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Doctor Who: Dreamland

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2010-04 SFX p116.jpg

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  • Publication: SFX
  • Date: Apr. 2010
  • Author: Dave Golder
  • Page: 116
  • Language: English

Anyone remember who this fella was?

DOCTOR WHO: DREAMLAND

The forgotten special

2009 PG 44 mins £12.99 OUT NOW!

Director: Gary Russell

Cast: David Tennant, Georgia Moffett, Tim Hower, Stuart Milligan, David Warner

★★★★☆ Extras: ★★★☆☆

In a year of Doctor Who specials this little gem, originally aired as a red-button extra, deserved to be embraced as every bit as special as its live-action counterparts.

That's saying something, considering the CG animation is, to put it politely, basic. But Dreamland is a perfect example of that old adage that a decent story is more important than flashy visuals. A hugely entertaining romp liberally sprinkled with some killer one-liners, it feels like a Pertwee adventure given a Russell T Davies spit and polish, with underground bases, lots of running and plenty of chances for our errant Time Lord to deflate pompous military types.

The basic set-up is so appealing for Doctor Who it's surprising it's never been done before: the Doctor visits Roswell in 1958 at the height of UFO mania. When the TARDIS lands near a diner in the deserts of New

Mexico, the Doctor steps out to find the US Army has formed an uneasy alliance with an insectoid race named the Viperox.

It's hardly the most complex story, but as the basis for a fast-moving, action-packed, plot-led animated 45 minutes it fits the bill perfectly, especially if taken in the spirit of being a homage to '50s B-movies. It's cheesy in places, sure, but gloriously so, and while the character animation may be poor, the backgrounds and designs evoke the place and period perfectly (as one person amusingly said on the SFX forum: "I preferred the animation in the stills!").

Extras: Those three Doctor Who: Greatest Moments celebrations of new Who that BBC Three produced last year, full of clips and talking heads interviews. That's three hours of extras, which is fair enough, but they're hardly the most essential viewing. Shame there's no commentary involving Tennant and the crew.

The spaceship seen crashing at the start of Dreamland also featured in The Sarah Jane Adventures "Prisoner Of The Judoon".

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Golder, Dave (Apr. 2010). Doctor Who: Dreamland. SFX p. 116.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Golder, Dave. "Doctor Who: Dreamland." SFX [add city] Apr. 2010, 116. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Golder, Dave. "Doctor Who: Dreamland." SFX, edition, sec., Apr. 2010
  • Turabian: Golder, Dave. "Doctor Who: Dreamland." SFX, Apr. 2010, section, 116 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who: Dreamland | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who:_Dreamland | work=SFX | pages=116 | date=Apr. 2010 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 February 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who: Dreamland | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who:_Dreamland | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 February 2024}}</ref>