The UK’s governing Labour Party has turned to the Internet to screen the first party election broadcast of the 2010 campaign, and it has recruited Doctor Who and Doctor Who’s son.
The video, The Road Ahead (see above), premieres on British television screens today (Monday).
In it, the film star Sean Pertwee (son of the actor Jon Pertwee, who played the third Doctor in Doctor Who in the 1970s) portrays an everyman figure walking down a road across bleak moorland under dark skies. Trudging on, he recalls in gravelly tones how Britain had faced “potentially the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, [people] unsure about the road ahead,” and urges voters to trust the Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s resolve and experience to keep Britain on the road to recovery.
He points out how, at the G20 summit in 2009, Brown “led the way with a plan to manage the storm,” while the opposition Conservative Party opposed his actions.
Then, as he reaches a crossroads, one path leads down into what appears to be an easier valley route, but is revealed to lead into a series of roadblocks and obstacles. Deciding to keep to the straight path over the moors, the man says, “There are real signs that we are on the right road and I really don’t think now is the time to change direction, to cut and run. All around the world, economists are saying, ‘See this through.’ The Conservatives say they know better. They want to take us on a different path.”
He continues with his lauding of Labour, and then, as he strides off towards a bright horizon, where a warm sun is rising, a voiceover by David Tennant (who played the tenth Doctor before handing over to Matt Smith on New Year’s Day) takes over, saying, “We have been through tough times, but, by staying on the right road, we can make Britain the country we all want it to be, to build a future that is fair for all of us.”
Pertwee hopes the broadcast – which was filmed in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and the Yorkshire village of Staithes – will “get people talking with their friends and families about which party has the best policies for jobs and the recovery, and the dangers of changing course now. We have to be optimistic. We are on the right road out of some very difficult times and the last thing we need now is to change teams and change direction down a dead end.”
Labour’s election coordinator Douglas Alexander said: ‘‘Britain is at a crossroads. Britain has to decide whether to keep the recovery on track or put it at risk with the Conservatives.
“The recession was a global catastrophe that British people and businesses have pulled together to fight their way through.
“We cannot afford to risk a change of direction when the rest of the world is following the course out of recession set by Gordon Brown and [Chancellor of the Exchequer] Alistair Darling.”
A Doctor Who general election?The Road Ahead – available on the internet now and due to be shown on terrestrial channels in the UK today (Monday) – presents the election as a choice at a crossroads between following the straight road ahead to recovery and taking an apparently easier route, which will swiftly lead into disaster.
This, combined with the current week’s issue of the UK’s foremost TV listings magazine Radio Times showing a menacing Dalek on its cover with the legend “Vote Dalek” – as it did five years ago when voters last went to the polls – makes us ask: Is this the Doctor Who general election? And are Labour hoping that some of the popularity of the show will rub off on them?
Former Doctor Who actor Sylvester McCoy (the seventh Doctor) claimed in February that left-wing scriptwriters used to weave propaganda into the stories to try to undermine Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government.
In recent weeks, both Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat (former and current Doctor who supremos) have separately warned against the Tories winning, because they fear the future of the BBC – which makes Doctor Who, would be under threat.