Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Stepford men and 'Dr. Who' are just weakened updates

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1996-05-14 Detroit Free Press.jpg

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In the channel surfing universe, everything old is new again.

New maybe, but not necessarily fresh. "Dr. Who" and "The Stepford Husbands" are proof of that.

These two generally tepid TV movies — the first based on a long-running, cult favorite British sci-fi series and the second inspired by the nifty 1975 movie "The Stepford Wives" — pretty much fumble the opportunity to pump new energy into their recycled formulas. Fun ideas, blah execution. "Dr. Who" is the better of the two. It's got the sleek production values and flashy special effects, a sure lure for younger viewers. And British actor Paul McGann ("Witimail & I," "Alien") makes a pretty snazzy Dr. Who.

A half-dozen performers have played the fabled time traveler over the past 30 years on the phenomenally resilient BBC series. And Sylvester McCoy, who portrayed the most recent Doctor, makes a cameo appearance at the opening of this jazzed-up, Canadian-made new chapter in the continuing saga of a renegade time traveler.

And, yes, that is indeed a big blue telephone booth that serves as Dr. Who's spaceship. Escorting the gooey remains of his arch-enemy, the Master, to a site of eternal imprisonment, Dr. Who crash-lands in San Francisco on New Year's Eve 1999.

Except the evil Master isn't really dead. And he escapes in slithering liquefied form, leading Dr. Who on a merry chase.

Unfortunately, the Master in human form turns out to be notorious hambone Eric Roberts ("The Specialist"). He's the Godzilla of scenery chewers. And no one is helped by the lame storytelling from a predictable script that ensues.

Those who have never followed the exploits of "Dr. Who" may wonder what all the cult enthusiasm is about. .And even devoted Whovians are unlikely to embrace this overly-slick, disappointing new "Who."

But McGann is good, so maybe there's hope for getting it right next time, though no American network ever will embrace the endearingly cheesy, low-tech look of the original "Dr. Who." Too bad.

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.: Duffy, Mike (1996-05-14). Stepford men and 'Dr. Who' are just weakened updates. Detroit Free Press p. 5C.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Duffy, Mike. "Stepford men and 'Dr. Who' are just weakened updates." Detroit Free Press [add city] 1996-05-14, 5C. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Duffy, Mike. "Stepford men and 'Dr. Who' are just weakened updates." Detroit Free Press, edition, sec., 1996-05-14
  • Turabian: Duffy, Mike. "Stepford men and 'Dr. Who' are just weakened updates." Detroit Free Press, 1996-05-14, section, 5C edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Stepford men and 'Dr. Who' are just weakened updates | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Stepford_men_and_%27Dr._Who%27_are_just_weakened_updates | work=Detroit Free Press | pages=5C | date=1996-05-14 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=9 December 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Stepford men and 'Dr. Who' are just weakened updates | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Stepford_men_and_%27Dr._Who%27_are_just_weakened_updates | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=9 December 2019}}</ref>