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Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos [DVD] [1985]


Price: £9.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£9.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos [DVD] [1985] + Doctor Who: The Visitation - Special Edition [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Colin Baker, Nichola Bryant
  • 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: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Oct. 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NGUF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,744 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Another adventure for everyone's favourite Time Lord. The TARDIS is low on Zyton 7, and the only planet with the ore available is Varos. Upon landing, the Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri discover a society addicted to real life TV violence, ruled by a corrupt regime. They have to help the rebel Jondar and thwart the Thoros Betan delegate, Sil, in his attempts to obtain the Zyton for his own conglomerate.

From Amazon.co.uk

One of the most popular of Colin (the sixth Doctor) Baker's adventures, Vengeance on Varos finds the Doctor and Peri (Nichola Bryant) involved with rebels in a 1984-like world, where televised torture is used to support and enforce an unworkable regime ruling a mining society on the planet Varos. When first broadcast the story aroused condemnation not only over the violence shown--particularly two men falling into a vat of acid--but also over the implied horror and moral corruption. However, these complaints missed the satiric subtext of a world in which the reality TV suffering pacifies the masses while big business carries on exploiting them; and none were more memorably corrupt than the reptilian alien Sil--a love-it-or-hate-it OTT performance from Nabil Shaban. While there is rather too much running about in corridors, the surreal terrors of the Punishment Dome make for good Doctor Who, and the adventure develops ideas from both The Sunmakers (1977) and The Caves of Androzani (1984) with considerable low-budget aplomb. Filled with bizarre touches such as Peri's transformation into a bird creature, the show also marked Jason Connery's TV debut as a rebel leader.

On the DVD: There's 15 minutes worth of deleted and/or extended scenes and four minutes of stage footage, but by far the finest extra is the three way commentary track, with Baker, Bryant and Nabil Shaban. Affectionately sending the show and themselves up, while still demonstrating a great love for Doctor Who, the track sometimes degenerates into trivia, but at its best is simply hilarious. Both original BBC1 trailers and a continuity link are included, as is a photo gallery and the option to listen with the unfinished "production sound", something which is likely to appeal only to die hard fans. Rather more interesting are the optional on-screen production notes, which offer a wealth of behind-the-scenes information. The extras are completed with a small selection of outtakes. The sound is strong, clear mono, the 4:3 transfer has no sign of compression artefacting and is good enough to reveal the weaknesses in the original studio-bound video production. --Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Duncan on 7 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Surprisingly dark, yet fantastic at the same time, who knew a Colin Baker story could be so good?

Actually, I'd been at a loss for a while. I'd been getting what was generally considered the best story (or best two) from each Doctor, on DVD, but I was stuck at one for Colin Baker. No one could settle on one they liked, until a while later I kept hearing 'Vengeance on Varos' was a good one to watch. So, I finally picked it up and I personally say it's up there with all the other greats.

Colin Baker's Doctor isn't dislikable in this story (for once), and instead is relatable and helps out, even given the dire situation. One of the things I loved about this story was that it was so strong without the Doctor and Peri even needing to land on the planet of Varos, but when they came in, they pulled it in a new direction, saving the life of someone who was going to have their execution broadcast to the world... purely for entertainment. In fact, this premise is somewhat relevant to modern audiences, with the height of reality TV and what does count for entertainment on talent shows, it strangely portrays a twisted version of society, as well as some political corruptness.

I was pleasantly surprised by this story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Morrison on 10 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
Colin Baker was a massively underrated and over criticised Doctor. Yes some of the episodes were violent, but people need to get over that.

This is a really strong story, with a good script, good direction and really good acting from Baker and Nabil Shaban as Sil. The scenes set in the Punishment Dome are scary and hilariously psychedelic.

The special features are also really good, the "making of" documentary is very insightful and really shows the writer's intention for the story. Some of the other features, like Baker and Nicola Bryant (sporting her STUPID American accent) being interviewed on swapshop only to be phoned by The Master, are very entertaining.

