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Jason Covell (NSW Australia)

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Doctor Who - The Creature from the Pit [DVD] [1979]
Doctor Who - The Creature from the Pit [DVD] [1979]
Dvd ~ Tom Baker
Price: £6.99

29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My all-time favourite story, 8 April 2010
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I am often astonished how quick Doctor Who fans are to put down this story, while praising its immediate predecessor, City of Death, to the skies. To me they are two sides of the same coin: zany plots, outsize characters, witty scripting (and script-editing) by the incomparable Douglas Adams, and a stellar performance from Tom Baker. And the effects? Well, if one were to believe everything said about the awfulness of the production, one would probably be pleasantly surprised to find that it isn't as ghastly as all that (rather like Weng-Chiang's much-maligned rat). Yes, there are some sub-par shots, but as a whole there is quite a bit of clever artfulness at work - no different from elsewhere in 70s Doctor Who.

On the whole though, I find that the charm and inventiveness of the story wins out over all objections. Lady Adastra is a deliciously arch villainess, and the character of Organon, the canny fraud of an astrologer, is a sheer delight. And what to my 10-year-old self was an excellent primer in economics, remains a superb cautionary tale about corrupt dictatorships that willingly impoverish their people by manipulating scarcity and holding onto lucrative monopolies. Doctor Who at its very best.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2013 5:33 PM BST

Doctor Who - The Mind Robber [1968] [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Mind Robber [1968] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick Troughton
Price: £6.50

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sterling 60s release, 6 April 2005
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With many of the best Patrick Troughton stories missing or fragmentary, it's wonderful to get to know this marvellous story from the late sixties, an era when the series was evolving into a rather groovy, loose-limbed style. The Doctor Who season containing The Mind Robber was by all accounts somewhat chaotic behind the scenes, much like the social trends of the age generally. But this story retains a remarkable integrity and manages to reflect the show's best traditions of adventure and excitement while energetically breaking new story-telling ground. I had never seen this particular story until buying the DVD recently, and enjoyed it more than I ever expected. While there are some places in the 2nd and 3rd episodes where the story on first viewing seemed to veer into over-indulgent territory, the triumphant concluding episodes wrapped up and the earlier action beautifully. The final duel of the storybook heroes made me almost fall off my chair laughing, and was a delicious reward for staying with this story to the end.

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