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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 3½ Doctors but some cracking extras!
This story divides fandom like no other in many ways. Some dismiss it as too silly, implausible and certainly not a classic story, and a very camp pantomime. Other regard it a joyful celebration of all that was great about the series for its 20th Anniversary in 1983, and a glorious reunion of Doctors, companions and Monsters. I belong to the later camp.

Published on 12 Mar 2008 by K9

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has little in the way of substance but the nostalgic value makes it watchable
Within the high council on Gallifrey, an unknown renegade in the citadel is snatching the first five incarnations of the Doctor and his former friends and companions from their respective time zones and dumping them in the death zone, a barren wasteland on the Time Lord home planet. The fourth Doctor and his companion Romana however are caught in a time eddy which they...
Published on 3 May 2010 by Mr. R. Mcelwaine

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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 3½ Doctors but some cracking extras!, 12 Mar 2008
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This story divides fandom like no other in many ways. Some dismiss it as too silly, implausible and certainly not a classic story, and a very camp pantomime. Other regard it a joyful celebration of all that was great about the series for its 20th Anniversary in 1983, and a glorious reunion of Doctors, companions and Monsters. I belong to the later camp.

Hats off to Terrance Dicks for coping with the near impossible task of constantly changing cast list (the great Bob Holmes had already attempted a "Six Doctors" story but pulled out saying the demands were too great).
Another challenge was what to do with the first and fourth Doctors. William Hartnell sadly had passed away in 1975, and Tom Baker, having originally agreed to take part in the production, then pulled out of the project. The first Doctor was recast as Richard Hurndall, who does, in my opinion bear more than just a passing resemblance to William Hartnell; whilst Tom Baker is represented in the story by the inclusion of a few short clips from the then unseen, unfinished Shada story of 1979.

In this 2 disc release, you get both the original transmission version of 1983, and the longer "Special Edition" cut of 1995, with new special effects, a Dolby 5.1 surround soundtrack and various scene changes. Both versions have been extensively restored by the Doctor Who restoration team, unlike the previous release of 2001, and there is a distinct absence of grain on the picture and particularly vivid colours throughout.

The celebratory feel of the story is really felt in the comprehensive and nostalgic set of extras on this DVD:

- Celebration - a documentary - presented by Colin Baker - recalling the making of, and publicity surrounding, the Five Doctors. It is nice to see the director, Peter Moffat, one last time before his death in 2007, and the anecdotes from Elisabeth Sladen, Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and the writer Terrance Dicks are highly entertaining and often amusing.

- The Ties that Bind Us is a much shorter documentary - narrated by the smooth tones of Paul McGann - looking at the Five Doctors' links to other Doctor Who story, with an excellent montage of clips to illustrate what it is that makes this show so special.

- A wonderful "Easter Egg" commentary by the current Doctor (David Tennant) and producer (Phil Collinson) and writer Helen Raynor. This has to be one of the most hilarious and entertaining commentaries to date, no doubt livened by the presence of champagne during recording, courtesy of 2entertain. Phil Collinson had me in stitches throughout, my only criticism is oddly enough of David Tennant who seems rather displeased with the choice of Richard Hurndall as the first Doctor.

- Clips from the publicity surrounding the series in 1983, from Breakfast Time, Blue Peter and Saturday Superstore.

- A comprehensive photo gallery and trailers/ continuities.

- Two further commentaries:
-Companions Commentary (a rather lacklustre affair compared to the Easter Egg one) with Liz Sladen, Nicholas Courtney, and Mark Strickson and Carol Ann Ford.
- Special Edition Commentary (a hilarious combination of writer Terrance Dicks and the Doctor, Peter Davison).

