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Web Video / Japanese Doctor Who

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"Dalekor, you fiend!"
While Doctor Who has been an international pop-culture mainstay ever since its 2005 revival, for much of its lifetime its cultural relevance was limited to the British isles. However, attempts were made to expand its reach; most famously was the 1996 TV movie, intended to help the show reach America, but less-well known is the Japanese version from the 1980s. Created by a Japanese Tokusatsu production company on license from the BBC, this adaptation of the show pits Doctor Who against foes such as Dalekor and his Cyber Men, armed with his fists and his Sonic Screw Sword.

...Okay, none of that is actually true. Instead, Japanese Doctor Who is a 2014 short film by London-based filmmaker Joshua Kahan; a No Budget Affectionate Parody of Doctor Who and the Tokusatsu genre, the short — styled as a clip from an episode of the fictional adaptation — draws inspiration from shows such as Super Sentai, Kamen Rider X and, of course, Toei's Spider-Man.

The short can be watched here.


Japanese Doctor Who provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Rather than a Badass Pacifist like the Doctor traditionally is, Doctor Who is a much more martial character, willing to use both his fists and the Sonic Screw Sword to dispatch his foes.
  • Bloodless Carnage: When struck by Doctor Who's attacks, the Cyber Men are knocked back before disappearing in flashes of light.
  • Brown Note: When Doctor Who plays the Sonic Screw Sword, it apparently causes Dalekor significant pain.
  • Composite Character: "Dalekor" is apparently a single individual rather than an entire species.
  • The Greys: The Cyber Men, thanks to their costumes including alien Halloween masks.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Sonic Screw Sword is a giant screwdriver attached to the bottom half of a recorder.
  • Machine Monotone: The Cyber Men. Dalekor also has a robotic filter over his voice, but is much more emotional and braggadocious.
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  • No Budget: Explicitly an aim of Kahan, who sought to create the film with as little money as possible, which helps to replicate the aesthetics of 1980s Doctor Who and tokusatsu. invoked
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Dalekor's costume is primarily made of a plastic trash bin, and the Cyber Men wear grey alien masks. Doctor Who's suit, possibly the most expensive part of the production, cost £30.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Cyber Men only repeat "cyber..." over and over. When running into battle they shout "cycycycycycycycy...".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The entire concept of a Japanese tokusatsu adaptation of a Western show is an allusion to Spider-Man (Japan).
    • Doctor Who's white disco suit and nice hat seem to be designed after Big One's distinctive civilian dress.
    • The plain black bodysuits of the Cyber Men evoke the Shocker combatmen.
    • Doctor Who's Sonic Screw Sword can be played as a flute, similar to the Zyusouken/Dragon Dagger.