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Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977]


Price: £6.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Louise Jameson
  • 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.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004VRO87O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,534 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The TARDIS arrives in the future on the planet Pluto where there are now six suns, a breathable atmosphere and a large industrial community. The Company controls the planet and exploits the workers, pays them a pittance and then taxes them on everything imaginable. The Doctor and Leela join forces with an underground band of rebels led by a man named Mandrel…

Special Features
  • Commentary with cast and crew
  • Documentaries and behind the scenes footage
  • Photo Gallery
  • Digitally re-mastered picture and sound quality

From Amazon.co.uk

Tom Baker's fourth season of Doctor Who marked a change from the exploration of Gothic horror. The unusually satirical "The Sun Makers" finds the Doctor, Leela (Louise Jameson) and robot dog K9 involved in a struggle against capitalism-gone-mad at the outer limits of the solar system. The Earth exhausted, mankind has colonised Pluto and lives in six vast "megropoli" lit by artificial suns. These colonies are run by The Company, with drugged human "work units" slaving simply to pay their funeral expenses. With video monitors, brain-washing and ruthless repression there is an obvious a debt to 1984, the white corridors echoing George Lucas' THX 1138 (1970) and the action a low-rent Star Wars. Michael Keating, who played a rebel in Dalek creator Terry Nation's Blake's 7 (1978-1981), is similarly cast as a reluctant freedom fighter. There are plentiful pot-shots at over-zealous taxation and bureaucracy--Robert Holmes wrote the story as revenge on the Inland Revenue after a frustrating VAT audit--and splendidly theatrical performances from Richard Leech and Henry Woolf as the ultra-capitalist villains. With no monsters and little conventional horror, Baker is on fine form in a briskly directed four-part comedy-thriller distinguished by its political edge. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. NEIL on 4 Aug 2011
Format: DVD
I must have missed this one on the original run on TV and also in the Video release. Quite unusual then to watch a Tom Baker era story for the first time. The other reviews pretty much sum it up. Dated sets, low budget, etc. I enjoyed the performances though and in particular Louise Jameson's Leela - I'd not seen one of her stories for a while.

The extras are a little under par by Doctor Who standards. The Dudley Simpson featurette is good. The 'making of' documentary is passable. The Day of the Dalkes trailer is very good! The out-takes are ridiculously short but it makes you realise that the team behind the DVDs try and get everything they can into them - we are normally spoiled by the extras!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I. R. Cragg on 9 Feb 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Viewers of 'The Sun Makers' who had a year previously been treated to 'The Robots of Death' and 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' must have wondered what had happened to 'Doctor Who' in the intervening twelve months. Far from being a rich, dark fusion of homages to literature and classic horror films, 'The Sun Makers' is a witty satire, primarily on the British tax system but also on high finance and big business generally as the last survivors of the human race are held in thrall by an alien Company with its own agenda. The script is one of Robert Holmes's most entertaining, the performances are larger than life but given room to breathe and while the story may not be conventional Who, it's perhaps one to put on when you're in the mood for something lighter and slightly cleverer than your average serial.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Sep 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Doctor Who: The Sunmakers (DVD).

DVD Info.
Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: U
Studio: 2 Entertain Video
Running Time: 100 minutes

Cast.
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Companions
Louise Jameson (Leela)
John Leeson (Voice of K-9 Mk. I)
Others
Henry Woolf -- The Collector
Richard Leech -- Gatherer Hade
Jonina Scott -- Marn
Roy Macready -- Cordo
David Rowlands -- Bisham
William Simons -- Mandrel
Adrienne Burgess -- Veet
Michael Keating -- Goudry
Carole Hopkin -- Nurse
Derek Crewe -- Synge
Colin McCormack -- Commander
Tom Kelly -- Guard

Production
Writer Robert Holmes
Director Pennant Roberts
Script editor: Robert Holmes & Anthony Read (both uncredited)
Producer: Graham Williams
Series Season 15
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally broadcast.
26 November - 17 December 1977

Special Features.
Commentary with cast & crew
Documentaries
Behind the scenes footage
Photo Gallery
Digitally re-mastered picture & sound quality
Coming Soon Trailer.

Trivia.
1)The story originated from recent problems Robert Holmes was experiencing with UK tax authorities, & contains many references to the British tax system, These include the Inner Retinue (cf. Inland Revenue) & "the P45 return route" (cf. the P45 form).
2)The name of the Collector's home planet, Usurius, is a pun on the term "usurious" which describes unusually high or unfair interest rates.
3)This story marks the last appearance of Leela's darker outfit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Bradley on 12 Aug 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am CITIZEN: Tim Bradley; DESIGNATION: Writer and Amazon reviewer.

I enjoyed watching `The Sun Makers' by Robert Holmes, featuring Tom Baker's Doctor; Leela and K-9. It's an intriguing story by the former script editor who had the time made this his last contribution for writing the series after he handed the reins to Anthony Read. It's a slightly comical and politically plot-driven tale about a futuristic human society where they're being taxed to death. It's Louise Jameson's (Leela) absolute favourite `Doctor Who' and I'm glad to have had the DVD cover for this story signed by her when I met Louise at a convention in Slough last year in August 2013.

Robert Holmes had recently been made to pay his taxes by the local Inland Revenue. This something he was angry about and being a freelance writer by this point didn't make things easier. So he set out to write a story that is essential a satire on the tax situation that was happening during the 1970s. Now I don't pretend to understand everything about inflation and the obsessive trouble with money and how politics were involved. But learning from what my dad told me about 1970s UK society and picking up from behind-the-scenes documentaries, I understand the situation was not all plain sailing and pleasing. In fact our current society's not much better from what it was in the 1970s with the rate of unemployment and the recent recession and credit crunch. But `The Sun Makers' is an interesting and fascinating story about this subject told in a futuristic `Doctor Whoey' way that Robert Holmes was keen to explore.

So what happens in `The Sun Makers' then? Well the story is about the Doctor and Leela arriving on the Pluto, the ninth planet of the Solar System. Now you expect this planet to be freezing cold, don't you?
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