Here is the review from Children of Time Nominee Reviews (Round 3)
Why It Rocks:
One of the jokes about Doctor Who is that no matter where the TARDIS lands, the Doctor always fits in. He doesn't have to change his clothes or dress for the period; he might change his hair style or his accent, but no matter what, he's never out of place.
And part of that, let's face it, is that no matter where he's dropped, the BBC just doesn't make a deal of it. The Doctor lands in feudal Japan? Okie doke, no worries. The Doctor lands in ancient South America? Yippe-doo, hand over the chocolate. We do love the BBC, but sometimes, they wear blinders.
Betawho took off the blinders. At a time in which a good number of us thought that Doctor #11 might very well be black, Betawho gave us an idea of what we might not have seen. Through a strange surge in the TARDIS, a pulse was sent out that changed the Doctor superficially. He's still a Time Lord, yes - but now, he's black.
And he's landed in the southern United States, in the 1950s.
A very brief history lesson - and I apologize to those who may not need it: when the American Civil War ended, the Southern States who had formed the Confederacy began implementing what were called Jim Crow laws. These laws basically served to set up two separate but equal societies. One for blacks, one for whites. Each group would attend their own schools, their own churches, shop in their own stores, own their own businesses, and so on. Like many things, it worked in theory only. In reality, it was extremely separate, but not quite so equal. These laws continued until the mid-1960s (depending on location). Rosa Parks wasn't the first to speak out against them when she sat down in the Whites Only section of the bus in 1955 - but she was the first to be heard. So first, you've got a society in which there are clear delineations about where a person can drink, can eat, can simply be.
And second - you've got a society in which there are very specific rules about how the two groups interact. Remember, in many states, it was actually illegal for two people of different races to marry each other. Forget men marrying men, or women marrying women: we're talking about a society where a black man could not marry a white woman, period.
So imagine, if you will - a black Doctor, and a white Companion, not just walking the street talking to each other...but doing just as the Doctor does with his companions. They're holding hands.
There was a shocked outburst. "Let her go! How dare you!"
The group of young toughs from the corner were crammed in the doorway, radiating hostility.
"Certainly." The Doctor dropped Mandy's hand and reached up to tip his hat again. Under cover of the brim he looked at Mandy. "Run!"
The thing that's interesting about this fic - it's not meant to be social commentary - it's actually very much a character piece on the Doctor. He's not quite the Doctor we know - and yet he is. Confronted by danger, he meets it with a calm face and a quiet look. He makes friends with the locals, gets them on his side and able to assist when he needs them most. He doesn't want to harm those who are trying to harm him, at least at first. And as always, even knowing he's in very deep trouble, he keeps his sense of humor.
[The Doctor's new] body had a certain broad majesty to it, [Mandy] realized. Like a big black lion. Grinning like a loon, he casually handled the car through the early-morning traffic. Idly speeding, sirens wailing, raising startled looks from milkmen and paper boys as he sped from the scene of the crime.
We might not be sure about him at the beginning...but by the end, there's no doubt in our minds: this is the Doctor. Color is only skin-deep. And by the end of the story, we're a bit sad. Because wow, what a brilliant thing Betawho has shown us, by being just a bit braver than the folks at the BBC.
In short, vote for Local Custom. It's a view of the Doctor we're not likely to see in the next few years, if ever; it's clever and fast-paced and probably too accurate for comfort's sake. It's both the Doctor we recognize and the Doctor we don't, and for such mind-bending, it entirely deserves your vote.
(Go to next page to read "Local Custom".)