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Doctor Who: Ark in Space [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

William Hartnell , Patrick Troughton    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: 6.24
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: Ark in Space [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Doctor Who: Robot [1974] [DVD] [1963] + Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks [DVD] [1975]
Price For All Three: 19.74

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Product details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison
  • Writers: Sydney Newman
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: BBC Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Aug 2002
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000067FPC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,269 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Tom Baker's second outing as the renegade Time Lord is a solid entry in the Doctor Who saga. Fan favourite Robert Holmes penned "The Ark in Space", which places the Doctor and his companions Sarah (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry (Ian Marter) on a seemingly deserted space station many years in the future. Station Nerva is not as empty as it appears, though, since on board are the cryogenically preserved survivors of Earth's destruction, as well as an insect-like alien race, the Wirrin, determined to use the humans--and the Doctor--as hosts to grow their monstrous larvae. Holmes' well-paced script (which, like Alien, bears a resemblance to the AE van Vogt story "Black Destroyer") allows Baker to flesh out his well-loved take on the Doctor, as well as considerable suspense.

On the DVD: "The Ark in Space" DVD's obvious highlight is an audio commentary track featuring Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, and producer Phillip Hinchcliffe. Though Baker's contributions to the track are sporadic, his participation is valuable nonetheless, considering that his involvement with the series since his 1981 departure has been infrequent at best. The full-frame mono presentation also includes two interviews, one with Baker on the set of another episode in 1975 and the other with designer Roger Murray Leach, who discusses his long involvement with the series. Also included is the episode's BBC1 trailer, an unused title sequence, new CGI special effects produced by the BBC's visual effects department and an optional information track, which provides running background information and trivia that should prove valuable for series completists. A trio of Easter eggs reveal Baker's typically eclectic promotions for the Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool. --Paul Gaita,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Who stories ever made. 5 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Humans lie in kryogenic suspension on a remote ark, the only survivors of the solar flares which have devastated the Earth. However, Nerva Space Station has been infiltrated by a deadly race of space creatures, the Wirrn, who are intent to wipe out the last remaining shreds of humanity.... The Ark In Space is simply wonderful. The terror of being physically converted and turned into something else is ever present, and some of the scenes are horrific, especially when the viewer finds out that this conversion is possible via the infected hand of one of the recovered humans being revealed in one of Whos all time classic episode endings in part two. Admitedly, the bubble wrap monsters are a little too obvious, but they do not take too much away from the eerieness of this story, which is taken to a new level by the superb incidental music. Tom Baker and the regulars, especially Liz Sladen as Sarah, are excellent in the Ark's claustrophobic surroundings. A fantastic story, this is Doctor Who pushed to it's creepy best.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In space, no-one can hear you scream ....... 23 Feb 2013
By Mr. D. K. Smith TOP 100 REVIEWER
The Ark in Space was a bold statement that Doctor Who was under new ownership. After five successful years, Jon Pertwee and his producer, Barry Letts, had both just departed and new producer Philip Hinchcliffe was keen to take the programme into deeper and darker waters.

Hinchcliffe was lucky not only to have the experienced writer and script editor Robert Holmes on hand, but also he had the considerable talents of incoming Doctor, Tom Baker. The Ark in Space was Baker's second transmitted story and the third in production order, but given his assured performance you could be mistaken for assuming he'd been in the part for years.

The central concept of the story is deeply disturbing - a group of parasitic aliens called the Wirrn infiltrate the Space Ark where the last members of the human race are in deep hibernation and they proceed to lay their eggs in the helpless humans. This allows the Wirrn to consume their hosts, thereby inheriting the knowledge of their helpless victim.

Whilst the concepts are horrifying, some of the realisations are maybe less so. There's no getting around it, but when Noah is infected by the Wirrn, the initial possession looks uncomfortably like his arm is covered in green bubble wrap, for obvious reasons. But by the time this happens you should have already bought into the concept of the story and its ideas. If not, then it's probably best to switch off DVD and do something else.

