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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 8 -> Episode 8.15

Docu. Drama
Episode Details

Written by: Sam Johnson & Chris Marcil

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 6th March 2001

Original UK airdate: 20th April 2001


Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
Kenny Daly .... Tom McGowan
   
   
Guest Cast
John Glenn .... Himself
B.K. .... Rob Moore
Ed .... Tom Slovick
April .... Kate Luhr
Guest Callers
Fred .... Hal Prince

Episode Synopsis

Roz gets approval from Kenny to put together a documentary about space exploration, leading Frasier to immediately angle for the role of narrator. Roz agrees, but at the first producation meeting every idea that Frasier has gets rejected by Roz, while the ideas of her production team are taken on board without exception. This leads Frasier to get a bit resentful, but it is Roz who gets angry when Frasier seems to be taking over control of the show. Their subsequent argument causes Frasier to quit, but Frasier is adamant Roz will come crawling back to him - but he is in for a shock when Roz announces she has replaced Frasier with John Glen - a real-life astronaut (and now a US Senator).

Frasier is convinced that Roz is rejecting his ideas because of personal reasons rather than them being bad ideas, so he manages to get John Glen to suggest some of his ideas to Roz but make them look as if the astronuat had thought of them. This he does - and Roz tells him they are good ideas, leaving Frasier fuming and tells her they aren't John's ideas, they're his, something Roz isn't too happy about........Meanwhile, Martin and Niles make a kite just like they did in Niles' childhood but disaster beckons when Niles tries to fly the kite himself.

Episode Title Cards
  • Space Isn't Big Enough For The Two Of Us

  • Seattle, We Have A Problem

Episode Highlights

- Niles turns down Martin's offer of home-made chilli:
Niles: Do you ever miss vegetables?
Martin: For your information, college - the bean is a vegetable.

- Martin wants to make their kite a dragon, an idea which thrills Niles:
Niles: We'll call it Fuffner after Sigfried's fiery nemesis!
Martin: Maybe we'll just make a fish (!)

- Roz feels Frasier is taking over her show:
Roz: Can I talk to you for a minute, Frasier?
Frasier: Yes, of course - you're the boss. Back in five, everyone.

- Martin feels Niles isn't ready to fly their kite alone:
Martin: This isn't like driving a car, you know - it takes practice and concentration.

- The scene where Niles is nearly pulled over Frasier's balcony by the kite.

- Roz loves the ideas that John Glenn suggests:
Roz: You are full of great ideas.
Frasier: [taps Roz on the shoulder] No - I am full of great ideas!!

Frasier Online Episode Review

This episode follows in the tradition of the writers other episodes: 'RDWRER' and 'Radio Wars' by having the elements of a great episode but not quite achieving it. This episode features Roz thrust back into the spotlight after being sidelined for some time, another outing for pompous Frasier who firmly believes he is in the right, and a nice subplot of Martin and Niles building a kite together. And yet, and yet...... I felt the script lacked enough genuinely amusing lines and moments, and while John Glen's cameo was amusing enough, this show promises much but delivers only a rather average episode.

Rating

72 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 73.8%
Total Number of Reviews: 5


Why'd you do it, Senator Glenn?, May 17, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


I'm not surprised that "Docu.Drama" is a particularly divisive episode. It perhaps shouldn't be, but the script defies formula in a way that reminds me of the oddly-structured "RDWRER". That episode, I argued, certainly could have been more competently constructed as either a farce or a family conflict vehicle (pardon the pun). Instead, they chose (I hope deliberately) to make it more of a vignette piece and overall I approved. Similarly, "Docu.Drama" has a different feel than any episode that has come before, which I have to assume is deliberate.

For years now, Roz has had a fleeting background arc about developing her radio career. This is one of the few episodes that centres around that, and of course Frasier tries to take over her entire documentary. Things start out predictably with Frasier taking over the classical music angle (and immediately winning over the other team members) but instead of this becoming the documentary version of "They're Playing Our Song", Roz fights back.

There are a few reasons I admire this episode. First, Kelsey Grammer has a couple of spectacular scenes: his rant to the family about why he is passionate and right, and his scene going mano-a-mano with John Glenn. The episode also brings to the fore a brimming conflict between Roz and Frasier. Dr. Crane would, of course, try to perfect anyone's work, but he's been particularly consistent with relying on Roz while also believing himself to be - ultimately - better than her. While half the script is about Frasier's attempts to take over (going so far as to convince John Glenn to submit ideas as if they were his own!), the other half - often, if it makes sense, in the same scenes - is about Roz standing up for herself. The final fight and bond between them makes it clear that deep down they can respect and get along. Regardless of any missteps along the way, the development of the Frasier/Roz relationship from their first meeting in flashback to their last work together in season 11 is fantastic.

A word must also be said to this episode's surprising MVP, Senator John Glenn. Between this and Buzz Aldrin's looney-tunes appearance on "30 Rock", I can only assume astronauts have great senses of humour! His monologue in the booth is freaking phenomenal, particularly as it's delivered so well by a real-life person. I'm also a sucker for the recurring joke of a character saying (in a mannered way) "Why'd you do it [character name]?" I believe that all of the main cast except Daphne got to deliver it at one point, but I particularly enjoy its absurd addition here.

The episode perhaps loses a few points for the minimal subplot in which Niles and Martin make a kite together. It's not much of a story (in fact, it's none of a story), but the difference between Martin's relationships with his two sons is always worth exploring. Niles may be even further apart from his dad than Frasier in terms of interests and mannerisms, but the pair have always had an easier way about them. I enjoy Niles wanting to name the kite Fafner, and Hyde Pierce of course is delightfully inventive in the balcony scene. A sweet little vignette that is perhaps all we can expect for a subplot like this.

Perhaps this isn't a true classic, I'd agree. But it's a neat experiment that develops Roz's arc in a satisfactory way, and features an outstanding cameo.


Rating: 85%

 

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