Published on December 7th, 2009 | by Christian Cawley
The full 45 minutes of Dreamland was aired on Saturday on BBC television, allowing viewers to get to grips with the story in one sitting and perhaps overlook the poor quality of the CGI in this Doctor Who animation.
SFX have rated the tale 4 stars out of 5, stating that “…in a year of Doctor Who specials this little gem deserves to be embraced as every bit as special as its live action counterparts,” but concluding:
Better than the rather convoluted “The Infinite Quest”, â€œDreamlandâ€ worked perfectly as a series of short episodes.
Digital Spy have given the adventure their unique reviewing magic (let’s face it, they’re gossip-mongers to whom an opinion is anathema to a good story) and awarded it 3/5.
They’ve been following Dreamland since its announcement, and most recently interviewed writer Phil Ford (who also penned The Waters of Mars with Russell T Davies and The Sarah Jane Adventures episode The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) who placed the story firmly after the recent Mars based live action adventure:
“It’s set after ‘Waters of Mars’. It’s a much more light-hearted story than ‘Waters of Mars’ or the story that will follow it. As I think Russell said elsewhere, just because of the dark ending of ‘Waters of Mars’ it doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the journey is going to be doom-laden. The Doctor stops off for a bowl of chili – the kind of chili you could only get in an American diner before 1962, as he says!”
It is the animation that offers the main downsides of this adventure – the renders look far more impressive in static than they do in action, something that has been a bone of contention among fans since the first clips were revealed.
There’s certainly an incongruous juxtaposition between Tennant’s energetic vocals and The Doctor’s expressions – which closely resemble Roger Moore doing his wooden eyebrow raising in the James Bond movies.
There’s no excuse really for this quality of CGI animation in 2009, but with social commentary also thrown into the mix:
â€œYou canâ€™t do this, weâ€™re American citizens!â€
â€œTheyâ€™re the army. They can do whatever they want. They have since the Bear River Massacre.â€
…Dreamland is more than dodgy CGI and a few aliens hopping down to earth to lay some eggs. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can catch this final Tenth Doctor animation via BBC iPlayer or watch on the Official Doctor Who Dreamland page.