Rob Lloyd: Who, Me

This is not the first time Doctor Who has been put on trial. Back in the mid-1980s, its then perilous position within BBC Drama was even echoed by a 14 episode storyline called The Trial of a Time Lord. To younger readers, I know this seems unbelievable; these days, Doctor Who is such a mainstream success that the announcement of a new lead is considered suitable material for a special TV show broadcast live on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet, there was indeed a time – you might know it as the 1990s – when the only thing more ridiculed than Doctor Who itself was anyone admitting to being a Doctor Who fan.

Yet that was exactly the point when a young, self-declared nerd called Rob Lloyd, beginning a drama course in a small town in New South Wales, discovered Doctor Who. As he's the first to admit, Lloyd has 'previous': as a kid he was a big fan of Star Wars, then later Sherlock Holmes and he remains, absolutely, a 'drama nerd'. But it was a certain time travelling Doctor from the planet Gallifrey which has stayed with him the longest, quite possibly shaping his life and personality.

Whether that's been a good thing is nominally the subject of this show. Within an imaginary courtroom set inside his own mind, Rob Lloyd asks if the Doctor has been a good or bad influence. If the eventual 'judgement' comes as no surprise, the result is a vibrant, heart-felt cacophony of nerd (to borrow his own phrase) which is hugely enjoyable–even if you're not the kind of person who knows your third Doctor from your tenth, or what a 'Target novelisation' actually is. That said, if you do happen to know who Carole Ann Ford is, then you're in for a treat.

Of course, there is one 'elephant in the room' that Lloyd can't–and doesn't–ignore; his physical similarity to "the Tenth" Doctor, aka Scots-born actor David Tennant. It's genuinely disconcerting at times; this is no mere fan impersonation, but a nuanced performance that undoubtedly matches the boundless energy and verbal dexterity of the original. It also ensures that, just like a certain Time Lord, as an audience you just want to join him for the ride.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite

★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

Dr Who is about to face his greatest challenge ... his number 1 fan! Rob Lloyd is putting the Doctor on trial. Has Dr Who ruined or enhanced Rob's life? Not just for Dr Who fans.