Regenesis Reviewed by Kathryn Sullivan
FRIENDS OF DOCTOR WHO Volume 9, Number 1 Summer 1997
reviewed by Kathy Sullivan
"Regenesis", a two-part fan-video from Timebase Productions, starts with the Doctor (number unknown) already in trouble. He's been in a mental hospital for seven months, presumably committed after some mysterious force invaded the TARDIS and no one believed his requests for help. No one has apparently noticed the sudden disappearance of a number of street people, nor the mysterious person who, as the video opens, forces his latest victim to the
TARDIS at raygun-point.
The Doctor, however, has been gathering the means of his escape from the mental hospital while lulling the doctors into thinking that 'John Smith' is almost cured of his delusions. After escaping in true Doctorish fashion, he flags down a car and, before the driver (Lesley) realizes it, recruits a new Companion.
Rupert Booth has managed to capture "Doctorish" personality elements so well that, within moments of his appearance, I accepted that he was the Doctor. He has the quick mood changes from jokingly confusing to deadly serious. His Doctor has the advance planning of the Seventh Doctor (how did he know to stash a change of clothing near the hospital?), the car tinkering of the Third, and the no-nonsense action of the Fourth. Some have compared his performance to that of the Eighth Doctor, presumably because of this Doctor's long hair and formal attire. "Regenesis" however, was produced in 1994, and aired in the U.S. at Visions '94.
Christine Potter is very believable as Lesley, with her flashes of anger and disbelief at the strange events she faces. The human agent Voltere's character is also well developed over the course of the two-parter. The villain of the piece is new and handled well, except for one segment; at that point, I had to remind myself that this is a fan video, with flaws allowed.
"Regenesis" is an interesting action story, and the script, written by Paul Ferry (who also portrays the mysterious Voltere), moves along at a good pace with an intriguing mixture of humor and SF. Since Timebase Productions are UK fans, the accents sound right to American ears. The visual effects are well-handled (I do like the sensors), and the incidental music–all original–adds to the scenes rather than dominating. The editing has a good mixture of closeups (sometimes too close) and long shots, and although there are a few scenes of 'talking heads', there's enough action going on around the scene (my favorite is when the Doctor keeps interrupting Lesley to incorporate kitchen items into his new device) to prevent the explanations from getting boring.
For those who enjoy this sort of thing, there is also a short bloopers segment at the end of the tape.
I highly recommend "Regenesis" to those who enjoy a good DW story. I'm looking forward to Timebase Productions' new videos.