Quite often I receive email from our readers recommending various Doctor Who fan projects such as another fanzine, a self-published novel, or even a fan film. Most of these email’s I tend to ignore for one reason or another, but there are a few that I do decide to check out. Imagine my surprise when one day I got an email telling me about a local made Doctor Who fan film project called Doctor Who: Victimsight from a gentleman named Robert Westendorp, one of the individuals involved in the project. I was a bit skeptical at first about the film mainly because based on past experiences with fan films I’d found most of these to be… well, how does one say this politely, atrocious. But there was something about this project that seemed a little different. Robert’s email recommended I’d check out the link to a promotional clip of the forthcoming project, so I thought why not check it out. I did and what I saw looked rather interesting. Here was something that actually might not be that bad. I emailed Robert back and thanked him for his email, telling him I looked forward to his project and to keep me up to date with it.
Well a few months went by and I heard from Robert again telling me the film was just about completed and would have its debut on September 4th. “Cool,” I thought and told Robert I looked forward to seeing the movie. We bounced a few more email’s back and forth about the film, eventually agreeing to an interview with him and Eldon Letkeman, the co-writer of the script, which will be published in a future edition of Whotopia.
On September 4th, I got a promo email from Robert telling me the film was now available for viewing. Sadly I wasn’t able to participate in the online debut, but a few days later, I was finally able to set aside some free time to watch the film properly.
I have to say I quite enjoyed Victimsight and found it to be a very competent and professional production from its opening pre-credit sequence to its end credits. The story, written by Robert Westendorp and Eldon Letkeman, sees the Doctor land on present day Earth where he is suddenly thrown into a conspiracy involving murder and intrigue. An old enemy from his past resurfaces, and the Doctor, with the help of a new friend, Detective Anna Thoms, must try to figure out how to escape his unusual prison and prove his innocence of crime he didn’t commit. The film is quite faithful to the sprit of 21st Century Doctor Who which combines elements of the current BBC Wales production with X Files sensibilities in a well-made Canadian drama.
The cast for the most part are excellent and play their roles well. Kudo’s must go out to cast members: Jay Danziger, who plays sidekick baddie John Wells. Danziger is a natural in the part and his performance seem like its coming from a seasoned performer despite being someone who has had very little acting experience; Andrea Brown, who brings a refreshing intrepretation to one of the Doctor’s past adversaries; and Aurora Buchanan as Detective Anna Thoms who takes a rather stereotypical character and makes the part come alive and believeable. Aurora does a super job in the part and is an excellent actress I’d like to watch in other projects.
Special mention must go to Graham Steeksma who portrays the Doctor. Steeksma has created a Doctor that fans can immediately recognize and one that they will enjoy watching. His doctor seems to be a cross between a less manic David Tennant and Graham’s own personal take on the part. His love of British comedy seems to shine through in his interpretation of the Time Lord from Gallifrey as he embues our favourite Time Lord with a bit of that British humour cheekiness. I was so impressed with Graham that I can actually picture him playing the part in the real series.
The script on the whole is well written. There are some very good scenes in the script - I especially liked the bit with the Doctor discovering the jelly babies which made for a nice comedic break in the story. The characters were realized quite well, though I would have liked to have seen the character of Anna Thoms fleshed out a bit more. I liked the character and think she’ll make an excellent full-time companion, but she did remind me a bit of Dana Scully from the X Files, which is perhaps what the writers intended as the script does have somewhat of an X Files feel about it. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing at all, but rather just something I noticed. Sadly I did find the ending a bit rushed and thought it could have been made a bit more climatic in my opinion. The reveal of who Veronica Smith the main villainess is came as a complete surprise to me, but I would have liked to have seen the odd subtle hint dropped throughout the story to get me guessing who she might actually be. I won’t tell readers out there who she is, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to who.
Overall I thought Robert and Eldon produced a very good story, and one that I think fans will enjoy. Victimsight is definitely one of the best fan films I have seen in a long time and I highly recommend that you check it out.
You can view Victimsight at www.victimsight.com. Tell them Whotopia sent you.