Traumaturge (1999)

written by Jennifer Adams Kelley, Steve Hill, and Robert Warnock
directed by Jennifer Adams Kelley
plot | credits | reviews


Plentitude (Steve Hill) records dreams for entertainment purposes. His "stars", however, keep dying on him. His assistant, Jacey (Kris Herzog) implies that Plentitude actually controls the dreams, and that control is what kills the "stars." Plentitude insists that the Human mind can't handle the rigours of dream-recording (or, traumaturgy). He and Jacey return to Earth to find another subject.

It's Christmas time somewhere in America, somewhere near the new millennium. Plentitude spots the Doctor and Nyssa and decides to trail them, since they look like the most interesting people around. He seems especially interested in Nyssa, since the Doctor appears to be a boring know-it-all.

The Doctor has been trying to explain the concept of Christmas to his companion, who just isn't getting it. He goes off for a moment on his own, which gives Plentitude and Jacey just enough time to approach Nyssa.

She doesn't want to go with them voluntarily, so Plentitude grabs her and disappears with her just as the Doctor returns. Jacey has been abandoned behind. He goes with the Doctor into the TARDIS in an attempt to follow Plentitude and Nyssa.

Jacey explains to the Doctor that he's actually an undercover law enforcement officer who has been trying to gather enough evidence on Plentitude to arrest him. Plentitude has been careful, though, and hasn't given Jacey anything solid to go on. Jacey also says that everyone Plentitude has used has died, either physically or mentally. The Doctor points out that Nyssa is in effect an endangered species--and wouldn't that be enough in itself to convict? Jacey would like to think so.

Nyssa, meanwhile, has realised exactly what Plentitude's equipment does, and how many illegal components he has hooked into his system. Her realisation comes too late, though,  to save herself from Plentitude. He forces her into a dream...a dream allegedly hers but actually controlled by Plentitude.

The Doctor and Jacey arrive as Nyssa dreams. Jacey works to set up the device that will allow him to restrain Plentitude until the proper authorities arrive. The Doctor, however, has to enter Nyssa's dream and save them both before Plentitude can cause permanent damage.

Will the Doctor succeed? That would be telling. Buy the tape and find out for yourself!


 Cast (in order of appearance):

Victim Jeffrey Baker
Plentitude Steve Hill
Jacey Kris Herzog
The Doctor Robert Warnock
Nyssa Jennifer Adams Kelley
Adric Eric Prellwitz


Teleplay by Jennifer Adams Kelley
Steve Hill
Robert Warnock
Story by Jennifer Adams Kelley
Original Music by Robert Warnock
Edited by Steve Hill
Jennifer Adams Kelley
Robert Warnock
Camera Steve Hill
Jennifer Adams Kelley
Mike Olson
Robert Warnock
Grips Jeffrey Baker
Mike Olson
Eric Prellwitz
Costuming Jennifer Adams Kelley
Script Advisors Pete Briggs
Jim Stilling
Sword Advisor Sue Baugh
Mr. Hill's stand-in Mike Olson
TARDIS Transportation Jeffrey Baker
Directed by Jennifer Adams Kelley


Friends of Doctor Who Volume 12, Number 1 Summer 2000

Traumaturge reviewed by Kathy Sullivan

The Federation's newest short video, Traumaturge, is set somewhere between "Timeflight" and "Arc of Infinity." The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa are in Chicago in November 1999, and the Doctor is attempting to explain the Christmas shopping season. Meanwhile, a strange man has been attempting to steal human dreams (with fatal results) and chooses Nyssa as his next victim. An undercover agent (who seems to be doing an excellent Vir from B5 impersonation) is also investigating the traumaturge, but will he finally agree to help the Doctor?

This is an interesting story, although a bit low-key. It feels too short, but the sword-fight is fun and there's a satisfactory ending.

