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3.8 out of 5 stars35
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2015
Absolutely vintage stuff. Perhaps a little dated, mainly thanks to the revived series of Doctor Who, but well produced all the same, full of old favourites and action, as well as a nice plot to create a yeti 'trilogy' with The Abominable Snowman and The Web of Fear (which in the time since this film was made, as mostly resurfaced from the mists of history). Whilst the final product may not look as professional as 'real' Doctor Who, the efforts showcased in the 'making of' documentary show the dedication of all who were involved, and at the time fans starved of new televised adventures were happy that anyone was making such efforts. Buy this and marvel at something created simply due to the love of a dead (at the time) television show.
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on 15 January 2016
Disappointing, badly dated & far too full of "Doctor Who" in-jokes and back references. I'd recommend reading the novel before you watch this - it all makes much more sense when you have a clear understanding of what's happened to Victoria since she left the TARDIS.
Made in the Great Hiatus of the Nineties, when there was no new "Doctor Who" except the Virgin novels, this seemed wonderful at the time, and it's still good to see Nick Courtney & Liz Sladen in action again, even though Sarah's involvement is really slight if you analyse it. Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield (really the key character) seems utterly lost, while her father Jack (a distinguished post-war actor here reprising his role as Prof Travers) is little more than a zombie.
Other, less famous "Who" alumni like John Leeson &Geoffrey Beevers give excellent performances, and the actress playing the young Kate Lethbridge Stewart is very good indeed - whatever happened to her?
The main problem is it's so edited down that it's jumpy, disjointed and hard to follow, and the idea of a generation so brainwashed they spend all their time wearing headphones and staring at electrical screens is, er.........oh! That really did happen, didn't it?
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on 12 May 2005
Interesting story, fun run-around, good to see the brig and sarah re-united, and victoria is great! Debbie Watling really excels as the older Victoria, and is given a lot better than she did in the series. Anyway. Maybe its just me.
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on 18 November 2015
A great add to your Doctor who Dvds This is a great one to buy
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on 24 January 2016
Had this on VHS when it came out in 1994 so nice now to get it remastered on DVD with welcomed extras of the making.
Sad to think that so many have since passed which makes it even more special now many years later viewing it once again.
Full makes to Reeltime and everyone else in making this possible.
Let's hope who ever own the rights to Shakedown clear the way for this release as well on DVD.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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on 17 November 2015
During Doctor Who's hiatus of around a staggering 17 years off the TV; Books, audio and straight to video spin offs spanned this period. Most of which were independent from the BBC, where a lot were average and interesting. DOWNTIME was in my view SUPERB. Starring Nicholas Courtney, Debbie Watling and Elizabeth Sladen all reprising their roles from Doctor Who. The whole story is a direct sequel to Dr Who's 'The Abominable Snowmen' and 'The Web Of Fear' (Released in recent years) from the Patrick Troughton era of the TV Show.

I Won't go in the storyline as this can be read in the Production Description quite neatly above.

This is an independent production from Dr Who. Though unofficial from the BBC, I understand the production team were allowed to make this as it wouldn't feature the Doctor/TARDIS. DOWNTIME was professionally made by a team of dedicated people in the field of making TV programmes/films/documentaries for the BBC in the past as featured on the Bonus Disc 'Making of'. Christopher Barry who directed Dr Who stories 'The Daleks' (1963) and 'The Daemons' (1971) directed DOWNTIME and his professionalism is evident.

Nicholas Courtney, Debbie Watling, Jack Watling and Elizabeth Sladen gave top performances as they did in Dr Who, Nicholas Courtney has a major part in this movie. DOWNTIME introduces the Brigadier's daughter Kate Lethbridge-stewart as featured in 'New Dr Who'.
What didn't occurred to me until I read a DVD review on another Film/DVD review website though DOWNTIME was made in 1995 it's way ahead of it's time, and is very much contemporary considering it's 20 years old!! It has mind control through the INTERNET and various other themes that has storyline strands in 'New Who' and 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' like 'School Reunion': Remember the Kids being brainwashed by the Krillions and in DOWNTIME students by 'The Great Intelligence'. The Yeti creatures are put to good use.

Originally made and produced for VHS release in 1995, this was very popular as I recall. I remember when it was launched and viewed it on the shelves at 'Forbidden Planet' Sci Fi shop. There was also a feature of the launch on one of the cable channels. Remarkably someone uploaded it on YOUTUBE which was brilliant as it featured various Dr Who Stars at the launched back in 1995 which included Jon Pertwee, Debbie Watling, Sophie Aldred amongst others. It was great to know that Jon Pertwee watched DOWNTIME. Check it out.

DOWNTIME runs for approx. 70 minutes. It is quality produced with brilliant different outside locations. It is fast paced, a great battle scene with UNIT with the Yetis intertwined with drama particularly with the Brigadier and his daughter. Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah is fantastic as well as Victoria Waterfield. John leeson (K9 Voice) also has some humorous part as the DJ, which was needed, as the story could be dark at times. The rest of the cast and extras all blend in well. I like the 1990s special effects in this.

