THE OTHER DOCTOR
And let the gift reviews begin! Today’s review is the first of my “Christmas Reviews” so to speak, but it’s not exactly a Christmas gift, for reasons I’ll get into at the end. So, let’s consider this Christmas Review #0.
A year ago, I owned no Doctor Who action figures. In fact, just a few months before that, I’d never seen an episode of Doctor Who. Two things changed that: a) My girlfriend got into it and encouraged me to start watching it, and b) virtually everyone was talking about how cool the 50th anniversary special was. One of the things that intrigued me the most was John Hurt in the role of the “War Doctor;” I’m a fan of John Hurt, largely due to Alien. So, I caught up to the show, and I am now a very definite Whovian. So, in honor of the thing that pulled me into the show, and by extension the toyline, let’s have a look at the War Doctor in toy form!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The War Doctor, or the “Other Doctor” as he is referred to on the package, was an individual release in the Doctor Who line, meant to capitalize on the 50th Anniversary special. He is notable in that, while he was released after the line’s move to the smaller 3 ¾ inch scale, he was done in the previous 5 inch scale, so he could fit in with the older figures. As such, he is a little under 5 inches tall (Hurt’s not a particularly tall guy), and he features 20 points of articulation. Near as I can tell, the sculpt is all new to this particular figure. It’s really a great sculpt. His jacket is perhaps a little too bulky, but not overly so, and the rest of his body is well-proportioned and has some nice detail work in the folds and textures. The head is pretty much a spitting image of Hurt, which is great. Hurt is notoriously strict about his face being used on merchandise, so this is, I believe, the only official Hurt sculpt to date. They did well on this one. War Doctor’s paint work has its goods and it’s bads. The overall paint work is pretty good,; everything is pretty much clean, and there’s no slop or bleed over to speak of. There some truly tremendous work on the pants and boots, and some exceptional work on the funky pattern on his ascot. It seriously looks like they shrank the real thing down. However, the figure has some seriously goofy looking eyes. They aren’t too bad from a little distance, but up close they look weird. The jacket’s paint is definitely a case of good in theory, but less so in practice. They’ve tried to give it a weathered, broken in look, but the lighter brown is inconsistently applied. It’s really thick some places, but totally absent elsewhere. It’s not terrible, but it’s obviously not the effect they were trying to get. The War Doctor includes his version of the Sonic Screwdriver, the “Moment” accessory from the 50th Anniversary special, and an extra Paul McGann Eighth Doctor head, depicting him from the “Night of the Doctor” short done to lead into “Day of the Doctor.” The head’s a neat enough idea, though Eight never actually wore this getup (though War Doctor did grab the bandolier right after his regeneration). It’s still a cool idea, though.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The War Doctor was a gift from Super Awesome Girlfriend, given to me as an anniversary gift (yep, I got the Anniversary Doctor for our anniversary. She’s a clever one.) “But, wait, Ethan, didn’t you say this was sort of a Christmas Review?” Yes, I did random imaginary reader! See, we’re the crazy sort of people who started dating on Christmas Eve, so, extra present I guess. The War Doctor has a small fault or two, but, overall, he’s a phenomenal figure. They really hit it out of the park with this one.