Warrant Officer John Benton, a long-serving member of the United Nations Intelligence Taksforce (UNIT), is distracted from his mission to deliver valuable radioactive material to UNIT HQ by...
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Warrant Officer John Benton, a long-serving member of the United Nations Intelligence Taksforce (UNIT), is distracted from his mission to deliver valuable radioactive material to UNIT HQ by ghostly visions of his father, who was killed during World War 2, and his brother Chris, who died as a result of a childhood game that went wrong. Can Benton face these demons of his past and recover to prevent the theft of the radioactive material? Written by
This is the first time Benton's first name was mentioned on screen, although listed as "John Benton" in the Radio Times since the characters introduction, the show and credits usually referred to the character as "Sergeant Benton". See more »
Wartime was the first independent Doctor Who spin-off (made when the show was still in production in 1987) and is pretty good. John Levene stars as Sgt. Benton of U.N.I.T. (from the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years) on a delivery mission who gets sidetracked to a haunting landscape that holds a painful secret from his past. Younger versions of himself and his brother, who died in a tragic accident at the location he finds himself in, assault his senses, as do images of his mother and father (the latter played by original Doctor Who Davros, Michael Wisher). Benton's confrontations with his father are well handled and sometimes quite eerie. A major issue that had haunted Benton is finally resolved and it is never really clear whether the images of his family are mental projections brought on by the previously unresolved trauma or actual ghosts and this ambiguity is a positive attribute of this production. The acting itself varies, with John Levene putting in an adequate performance (with a couple of minor lapses) and Wisher contributing a marvellous and occasionally spooky one. The overall look and some of the effects are strictly low budget but credit must be given to the crew who proved people outside the BBC could treat characters in a sensitive and interesting fashion. Also on the video is a Making Of Wartime section that is revealing in the trials and tribulations of a low budget production. Some of the remembrances are long winded but most are fresh and sometimes quite funny. Buy this to see where the Doctor Who spin-off phenomena began and give it a few viewings before passing judgement on it as it is really very intriguing and moody.
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