The DVD: NICE PICTURED DISCS/ARTWORK COVER
Picture quality is TV Broadcast/DVD quality just like the Sylvestor McCoys Dr Who DVDs. Clear, detailed and Sharp. The Audio is in mono as it was recorded and has a great sound quality. Usual DVD menu and chapters.

Bonus Disc 2: BEHIND THE LENS & POST PRODUCTION
This is a brilliant docu-making of DOWNTIME which clocks in at 77 minutes. This is a step by step filming of DOWNTIME from Script reading from the cast to filming. It is as though they intended to released this 'Making of' as a second VHS at the time but it never happened until this DVD released. This is my guessing. However the 'Making of DOWNTIME' is absolutely superb. Along side the filming cast gave some insights to the interviewer how the' filming is going'. Look out for Ace Dr Who Author/Fan David Howe who played one of the Yetis! and Ian Levine (Long time Dr Who Expert/Fan/Music Producer/The guy who saved the very first Dalek story from being destroyed!) provided the music for DOWNTIME. Nick Briggs also pops in and out. This was an enjoyable watch. Well edited together. The second small feature was an interesting look at the post production special effects. The picture quality of the entire 'making of/small feature' are the same as the featured Movie on Disc 1.

70 minutes is just right for this production 'DOWNTIME' . There's a lot happening and the various locations keeps you focus throughout. I reckoned despite being a modest budget, the production team really outdone themselves to produce an entertaining show which is poignant now when you watch Nicholas Courtney and Elizabeth Sladen in it. It's because along with John Leeson, Debbie and Jack Watling in DOWNTIME this is what makes this story a blast to watch!

Rest assure for those of you out there pondering whether to purchase this DVD. This is a professionally made movie, independent from the BBC production line, made by people who used to work on Classic Dr Who Shows, both production team and the leading cast. Though production values are of the 1990s, the storyline is contemporary, for which I think puts some 'New Who' stories since 2005 to shame. A highly recommended buy.
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on 29 December 2015
When I first heard this story was going to be released in DVD I was excited hoping it would be a mind blowing story. But how wrong I was the characters are not to bad, the Brigadier, Sarah Jane, Kate and Victoria are actually toralatable but the rest of the cast are forgettable.

Also this story bills Elisabeth Sladen as a main star well, appearing in about roughly 10 minutes worth of material in an 80 minute film is anything but a lead role, which is a shame because Sarah is starting to be the more stricter and more determined Sarah we get to see in the Sarah Jane Adventures. Beverley Cressman is very much like Jemma Redgrave, the person who plays Kate now, in terms of likeness, and it's a shame this story is the closest we shall get of having her and her farther in the same story.

Apart from that the story wasn't to bad, just nothing to spectacular and the way in which the Great Intelligence was defeated was far to easy and the Yeti costumes looked appaling, they just looked like a group of men in costumes walking around and the CGI effects were terrible. However don't be put off, as this adventure is quiet an enjoyable romb, the story makes fine use of it's location footage and the plot is actually quiet interesting.

Overall I would recommend Downtime if you enjoy fun romps and it has the Brigadier and Kate in the same story so you can't go wrong there. My rating 7.5/10
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on 26 November 2015
Starring Elizabeth Sladen, Nicholas Courtney, Deborah Watling and directed by Christopher Barry, Downtime is billed as the sequel to the classic Dr. Who stories featuring the Great Intelligence.
Rather than being banished from the Earth, as believed at the end of the "Web of Fear", the Great Intelligence is still tied to its last remaining Focus and "Doomed to roam the eternal darkness of the Bardo" unless it can be freed.
On the face of it, Downtime should be a must see for all fans of classic Dr. Who but in practice it's a little disappointing. It's not the lack of the Doctor or the special effects (which aren't much different from late 80's Dr. Who), it's something less tangible altogether. While I've been generous in giving it four stars because I do actually like it, objectively it rates three and a half and perhaps this is the real problem.
Like the Great Intelligence itself, Downtime seems doomed to roam the vast wasteland between classic Dr. Who and the reboot, while being neither one nor the other.
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on 1 November 2015
Frist dr who spin off I ever had , I like the yeti in this , Elisabeth Sladen , Deborah Watling and Nicholas courtney are on top form form , This could be the first story focusing on the compations meeting we had in later years in the tv series like death and the dr which brough back jo grant.. You never know whose side Victora and Professtor travers are on. This is also really famousf for introcyuing Kate Bridge Stewart aanother character who has becomng dr who canon
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on 20 January 2016
Not the best but worth having. This was done in the 90's during thne long drought of no Who in production. It brings in some of the companions for a one off. The story is muddled but that is not a real hindrance just sit back and let the actors go through their paces and enjoy the show for what it is a fan fun rehash of Doctor Who fun. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed,
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