Probably the most comprehensive set of extras for a Doctor Who DVD release yet. Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 20th anniversary in style with 3½ Doctors, a tipsy new series crew and more extras than you can wave a punt at!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 doctors? 5 stars!, 28 April 2012
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ok, there are problems. Really there are 3 doctors and an impersonator, but to be frank, I don't care. The fact that this story happened in a time when JNT (producer) was really making some bad mistakes is, to me incredible. Moments such as seeing Elisabeth Sladen and Jon Pertwee or Patrick Troughton and the Brigadier is incredible. I can forgive the weak storyline and floating triangles because this is really a story about the shows history, celebrating the man (or men) we love. The fact there was no 4th doctor was overcome, as was the sad absence of William Hartnell. There are so many clever things put in by Terrance Dicks, like the 3rd doctor meeting the master played by a different actor, showing the doctor just knows. To be honest, this review will change nothing. If you are a doctor who fan, there is no question about whether or not you should see this, it is history, and a show that still manages to be amazing at a time when it was faced with such difficulties. And it has a YETI in it!!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Who-ite's dream, 27 July 2005
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
One by one, the earlier four incarnations of the Doctor are being plucked out of the space-time continuum, and placed into the dreaded Death Zone. Originally used by the Time Lords for organizing gladiatorial matches between various races, Rassilon closed the Death Zone, and forbade the use of the Time Scoop. So, who is doing this, and more importantly, why? It's up to the Doctor (all of them) to figure it out.
This movie is a "Who-ite's" dream. Four of the five Doctors are present, with Richard Hurndall performing very well as the formidable first Doctor. Many companions appear, including Turlough, Tegan, Susan (the Doctor's Granddaughter), Sarah Jane, the Brigadier, Mike Yates, Liz Shaw, Jamie, Zoe, and K-9. Plus, of course, the Master (played by Anthony Ainley). It is a shame that Tom Baker refused to be involved in this production, but he is reasonably represented by scenes taken from the never-completed episode Shada.
I recommend this movie absolutely to any fan of Doctor Who.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great romp, 2 Mar 2008
25 years have passed since this milestone in British TV sci-fi. The actual 'five' weren't all there, but does it matter?

Extras first; this DVD contains two versions of the episode; a special edition containing some new SFX (nothing too mind-blowing) and is a slightly longer cut, and the original version as broadcast in 1983. There are various commentaries (I haven't listened to them all yet) including one by the companions, Peter Davison with Terrance Dicks, and a not-too-well-hidden Easter Egg in the form of a commentary by Phil Collinson, David Tennant and Helen Raynor from the current Doctor Who team. There's also a documentary on the Doctor Who continuity narrated by Paul McGann, another on the making of `The Five Doctors' presented by Colin Baker, as well as features from Nationwide, Saturday Superstore, the Longleat exhibition and studio out-takes. In short, there's plenty of stuff over the two discs to keep most Who fans amused for many moons.

Basically, the episode is an excuse for a Who's-Who of Doctor Who - barring Tom Baker (shown only in clips from the unreleased `Shada') and the deceased William Hartnell. For the remainder, it's time to get back into character. The story concerns the 5th Doctor returning to Gallifrey in order to become `whole', as his previous selves have been scooped up from their respective time streams and placed in the Death Zone as part of some nefarious plot. As far as bad guys go, the usual suspects are in place (mostly); there's a lone Dalek, a lone Yeti, the Master and a whole bunch of Cybermen.

The real appeal of an episode like this lies not with the power of the story, but with seeing the various Doctors do their stuff one more time. As a budding writer myself, I can only imagine the problems that lay before Terrance Dicks when trying to juggle the almost insane amount of leading and supporting characters in a episode like this. To his credit, he manages it well - especially considering that he managed to keep the 5th Doctor at the story's centre. But overall, this is not as strong a story as 1973's `The Three Doctors'; firstly, as the Doctors are mostly divided in their quest the opportunity to actually see how they get on together goes amiss. One of the things that made 'The Three Doctors' so great to watch was Troughton and Pertwee bouncing digs off each other. Secondly, the overall sense of threat doesn't seem as great in 'The Five Doctors'; worth comparing to Omega threatening the whole of existence.

