Yes, it’s the Patrick Troughton debut story – but not as you’ve ever seen it before. This is a reworking from the ground up of the basic beats of David Whitaker’s creation, but planting it firmly in the new Doctor Who universe. We’re on Earth – near the Falkland Islands, topically – and the Doctor is claiming (via psychic paper, it seems) to be a UN Examiner who’s picked up a signal from the capsule and come to investigate.
Writer, director and star Nick Scovell has stripped away a lot of the subplots from Whitaker’s original (there are no hints of a rebellion, for example) and the Doctor is travelling alone, so there’s no moments of “Ben, Polly – come and meet the Daleks”. But to bring it up to date, UNIT is involved; and the image of a Dalek triggers a reaction from senior figures in the UK (played by Big Finish stalwarts Barnaby Edwards and Lisa Bowerman in nicely-judged cameos).
Scovell’s Doctor has elements of Troughton, Eccleston, and Pertwee combined with the insistence of Tennant’s portrayal, so you are in absolutely no doubt that this is the Doctor (albeit one who’s conveniently forgotten he’s been through this before – shades of Human Nature!) There are no real weak links in the supporting cast, and Scovell gets some nice performances out of them.
I’m always a little sceptical about “remakes” by amateur groups, but on the basis of this first episode, a great deal of effort and thought has gone into this and I look forward to the second part. 7/10