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Doctor Who - Battlefield [DVD] [1989]

Sylvester McCoy , Sophie Aldred    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
Price: 8.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who - Battlefield [DVD] [1989] + Doctor Who : Ghost Light [DVD] [1989] + Doctor Who - Survival [DVD] [1989] [1963]
Price For All Three: 24.48

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Product details

  • Actors: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Nicholas Courtney, Angela Bruce, Jean Marsh
  • 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.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Dec 2008
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001FJ5D5M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,941 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The Sylvester McCoy era of Doctor Who tends to get a rough ride from some, but Battlefield is proof that even in some of the darker days for the show, and with the budget seemingly vanishing into thin air, it could deliver a very good story.

Penned by Ben Aaronovitch, who also scribed the underrated adventure Remembrance of the Daleks from the same era, Battlefield instantly wins favour by bringing back Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, played with his usual dignity and class by Nicholas Courtney. Along with companion Ace, they then find themselves caught up in an Arthurian adventure, with nods to Merlin, Excalibur, and the Lady in the Lake. It’s a good yarn, with an impressive monster waiting near the end. And while it does stretch the story a little thin, it’s one of the better adventures of the McCoy era.

As usual, the DVD release is really very impressive. Battlefield benefits from a packed commentary track, and a host of behind the scenes extras (that recall, among other things, the moment when a water tank shattered with Sophie Aldred still inside it). Spread across two discs, it’s a genuinely packed DVD set with many hours of extras to sort through.

But it’s the underrated main feature that remains the star attraction, and while Battlefield isn’t vintage Doctor Who, it is a whole lot better than the assorted naysayers would have you believe. Well worth picking up. --Simon Brew

Product Description

The first story from the final season of Sylvester McCoy's tenure as the Doctor. The Doctor and Ace arrive on Earth in the late 1990s where they become involved in a battle between King Arthur and Morgaine. However, these are not the heroes of Britain's past but warriors from another dimension - and they recognise the Doctor as the wizard Merlin. As usual it is down to the Doctor and Ace to save the planet, but this time they find some help in the guise of the Doctor's old UNIT ally, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You and your freaky friends 5 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase
I'm not completely sure about this one, but it's nice to be back with the Brig; I suppose it'd help if my Arthurian was a bit better, let's see, Lancelot, Guinevere, Galahad - no, none of them in it. Who was Ancelyn again?

So, for some reason, the Knights of the Round Table land from space - flying in like meteorites but not burning up on entry - and they've got zap guns; something Thomas Mallory definitely failed to mention. Morgan le Fay and Mordred are the baddies (very well played by Jean Marsh and Christopher Bowen), and there's a demon in the brewery.

At least it's an honest-to-badness demon, and not trying to pretend to be an alien scientist. When Morgaine sets to in this there is no 'Secret Science of the Daemons', it's just magic, and apparently none the worse for that.

It's hard to see the plot as any more than jolly hokum; it's not deep and, beyond telling us that war and (especially) nuclear weapons are bad ideas, it's not very significant. I'm not even completely clear what the bad guys want.

But it's fun, and it does look good; the knights in armour are splendid and Morgaine's frock is very impressive, and the battle scenes are good (though you'd rather hope so). The demon looks properly alarming, the 'Devil Rides Out' magic circle scene is really quite scary, and something really nasty must be going on because it made Ace say something *racist*.

I don't know what it is all about; I don't know why 'the scabbard's worth ten of the sword', or what Morgaine wants, or how the Dr came to be Merlin - nor which dimension or reality all this went on in - and I certainly don't know what kind of Puritan government they've got if 'shame' is the worst oath that Bambera can lay her tongue to.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 1 Jan 2009
What is with the unenthusiastic reviews? This is one of my favourite Doctor Who stories ever. The standards of production and acting are very high and so the whole thing holds up very well today. This is Sylvester McCoy at his best.

As to the DVD itself: You get the original televised version and a feature-length film style special edition with lots of added snippets and new effects. The effects don't add much, but like with 'Curse of Fenric', after watching the extended VHS I can't go back to watching the originals which now seem incomplete. Therefore it is a bit annoying with the special editions that you can't turn off the added effects or watch them as single episodes as well.

