Doctor Who: Carnival Of Monsters [DVD]  
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Another adventure for everyone's favourite Time Lord. The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo find themselves arrested as stowaways after the TARDIS makes an unplanned arrival on the S.S. Bernice, en route to India in 1926. However, the ship is in fact trapped in a miniscope - the mechanical peepshow of intergalactic showman Vorg. When the Scope is impounded by officials on the planet Inter-Minor, many of the creatures contained within get loose, including the monstrous Drashigs.
The Doctor Who adventure "Carnival of Monsters" finds Jon Pertwee's third Doctor and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) materialising on the SS Bernice in the Indian Ocean in 1926, on the very day the ship is about to give rise to a famous sea mystery. Passengers and crew, including Ian Marter (who would return as companion Harry Sullivan two years later), are reliving the same few moments over and over again, and there is a plesiosaur in the ocean.
Meanwhile two travelling show people, Vorg (Leslie Dwyer), and Shirna (Cheryl Hall), have arrived on the bureaucracy laden planet Inter Minor with an illegal Miniscope peepshow. In a variation on the miniaturisation plot of Fantastic Voyage (1966), and harking back to Doctor Who's own "Planet of the Giants" story from 1964, the Doctor and Jo have materialised within the Miniscope's compression field and are trapped inside. For company they have the ferocious alien Drashigs while outside the machine a potentially devastating conspiracy is afoot.
As the second story in the 10th season of Doctor Who, this fast-moving, witty and surreal adventure slots into series continuity between "The Three Doctors" and "Frontier in Space". A long-time fan favourite, the four-part thriller remains one of the most enjoyable of the Jon Pertwee era stories.
On the DVD: Doctor Who: Carnival of Monsters on DVD has an excellent 4:3 image and mono sound far better than was ever heard on the original broadcasts. Heading a massive range of extras is a commentary with Katy Manning being wonderfully enthusiastic and producer-director Barry Letts getting a little more technical. There are English subtitles not only for the episodes but also for the commentary, as well as a separate on-screen information text option. Also included are two extended and one deleted scene, Barry Lett's more tightly edited preferred ending, a trailer for a 1981 season of Doctor Who repeats and a never used arrangement of the title music. Additionally there is a compilation of visual effects test film, some studio shooting footage, a short computer animation of the TARDIS, a photo gallery and a demonstration of the CSO special effects technique. Anything more comprehensive would be hard to imagine. --Gary S Dalkin
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Top Customer Reviews
The story has a humourous script from Robert Holmes, one of the show's very best writers, who was later promoted to script editor in the early Tom Baker period. It's replete with humour right from the beginning: with the jokes about the chickens as soon as they emerge from the Tardis.
Jon Pertwee was always keen to get his pals into the show, so here we have Tenniel Evans as Major Daly, a stereotype upperclass 1930's Englishman. Tenniel had long been a good friend of Jon, and they had appeared together on BBC radio in the comedy 'The Navy Lark' since 1959. Indeed, it was Tenniel who first suggested to Jon that he should put himself up for the part of Doctor Who, when he heard Pat Troughton was leaving.
Other familiar faces in this serial include Ian Marter ('Twenty times round the deck is a mile'), who would later play series regular Harry Sullivan in Tom Baker's first year, seen here playing a Naval officer.
The guest cast also includes Michael Wisher, as one of the blue-skinned aliens, who had been appearing regularly in Doctor Who since 1970. He was in 'Ambassadors of Death' and 'Terror of the Autons', and was also doing Dalek voices for the show (in 'Planet of the Daleks' and 'Death to the Daleks'), and he would later play the original Davros in Tom Baker's first season (in 'Genesis of the Daleks').
Making his only appearance in Doctor Who is Leslie Dwyer as the carnival owner, Vorg. He later became well-known as Mr Partridge, the Punch-and-Judy man who hated kids, in the BBC televison comedy 'Hi Di Hi' in the 1980s.Read more ›
Carnival of Monsters is not exactly a terrifying thriller by any means, but shows off Holmes imaginaton, humor, and story telling prowess, as well as his gift for extremely well rounded and colorful characters.
The plot about the Doctor and Jo arriving on a small ship which is stuck in a time loop and menaced by various sea monsters is straight out of the Twilight Zone and well worth a look. The sub plot about colorful space showman and girl assistant, lends the whole thing some truly whacky and way out comedy touches. And Pertwee's use of the good old Sonic Screwdriver to fight off an attack by the terrible Drashigs in their prehistoric home is a classic scene.
All in all, vintage Who and a real gem of the Pertwee era, cheesy perhaps, but well matured and worth your time and money.
The Doctor manages to escape from the machine and stumbles into a political coup, with the protagonists hoping to use the Scope as their weapon. They plan to let the Drashigs escape therby proving their president has lost control and should be removed from office. This idea of a meta-world is something that Doctor Who has always done well - think 'The Invisible Enemy', 'The Deadly Assassin' or 'The Mind Robber' - and Carnival is no exception. It is colourful, kitsch and charming; Pertwee is in fine form and the guest cast rise to the challenge too. The entertainers: Vorg and Shirna are as good a double-act as any seen before whilst the denizens of Inter Minor are both stagily (and perhaps unintentionally) hilarious, with their painted grey faces and Ogron-like haircuts.Read more ›
Jon Pertwee is at this point at the height of his powers as the titular Time Lord. Jon has always been my favourite Doctor and this serial demonstrates why. His power, conviction, style, flair and exuberance is what really encapsulates the Doctor for me, and Jon had all these qualities in abundance. Also at the top of her game is Katy Manning's Jo Grant, the ever-lovely Jo is another important part of the mechanics of this classic yarn. Fine performances are abound with this story, Ian Marter's John Andrews is played very well. One of my favourite scenes in this story and the series in general is when the Doctor and Andrews partake in fisty-cups, very funny lines from both parties.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This Doctor Who episode Carnival of Monsters is a `busy' production with a lot going on, as well as being rather ambitious on the SFX front. Read more
After going back to watch some of the classic Doctor Who serials over the past year, I think Jon Pertwee is the best of the classic Doctors behind Tom Baker and Carnival of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Gatekeeper197
Slightly different Mr. Who! This is the one where the 1920's people are on board a ship..and it keeps on repeating the same scene,over and over again. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Tony Fox
"One must prepare oneself to encounter the aliens." The bureaucrats of Inter Minor are nervous; President Zarb is allowing two `dangerous' social experiments - alien visitors and,... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Number13
Just as i remember it. No not from the first time around but a repeat i saw in 83. The story is very good.Published on 15 Dec. 2013 by LESTAT