As I've said, Tom Baker is never less than totally mesmerising. The relatively small cast allows Baker substantial screen time and Robert Holmes' script gives him plenty of good material to work with. He is ably supported by Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter as Sarah and Harry.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom comes up trumps 29 Jan 2002
An early outing for Tom baker as the Doctor ably assisted by Elisabeth Sladen and the late Ian Marter as Sarah and Harry. This horror story in space centres around a space station in orbit of the earth in the distant future. This ark holds the remaining members of the human race awaiting to return to Earth after it has become habitable again. The problem involves creatures who have invaded the station. I will leave the rest of the story to you but some of it is generally unsettling for what many regard as a childrens programme. The DVD includes new special effects which are seamlessly inserted into the story. However this is not the only reason to buy this the acting is excellent and the story is generally gripping. A definite buy for any fan.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ark In Space "Doctor Who At It's Best!" 4 Aug 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This serial was one of the first Tom Baker serials I saw and believe me I was on the edge of my seat! The Wirrn were visualized well and they really worked well.Again you have to hand it to Stuart Fell and the gang for a great job on making this unique race very realistic...As for Tom Baker one word can sum his performance up and that's simply "Classic"Of course Elisabeth Sladen and the late Ian Marter were excellent.The story and the actors make this a great serial..Also the PAL Format here in the UK has the unedited & uncut version which is not available in the USA. You will enjoy The Ark In Space.....
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giant space weevils of doom 11 April 2006
Story: 4/5 - Extras: 3/5
Tom Baker's second story in the role (although The Sontaran Experiment was filmed first) is vintage Who. Scripted by prolific Who writer Robert Holmes, The Ark in Space is one of those entirely studio-bound stories with shonky model work and a rubber monster. As such, the futuristic setting looks pretty dated, but as the story relies as much on character work as it does on conventional sci-fi conceits, it doesn't really matter.
Even at this early stage, the Fourth Doctor's character is becoming well-established, complete with Tom Baker's trademark toothy grins and effective put-downs, and Ian Marter is very proper and British as over-his-head Naval medic Harry Sullivan. Only Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane Smith gets a poor treatment here, made to act even more terrified and hopeless than usual (not to mention spending half of the first two episodes in cryogenic sleep).
The small guest cast is well performed, particularly Wendy Williams' Vira, whose certainty of and adherance to the established rules gradually unravels as the story continues. Kenton Moore as Noah and Richardson Morgan as Rogin are decent if more forgettable characters, with Noah's struggle against possession by the Wirrn being reasonably well-played.
Despite the obvious use of bubble wrap in the construction of the Wirrn larvae, The Ark in Space holds together well as a story. I always prefer my Who when it goes on location, but with a decent script a limited set budget can be overcome; maybe, however, the lighting could have been more moody. The model footage is looking old, but as a feature of the DVD one can enable a series of replacement CGI footage that looks pretty good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tom Baker Classic
This was the very first Doctor Who story I owned on Video so I also had to have it on DVD as I have an extensive collection, taking place immediately after Genesis of the Daleks... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. C. Mcneillie
5.0 out of 5 stars Noah and the Wirrn
Tom Baker’s earliest ‘outer space’ serial in the title role of Doctor Who was this, a tale of giant insect-like aliens invading a space station where thousands of humans are being... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
One of the most enjoyable adventure that I've seen for doctor and enjoyed tom baker in it would recommend dvd
Published 2 months ago by MR M W RICHARDS
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever!
Required viewing for any Doctor Who fan. In fact I always said that if I was going to introduce anyone to Doctor Who this is the perfect story.
Published 7 months ago by LOEGfanatic
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
A fantastic story from one of the best era's of DR Who, made even better by this special edition with improved quality and features.
Published 7 months ago by Nick Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Early days for Tom Baker
Tom Baker had a tough job following on from Jon Pertwee and even though this story is an early "Baker" the man has proved himself to be more than capable. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Michael Lansdowne
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who - The Ark in Space (1975) - When the 4th Doctor, Sarah Jane...
In January 1975, the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) took Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Merter) in the first adventure in outer space. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr G Turner
4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd release of this beloved story
Yes another rerelease of this story with new documentaries added - quite annoying for people who had bought the vanilla 1st release. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Spacecadet
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Horror
The first transmitted Philip Hinchcliffe produced Doctor Who story, which builds up the body horror almost from the start. Read more
Published 10 months ago by SalfordRed2
4.0 out of 5 stars High Point in Classicals
Very unusual to spend 23 minutes with the same three people in a space station, just three.

OK, I say 'just three', when there's obviously a thousand or so people... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Alex Lyon
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