: Seasons of War - An Unofficial Short Film Review


Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written and Directed By
Andy Robinson

Genre
Science Fiction, Drama, Fan Film

Cast

Tom Menary as The War Doctor
Daisy Batchelor as The Artist Girl
Becky Rich as The Artist Woman, Narrator
Tom Hutchings as The Corsair
Sam Pike as Gallifreyan Medic
Georgina Burford as Wounded Warisian Soldier
Candice Owens as Warisian Volunteer

Synopsis

'Seasons of War' is an unofficial short film, which features the character of the War Doctor from the BBC TV series, and has been created to help promote an anthology of specially-commissioned stories about him - all in aid of the UK charity, Caudwell Children.

Review

I'm always a bit uncertain about fan movies based on popular shows or films.  They always tend to go one of two ways.  They'll be well made on a shoe string budget and really show the makers passion for the source material or they'll be utterly awful.

Seasons of War definitely falls in to the first category and stands head and shoulders above the rest of the films there as well.  As many Whovian's know, there have been many fan films based on the long running character of The Doctor but this one is not only one of the better ones, it's one of the best ones that I have seen.

The thing that struck me was the simple fact that the character of The War Doctor is one that, despite being heavily featured in the 50th anniversary special, has an air of mystery that surrounds him.  You know that the character has seen and been through some terrible things yet that has been handled in an effective manner by not feeling the need to go over each and every little detail.

I was wondering just how they were going to get around that by adding another chapter to his story and not end up losing the things that make the character so interesting.

Well what we have here is an exploration not of the character but of his emotional and mental state but told through the eyes of someone that met him once.  If they had have gone the route of having someone try to match the superb performance by John Hurt then it might have fallen a bit flat.  Having the story told from the point of a narrator remembering the events of having met the man was a brave and ultimately effective route.

The performances here are subtle and well acted out.  There's not a whole load of dialogue in the movie but the dialogue used by the narrator is short, subtle and well written.

All in all, this five minute film wouldn't be at all out of place in the main series.  It's true that it obviously had small budget to work from but they used it extremely well, creating an effective and well paced look at The War Doctor.  Well worth checking out if you're a Whovian.

Movie 8/10

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