156) DOCTOR WHO: THE TV MOVIE

27 May 1996

Viewing Figure: 9.08M

Plot

The Doctor takes, The Master's remains to Gallifrey, but The Tardis lands in San Francisco and The Master plans his revenge

Cast

Paul McGann (The Doctor), Eric Roberts (The Master), Daphne Ashbrook (Dr Grace Holloway), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor)

Yee Jee Tso (Chang Lee), John Novak (Salinger), Michael David Simms (Dr Swift), Catherine Lough (Wheeler), Dolores Drake (Curtis)

William Sasso (Pete), Jeremy Radick (Gareth), Eliza Roberts (Miranda), Bill Croft (Motorcycle Policeman)

Dave Hurtubise (Professor Wragg), Joel Wirkkunen (Ted), Dee Jay Jackson (Security Guard), Gordon Tipple (The Old Master)

Mi-Jung Lee (News Anchor), Joanna Piros (News Anchor)

Uncredited Cast

Geoffrey Sax (Dalek Voices), Dean Choe, Michael Ching (Lee's Friends), Daryl Quan, Byron Lawson, Paul Wu, Johnny Mah (Chinese Gangsters)

Ron James (Motorcycle Cop), Ron James (Cop in Car at ITAR)

Crew

Patrick Lussier (Editor), Richard Hudolin (Production Designer), Glen MacPherson CSC (Director of Photography)

John Debney (Music), John Sponsler, Louis Febre (Additional Music), Alex Beaton (Executive Producer)

Philip David Segal (Executive Producers), Peter V Ware (Producer), Matthew Jacobs (Writer), Geoffrey Sax (Director)

Jo Wright (Executive Producer for the BBC), Tony Dow (Visual Effects Producer), Matthew Jacobs (Co-Producer)

Fran Rosati (Production Manager), Patrice Leung (First Assistant Director), David Klohn (Second Assistant Director)

Beth Hymson-Ayer (Casting, CSA), Trish Robinson (Casting (Vancouver)), James Forsyth (Extras Casting)

John and Ros Hubbard (United Kingdom Casting Consultants), Jori Woodman (Costume Designer), Bridget McGuire (Art Director)

Dan Sissons (Property Master), Cynthia Lewis (Set Decorator), Derick MacLeod (Construction Coordinator)

Randal Platt (Camera Operator), Greg Fox (First Assistant Camera), Nick Watson (Second Assistant Camera), Drew Davidson (Gaffer)

Gary Paller (Special Effects Coordinator), Daria Ellerman (Additional Editing), Dave Gordon (Key Grip), Joann Fowler (Make-Up)

Julie McHaffie (Hairstylist), Gordon W Anderson (Sound Mixer), Ed Nesling (Location Manager), Jessica Clothier (Script Supervisor)

Beverley Wiens (Head Accountant), Barry Kootchin (Head Painter), Sandra Palmer (Production Coordinator)

JJ Makaro, Fred Parron (Stunt Coordinators), Dennise Houser (Transportation Coordinator), John Oliver (Driver Captain)

Northwest Imaging & FX (Visual Effects), Eric Alba (Visual Effects Supervisor), Marush Kushniruk (Visual Effects Coordinator)

Jacqueline Cristianini (Sound Supervisor), Joe Lederer, Doane Gregory (Still Photography), Jim Rankin (First Aid/Craft Services)

  • Filmed on Location in British Columbia, Canada

  • Sincere appreciation to the Motion Picture Studio Production Technicians IATSE Local 891 Vancouver, Canada

  • Cameras by Clairmont 

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Ogden Street, Vancouver

  • Hadden Park, Vancouver

  • Plaza of Nations, 750 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver

  • Studio Stage, 8651 Eastlake Drive, Burnaby

  • BC Children's Hospital, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver

  • E Georgia Street, Vancouver

  • Union Street, Vancouver

  • CN Rail, Vancouver

  • Golden Crown Centre, 211 E Georgia Street, Vancouver

  • Carrall Street, Vancouver

  • Keefer Street, Vancouver

  • Andy Livingstone Park, Vancouver

Deaths

  • Bruce [killed and body taken over by The Master]

  • Miranda [neck broken by The Master]

  • Lee's Friends [brutally shot down]

  • The Master [dies when he falls into the eye of harmony]

  • Guards [four of them killed by The Master' venomous gunk]

Production Days

  • 29 days between Monday 15 January - Wednesday 21 February 1996

Production Errors

  1. There is a major timing issue involving the scenes which contain clips from the film Frankenstein. One moment Pete is watching the awakening scene of Frankenstein's Monster, less than a minute passes, and the movie has jumped to the scene where Frankenstein's  Monster scares a woman in her bedroom. 

  2. You would think that the disused ward The Doctor wanders into would at least have construction equipment in it instead of being left to rack and ruin. 

  3. When San Francisco is sucked into the eye of Harmony it has just turned midnight, hence why everyone is celebrating the new millennium. However other cities around the world [Moscow, Paris and London etc.] are also celebrating the new millennium which they shouldn't be.  

  4. How did The Master get in The Tardis before Chang Lee? Chang Lee has the key, did The Master turn into his morphic state and go through the keyhole? ​​

Working Titles

  • Dr Who - The Story

  • Dr Who?

Verdict

If the series had continued after this far too fast-paced television movie, stronger scripts would have been a requirement. New fans in 1996 would find the feel of the show somewhat chaotic and confused, and a lack of background information falls short in creating anything engaging. The Doctor and The Master also fall short in being established as interesting characters most of the time, and contradictory lines and moments will make returning fans roll their eyes. New ideas such as The Master being the embodiment of pure evil with sinister green eyes is intriguing but doesn't really match who The Master was in the classic series. Eric Roberts portrayal, though, is best described as cold and theatrical rather than sly and cunning. The pacing of the story is persistently stop and go, especially in the middle act. Far too influenced by b-movies with cheap prop sets, crummy acting, over the top dramatic scenes, dire stunts, cheap yet impressive practical effects and video graphics for the time, too many continuity mistakes and plot holes. Paul McGann shines as The Doctor while battling a clunky written script with far too many scenes with The Doctor acting all goofy. Daphne Ashbrook shows promise as Grace, despite having very little to work with in terms of character and personality. Set designs of The Tardis also shine but this is probably all down to the big American budget which the British series never got. The star moment of this movie comes during The Doctor's regeneration scene. The timing, editing, camera shots, cinematography and vocals emphasise a sense of mystery and wonder and the coming of something wondrous. But even this little treat can't escape a goofy joke which ends the scene. While this television movie was made for the right intentions, everything that made the show special is quickly sucked dry. The end result is somewhat open-ended and perhaps not for the better. Just a shame that McGann never got the chance to start in his own series. While not the absolute worst, the thrill of this TV movie will probably satisfy most fans, but in terms of taking the series seriously or becoming engaged, it's probably best to wait for the revived series. ***