19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A CGI animated doctor who story, featuring David Tennant voicing the tenth doctor. This was originally presented in short episodes on the bbc red button but on dvd it's been edited into one long one of 44 mins approx.
Thus it does move at a fair old pace, particularly early on.
The story sees the Doctor visiting the nevada desert in the 1950's, and chancing on an alien artefact in a diner. The US military and a few aliens would both like to get their hands on it. Thus the Doctor and the lady who runs the diner plus an indian friend of hers are caught up in the middle of things.
A pretty standard doctor who plot follows, but it does keep moving nicely thanks to the pace of the thing so it's enough to hold your attention. The human villain turns out to be well characterised and the voice of the alien leader is nicely done thanks to some electronic treatment.
Actress georgia moffett does a good american accent as the diner owner but she and the indian guy are rather underused, spending most of the time trailing along after the doctor.
The animation is very colourful and eye catching, although the figures don't sometimes go that well with the background. And they run like puppets from a gerry anderson show. But apart from that it's pretty good.
The disc has subtitles in english and the only language track is in english.
Also in with this on a second disc are three documentaries recently shown on bbc4 called doctor who's greatest moments. Running a little over 50 minutes each they take clips from the new series and have the actors discuss them in typical tv documentary talking heads fashion. They deal with the doctor, the companions and the enemies respectively. The talk on the first two can be pretty interesting at times but there's nothing in them you won't have seen before.
But all in all this is one more tenth doctor story and it's not desperately expensive, so it's worth a look.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2010
Atmospheric and colourful animation that broadens the Doctor Who universe and which provides further proof of the boundless scope and imagination of the show. It did seem shorter than I had imagined, but it was the right length for my 5 year old daughter to enjoy without losing her attention. The alien creatures are fantastic - even SFXperts 'The Mill' would be hard pushed to produce such brilliance in this magnitude - and David Tennant's Time Lord is has the same 'ants in his pants' irrepressible energy as in the parent show. It would be good to see more of these with the involvement of Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor; we'll just have to wait in hopeful anticipation...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2009 was obviously a crucial year for Doctor Who...because we knew that would be David Tennant's final year as the beloved Time Lord before handing the role over to Matt Smith. Obviously, he was going to go out with a bang in the form of the Specials but this was David Tennant (generally regarded as the greatest Doctor of all time). His twilight year was really going to count for something, hence the Specials, audio books, novels (including the perfect Prisoner of the Daleks)...
And this - Dreamland, an exclusive animated adventure for CBBC, similar to 2007's The Infinite Quest. This time round, it's a CGI outing, that features the Tenth Doctor (on his own, obviously) in Dry Springs, Nevada 1958, where he stops at a diner, befriends waitress Cassie and Jimmy (bloke with excellent hair!) and finds himself in an escapade involving alien-crash landings, government conspiracies, Viperox baddies, the U.S. Military and that great real-life place sci-fi lovers dream of visiting, Area 51.
Now, because it's animation, I can't help but compare it to The Infinite Quest, which I loved. Dreamland is a very different breed of cat, obviously because of the animation style and presentation. Expecting a CGI production on the same level as Pixar, Dreamworks or Square-Enix is completely out of the question. The animation is basic, rather low-budget, and too many-times feels rather crude and rigid.
That doesn't really bother me, but what I can't excuse is the pacing or the plot itself. It just feels so rushed overall; the sub-plots, characters, twists-and-turns, developments...it goes along too quickly, rendering certain moments and characters either predictable or unnecessary. That makes Dreamland feel really average at the end of the day, which is downright disappointing.
When I watched The Infinite Quest, the presentation was spot-on, even if the animation was a bit radical. Pacing was spot-on, character/plot depth/development were spot-on; all the key necessities were there, making that animation a cracking addition to the Doctor Who saga. If only the same level of care and devotion had been applied to Dreamland, because there's a significant amount of stuff here that isn't that bad.
The dialogue (for instance) is impeccable. There's nothing cheesy or understated whatsoever here. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the script is the best part of the whole animation. In terms of voice work, David Tennant (again) goes without question and Georgia Moffett (Jenny from "The Doctor's Daughter") gives a fine performance. The Viperox themselves are decent enough characters, as are Colonel Stark, Rivesh Mantilax and Saruba Valek. But again, The Infinite Quest gave so much more in forty-five minutes than Dreamland was able to do. Because of that, it also makes Dreamland rather redundant, especially when the companions Cassie and Jimmy are shallow and uninteresting.
Phil Ford (co-writer of The Waters of Mars) does provide some good stuff here. Particularly the 50s scenario, the utilisation of Area 51 and the Cold War, and again the Viperox menace. Which is why I give Dreamland overall (a generous) three stars. That's because it's not terrible, merely okay. And the bonus disc featuring fab, in-depth compilation pieces on the Doctor, his companions and enemies (consisting of hour-long documentaries and extensive cast interviews) is such a terrific treat. But really, Dreamland is NOT essential. If you're curious, buy it by all means. Just don't expect a masterpiece.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2012
Why only 3 stars? Let's get the sour stuff out of the way first.
What detracts from this otherwise classic bit of Who is the animation - the backgrounds are sound enough, nothing wrong the environment designed for this chapter.
The people however are stiff and sometimes pushing into uncanny valley territory. Movements are jagged and unnatural, which detracts from the tension one is supposed to feel during the chase scenes.
Apart from that, it's a jolly bit of sci-fi, with all the tropes of 50's paranoia and aliens to match. Its price is certainly not an issue, worth purchasing just for the lovely retro feel of everything, and to enjoy the tenth doctor's tendency to ramble
with enjoyment and enthusiasm - as we remember him from before his increasingly serious and dark turn preceding his "death".
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2009
An animated story that was originally in 6 parts (first aprox 12 mins, others aprox 6 mins) now combined into a regular 45 minute Doctor Who episode.
The cliffhangers are mostly at the end of key scenes - so merging the episodes together doesn't create many problems.
The story is good overall - and sees the Doctor traveling back to the the time of the cold war, trying to stop some US army officials using an alien weapon to attack Russia - as well as trying to stop the same alien species destroying all of earth.
First, theDVD comes with another disc called Doctor Who's Greatest Moments, the only unfortunate thing is it has no Classic Who in it.
The Dreamland Disc I thought was surprisingly good. The animation of the people is slightly funny, there legs don't seem to want to run properly but that doesn't spoil the story.
There's loads of references to other movies, to the extent I was expecting one of the human characters to end up being James Cameron or George Lucas as teenagers.