While I admire Dicks' writing skills, I feel he missed an opportunity in terms of serious emotional connection between the Doctors and the various companions. True, there is genuine joy when the Brigadier meets the 2nd Doctor again, and relief when Sarah-Jane is rescued (down a pathetic hill!) by the 3rd Doctor, but the differences in emphasis between the writers of the classic series and the writers of the current series become evident. The 5th Doctor shows almost no emotion when faced with the Brigadier and Sarah-Jane again; just compare that for a moment to the events of 'School Reunion' and all the joy, competetiveness, sorrow and memories that ensued. This is bad enough, but then neither he and the 2nd and 3rd Doctors even bat an eyelid at their own grand-daughter, Susan, who they would not have seen for an eternity. I can't help feeling that huge opportunities went amiss here. In a show which is basically an excuse for a get-together, the sense of reunion in the script was a bit lacking. This is something that the current writers would have probably exploited to the max.

Saying that, it was still good to see the old faces back in action. Richard Hurndall actually does more than just mimic William Hartnell; he captures the 1st Doctor's essence excellently (I pour scorn on David Tennant's commentary that he was `just a bloke in a wig' - a little unfair I think). Patrick Troughton, as always, is charm personified (and is arguably the star of this story), but my first and favourite Doctor was Jon Pertwee, and for me it's always a thrill to see him in action - plus he gets to use that famous line one more time! Also a nod to the always-excellent Anthony Ainley as the Master - terrific.

So, was it really `The Five Doctors' or `Doctor Who 3.5'? Whichever way it's viewed, this special commemorative episode is still a fine romp through the history of the most infamous Time Lord of them all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Five Doctors (25th Anniversary Edition), 24 Jan 2011
The Five Doctors: 25th Anniversary Edition, is one of those must-have items that every Doctor Who fan should own. If there is one story that encapsulates the essence of the show whilst allowing newcomers to jump on board, this is it. The biggest question that potential buyers of the DVD will be asking is how does it differ to previous versions and is it worth getting?

The differences are clearly vast, made evident from the staringly obvious picture quality improvements that the Restoration Team have once again provided. The colour is so much richer which is only emphasised more by Tegan's costume. The original DVD release of The Five Doctors (which also happened to be the first ever Doctor Who DVD release) was extremely feature-light. Spread over two discs, this new release includes both the original transmission version and the special edition version, and is laden with more features than you could possibly hope for with an RRP of just £19.99.

Disc One features the Original Transmission version of The Five Doctors, as well as the 'Celebration: Doctor Who in 1983' documentary. This is presented by Colin Baker and features interviews with Doctor Who Actors; Peter Davison, Nicholas Courtney, Mark Stricskon, Richard Franklin, Elisabeth Sladen, Carole Ann Ford, Caroline John & Janet Fielding, Writers; Terrance Dicks, Gareth Roberts & Paul Cornell, Experts; Andrew Beech, James Goss & Ian Levine, Director; Peter Moffatt, DVD Producer; Richard Molesworth and Visual Effects Designer; Mike Kelt. At almost an hour long, this proves to be an unmissable in-depth look at how the story came into production, as well as a look at the 1983 Doctor Who Celebration at Longleat. It also sets up some of the special features on Disc Two perfectly.

There is also an option to hear a 'Companions Commentary', featuring; Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Mark Strickson (Turlough) & Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier). The commentary is lively and warm, but lacks the benefit of Clayton Hickman directing, as the voices tend to talk over each other at times.

Also on the disc are the usual 'Trails & Continuity', 'Photo Gallery' and 'Radio Times lisings' extras.

Look away now if you don't want to be spoiled, as this DVD also houses a truly awesome hidden DVD Easter Egg in the form on a Commentary featuring New Series Producer; Phil Collinson, The 10th Doctor; David Tennant and New Series Writer; Helen Raynor. Phil and David in particular are a joy to listen to as they inject their perspectives as fans back when the episode originally aired. It's fresh, funny and different to any of the Classic Doctor Who DVD commentaries to date.

Disc Two contains the Special Edition version and includes an Audio Commentary featuring Peter Davison and Terrance Dicks. The pair work well together providing an entertaining and informative commentary. Terrance Dicks is on especially fine form, telling us how Tom Baker's scenes would have fit into the story, had he been available. Be sure not to miss his priceless Time Lord urinal observation!

