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Doctor Who: Ace Adventures - Dragonfire / The Happiness Patrol [DVD] [1987]

Sylvester McCoy , Sophie Aldred    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
Price: £12.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: Ace Adventures - Dragonfire / The Happiness Patrol [DVD] [1987] + Doctor Who - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy [DVD] [1988] + Doctor Who - Paradise Towers [DVD] [1987]
Price For All Three: £26.20

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Product details

  • Actors: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Bonnie Langford
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 7 May 2012
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0074GPGN4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,663 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Ace Adventures Box Set: In these two classic stories Ace joins the Seventh Doctor aboard the TARDIS where she’s soon battling a biomechanoid and liberating a world where just feeling sad can get you shot!


On the planet Svartos, the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Mel unexpectedly encounter an old friend – Sabalom Glitz. Joined by Ace, a teenage waitress with a love for explosives, the group ventures off to find the fabled Dragonfire treasure.

• Commentary
• Deleted / extended scenes
• Trivia subtitles
• Video & audio restoration
• Coming Soon Trailer
• Radio Times Billings (PDF)
• Making-of documentary
• Photo gallery
• Danny Bang - documentary
• The Doctor's Strange Love - documentary

The Happiness Patrol

On the planet Terra Alpha, the population constantly displays happy smiles. Anyone feeling remotely glum disappears. Quickly. Having heard disturbing rumours, the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace arrive to topple the entire regime.

• Commentary
• "Ace" wishes Blue Peter Happy Birthday (archive clip)
• Isolated score
• Deleted / extended scenes
• Trivia subtitles
• Video & audio restoration
• Coming Soon Trailer
• Radio Times Billings (PDF)
• Making-of documentary
• Photo gallery

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness will prevail ! 2 Feb 2012
It's 25 years since these stories appeared on television, and it certainly seems a long time ago since I used to sit in front of the television waiting for 'Wogan' to finish so i could press play/record on the video and tape each episode religiously each week. I know that some 'fans' class these as poor episodes, and that the McCoy era comes in for some stick. but for me they're both part of why I fell in love with Doctor Who in the first place.....and not just for the amazing and gorgeous Sophie Aldred! You'll be able to read plot lines,etc elsewhere (and anyone reading this probably knows the stories quite well anyway). Both of the stories were fairly controversial at the time. The end of Kane - the villain in Dragonfire, not the WWE superstar (though that WOULD have been good) meets a particularly gruesome end (think of the Nazis dying in Raiders of the Lost Ark) and it was deemed too scary for children. The villain in Happiness patrol is the fabulous Kandyman who was criticised for being an evil version of Bertie Bassett! Probably true, but for me Kandyman is one of the greatest, creepiest and overlooked villains in Who-history. The melancholic mouth organ music matches the tone and the guests stars look like they're having a great time. It's maybe nostalgia that makes me give these stories 5 stars, probably Dragonfire deserves 3 but I couldn't mark Happiness Patrol down. Rumours are that Greatest Show in the Galaxy will be out before next year too so I can't wait to head back to Segonax soon! Happy memories, and remember, all those who give it one star (which somebody will) that happiness will prevail.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The stories aren't Ace, but average. 3 April 2013
Do you remember these times? Where someone could travel with the Doctor just because it was fun? Rather than having to have a gimmick, such as the girl who waited, the last centurian, the girl who died twice etc. And that is precisely what Ace does; she travels with the Doctor just because it seems like good fun. Ace is one of my favourite Classic Series companions, along with Sarah Jane Smith and the Brigadier (if he counts as a companion); and this set includes the story where she is introduced. Anyway, onto the review.

Dragonfire: The plot is decent enough; the Doctor and Mel find a treasure map from an old acquantance and follow it, if only for the Doctor to find the Dragon that guards it. An evil ruler decided that rather than find the treasure for himself, he would set up a market and then wait for someone else to find the treasure. Without spoiling any more of the plot, this story contains one of the most nutorious cliff-hangers in the shows history, in which the Doctor decides he will climb over the edge of a cliff, hanging by his umbrella.....just because. Anway, the story is reasonably easy to follow and can get a little slow in places. Overall it isnt a classic but still introduces Ace as the new companion.

