Timestamp Special #14: The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot
(50th Anniversary Parody Special, 2013)

Timestamp S14 Fiveish Doctors Reboot

Covert ops at the BBC.

I love this “real-world” parody adventure focused on the remaining classic-era Doctors trying to be involved with the 50th-anniversary special. Peter Davison is simply obsessed with the quest (especially with his sons being so excited about David Tennant’s appearance in the special), Colin Baker just wants to play in the universe again, and Sylvester McCoy is keen to join so long as everyone knows about his role in The Hobbit.

Paul McGann is willing to join as long as it doesn’t interfere with his filming schedules. Obviously, that comes back to call when he’s pulled into The Night of the Doctor. And, one of my favorite gags, is the callback to Tom Baker’s “appearance” in The Five Doctors when he (in more ways than one) punted on a role in the special.

Written and directed by Peter Davison, this special has a lot of similar callbacks to the franchise’s fifty years. It has Georgia Moffett (Peter’s daughter and David Tennant’s wife) and her ice-cream-and-celery pregnancy cravings, Matthew “Adric” Waterhouse reflecting on his exit, nods to the Peter Cushing movies, a sideways approach to the “You’ve redecorated… I don’t like it” gag with the classic Doctors in the modern TARDIS, and so much more.

I got a kick out of Colin Baker’s obsession with Vengeance on Varos. It’s a story that’s often derided by critics for excessive violence and dark tones, but it is cited as a favorite of both Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant. His copies of the episode keep going missing, so he buys replacements. The special edition DVD has “even more of me“!

The ending’s meta-twist is jarring, but I totally love how the actors end up in the final cut as the shrouded Zygons in the Under Gallery scenes.

This was a great classic-era accompaniment to The Day of the Doctor.

UP NEXT – An Adventure in Space and Time


The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.


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