'The Three Doctors' a keeper for fans of Dr. Who seriesApril 9, 2012
By G. Michael Dobbs
A funny standup performance and a fistful of Who are featured this week in the DVD column.
Donald Glover: Weirdo
Other than his performances as a member of the cast of "Community," I knew very little about Donald Glover, but this new recording of a live performance certainly tells me that he has a fresh and original comedic voice.
Glover plays the nerdy Troy Barnes on "Community," and has worked as a writer on two other hit TV shows, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "30 Rock." His style of comedy is hip, but not ironic or trendy.
He is both an observer and a storyteller. Two of his best bits involved stores from his childhood, once involving his effort to have his nutrition-minded mother buy Cocoa Puffs and another of his father bringing him and two brothers to Home Depot instead of Kid R Us. Both stories are very funny.
Although both of these stories are reminiscent of Bill Cosby, other material certainly proves the assumption that he's trying to be the comedic icon, wrong.
Glover doesn't shy away from edgier material as he spoke about his own use of the n-word. A discussion about rape actually made me uncomfortable.
Drawing from his own life, he related how far a frivolous message about casting him as Peter Parker in the new "Spiderman" movie actually went.
A guy who presents more ideas than he does profanity which goes against some trends in comedy Glover is a comedian well worth watching.
Extras include an insightful interview with the writer and comic.
Dr. Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen
Dr. Who: The Demons
Dr. Who: Carnival of Monsters
Dr. Who: The Three Doctors
BBC Home Video has been pretty busy of late releasing vintage "Dr. Who" collections and of the four new releases of the science fiction show, there is definitely one that "Whovians" should have.
In 1972, "The Three Doctors" began its original broadcast as a 10th anniversary present to the Dr. Who fans. For the first time, all three actors who have portrayed the Doctor were going to appear in one story.
At this point there had been only three doctors William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee and the trick the writers had to pull off was how to logically put these actors who are playing different looking versions of the same basic entity in the same place at the same time.
Dr. Who is a Time Lord who can travel all around time and space and in this story there is such a threat to the universe that his colleagues on his home planet can't help him, but instead send his previous incarnations to Earth to help him.
Dr. Who, you see, regenerates rather than dying. That narrative feature has helped secure the success of Dr. Who as it gives the producers the ability to recast and rejuvenate the show by casting new actors and giving the character new life.
"The Three Doctors" moves a little slowly, faster than a soap opera, but not quite at a pace contemporary audiences would like to see. The show is a bit of a hoot with 1970s fashions and sensibilities, but Pertwee and Troughton two accomplished British character players work well off of one another.
The DVD is loaded with extras including a very interesting segment on the history of the show that was first broadcast on the children's show "Blue Peter."
For Dr. Who fans, this one is a keeper.