Doctor Who Am I Image

Doctor Who Am I

By Josiah Teal | March 23, 2023

Matthew Jacobs was a writer of Young Indiana Jones and wrote the original script for The Emperor’s New Groove, but he is known most for writing the 1996 film Doctor Who: The Movie. The film faced heavy criticism from fans and critics alike and did not kickstart the Doctor Who revival the studio planned (that would come in 2005). Having turned his back on Doctor Who and the fandom of “Whovians,” Jacobs gave little thought to his standing in the Doctor Who canon or his place on the fan convention circuit. Doctor Who Am I, directed by Jacobs and Vanessa Yuille, follows the filmmaker as he re-enters the world of Doctor Who and comes face-to-face with legions of Whovians for the first time.

Doctor Who Am I is a fandom doc through and through. Like many geek culture-centric documentaries, the film focuses on the community within the art form- diving deep into how the fans express themselves, face fears, or overcome adversity through a newfound family. The filmmakers maintain a passion for the community. The film discusses Doctor Who: The Movie, modern Who, classic Who, and most of all, the fan base that gives Who life. Other pop culture documentaries like Hail to the Deadites cover convention culture more precisely. Harmontown gives a more compelling story of a creator’s relation to their creation. However, this still holds a unique place in nerd culture as a connection between old and new Who.

“…comes face-to-face with legions of Whovians for the first time.”

But, the focus is on Jacob’s re-emergence into the larger world of Doctor Who. He is laid bare throughout, finding love, confrontation, and surprising acceptance in the convention halls throughout the United States. The film is Jacob’s criticism and celebration of fandom all in one as he works out his relationship with his past and his part in the history of this “madman in a box.” Jacobs and Yuille keep the subject’s story, self-reflection, and solace at the forefront. Being told from the unique place of a creator finding himself through his creation nearly thirty years after the fact lends the film a certain resonance.

Doctor Who Am I gives Jacobs the freedom to discuss the complexities of his role in the canon of Doctor Who and convey his acceptance of his place in that rich history. It has some bumps in the journey but ultimately sticks the emotional landing by focusing on Jacobs’ regeneration. This will be a strange entry point for those outside of the Doctor Who fandom. But this is a solid watch for Doctor Who devotees, especially those wanting the inside story of Doctor Who: The Movie and to see themselves reflected in the many fans’ stories.

For more screening information, visit the Doctor Who Am I official website.

Doctor Who Am I (2023)

Directed: Matthew Jacobs, Vanessa Yuille


Starring: Matthew Jacobs, Daphne Ashbrook, Paul Booth, Nicholas Briggs, May Charters, Ken Deep, Cat Hyaesia, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Doctor Who Am I Image

"…a solid watch for Doctor Who devotees..."

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