'The Ties That Bind Us' documentary takes a look at what links The Five Doctors to the rest of the Doctor Who universe continuity-wise. Narrated by Paul McGann, and featuring more of Rob Semenoff's fantastic 3D Animation work, this extra is a tightly woven gem, skillfully edited together by Michael Conners and Leanne Sheppard. Look out for the great montage towards the end of the feature.

'Five Doctors, One Studio' features unseen studio footage from the scene where the four Doctors meet in Rassilon's Tomb. Although it runs at a lengthy 19 minutes, it proves addictive viewing, as we see some lovely moments between Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee in-between takes. One such moment, is where Troughton offers Pertwee a Jelly Baby, to which Pertwee jokingly accuses him of trying to sabotage his scene.

The 'Out-takes' feature gives us some great out-takes from the serial, including Davison's hilarious infamous final line from the story.

'[Not So] Special Effects' takes a look at some of the Special Effects shots from the story.

'Saturday Superstore' contains a complete Doctor Who segment which includes interviews with Peter Davison, Mark Strickson and Janet Fielding, who take questions from the show's child callers.

'Blue Peter' includes a look at some of the Doctors previous enemies, and has appearances from Richard Hurndall and Peter Davison.

'Nationwide' offers a complete Doctor Who segment where Sue Lawley interviews Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison on their roles playing the Doctor. There's a great moment when Troughton produces a bag of Jelly Babies and offers them round.

'Breakfast Time ' features a brief interview with Peter Davison and a mischievous Patrick Troughton, promoting The Five Doctors.

The Invasion of Time is the focus of the latest 'Coming Soon Trailer', and as with previous trailers, proves to be energetic, suspenseful and definitely piques the viewers interest enough to convince them to purchase the story.

Overall, we have another well-thought-out release, that has been produced with care and respect to both fans of the show, and members of the cast and crew. If you're after a complete tribute to The Five Doctors, with all the trimmings - look no further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 Doctors + 1 Replacement + Archive Footage= 1 Guilty Pleasure, 10 Aug 2008
D. Wright "GrumpyGeezer" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
Really "The Five Doctors" should be dreadful; Who, at the time it was filmed, was in a slump and, frankly,the series' scriptwriters were struggling to come up with a script that would do one Doctor justice. Watch "Timeflight" or "Arc of Infinity" to see how poor the series could be. But this show really hits the spot: a silly but action filled plot penned by Terrance Dicks makes sure nostaglia is evoked by its clumsy but addictive plot hooks.Despite Tom Baker's refusal to take part and the fact Hartnell had died this feels a worthy celebration even though it is really only 3 and bit Doctors.

Okay, it includes Elizabeth Sladen clinging onto a side of a hillock acting her pants off to convince us she is in mortal danger; granted it contains a very, ahem!, idiosynchratic performance from Paul Jerricho as Castellan and its implications for continuity within the series cannot be overstated. This Who's equivalent of Christmas dinner: fun, full-flavoured and an occasional treat, not the basis for a healthy diet.

The extras are great and the barely concealed Easter egg is silly but fun. Helen Raynor bizarrely focuses on the wardrobe, Phil Colinson reveals his crush on Turlough and David Tennant reveals a little too much about the effect of Peri's entrance into the show in "The Planet of Fire" in a bikini had on his feverish adolescent sexual development.

