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

Sylvester McCoy , Sophie Aldred    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Price: 12.00 & 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: 30.49

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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: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0074GPGN4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,919 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

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

Product Description

Doctor Who: Ace Adventures Boxset (DVD) Enjoy one of the Doctor's most cherished companions with this double-bill featuring the feisty Ace (Sophie Aldred), the Earth schoolgirl turned accidental space tourist! Featuring the Seventh Doctor (played by Sylvester McCoy), enjoy these two classic episodes as Ace is first introduced in Dragonfire, helping the Doctor take on an evil megalomaniac with a body temperature as cold as ice and a biomechanoid that shoots lasers from its eyes! Then don't dare to look glum as the 'Professor' and Ace venture out on The Happiness Patrol where a frown could see you executed... Revisit these classic 1980s episodes of Doctor Who and see why Ace became an all-time fan favourite, plus enjoy a huge array of extras that reveal the stories behind the camera... Did You Know? • The three-part Dragonfire is ranked as one of the all-time great Doctor Who serials and, as well as ushering in Ace, the serial also saw the departure of companion Melanie 'Mel' Bush (played by Bonnie Langford) from the show • Ace's full name is Dorothy Gale "Ace" McShane, an expelled schoolgirl from Perivale, London. She frequently referred to the Doctor as the 'Professor' and would stay by his side from 1987 until 1989. • The BBC mistakenly claimed that Dragonfire was Doctor Who's 150th story after getting its counting in a muddle; it was actually the 147th • Dragonfire was first broadcast in three weekly episodes on the 23rd and 30th November and the 7th of December, 1987 at 7.35 in the evening. The Happiness Patrol was first broadcast in three weekly episodes on the 2nd, 9th and 16th of November, 1988 at the same time in the evening. What's In The Box? • Two three-part serials that run for 73-74 minutes each approx. • There are a mass of extras for Doctor Who fans to enjoy including: Commentaries Deleted or extended scenes Making-of documentaries Ace wishing Blue Peter a 'Happy Birthday'!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 68 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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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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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a great fan of the McCoy era... 6 Sep 2012
And these stories are one of the reasons why. When I first saw this when they were broadcast in the 1980's I thought I would die from embarrassment. Everyone knew I was a 'Who' fan and these really were the nadir for me. I stopped watching after that only to return for the McGann TV movie.
Having watched them again I realise I was probably a tad harsh on them the first time round. Yes, the acting is not the greatest, and yes the storylines and script are weak in places but they still retain a sort of childish charm that I missed the first time round.

I was 19 at the time they first were broadcast and I think that I was worried that stories such as these would damage my 'street cred' (not that my stock of street cred was ever very high to begin with). But I have grown older and I hope a bit wiser and have come to realise that I don't care what anyone else thinks. Fun. That's the word I was looking for. They are unadulterated, nonsensical fun. If you can get in that frame of mind before watching them...Be careful. You might just enjoy yourself.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two great stories. 26 April 2012
Two stories from the late 1980s starring Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred.

"Dragonfire" sees the Doctor and Mel arrive on Iceworld where they soon become entangled in a hunt of the fabled treasure guarded by a mysterious dragon. They also meet Ace, explosives expert and gung-ho adventurer. This is a fine tale, holds the attention all the way through. Yes, so it contains what may be the silliest cliffhanger in Dr Who history (unless you count the bath-mat in "Death to the Daleks") and if you haven't seen "Aliens" then the in-jokes involving the little girl will go completely over your head. But it's well-written, looks and sounds great, the dialogue sparkles and Kane is one of the most memorable original villains of the McCoy years. It's nice to see Glitz again as well. It's certainly a credit to the production team that the "melting face" scene (despite the low budget) manages to look much better than the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" version which inspired it.

"The Happiness Patrol" is one of those stories which works on two levels. On the one hand it's a colourful adventure full of outlandish characters and monsters. On the other, it's a sharp and astute political/social satire on all things bland, phoney and shallow (including Thatcherism). I'm sure many will shed a tear during Susan Q's 'meaningless smile' speech in the first episode, or when Helen A (a memorable villain) ultimately discovers she is human after all. Whether they should have stuck to the original Kandyman design is something that's open to debate, but he is without doubt unlike anything ever seen in Dr Who and is certainly the best and most hilariously obnoxious "grotesque" in the show since Sil.

Overall, this is well worth the money. The imagination and creativity of the McCoy era in the face of tight budgets and a hostile BBC really comes over in these stories.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 2 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 3 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 4 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 8 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 10 months ago by Alex Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness prevails!
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... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Brendan
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 10 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 12 months ago by kk
3.0 out of 5 stars The stories aren't Ace, but average.
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... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Doctorq96
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 14 months ago by Rod H
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