Our favorite things about The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

Feature Andrew Blair 11/27/2013 at 10:28AM

Here are our favourite moments from Peter Davison and co.'s tremendous gift to Who fans, The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot...

Contains Spoilers for The Day of the Doctor.

While we didn't see the Fifth, Sixth or Seventh Doctors in the flesh during The Day of the Doctor there's a possibility that they might still have featured somewhere. It's possible that, on set, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy refused to let Zygons be Zygons.  

As with much of the anniversary programming, once you're done with being merely incredibly entertained by the Pythonesque brilliance and sequences involving K9 and Lisa Bowerman haunting Steven Moffat's dreams, you can then embark on a game of 'Spot the Reference'. Written, directed, and initiated by Peter Davison (confirming himself as the bigger nerd in the room), The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot is like a Easter Egg within an Easter Egg, so crammed full of in-jokes that a diagram of them all would resemble a cross-sectional diagram of a lung. This are not just about Doctor Who, but we also have Olivia Colman referencing her own ubiquity, Colin Baker's Wycombe Wanderers jacket, Rhys Thomas riffing on his own Gary Bellamy character, Peter Jackson's ever ad hoc approach to movie-making, and appearances from Sarah Churm (who played Peter Davison's daughter in At Home With the Braithwaites), various Big Finish alumni, and members of the Doctor Who production team.

While the BBC negotiate a six-episode sitcom deal with Davison (potentially the driest comedy ever), hopefully this extra will find its way onto DVD with a Spaced-style subtitle reference track. Meanwhile, here's a list of our favorite bits:


1. Janet Fielding personifies Peter Davison's self-doubt

Well, if it had to be anyone, it had to be everyone's favorite plane-obsessed gobby Australian, didn't it? Interestingly – from the position of an amateur psychologist and Tegan/Five shippers – Fielding's voice cross-fades with that of Davison's wife, asking him to walk the dog. What are you trying to say, Peter Davison?


2. Georgia Moffett's Subtle Celery

It's not immediately obvious until you hear the crunch, but Georgia Moffat is eating that ice-cream using a stick of celery as a spoon.


3. “I am what I am”

This John Barrowman sung-anthem kept cropping up throughout (initially mentioned by Rhys 'Fifth Doctor Outfit for his Birthday' Thomas, aka Donald Cox the Sweaty Fox), prior to the big reveal of Barrowman's secret life. Nice, subtle gag there, and also good to get Barrowman involved somewhere.


4. Niky Wardley's Unimpressed Face

Big Finish's Tamsin Drew wins the 'Most Disparaging Supporting Character' award without saying a word.

5. Steven Moffat as the Cold, Gimlet-Eyed Bond Villain

“And have Tumblr destroyed.”


6. The ever-versatile Shada clip

Followed by John-Culshaw-as-Tom-Baker signing off his answerphone message with 'Goodbye my dears', because frankly there haven't been enough Dimensions in Time references in the anniversary.


7. This image without context

Seriously, you can pause The Five(ish) Doctors at almost any point and the ensuing screengrab is comedy gold.


8. “You're wasting your time, I've locked all the doors.”

The Baker family react with horror to the news that Vengeance on Varos has got an expanded DVD re-release.


9. “Sylvester...who?”

(Sir) Ian McKellen (most famous for voicing the Great Intelligence in The Snowmen and Zebedee in the 2005 Tom Baker-starring Magic traffic circle movie) is very frank in his consideration of McCoy's sudden absence from The Hobbit.


10. “I'd like to go home now.”

I don't know if you've ever seen the episode of Still Game Sylvester McCoy features in, but he really is very good at playing the Hans Moleman card.


11. Eighties vs Noughties

The music gag. The lighting gag. The use of the word 'toerag' as an insult. 'Must dash'. 'Illegal aliens I shouldn't wonder.'


12. The Cult of Skaro

On top of getting Nick Briggs, Frank Skinner and David Troughton to play the Dalek operators (with real Dalek operators Barnaby Edwards and Nicholas Pegg appearing in the back of another shot), the fact that the three Dalek operators appear to have some sort of familial masonic cult thing going on is a nice, if worrying, touch.


13. Russell The Davies



14. This:


15. “Why are we doing all of this?”

Because of all the anniversary bonuses, this really was one that smacks of serendipity (yet another word that Doctor Who taught me the meaning of). Steve Moffat is already quoted as saying he was delighted when Davison told him the idea, because it solved his problem of how to involve these three Doctors in the event. The Five(ish) Doctors emerged like the surprise Christmas present that wasn't under the tree, arrives late in the day when you weren't expecting it, and turns out to be one of the most memorable gifts you receive.

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Disqus - noscript

What I want to know is if they were really "There"!

The most impressive thing about this wasn't even Who related: if you stripped away all the in-jokes and cameos and references, you'd be left with...a genuinely funny comedy about three vain but aging actors who've known one another for years and are still competing with one another. The self-mockery of the script and the easy chemistry shared by the three leads made this immensely watchable. If it had been the first episode of an Extras-like sitcom looking behind the scenes at the relationship of these three actors, I'd never miss an episode.

Seriously, this was an amazing short. So brilliant throughout. It is a must see.

My favorite gag: Sylv: "Every great decision creates ripples." Colin: "In your tea?"

I demand this be on a DVD somewhere. Pretty please?

This was very much a delight to watch. :D

I adored this.

no mention of McGann? alas...

Amazing video! What a surprise. Probably the best 50th Anniversary tribute to classic Who produced so far.

Actually McGann WAS in it, unless you are referring to a lack of a mention of that here.

Maybe I missed it, but I would have liked to have seen Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films, and is Patrick Troughtons grand-son in a cameo role.

Georgia Moffat? Don't you mean Georgia Tennant?

As an Actress, She probably kept her Maiden Name. It's common Practice in the United States for Celebs to keep their name upon Marriage, I Imagine it's a common practice in Europe.

Her name is "Georgia Tennant" in the credits, and even if she kept her maiden name, she'd be Davison, not Moffat...

I know it's 2013. I just didn't know Moffett was her real maiden name. Especially given the mention of her as Georgia Tennant in the video, coupled with the two different spellings of Moffett/Moffat in the article, I thought perhaps it was an unintentional placement of Steven Moffat's last name. Cheers!

So I watched this again today now the the 50th has died down a little. The whole things can be summed up really simply "It is an example of how people love the show".

Peter, Colin and Sylvester obviously have such a soft spot for the show. I have not followed Colin's career but Peter and Sylvester are sort out actors. Therefore for them to do this is amazing. Let's not even get into the guest list of actors of whom must have gone out of their way to appear for even a brief second in this.

Thank you Peter for putting this together. It reminds me of why I watched the show as a kid scared as Tom Baker became you and now why I still love it.

Also Sylvester I heard when they did Dimensions in Time you cried in the Eastenders garden how a show so loved that could bring all those people together was being ignored by the BBC. We kept the faith and we are thankful for you guys.

She's credited as "Georgia Moffett" in the "Cast in Order of Appearance" credits. And as "Georgia Tennant" as "Producer."

So apparently she is keeping her birth name for acting purposes, but chose to use her married name as producer.

Ursula FTW

Finally -- the 'this-video-is-not-available' moratorium has been lifted for us American Whovians and I've just seen it. I was cheering it, loving it and laughing over it throughout -- especially when they came up with the answer for why they were going through all this trouble! Thank you so much, Doctor(s). Brilliant!