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Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin [DVD] [1976]

62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Peter Pratt, Angus McKay
  • 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: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 11 May 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,104 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Gallifrey. Planet of the Time Lords. The Doctor has finally come home, but not by choice.

Summoned by a vision from The Matrix, he is drawn into web of political intrigue and assassination. Nothing is quite what it seems, and in the shadows lurks his oldest and deadliest enemy...

Special Features:
• Commentary by Tom Baker [The Doctor], Bernard Horsfall [Goth] and Philip Hinchcliffe [Producer]
• The Matrix Revisited Cast, crew and critics look back at the making of this story, featuring director David Maloney, designer Roger Murray-Leach and the founder of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, Mary Whitehouse
• The Gallifreyan Candidate A look at Richard Condon’s novel The Manchurian Candidate, a major influence on the plot of The Deadly Assassin
• The Frighten Factor What exactly is Doctor Who’s ‘Frighten Factor’? A diverse panel of experts try to answer the question
• Radio Times Billings Listings for this story presented in a PDF file [DVD-ROM – PC/Mac]
• Photo Gallery
• Coming Soon Trailer
• Production Information Subtitles
• Easter Egg
• Digitally remastered picture and sound quality

This story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 30th October – 20th November 1976

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John on 22 May 2009
Format: DVD
It's good to see The Deadly Assassin out on dvd as my VHS tape had deteriorated to near-unwatchability. Viewing it again I was struck by how well-paced, gripping and witty it is, dragging only a little in the final episode, which has rather a lot of backstory shoe-horned into it. I was also struck by something I haven't seen anyone else comment on: there are no women in it whatsoever, not even as extras - & this single-sex exclusivity contributes to the Oxbridge College/House of Lords feel of the story.

The extras are a mixed bag; a mildly interesting piece on the feud between Mary Whitehouse and the BBC over the horror content of the show being followed by a somehow rather slight piece about how children perceive fictional representations of frightening situations and things. The 'making of' is okay - and reminds the viewer of how unusual the story - a political paranoia thriller - was in terms of Doctor Who; and there's a decently-done documentary on parallels between The Deadly Assassin and The Manchurian Candidate.

Rather more interesting to me was an interview with a long-time fan, who reminded us that, at the time it was broadcast, the story was most controversial for up-ending the previously-presented image of the Time Lords as elevated, aloof, almost god-like beings. In showing them as duplicitous, corrupt and self-serving, and possessed of technology that the wider universe would see as dated and anything but elevated, it was scandalously revisionist. As a youngster I remember being offended at the time by the elements I now find witty, sophisticated and wholly enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tim Bradley as Billy on 12 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
The Doctor returns to Gallifrey!

This has got to be one of the most highly acclaimed and well-known of the `Doctor Who' stories made in the 70s during the Phillip Hinchcliffe years of the Tom Baker era! `The Deadly Assassin' is a classic and renowned for being the story for re-introducing the Time Lords of Gallifrey, who are the Doctor's people. It may not be to everyone's tastes back then and now, but it's a landmark story and certainly significant in introducing many things to come later in the show's history.

The Doctor has been summoned to his home planet of Gallifrey. He returns to receive an unfriendly welcome from the Time Lords and they impound his TARDIS. After receiving a premonition, the Doctor witnesses the assassination of the Time Lord President of Gallifrey to which he is wrongly accused for. In order to prove his innocence, the Doctor has venture into the Matrix on Gallifrey to find the true assassin and also to reveal a deadly foe lurking in the shadows - the Master!

Before this story, Tom Baker's Doctor had been travelling with Sarah Jane Smith (played by lovely Elisabeth Sladen). Sarah Jane departed from the series in the previous story 'The Hand of Fear'. Tom Baker was convinced he could do the series by himself and he could talk to himself in the TARDIS. But producer Phillip Hinchcliffe convinced Tom that he needed a companion, though agreed to have Tom do a single story as the Doctor without a companion accompanying him.

This has to be a unique story for its time back in 1976, as `The Deadly Assassin' is the first story to feature the Doctor companion-less.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Kindle on 17 Mar. 2009
Format: DVD
Two little words: Bob Holmes! So get it! Not convinced? Well Read on.

If you're not a fan, trampling over people to grab their own copy first then delve in with an open mind!

This is not your average Dr Who & had Mary Whitehouse raging at the BBC. This is a time where everyone just agreed to disregard every rule of children's Science Fiction & created a one off vision of Dr Who at it's most horrifying.

It's virtually impossible for me to write this review without saying the words: Dark, Gothic or Horror. Because it represents all those words perfectly!

Dark: Because of the lack of over lit sets, the Masters clobber & the fact that the theme of story is "The death of many, to save one life"

Gothic: Because of the casts robe costumes, Catheaderal like sets, Church Organ Music & a certain characters name!


Horror: Because the Doctor gets Tortured, shot, drowned, framed, almost poisoned, he falls off a cliff, smacked over the head with a Gun handle.. it goes on! Also, the Master looks like he has had all the skin on his face ripped off & gave every kid who's parents complained; Nightmares!

This is one of my favourites because of it's uniqueness. We see Galifrey at it's best, the companion is dropped & Dr Who has to use cunning, violence & guile in order to defeat his arch enemy.

There is so much more about this story I could say but I'll leave that to the countless number of fans who praise this story!

So if you haven't seen it, then do so before you die because everything about this story apart from the fake spider in the bush is simply commendable & gives a very apt representation of how Dr Who could have been a perfect show if it was aimed at adults & not children.
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