The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive amidst a deceptively “idyllic” colonial setting that proves to be a right wing consumerist dystopia.
Overseen by an omnipresent computer surveillance and where life consists of a rigidly codified Disnified “happyland” with perfectly autotuned, click tracked yet utterly ephemeral and soulless music as background and its citizens lives motivated entirely by the pursuit and purchase of 3D printer-style “plasmonics” created faux-retro goods, Olympos is a funhouse mirror of a consumerism driven first world society.
With its people exposed as empty spirited, trend-obsessed yet ultimately entirely conformist hipster types and the goods they chase after shown to be worthless imitation junk, author Philip Lawrence’s targets are both broad and obvious, if admittedly quite well deserving of such a wry skewering.
But with the untamed id of the titular “little doctors” proving as anarchic and difficult a presence as they do, does their takeover of Zeus’ systems truly signal as liberating a force as Lawrence intends them to represent?
Another brief vignette marked more by an in medias res worldbuilding and establishment of mise en scene than any sort of “proper” Doctor Who narrative, Little Doctors represents something of an oddity.
While last month’s Flywheel Revolution brought a similar sense of self acceptance giving rise to self determination and revolt against a flawed, constrictive and ultimately immoral system, when it comes to Little Doctors, both the medium (of directly impish, id-driven “little doctors”, who seem to better represent unrestrained chaos and tearing down of established if ultimately soulcrushing social constructs than freedom per se) and presentation thereof leave this one feeling overly idealist if not far fetched, well meaning but a tad wrongheaded.
Frazer Hines delivers his usual spirited take on Jamie, with age granting him an ever-increasing proficency at Pat Troughton’s low toned, gargling-delivery Doctor, and director Lisa Bowerman keeps things moving at a sprightly pace for what is, ultimately, a single voice actor dramatic recitation.