Traumaturage's two parts only take up 32 minutes of the tape. The other 28 minutes consist of the Realitywarp trailer, bloopers and two Six Minute Movies. The Six Minute Movies are The X-Files meets the Sixth Doctor and all four main actors (I'm not counting the muffled "Mel") are very in character.

Traumaturge was directed by Jennifer Adams Kelley. The screenplay is by Jennifer Adams Kelley, Steve Hill and Robert Warnock. Original music is by Robert Warnock.

Costuming and special effects are well-done. Robert Warnock gives a very flat, almost emotionless, portrayal of the Fifth Doctor, with none of the usual breathless swings to the speeches that characterized that particular Doctor. (However, he's very good as Mulder in the two Six Minute Movies). Since Jennifer Adams Kelley is also portraying Nyssa with the Trakenite's normal detachment, it seems at first that neither of them care about the danger they're in. Although this 'stiffness' could be due to both trying to get the accent right, which they did for a good part of the time. Steve Hill as the traumaturge Plentitude, a collector of dreams, is very convincing (although there is one scene setting him up as a lousy cameraman).

The cast also includes Kris Herzog as undercover Jacey Bacaron, Eric Prellwitz as a dream-image Adric, and Jeffrey Baker as a human victim.

This is a good video with a well-plotted story, believable (although low-key) characterizations, good special effects and good original music. Recommended.

The 'Traumaturge' website is where there is a great deal of supplementary information. Traumaturge is $10 per copy plus $3.20 for Priority Mail postage. Make checks payable to Steve Hill and send to: The Federation, c/o Steve Hill, 4445 N. Kilbourn Avenue #2, Chicago IL 60630 .


Review of Traumaturge

By Anne Godden-Segard

Someone is stealing dreams. No, it's not corporate America, it's Plentitude, a sleazy, 22nd century entrepreneur with a new selling concept: dreams for sale. And he has customers. But first he has to steal those dreams for his customers, and he does this by kidnapping his victims and attaching them to his dream-stealing machine. However, sometimes his dream machine develops a slight glitch which causes his victims to lose their life as well as their dreams. (We see evidence of this in the opening scene of the movie; a Plentitude victim, played by Jeff Baker, dies). Plentitude has been getting away with this for some time, until he tries to steal the dreams of Nyssa. Bad move. Nyssa is a friend of the Doctor and now the Doctor is about to put Plentitude out of business.

Robert Warnock's Doctor is suitably dry, unflappable and very much in command. He is togged out in very authentic Doctor gear, with no Tom Baker Dr. Who scarf in sight! When faced with the evil Plentitude, our Doctor calmly rescues Nyssa and puts an end to Plentitude.

Steve Hill, as Plentitude, slithers around chuckling in a wicked manner, enjoying his evil deeds like all good villains should. He even rubs his hands with glee! He's alternately arrogant while succeeding, defensive while losing and angry he's lost. He does a very good bad guy!

Kris Herzog is Plentitude's incompetent assistant in crime, Jacey Bacacon. He has fun with the part of a toady, annoying and wimpy I'm just doing my job and I can't help the consequences type. Even while the Doctor is ridding the world of one less entrepreneur, he finds time to set Jacey on the right path too.

Nyssa is Jennifer Adams Kelley, and she proves herself almost too much a match for Plentitude with her knowledge of his technology and her outrage at his murderous deeds.

A slight detraction, although with very clever cinematography, is when Plentitude, the Doctor and Nyssa duel and Plentitude and the Doctor repeatedly change into each other. Just when you think Nyssa is safe with the Dr. it turns out to be Plentitude. And just how many Doctors are there, and which ones can you trust? This becomes confusing and some explanation would have helped.

The music for Traumaturge, an original composition by Robert Warnock, is great! It's electronic so it's more in character with actual DW music. (The music for Realitywarp was more orchestral, but just as good as this).

Another slight detraction, but not enough to spoil the film, was that although the story line was clever, original and fun, the performances were mixed - some very good, some very weak. But all in all, this second Dr. Who is just as fun as Realitywarp, the first film.