Review of ‘Doctor Who: Time Fracture’: “Cracks don’t always mean weakening”

The long running BBC TV series goes back to the stage in a custom-built immersive experience, now running until September after popular demand. Guillermo Názara has volunteered as one of the UNIT HQ recruiters, to let us know if he got to succeed in his mission, and tell us what’s in store behind the walls of the globe’s most secretive army’s head offices.

Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame. Believe it or not, you belong to the former. Or at least they’ll make you believe that. They’ll in fact make you believe everything around you once you step into their headquarters, hidden amidst the hustle and bustle of Central London. The world’s (or more precisely, the universe’s) safety is at stake right now – and only you can help prevent what’s yet to come.

If you’re still not intrigued, well, just get the orbit out of here because you’re not meant to be a hero. Or wait… What if I told you (in case you haven’t figured it out yet) that this is no regular show. We’re not talking about one stage, but uncountable ones; not about one setting, but as many as the imagination can take; and as I said before, the real protagonist here, is you. Welcome to Doctor Who : Time Fracture, an immersive live experience where storylines merge and intersect to lead us into the most epic voyage through time and space. And where nobody can escape the power of interaction.

Entering through the passages of the secret (yet widely known) UNIT HQ, there’s no moment to spare when the universe is about to collapse – nor when everywhere you go to, there’s characters and props craving for engagement. It doesn’t matter which direction you take, which places you want to explore – every single spot is packed with opportunities. And even if you don’t feel like scouting yourself, you will be pulled to (in the best of ways, that is, except if you run into some evil Queen, and I’m not talking about some mean drag…).

Featuring an unending cast of extremely talented actors, the shows mixes scripted dialogue with quite a lot of improvisation, resulting in very realistic performances with great flair of spontaneity. Humour, drama, a little bit of horror and, of course, sci-fi. The variety of genres and styles contributes to the undeniable allure of the production. Even if you’re not a fan of the TV series (I myself must confess I haven’t watched an episode in my life) you will be taken and, most probably, intoxicated. The pace is brilliantly handled, something really admirable when guests are taken into separate simoultaneous scenes that must ultimately unite, and the range of situations and plots is so diverse, it’s highly unlikely you won’t find something for you.

Apart from its effectively crafted script and masterful direction (credits to Daniel Dingsdale and Tom Maller, respectively) the most striking trait of this montage is its design, featuring intricate scenery extending from the iconic control lab to historical venues and places you even haven’t heard of (in the real world, that is…). The attention to the detail is truly staggering, and that’s even more outstanding when it comes to the actors’ characterization, both regarding their costumes and, above all, the impressive make-up creations – still life-like even when you’re standing just a few inches away from them.

Good rythm, stunning visuals, gifted perfomances and, most importantly, a compelling plot. All of the requirements a good show should have are quite fulfilled in this one, once again reminding us of how the theatre can take many different forms, and this has clearly gone in the right direction. I remember telling a friend that I was attending this and he would reply: “not my cup of tea, I don’t like immersive productions”. To anyone who would respond the same, do reconsider, because this is clearly the kind of thing that if you let pass by, you’ll be missing out.

5/5 stars.

Doctor Who: Time Fracture is performed on Davies Mews Street from Wednesdays to Sundays. Tickets are available on the following link.

By Guillermo Názara

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