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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Are Friends Electric? is a 38 minute long documentary featured on the
special edition DVD of the Doctor Who story Robot (1975) & a fine
documentary it is as well.
To start off with the documentary focuses on the change of Doctors between Jon Pertwee who left the role in the previous story Planet of Spiders (1974) at the end of the previous season & Tom Baker who took over the role in Robot. Various people are interviewed including producer Barry Letts, script editor Terrence Dicks & Tom Baker himself as they describe his getting the role from their own perspective. At this point Letts also mentions a few other actors who were in line to become the fourth Doctor & I have to admit I had never heard of any of them.
After 20 odd minutes discussing Tom Baker's casting the documentary changes gear & focuses on the making of his first story Robot, again there's plenty of information & interviews with the cast including the guy who actually played the Robot & Christopher Barry the guy who directed the story. There are also some scenes from the Doctor Who museum in Blackpool where I presume the Robot suit has been kept as there are shots of it as it is today. There are enough clips, photos, anecdote's & personal insight to satisfy the most rabid of Doctor Who fans like myself & Are Friends Electric? is one of my favourite DVD documentary's featured on the Doctor Who DVD range which is generally excellent & the only full price DVD's I bother buying these days.
It's hard to imagine a time when Tom Baker wasn't universally known as the Doctor but there was & this documentary brilliantly tells the story of how it all came to be, how he got the part & ends on the admission regarding his overnight fame that he'd rather be rich & have no privacy than poor & anonymous which is fair enough I suppose.
Are Friends Electric? is an excellent DVD documentary, it's as simple & straight forward as that & is far better than one would expect & much better than the usual bland self promoting Hollywood 'making of' documentary's. A great documentary on a great DVD for a great Doctor Who story.
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