The Happiness Patrol: To the naked eye, this might seem like just a camp party. But on the contrary it has dark political undertones. In a world where it is illegal to be sad, the Happiness Patrol with help from Bertie Bassett.... I'm sorry, I mean the Kandy Man kill people who arent happy at all times. The Doctor and Ace work to stop this. I am not quite sure why this story in particular would be linked with Dragonfire as a definative Ace story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness prevails! 20 Jun 2013
By Brendan
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
how wrong was I!! as a life long Dr Who fan (40 years) The happiness patrol was an adventure I remembered for all the wrong reasons, I honestly believed it was the end of the programme, granted at the time I had many outside distractions as school/college years came to an end. I didn't understand it at the time, a poor story, an uninspiring production, a pantomine it simply appeared like a children's programme and I had outgrown it. As I had loved what Sylvester McCoy & Sophie Aldred did with the main characters and the price was reasonable I bit my tongue and took a chance. Result! a brilliant original story with dark tones and humour aplenty, a fine cast assembled who really give their roles their all. All these years later this adventure still appears fresh and modern with very original ideas. As for the Kandy Man -truly awesome! Sylvester & Sophie bringing a warmth to the programme missing today. Sophie's portrayal of Ace seems to have inspired many of the assistants of recent years. Dragonfire whilst lacking the quality of "happiness" has humour aplenty and introduces "Ace" to the Tardis. Excellent extras have added to my wonderful rediscovery of these adventures, an altogether enjoyable experience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Have matured with time. 16 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I hated these stories when they first were shown on TV. Now, with the benefit of time and the hindsight of knowing what a terrible lack of support the programme had from the BBC during these final years of the 'classic' series, they stand up very well. I particularly like the element of satire the season evoked in the hands of Andrew Cartmell, script editor.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wicked!" And all the retro-speak! 29 April 2012
Can't wait for this set to come out! Roll on Bank Holiday Monday!! It was just the audacity of the then writers to give the Doctor a dysfunctional working class teenager as a companion that I find insprirng here. I really don't care whether the realsiation isn't top-notch its the integrity of the writing that shines out for me. I do find the Ace/7th Doctor dynamic one of the best ever in the whole series and it's a great pity we never got to see how it ended on screen. Yes, the issued based stuff is of its time but the Doctor as an almost probation officer to the wayward Ace and not doing too grand a job is an intriguing take on the character. Plus Sylv & Sophie do have great on screen chemistry. I'm a 50 year old Who fan and by the mores of fandom I should be slagging these stories off and making everyone avoid them and get Pertwee or T. Baker ones instead - but folks, life isn't that simplistic!! I can even say wholeheartedly that I LOVE the Candyman with his weasley, hysterical voice - just what Capitalism is!!! Ace & the Professor ROCK!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Grandson won't stop watching it. Arrived to time.
Published 1 month ago by andrew mclean
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Gift
Purchased as gift for my son who is a Dr Who fanatic. He used to have the series on video and is in the process of collecting them on dvd. He is very pleased with the item.
Published 5 months ago by Naughty Nanna
1.0 out of 5 stars ha la ha la ha ha! have you gone a bit bertie?
Lol, how we lahaaaffed in secondry school at the bertie bassett ep, omg what was wrong With jnt?
Awful just camp and awful.
Published 8 months ago by Leon and Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars great
a dvd that is worth watching and a must see would recomend to any doctor who collector and new comer
Published 9 months ago by colin jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Dr Who
What else needs to be said :)
Brilliant to watch over and over again and Ace well what else can you say :)
Published 10 months ago by MR ANTONY WOOD
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Who
I think Sylvester Macoy's run as Dr Who is seriously under valued. There were rumours at the time and more commonly now, that the BBC has lost patience with the whole Who... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Michael Paul Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Tommyrot
Dragonfire. Tommyrot.

Who thought this up? Someone in Iceland - the supermarket, not the country. God help us. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Alex Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for McCoy Fans
Ace Adventures features two very different episodes. If you're into your serious 'timey wimey' sci-fi, then this boxed set isn't for you. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Andrew Cuthbert Jnr
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who - Ace Adventures: Dragonfire/ The Happiness Patrol

Beneath the shops and cafes of Iceworld lives Kane, seeking the secret of the dragonfire. Read more
Published 18 months ago by kk
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the reasons that Doctor Who ended for some time...
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear ! I can remember when Doctor Who was taken off-air and the outcry that happened when it was. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Rod H
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