Seasons Of WarDoctor WhoDaleksWar Doctor
Doctor Who - Seasons of War - An unofficial short film
Medium: short film
Year: 2015
Writer/director: Andy Robinson
Cast: Tom Menary, Daisy Batchelor, Becky Rich, Tom Hutchings, Sam Pike, Georgina Burford, Candice Owens, Simon Tytherleigh
Format: 5 minutes 38 seconds
Keywords: Seasons Of War, SF
Series: << Doctor Who >>, << Daleks >>
Regulars: War Doctor
Website category: Doctor Who
Review date: 31 August 2015
It's ridiculously good for a fan film. It's broadcast quality. If you were looking for work in the industry, you'd happily use it as a showreel.
It's short, of course, and the last minute is credits. If it hadn't been, they'd have probably killed themselves maintaining this quality on a fan budget. It doesn't have a plot, but that's in no way a problem. It carries its length perfectly, being an all-narrated piece in which Artist Woman reminisces about what the War Doctor meant to her and how the war has shaped their lives. (We never learn any names. "Artist Woman" comes from the closing credits.)
Character comes through from Artist Woman herself, who's played both on-screen and in the narration by Becky Rich, who in both is actually acting. This isn't something to be taken for granted in fan films.
The film makes strong use of its chosen themes. It's taking an intense look at the impact of war while at the same time bringing in Daleks, TARDISes, etc. without seeming at all crass. The production values help with that enormously, of course, by making it feel real. It really feels like another culture on another planet. You know the way that even in professional productions, even one minor slip in one department (hairstyles, ill-chosen locations, whatever) can spoil the whole effect? Here, that never happens. It's flawless. They've dressed the sets properly, they've made or bought costumes that feel right and even the make-up artist is contributing with intriguing tattoos.
They don't have John Hurt, obviously. They're using another actor (Tom Menary), but this works just fine and we only rarely see his face anyway. Their War Doctor is a powerful presence, arguably the more so for being indirectly seen and never heard.
The fannish stuff all looks good too. The Dalek glimpses look just right (unsurprisingly given the hundreds of excellent full-size fan-made Daleks to be found around Britain), while their TARDIS console looks like a labour of love.
I don't have much more to say. It's a five-minute film. I've run out of comments. I also wouldn't want to denigrate more cheap and cheerful fan films, because those can be entertaining and even impressive in their own way too. However this is excellent. It feels like a combination of a movie trailer and the inner voice of the Artist Woman. Fans are amazing.