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

Tom Baker , Louise Jameson    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Price: 9.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] + Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD] [1977]
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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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004VRO87O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,752 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't say I remembered this one... 4 Aug 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only my claims... 26 Sep 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the most hilarious myths in Who fan culture is that 'Sun Makers' is a right-wing allegory about the horrors of the big state and punitive taxation. This is to misunderstand the story but also, more important, it is to buy into one of the centrepieces of reactionary ideological bull pervading our culture: the idea that conservative politics is about the liberty of the individual while socialist politics is about the power of the state.

In 'The Sun Makers', Robert Holmes is not just satirising "the UK tax system", as fan guidebooks usually inform us. He's satirisng the symbiotic link between the state and big business. Yes, the Collector's personal guard are called the "Inner Retinue" (which sounds a bit like "Inland Revenue"... thus implying that the Vat man is a bit of a brutal thug, geddit???) and there are are corridors called the P45, etc. But all this occurs under the absolute domination of an organisation called "The Company", run by a guy in a pinstriped suit, who is clearly doing this for the profits. Where do the profits come from? From the ludicrously exorbitant taxes (i.e. "breathing tax") paid by the population to the Gatherer, who is the ultimate state official but is grovellingly subservient to his corporate master. So, the state gathers and the Company collects. Really, how much clearer could this possibly be?

It's sometimes objected that the society in the story is more like a Stalinist dictatorship... because it's got torture chambers, prison camps, a news service that broadcasts government propaganda and lots of bureaucrats. Well, the capitalist world has torture chambers, prison camps, utterly subservient news and bureaucrats aplenty.

In 'The Sun Makers', the Company has, effectively, bought out the government...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yes, the acting is hammy & not taken seriously in the slightest, but what do you expect from a Tom Baker Story!
I know.. Not all of Tom's are like that. But this one certainly is! In fact, It's like watching something more like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or Monty Python!

If like me, you are interested in Politics, you'll love this story for it's satirical humour & blatant disregard for Bureaucracy! All aimed at mocking the system! Bob Holmes never ceases to amaze me with lines like "These Taxes.. They are like Sacrifices?" Asks Leela. "Sort of, only paying Taxes is more painful!"
There are lots of little things in there that make this a very entertaining story. Of course, the children wouldn't have ever cottoned on, but this isn't meant just for children. (You hear me me Moffat?!)

Contrast is met with confined studio shots, & capacious film & location material. As well as a balance of tongue in cheek humour, pugnacious violence & horror. Who ever thought of being "Steamed" to prolong the pain of death to satisfy the villain's nefarious thirst for torture of his victims, has a sick mind. But an innovative one! (Ever heard of that word Moffat!)

The word for today's story is "Avarice", & everyone is obsessed with monies! This worryingly bares resemblance to today's predicament, what with the constant fear of recession & the collapse of the euro.

This story isn't one of the more memorable ones sure, but that's not to say that it can't entertain you from start to finish. There are many good moments in here like the hilarious initial meeting of the Doctor & the Gather; all that talk of raspberry leaves & earth's departure or what ever. The point is they play off each other just perfectly! It's K9's first proper outing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough
For all its reputation as sharp and funny satire on the British tax system, 'The Sun Makers' is really just a cheap, unfunny and mostly badly acted mess. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Benjamin Coupland
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This was another enjoyable classic. It is one of the weaker Baker one's, but as I stated, I am trying to collect all the DVD's of Doctor Who between 1963 and 1989, so it was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Greg Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars great
a dvd that is worth watching and a must see would recomend to any doctor who collector and new comer
Published 3 months ago by colin jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars One for The Collection
I purchased this to add to the collection that I am building. Although, not a classic stroyline and well below par, it is still a welcome addition to the series and one to add to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by A Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Virtually un-watchable.
After the phenomenal highs and quality of the Hinchcliffe era,this story represents the beginning of the long decline of the original series of Dr. Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. S. CHEEMA
2.0 out of 5 stars The Wrong Sweets!!!!!
After watching episode one of this story my blood started to boil, I was so frightfully angry I had to switch off the DVD player to calm my nerves. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cliff Hanger
3.0 out of 5 stars Woolf It
There's a man trying to commit suicide because he can't pay his taxes. If I'd been ten years older, I'd have scented the satirical rat, but at 14, I didn't. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Alex Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars "Stuff the company!"
The Sun Makers is a cracking romp from the pen of Doctor Who's greatest writer, Robert Holmes. What it lacks in terms of set design (and it lacks a lot) it more than makes up for... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. D. K. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who - The Sunmakers - Dr Who, Leela and K-9 Vs The Taxman
I really enjoyed this classic comedy sci-fi adventure from 1977 as The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), Leela (Louise Jameson) and K-9 (Voice of John Leeson) and a group of rebels... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr G Turner
2.0 out of 5 stars nostalgic
I've given a low rating compared to other Dr Whos, but I remember seeing it back in the 70s & wanted to see it again, so it was nice to do that
Published 12 months ago by Richard Keen
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