The bonus features are very enjoyable, especially the one on the water tank fiasco. (If only to hear Sylvester swear like Tom Baker, though for better reason.)

I'm looking forward to the E-space trilogy (pre-ordered with amazon).
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By Hector Lerbioz VINE VOICE
Watching BATTLEFIELD is a frustrating experience, even if like me, you're a die-hard fan of the Sylvester McCoy stories. Despite the excellent idea of having a sci-fi spin on the Arthurian legend; despite great performances from Angela Bruce, Nicholas Courtney and especially Jean Marsh; despite some good lines, the occasional good joke and some impressive visuals (considering the show's budgetary restrictions), the story has to be considered an interesting failure.

From the disc's extras one can see that there was a far better, (possibly extraordinarily good) story buried under what was actually transmitted. The original ending which involved the Brigadier's death would have ensured that viewers would not have forgotten BATTLEFIELD for a long time. Writer Ben Aaronovitch claims he was forced to introduce an extra episode to his original 3-part story and perhaps this is why the final episode seems not to have a satisfying climax - it's always seemed to me to be a very poorly thought out denouement to have UNIT "lock up" Morgaine and Mordred. Is a conventional prison really going to pose any problem at all to an extra-dimensional sorceress who can blast down helicopters and drain people's memories? Examine the plot in detail and it falls apart.

For this viewer though, BATTLEFIELD's biggest flaw is one of tone. The script can't quite decide whether it wants to be comic, heroic or tragic. What are we to make of the relationship between Ancelyn and Bambera for instance? It's difficult to be either touched or amused by a relationship that seems to be based on them beating the living daylights out of one another(and other people). The script also seems to have difficulty deciding whether to pitch itself at an adult or a child audience.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my faves! 10 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase
Battlefield kicks off my favourite season of Doctor Who (26). I know it may not be everyone's cup of tea but it is mine. Stories set on contempory Earth were always my favourites and this one is no different. Jean Marsh steals the story with her performance as Morgaine and the episode 3 cliffhanger when the Destroyer is summoned is amazing. In fact all the supporting cast shine in this story which is unique in such a large cast (although there is a point where half the cast is 'evacuated' and you don't see them again!!) The Doctor and Ace's relationship continues to build in this story and it sets up the rest of the season. All in all an amazing story, buy it!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars More stars than Merlin!
I love this episode of Doctor Who McCoy definitely once again delivers as the Doctor and Ace has a timeless performance as usual. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R.Ivory
3.0 out of 5 stars The Fog of War
`Battlefield' is a good story but it should have been a great one. It has clever ideas, some fine characters and performances, beautiful location photography and a fabulous... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Number13
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
It's very Good quality and great dr who, the service was excellent and hope to be buying more love dr who
Published 4 months ago by Mrs C A Smonds
5.0 out of 5 stars A 1980s classic
There's nothing not to love about Battlefield. It has McCoy and Sophie Aldred's Ace on top form, it has an ageing but still spry Brigadier, plus new international UNIT characters,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Grey Wolf
2.0 out of 5 stars Ham Flavour McCoys
If someone could tell me what's going on in this right load of old codswallop I'd appreciate it - completely incomprehensible nonsense. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jim
1.0 out of 5 stars this is why they took WHO off the air.
Now I understand, I understand why after the wonderful years of Baker, Troughton, Hartnel and even Pertwee, the so so years of Davison and Baker why eventually it all came to a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who
Bought for a DR who fan, helps to add to the vast collection of Sci-fi films in their collection, great
Published 8 months ago by Mrs Hazel Thorn
3.0 out of 5 stars i love mccoy and ace but...
battlefield is poor: a great two part adventure ruined by being extended too long, poor writing ('you and your freaky friends') and the lack of bravery in that it offered the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by E. Veldon
4.0 out of 5 stars McCoy as Merlin and the Brig returns!
One of the finest efforts of the seventh Doctor's tenure and featuring a few of Englands more talented actors (and actress), Battlefield retells the legend of Merlin with a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by MJB
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic
Sylvester McCoy was the worst Doctor Who in the whole history of Who.. I can't sand the new Doctor Who, Eccleston,Tennant,Smith etc.. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr SJ Needley
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