45 of 46 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 MK4
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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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 3½ Doctors but some cracking extras!,
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!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Who-ite's dream,
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 doctors? 5 stars!,
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great romp,
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.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are the sum of our memories...,
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Five Doctors [DVD] (DVD)...so 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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who at its best,
By A Customer
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, worth upgrading,
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 20th Anniversary Get-Together,
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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh -- it's you!,
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2oth Anniversary Get-together,
Each of the active Doctors are dragged off to the wilds of Gallifrey along with one of their companions - Doctor 1 is accompanied by his granddaughter, Susan, the second by the Brigadier, the third Doctor is accompanied by Sarah-Jane and Bessie, his roadster, while the fifth has his regular companions Tegan and Turlough. As well as a slightly less than traditional slate quarry, the doctors are pursued over some bleak and depressing moorland by the Doctors' old enemies the Cybermen. As a nice twist on the usual situation, the Master is cast in a positive role, trying to aid the various Doctors on behalf of the High Council of the Time Lords. Naturally those who recognise him are sceptical of his insistance that he's there to help...
The interior shots are reasonably done and with much of the action taking place outside, they seem to have been of a higher quality than those where much of the action is studio bound.
As my vesrion of the DVD is listed as a special edition,the story was not broken up into the traditional episodic structure of the general Doctor Who DVDs.
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Doctor Who: Five Doctors [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] by Peter Moffatt (DVD - 2001)