This DVD is well worth the money and is a definite purchase for any fan of Doctor Who.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By robert slim on 25 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
To anyone who thinks Colin baker (doctor no.6 ) is one of the worst doctor's in the programmes history needs a swift kick up the backside as this story proves without a shadow of a doubt how wrong that comment may be as this story boosts a strong performance from all concerned and especially from Colin baker , Nicola Bryant , Martin Jarvis and the rest but mostly this story is about violence on TV and how we react to it and for the people on Varos this is the only form of enjoyment they have which is not too different from what we watch today and at the time was criticised for being too violent and the doctor being too violent...RUBBISH I say just enjoy it for the great storytelling , brilliant performances and the great production values....vengeance will be yours if you buy this great DOCTOR WHO STORY!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Positive.
1)Colin Baker showcases a great range of emotions to his portrayal of the Sixth Doctor in this story & delivers a great performance.
2)Nabil Shaban gives an excellent performance as Sil vile & disturbing a great villian who returned in the Trial Of A Timelord story Mindwarp.
3)Great script by Phillip Martin debating reality tv in the 80's was way ahead of it's time & now half of the tv programmes on telly are reality tv.

Negative.
Criticism was thrown unfairly at this story for it's violent content, Personally I thought it shook up Doctor Who which is part of the show's appeal.

Dvd Info.
Running time 89 minutes,Commentaries,Making of,Coming soon trailer,Photo Gallery & much more.

Trivia.
1)Jason Connery is the son of James Bond actor Sean Connery & Jason took over the role from Michael Praed in series 3 of Robin Of Sherwood.
2)Sheila Read has recently appeared in Clara's Gran in Time Of The Doctor but is best known as scooter driving Madge in Benidorm.
3)Steven Yardly appeared in Genesis Of The Daleks as Servin.
4)Owen Teale appered in Torchwood episode Countrycide & appeared in Big Finish audio adventure The Mind's Eye as Hayton.
5)Martin Jarvis has appeared in Doctor Who 3 other times, The Web Planet, Invasion Of The Dinosaurs & Big Finish audio Jubilee.
6)The acid bath scene caused uproar with Mary Whitehouse & her viewer's & listeners association, Never mind.
7)Sil has appeared in two Big Finish audio adventures Mission To Magnus & Antidote To Oblivion both written by Philip Martin.

Review.
The Tardis is malfunctioning it's stopped producing orbital energy & needs a power source named Zeiton-7 ore a rare & powerful mineral found only on the planet Varos.
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Firstly am a massive Tom Baker fan, who has also enjoyed, even some Pat Troughton, Pertwee and Even Davidson stories, but somehow I felt Colin Baker, if given more chances to input his own stamp on his doctor, could've been up there with Tom, why?, well when a great script is there, potential starts to shine.

I think Philip Martin's script and ideas are possibly the best input from Season 22 and the best since the wonderful Robert Holmes "The Caves Of Androzani" of Season 21. It takes something from the modern day society, (i.e. addiction to reality TV), audience's participation and what level the viewer is willing to go to in order to be entertained. Your left with how far you would go and if you take it away, what does one do.

In this story, yes there's violence, but its not instigated by the doctor, in fact he's trying to stop it and change people perceptions towards their actions and the cruelty of it all. What I find is this story really shines for Colin Baker as the doctor, he takes charge, plays the doctor with style and panache, with a twist of humour.....Colin is strong in this story and its probably his best performance as the doctor is this season, (apart from the early tardis scenes, stop making him narky), John Nathan Turner attribute me thinks here to fill scenes, as Colin has since said he wanted the doctor to be unpredictable, but also to love the companionship with Peri, which we do see in Season 23, Colin will get his wish. However I do find his doctor in this story very fixating, even in that loud outfit, shame more of him taking charge more like this didn't happen sooner.
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