The 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie has always been infamous for a myriad of reasons, most notably for its illogical plot rife with deus ex machina and the incredibly bold choices of making the Doctor half-human and having him kiss his companion. Personally, for this writer, the TV Movie has always been something of a guilty pleasure and it introduced one of the very best and one of the most underrated incarnations of the Doctor. What many don't know about was the man behind that illogical plot, namely infamous screenwriter, Matthew Jacobs, and this documentary, Doctor Who Am I, is all about him reluctantly being dragged back into the American side of the Doctor Who fandom, a large portion of which have rejected his work with immense passion.
This film is a deep, complex insight as to who Matthew Jacobs is as a person, showing his reluctance and fears of fandom and him slowly but surely opening up to that and gaining a somewhat newfound respect for it. It's also about self-reflection as Jacobs looks back on his time on the TV Movie and how the show has a deep and personal connection, not just to him, but also his family due to the fact that his father portrayed Doc Holliday in the 1965 story The Gunfighters. There's a sequence where Jacobs is hosting a panel about said story and about his experience of watching his father perform on set. We even witness his fear and scepticism about doing it beforehand, which lends an air of relatability and poignancy to him, especially when it's a topic so personal to him.
His journey of accepting the fandom after so long is also of great risk for him considering his work was torn apart by the fans back when it was first transmitted, yet Dr Who Am I also does a great job of sharing personal stories from certain members of that fandom and how the show helped them in their own personal lives. Seeing Jacobs become involved and interact with that fandom is joyous to watch unfold and shows how much he has changed from the beginning of the film to the end.
The title of Doctor Who Am I originated from Jacobs' original pitch for the script of the Doctor losing his memory and having to rediscover who he is. In a way, this beautifully connects to Jacobs' rediscovery of his inner child despite such tragedy. With his mother's suicide and the desire to reinvent himself through his writing. This is a great documentary about self-reflection, moving forward and finding a new sense of place in life, whilst learning to connect with a community you might have had scepticism of beforehand. A great watch regardless of whether you're a die-hard Whovian or not.
Doctor Who Am I will be in UK Cinemas from 27th October and will be available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download from 28th November