Doctor Who has become an icon of British television, having lasted for more than fifty years, and capturing the hearts and minds of countless fans. Whilst the Doctor and the TARDIS have become iconic in their own right, it was the monsters that made the series a success, with the first appearance of the Daleks in the second story cementing the series as a sci-fi phenomenon.
Whilst the BBC regularly release the classic series stories on DVD and include some interesting behind the scenes documentaries, these often focus on the stars of the story, along with the writers and directors. I Was A Doctor Who Monster, and the Myth Makers documentaries included on the new DVD release, shift this focus to the unsung heroes of these early years. The men and women behind the monsters.
Although not official, this DVD collects together some brilliant inside looks into the classic Doctor Who series, and features a number of big names that have played a part in the franchise, including Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, and Nicholas Briggs.
Briggs, who is probably best known as the modern voice of the Daleks (amongst several monsters) plays a large part in this DVD collection. Whilst he doesn’t feature in the main I Was A Doctor Who Monster film, he is the interviewer in the included Myth Makers films. His inclusion in these pieces works incredibly well, as it means a real Doctor Who fan is the one asking the questions.
Whilst this means that he gets his facts straight about the show (probably knowing it better than a lot of people), it also means that he brings a level of passion to the proceedings, and is genuinely, visibly excited to be talking to the people that helped to bring Doctor Who to life all those decades ago.
Both the titular documentary and the Myth Makers shine a well deserved spotlight onto those who put in the long hours, working inside hot and uncomfortable costumes, often with little to no recognition. It highlights the fact that whilst the Doctor and their companions may be at the forefront of the franchise, it’s very much a collaborative effort, with many of those responsible for making the series a success are the people in the background.
The DVD doesn’t feature any footage from the original series, as they are unable to license it, but makes great use of still images and recreated behind the scenes moments to build a clear picture of what it was like to work on the series at the time.
If you’re wanting to see interviews with past Doctors or the people who created the show this isn’t the documentary that you are looking for (but there are plenty that will give you that). What it does deliver, however, is an incredibly well made look into an area of the franchise that you may not have seen before. The people being interviewed may not be household names, but if your a fan of the franchise you’re sure to recognise the roles that they played, and their behind the scenes stories will delight and inform.
The Doctors: Monsters! shows how wonderful fandom can be, what fans can achieve when they come together to celebrate something they love, and want to share that passion with others. Whether you’re a ‘hardcore’ fan of Doctor Who, or just a casual viewer, this DVD is sure to provide you with insight that you didn’t have before, and will fascinate with its stories. A must for any Whovian.
Check out our associated interview with Nicholas Briggs about this DVD, which is now available from Koch Media.