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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular: The best of Doctor Who
This was one of the first classic Doctor Who episodes I watched, and after viewing more than 40 others, this is still my favourite.

The Doctor is being provided with the means to experiment with his TARDIS console in exchange for him working as a scientific advisor at a drilling project. But when he goes into a parallel universe using his TARDIS, he discovers...
Published on 1 Nov 2007 by Andrew Dodds

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars INFERNO, not one of my favorites but still great release.
Not one of my favorites but a great tale.

Jon Pertwee - The Doctor
Caroline John - Liz Shaw
(Ranked 31st in 2009 in Doctor Who Magazine's, Mighty 200 pol)

Final for the late Caroline John, one of my favorite companions.
Great release.
Published on 28 Aug 2012 by TARDIS Traveller


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blazing!!, 29 Jun 2006
By 
andy "andy" (Cornwall, England UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
I always thought that the first Pertwee season was the best of the five years he did, as the stories in it were pitched at a higher, more intelligent level. Caroline John as Liz Shaw made a great companion, not only for the fact that she was nice to look at (!) but as a sidekick to the Doctor and a member of Unit she was quite rightly very intelligent, and this made for an intelligent show with grown up dialogue, serious stories, and acting and a 'proper' approach to science fiction.

Why they ever replaced her with the awful Jo Grant in the following season is beyond me, as Doctor Who then started to appear that little bit cheesy....

However, here, all is well.

The plot revolves around a scientific experiment to drill through the Earths core, and involves a parallel world where things are familiar but not quite the same.

The regulars are on good form as themselves, and Nicholas Courtney is excellent as the Brigadier and his alter ego, the sadistic braggart Brigade Leader Lethbridge Stewart who leads by fear and intimidation. Tyhe contrast between the two Lethbridge Stewarts could not be more pronounced and for the viewer, is great fun.

Caroline John is convincing as ever as Liz Shaw, and also as her counterpart Elizabeth Shaw, and Jon Pertwee excels himself here as the Doctor desperately trying to save not one, but two worlds. The power of his acting is pronounced and you can tell that he is throwing himself into the part, not just coasting as was apparrent toward the end of his time as the Doctor.

For my money, one of the best performances has to be that of Derek Newark as the heroic Greg Sutton, who in both worlds tries to do his best to be a good guy. His acting is brilliant and helps to convince the audience that there is a real sense of drama evoked here; a real sense of horror at what is happening is transmitted to the viewer.

The argumnets with Professor Stahlman (Olaf Pooley)are particularly notable for realism.

The traditional Doctor Who monster is here too in the form of the Primords, and as people dehumanised by the side effects of technology they are all the scarier, added to by some clever direction.

This story could teach the production team of the new series exactly how great Doctor Who should be made, so they don't repeat the disaster of episodes like the Peter Kay one....

To sum up, the best Pertwee story ever made, and should probably rank in the all time top ten best Who stories ever made, due to realism, a serious approach to the sci-fi, a mature attitude to the stroytelling, higher than average production values, vibrant direction, and just the sheer ability this story has of invloving the viewer in it, possibly because of the ecological message that is rammed home here.

Simply excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely brilliant!!, 18 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
This story is a contender for the best ever.

A very well written and believable episode with a fabulous twist that is a classic Doctor Who moment. Here the series began exploring the nature of time far more than it had before, infact the whole content of the series became more adult.

The cast in their dual roles are uniformly excellent. It is probably the episode which best shows what a brilliant actor Jon Pertwee was, his performance full of compassion, horror and guilt at having been unable to prevent a holocaust, and his desperation to prevent another.

Brilliant sound effects and editing create a breathless atmosphere and a true feeling of imminent peril. The speed and energy of the eruption sequence forming the cliffhanger at the end of ep.6 is stunning.

Bad points? Not really. So the primords were added to create a more visible (and traditional) threat, they weren't really necessary, but they do not detract from the action.

This episode really shows what Doctor Who could achieve and this level of excellence was not bettered until Tom Baker took a trip to Paris.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too hot to handle!, 18 May 2006
By 
A. Clarke "Kit Nubbles" (South Northants) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
One of the finest Pertwee stories finally comes to DVD. The only story where you get to see the regular cast in a parrallel universe [that is until 'Rise of the Cybermen], this makes for an exciting adventure as there are two [count 'em] end of the world scenarios. Nicholas Courtney does a fine job as the alternative Brigadier with eye patch. Some of these earlier stories are padded but Inferno avoids this with it's clever plotting, an essential purchase if you like serious, scientific Who.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class "serious" Doctor Who, 22 April 2007
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
"Inferno", by Don Houghton, is another popular candidate for "best Doctor Who story ever made". It would certainly appear to be the best entry in the "gritty realism" phase that characterised the show's seventh season, and features Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor at his proud, judgemental and occasionally petulant best.

