The Doctor reluctantly answers a distress call from the planet Generios (in the Generios system, which is nestled away quietly in the constellation of Generios). When he arrives, though, he finds he’s surplus to requirements – the people of Generios are celebrating their victory over the evil Skelloids, a victory they say was engineered by that legendary time traveler known as the Doctor! Mel chalks it up to one of the Doctor’s other incarnations, but the Doctor isn’t so sure. When he runs into the man the people of Generios have hailed as a hero, the Doctor is even more certain that this man isn’t one of his future selves – this “Doctor” travels around the universe in what is essentially a transmat disguised as a Porta-Loo, and generally being far too chummy with his buxom sidekick Sally Anne. But when a new alien menace threatens to destroy Generios – this time decidedly more real than the fake Doctor’s equally fake holographically-projected Skelloid invasion – the planet must look to the Doctor (the real Doctor) for help.
Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Melanie), Christopher Biggins (Banto Zame), Claire Buckfield (Sally-Ann Stubbins), Stephen Fewell (Councillor Potikol / Assembler 2), Nicholas Pegg (Citizen Sokkery / Mentos), Jane Goddard (The Questioner), Adam Buxton (Assembler 1), Matt Lucas (Jelloid), Mark Wright (Guard)
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: In 1985, mere weeks into its 22nd season, Doctor Who was nearly given the axe. When it returned 18 months later, producer John Nathan-Turner was under explicit instructions from the BBC to make the series more humorous and less violent. What the fans and general viewing public saw, however, stayed so far away from either comedy or action as the make the resulting Trial Of A Time Lord season a bit ineffectual. If they’d gone for all-out farce like The One Doctor, however, the show’s future might have unfolded differently. If it demonstrates nothing else, this light-hearted entry (just in time for Christmas 2001, no less) proves that Colin Baker’s comedic potential was sorely underutilized during his brief reign at the Doctor.
At times, The One Doctor tries a little too hard to edge toward Hitchhiker’s Guide jokiness, but the story actually does hang together very well in spite of the mad-dash-across-the-galaxy premise. All of this makes the conclusion of episode four especially surprising – The One Doctor is a fall-down-funny comedy with a deadly serious sting in its tail.
Kudos must go to guest stars Sally Faulkner and Christopher Biggins for bringing Sally Anne and the Time-Lord-impersonating Banto Zame to life. These two guest charatcers figured more heavily in this story than most one-off guests do, and the actors involved did a splendid job of bringing them to life, so much so that I wouldn’t mind a rematch.
Oh, and don’t stop listening after the episode four end credits. There are more goodies after the show’s over.