on 5 July 2007
Friends! Just to say that this 2007 print is exactly the same as the 2001 edition, except they've slipped a natty blue sleeve over the old-style box. That's not a criticism - just thought you ought to know in case you weren't going to get it because it wouldn't match yer other Who DVDs (you know what some people are like). It will - and as it's mid-price you can buy new at pre-owned price. As for the show itself... well, it's the glossy, gritty beginning of the golden 'Wee era, penned by number one DW scriptwriter Robert Holmes; even non-Whovians recall this as The One With the Shop Window Dummies. This is part of a re-booted DVD series aimed, one suspects, at tempting new, young Ecclestone- and Tennant-era fans to sample the 'classic' era, and no bad thing for that. Recommended.
on 14 July 2007
Jon Pertwee arrives in earth, staggers out of the Tardis and falls over. He has regenerated. Meanwhile, UNIT is tracking meteorites that mysteriously fly in formation. (Rather like those in Quatermass 2, actually.) Enter sceptical scientist Liz Shaw, the Brigadier, an amusing poacher chappie, some plastic blokes with guns literally in their hands, and the first colour telly version of DW is under way. It's classic stuff, for all its faults. The plot is a tad convoluted, the Autons look at a mite unconvincing at times, and the actual Nestene that controls them is very silly. But the general level of acting is high, the script is good, and the direction above average. Throw in Pertwee's dandy Doctor - by turns charming, irascible and impulsive - and you've got a winner.
If you're the right age, then Jon Pertwee's Doctor Who will be a lasting memory from your childhood. Whilst this isn't the best story from the Pertwee years its still great entertainment. This is the first series that starred Pertwee and unusually it was nearly all shot on film in 1969 which gives it a different quality to studio based recordings. The BBC have done a fine job restoring the picture for the DVD, aside from a few stray lines the picture is pristine.
I occasionally had problems with the sound, but that is not the DVD's fault - my hearing is rather poor. Fortunately subtitles are provided.
Its no surprise that when the BBC relaunched Doctor Who with Christopher Eccelston a few years ago they re-used the basic idea from this story (living plastic). The Autons really are rather creepy. Liz Shaw and the Brigadier are all present and correct, although I only vaguely remember Liz Shaw who seems to have been replaced by Jo Grant in my memory with regard to Jon Pertwee's series.
The DVD has some good extras, most noteably a commentary track from Caroline John and Nicholas Courtney (again with subtitles - although I did not find these neccessary). As the commentary track was recorded 30 years later it is a little light on detail, but both of them are engaging and easy to listen to. There is also a text feed that can be viewed with the episodes (at the same time as the commentary if you wish) which in truth probably provides more information. There are the usual number of trailers etc.
The main reason to watch this though is Jon Pertwee, who as the Doctor always gave marvellous performances, showing us the Doctors intelligence and humanity (even though he wasn't human) and just occasionally a darker selfish side. Because of his comedy background Pertwee also produces a couple of wonderful humerous moments as well. All I want now is The Daemons......
on 16 May 2008
The Pertwee era gets off to a great start with this classic, which sees the show beginning to take on a more adult feel. The new team of Pertwee, Caroline John (Liz) and Nicholas Courtney (in his 3rd appearance as Lethbridge-Stewart) interact together so well. Hugh Burden's Channing and the Autons make genuinely eerie villains and provide us with many memorable moments. Check out the scene in episode 3, where the Auton slices throught the tent before vaporising its victim! The cliffhangers to episodes 2 and 3 are good too, as well as the famous scene of the Autons smashing through the shop windows and invading the streets of London. Perhaps it's no surprise that the Autons were used to relaunch the series when it returned in 2005.
Never mind the disappointing 'tentacles' scene in the final episode, this is still a story that moves along so well, you can watch it over and over again. Arguably the best debut story for a Doctor, and certainly the best until David Tennant arrived thirty-five years later in 'The Christmas Invasion.'
on 20 February 2013
This was Jon Pertwee's first story and it's also a very well written serial by Robert Holmes which he also wrote other great stories such as "Terror of the autons", "The deadly assassin" and "The talons of weng chiang". This is also the first appearence of the autons, which I think they are great classic creepy villains and they are very underrated villains which they have only appeared in three stories, which are "Terror of the autons" which also stars Jon Pertwee and Christopher Eccleston's debut "Rose". There are also memorable scenes in this story such as the scene when the autons come to life in the shops, the scene when Jon Pertwee is trying to escape on a wheelchair and their is also a classic scene which Jon Pertwee is being attacked by a giant squid. So far I have only seen about 5 Jon Pertwee stories and this is easily my favourite of his stories and it's well worth buying.