While it's hardly a classic,like say "Pyramids of Mars", it is fun. Enjoy!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are the sum of our memories..., 7 July 2007
Don Kepunja "ownstunts" (Retford, Northern England) - See all my reviews you may find this oddly familiar - the 2007 print is exactly the same as the extant DVD edition, except they've slipped a natty blue sleeve over the old-style box. That's not a criticism - just thought you ought to know in case you weren't going to get it because it wouldn't match yer other Who DVDs (you know what some people are like). It will - and as it's mid-price you can buy new at pre-owned rates. As for the show itself... as they say in fandom: What's not to like? Penned last-minute as the 20th anniversary loomed, TFD is a brilliant evocation of the show's splendid best bits - all of 'em - with great performances by Davison and returning leads Troughton and Pertwee, a new, fine, realisation of the first Doctor by Richard Hurndall (though Hartnell is seen, thrillingly) and a nice turn from Tom Baker, neatly taken from the then legendary and unshown Shada. Anthony Ainley's Master is at his best here, Nicholas Courtney is (as ever) delightful as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, and the show blends self-celebratory pageant with a clever story and great imagery. Purists will tell you tinkering with the DVD edition edit and effects has 'spoiled' the (deleted) original... but it just hasn't, not enough to count, anyway. This is part of a re-booted DVD series aimed, one suspects, at tempting new, young Ecclestone- and Tennant-era fans to sample the 'classic' era, and no bad thing for that; TFD is a perfect place to start.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who at its best, 26 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This DVD is a must for all Doctor Who fans and a great introduction to the new viewer. As well as showcasing all five doctors (albeit a very brief appearance from Tom Baker), the Brigadier, K9 and many of the key assistants, there are some very convincing actors in supporting roles as the Galifrey high council. The adversaries include the Master, Daleks, Cybermen and yeti at their most impressive. While the plot is fairly lightweight, it is actually very believable and is certainly set at a good steady pace.
The DVD extras include a very good menu set inside a 3D tardis, new effects included in the episode itself and a music library of the soundtrack. The music has been carefully put together and has a good atmospheric feel.
Doctor Who was at its best in 1983 - enjoy!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 20th Anniversary Get-Together, 22 Dec 2004
JA Fairhurst "johnfair" (Edgeley, Stockport) - See all my reviews
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This was originally broadcast on the 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Dr Who and it was thought a good idea to include all five incarnations of the Doctor to that point. A good idea that ran into a couple of hurdles - William Hartnell had died so could not reprise his role as the First Doctor, but he was ably replaced in the part by Richard Hurndall, and the BBC added a prequel scene of Hartnell at the start of the story. Apparently more damaging to the project was Tom Baker's unwillingness to reprise a role he had only relatively recently stopped playing - he felt, with a degree of justification that he would be overshadowing the current incumbant, Peter Davison. In order to let his Doctor to be part of the story, previously unseen scenes were included and the fourth Doctor was said to be caught up in a time eddy (a similar argument was used in the earlier The Three Doctors in order to allow the ill Hartnell to be around though not have to take part in the action).
In keeping with the special celebratory nature of the piece, the usual episodic nature of the original broadcast was replaced by a single, continuous, storyline on the DVD, which worked well. Much of the action is set on wild moorland and in a slate quarry which seemed to allow the scenes set inside to have an unusually solid feel to them in my opinion.
The various incarnations of the Doctor are taken from their proper places in Time and deposited in the wilds of the Dearth Zone on Gallifrey where they are hunted by various old enemies. Their purpose is to gain accss to the Tower of Rassilon where they must find out whether this most reknowned Time Lord is as dead as as thought! The Doctors are joined by companions; the First by Susan, the Second by the Brigadier; the Third by Sarah Jane and the Fifth by his regular companions Tegan and Turlough.
An interesting addition to the cast was the Master. Recruited by the High Council of the Time Lords to aid the Doctors, his claims were met with scepticism from those ho kne him best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun x 5!, 16 Aug 2007
Mrs. L. Studd - See all my reviews
The Five Doctors was originally broadcast on the 25/11/1983. It was the 20th anniversary special of the series and was what usually would be
4 25 min episodes in 1 90 min movie lenght episode.
It see's a powerful timelord (not tellin who!) gather the 5 incarnations of the Doctor (Peter Davison, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton,
Richard Hurndall, Tom Baker and William Hartnell) and a variety of companions that include Tegan (Janet Fielding), Turlough (Mark Strickson), Sarak Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen),
Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) and
Susan (Carole Ann Ford) in the Death-Zone, a sort of Gallifreyan
theme-park were either the innocent or the guilty are put to the test of survival.
The 5 Doctors all try to reach the tomb of Rassilon (a great timelord god!) to try and find the answer to the mystery.
Of course it won't be easy, along the way there are Cybermen, a Dalek and a Yeti and that sort of feeling you get when you feel your being watched!
An absolutely great Doctor Who story and a must have for Doctor Who fans!
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Doctor Who: Five Doctors [DVD] [1983] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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