The Doctor is in the house! The RiffTrax house, that is! The stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000®, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, are back on the big screen for a legendary riffing of the 1983 Doctor Who film “The Five Doctors.” Someone is taking the Doctor’s past selves out of time and space, placing them in a vast wilderness – a battle arena with a sinister tower at its center. As the various incarnations of the Doctor join forces, they learn they are in the Death Zone on their home world of Gallifrey, fighting Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti and a devious Time Lord Traitor who is using the Doctor and his companions to discover the ancient secrets of Rassilon, the first and most powerful ruler of Gallifrey.
What We Thought:
If you aren’t familiar with RiffTrax, it’s the guys from the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 minus the puppets. You purchase their “riffs” online and play them over a movie. Every once in a while they do a live show in front of an audience that gets simulcast around the country in movie theaters.
The latest event was RiffTrax: Doctor Who The Five Doctors. The film is from 1983 and has the first five Doctors appearing. Four out of five play major roles in the movie. I’m a new Whovian, fan of Doctor Who. I’ve seen some older Doctor Who stuff, but my fandom goes from Chris Eccleston forward. The effects, clothing, characters, sets and everything involved in the older series is quite laughable by today’s standards.
That’s why it’s PERFECT RiffTrax fodder. They make fun of the effects, the wardrobe, the sets. Although the best running joke was for Richard Hurndall who played the First Doctor due to the fact that William Hartnell (the original First Doctor) died in 1975.
Even though I like Doctor Who I can see why people can easily make fun of it. The Tardis makes a ridiculous noise. The Cybermen are terrible shots (RiffTrax makes a comparison to Star Wars’ Storm Troopers), there is the robotic dog K-9, Bessie the car, etc. To me it’s part of the show’s charm, but it’s easy to laugh at as well.
I grew up watching MST3K and I’m a Whovian now so tonight’s combination was perfect. The crowd was a good mix of Whovians and RiffTrax fans which made laughing along together really fun. You can tell the hardcore fans compared to everyday fans because of certain jokes that hit more than others. Plus the guys made a little joke about a woman being a Doctor because of the announcement of the new Doctor being a woman.
RiffTrax: Doctor Who The Five Doctors was a fun time and a good night out. These events are usually fun, but this combination worked even better for me. If you’ve never been to a RiffTrax Live event I highly recommend going sometime. There is one coming in October so make sure to get tickets and keep up to date on future events at https://www.fathomevents.com/.