In 1996, a Doctor Who TV movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, was envisioned to launch the franchise into an exciting new chapter. But whilst the film found success in the UK, attempts to freshen up established lore resulted in a decidedly frosty reception from transatlantic audiences. Now, a quarter of a century later, screenwriter Matthew Jacobs prepares to venture back into the legendary sci-fi universe, to reassess his relationship with the franchise and the American fandom who vilified him.
The film features interviews with original cast of the TV movie, including Paul McGann (The Three Musketeers, Queen of the Damned), Eric Roberts (Inherent Vice, The Dark Knight, The Expendables), and Daphne Ashbrook (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), the documentary not only revisits a pivotal moment in Doctor Who history, but highlights the unity and creative freedom within the fandom, as Jacobs ultimately, and unexpectedly, finds himself a kindred part of this close-knit, yet vast, family of fans.
The film is incredibly personal and intimate as we join Jacobs on his first trips to fan conventions and encounters with fans that he had avoided for so many years as he gives us a very self-deprecating insight into his inner thoughts and insecurities regarding his work and his very personal connections to the show. On a secondary level the film is an eye-opening look at world of Doctor Who fandom and fan conventions from an outside perspective. This is very insightful and includes some more emotional and reflective moments from fans and especially from Jacob’s himself as he begins to come to terms with his inner struggles. Although it is a slight shame that the film-makers have chosen to focus on a handful of US conventions when the doctor who fandom itself is such a vast subject area. The result though is a small and intimate personal story with will surely have a much wider relatability for many viewers and is deftly brought to screen by Jacobs & Yuille and a subtle accompanying score from Mark Legett. It never feels like the film-makers are trying to force the narrative in any particular direction but just letting the cameras run and sharing this journey with us.
Doctor Who Am I is released UK cinemas on 27th October followed by a DVD/Digital/BluRay release on 28th October from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.