Review by Kathy Sullivan
Written for FRIENDS OF DOCTOR WHO volume 10, number 4, Spring 1999
Those who remember the parody fan videos produced by the Federation might be surprised to discover that they can also do serious drama--and do it well.
'Reality is changing, Nicola.'
Nicola Bryant is at the BBC for an audition when she notices someone in the waiting room is seated in a hovering chair. Later in the parking lot, a blood-smeared victim of an assault presses a cat pin into her hand and tells her that 'Peri must find the Doctor. Find the coat and find the orb.' Then he vanishes.
That night she has a dream in which several images--the bleeding victim, Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor--tell her to 'call me!' She contacts Colin--who has also had odd dreams--and together they set out to retrieve the coat Colin used in his portrayal of the sixth Doctor. But when they find the coat, they also find a mysterious orb--and are attacked by a black-clad being.
Realitywarp is 55 minutes of well-paced action directed by Steve Hill. The screenplay is by Jennifer Adams Kelley, Steve Hill, and Robert Warnock with George Zahora. Original music is by Robert Warnock, and I'm not surprised to find that the music is now also available on CD. It is that good. From the opening dramatic theme to the slightly spookier, foreboding piece whenever a certain being appears, the music works well in setting the mood.
Costuming and special effects are extremely well-done. Credits include mention of a UK film unit whose work is very visible in the opening scenes and adds credibility to the storyline. Steve Hill does an excellent job at capturing the speech pattern, accent, and mannerisms of Colin Baker/the Doctor. Jennifer Adams Kelley does well as Nicola/Peri, with believable exasperation as her friend keeps forgetting who she is. The cast also includes Erin Tumilty as BBC assistant Stacey Aldritch, Robert Warnock as collector Gordon Cole, Philip Kelley, Dennis Kytasaari and Dave Broucek.
As with most fan videos, there are some noticable problems: the color looks washed out in some segments, there is a glass shattering sound _before_ something is broken, and an insect sound common to the US in the UK sequences. But as a whole this is an excellent video with a well-plotted story, believable characterizations, good sound and special effects and wonderful original music. Recommended.
© 1998 Steven W Hill and The Federation. The Federation is a not-for-profit organization. "Doctor Who Fan Club" logo created by Steven W Hill © 1987.
"Doctor Who" is a trademark of the British Broadcasting Corporation © 1996. No attempt is made by the Federation to profit from the use of BBC trademarks.