Episode 115 – “A Holiday for the Doctor”

Every science fiction show eventually feels the need to do a Western episode. Star Trek did it, TNG did it, Red Dwarf, Battlestar Galactica, and many others did it. Doctor Who is, alas, no exception. Yes, it’s time for guns, whiskey, highly-suspect accents, and music, music, music!

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“So fill up your glasses, and join in the song…”

So the Doctor, Steven, and Dodo, arrive in Tombstone, AZ. The Doctor has a toothache, and rather than doing the sensible thing (getting back into the TARDIS and going basically anywhere other than 19th century frontier America), they decide to stay around and look for a dentist.

Dodo and Steven both put on clothes that make them look like actors in a wild west variety show, with Steven doing his best to sound like some Alabama tourist visiting the Empire State Building.

Dodo proves to be a bit of an old west fan, as she knows who Wyatt Earp is. Or…was. Whatever. He kind of arrests the TARDIS gang.

So one actor in this is Canadian. He does the best job of sounding convincingly American. Everyone else has variations of fail, which is kind of a sobering reminder for people like me who occasionally try to sound English.

Another fun, fact: the son of the actor who plays Doc Holiday went on to write the screenplay for the Eighth Doctor movie. Neat!

There’s a backdrop of the street in Tombstone going back some distance. That’s fine, really. It’s a decent enough set extension. Except that they film it from angles that make it very obvious that’s what it is.

The Doctor goes to see Holiday to get his tooth worked on. The scenes of Holiday having a bit of booze beforehand are quite reassuring. He pulls the tooth, and then Seth Harper wanders in (having recently met Steven and Dodo), and promptly mistakes the Doctor for the Doc. Yes, like many a later series story, this one has a pair o’ Docs.

Next time: “Don’t Shoot the Pianist”

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