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'Doctor Who': The inside story on 'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'

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On Saturday November 23, the BBC unveiled a dramatic, funny and emotional Doctor Who special - yes, The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot was the definite highlight of the 50th anniversary weekend!

Devised and directed by Peter Davison, the 30-minute comedy short sees the fifth Doctor actor - plus his partners-in-crime Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy - attempt to worm their way into Doctor Who's 50th special... by any means!

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.

© BBC

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.


"The whole thing started off almost by accident," says Davison. "I was asked a question at a convention - 'Will you be in the 50th?' - and I said if I wasn't, I would damn well make my own!

"As a germ of an idea came into my head, the passion for it grew and so it got to a point where it was a real quest to complete it. But I couldn't have done it without Colin and Sylvester throwing their hearts into it."

Yes, Colin Baker might be a little peeved that he didn't get to don that patchwork monstrosity of a coat for the 50th special, but he was more than happy to join with Peter on this side project.

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.

© BBC

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.



"Peter had this brilliant idea and we were delighted to do it," the sixth Doctor actor says. "It was such fun to do and the feedback we're getting has been fantastic."

Colin and Sylv weren't the only ones keen to jump aboard either, with Davison recruiting an all-star cast for The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot - everyone from John Barrowman to David Tennant to Russell T Davies.

"Paul [McGann] took part... all the companions... in fact, everyone we asked - with one exception - said yes, because they thought it was a great idea," the first-time director explains.

Peter's passion project may have started life as a "fan video" but it even ultimately secured proper BBC backing thanks to a certain Mr Steven Moffat, who also plays the self-confessed "villain" of the piece.

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.

© BBC

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.



"I bumped into Peter at a party and he said he was going to do this little fan video about [the old Doctors] all trying to get into the 50th, and did I mind and would I be in it?" Doctor Who's showrunner recalls.

"I said I'd give him a budget and a camera crew and some time and why don't you make it for real, make it for us?"

So now the little spoof that could had the approval of the BBC, but some fans still mistook fiction for fact when they glimpsed Davison, Baker and McCoy protesting outside of Television Centre back in September.

"Half of the fans thought we were actually protesting and half of them thought it was a ruse, because we were really in the 50th... and this was a distraction!" Davison laughs.

"I tried to hint that there was something else [we were working on] but again the fans just thought that meant I was really in the 50th... and in a way, we were!"

Ah yes - the final scenes of The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot reveals that our three heroes did make it into 'The Day of the Doctor' as stand-in Zygons - but was it really them under those sheets?

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.

© BBC

'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'.



Moffat says no ("There are things that you don't do to three highly-distinguished actors and one of them is you don't really drape them under a sheet for several hours!") but Peter Davison - the man behind it all - won't hear a word of it...

"Of course it was us under the sheets!" he grins. "How could it not be? Don't ask such questions!"

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot is available now on BBC Red Button and BBC iPlayer.

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