The initial premise of "Inferno" - that of a dangerous drilling project delving deep into the Earth's primal core at great risk, driven by the determined and egotistical Professor Stahlman (Olaf Pooley) who is determined to accelerate the drilling process to the greatest extent possible despite the concerns of the project's computer and, subsequently, the dire warnings of the bolshy oil rig man Greg Sutton (Derek Newark) and the Doctor - sounds interesting enough: but where "Inferno" really becomes an inspired piece of work is in the introduction of a parallel universe storyline (clichéd now, perhaps, but much less so in 1970). In the parallel Earth that the Doctor is catapulted into after an accident involving the TARDIS console, England is a fascist state and the Inferno project is a prison labour camp, where drilling is much more advanced. In the parallel word, the Doctor is even less able to make his fears heard (even his companion Liz Shaw is now a hard-nosed security officer), and must watch as Stahlman's project accelerates and unleashes forces that threaten to tear the planet apart. In both universes, what nobody realises is that Stahlman has been contaminated by the toxic fluids escaping from the drill head and is suffering rapid and physical mental degeneration, and his survival depends upon the completion of the drilling at the earliest moment possible. The Doctor, against steep odds and bearing witness to the disaster that threatens to engulf the parallel earth, must convince the people of the alternative Earth to help him return to his own universe and save the lifes of their compatriots.

Although "Inferno", as a seven-parter, is not fast-paced, the plot still never loses momentum due to the meatiness of the parallel universe storyline. Aided in a large part by the creepy incidental "music", the atmospheric industrial location where much of the story is filmed and the omnipresent sound of the ever-accelerating drill, the action and dialogue of "Inferno" brings with it a sense of ever-increasing danger and desparation, culminating in the shocking ending to episode six. The cast clearly enjoy playing the horrible alternate universe versions of themselves, and it shows both on-screen and in the DVD's special features (the well-equipped package includes a commentary with actor Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart), producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks, with interludes from actor John Levene (Sergeant Benton), plus an hour's worth of excellent newly produced documentary material and several excerpts from the archives), helping "Inferno" to live well and truly up to its reputation as the best story of an era, if not the whole series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece of a story, 31 Dec 2008
By 
L. Green "Feltano" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
Barcode: 5014503180225

Having just watched this serial, sitting back and reflecting, it is clear Inferno represents some of the best Doctor Who as a series has to offer. Pertwee is in his element here, playing up the Doctor as the dashing gentleman action hero in a desperate attempt to stop the misguided plans of Professor Stahlman to tap into the power of the Earth's core.

The exterior shots of the drilling project - with all its machinery and silos is suitably grim and while the Primords may at time look cheap, their threat is undeniable, their tortured cries even more distressing. Despite it's 7 part length, the pace never lets up in this serial with the acting being of an exceptionally high standard on all fronts - special mention must indeed go to Liz, the Brigadier and Greg Sutton who are brilliant in this story - in both their normal and parallel world selves. The Brigadier in particular is particularly sinister in his parallel world form, arrogant, selfish and complete with scar and eye-patch.

And it is with the idea of the parallel world that we are presented with the crucial element of the serial. Whilst the Primords present a simple visual threat, the truly chilling aspect of this story comes from the dictatorial `alternate reality' where the slick formality and brutality of the Republican Security Forces is deeply unsettling. As the story progresses the moral of the story becomes evident, the Doctor learning from the mistakes made in the alternate world, must now use this knowledge to save his own reality before it's too late.

With the apocalyptic scenario of world-wide destruction presented to us, the stakes are high as the world begins to overheat, the yellowy overlay used, although simple, is somehow deeply unsettling as it presents a world in it's last few moments of life. Playing into fears about global warming, and nuclear energy, this story has added impact.

Stahlman as the story's `villain' is suitably despicable in his uncaring attitude towards the safety of his fellow humans, his only concern being for the completion of his project as quickly as possible. Summing up, this story has everything - the scientific elements, the threat against the Earth's safety and plenty of action sprinkled in too. A must-see for Who fans.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of The Best Doctor Whos?, 24 Jun 2006
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
I recall seeing the first transmission of this superb series and always believed it to be one of the very best of Doctor Who. Now, thanks to the wonders of DVD, it can be seen by a wider audience and a new generation of Doctor Who fans. A drilling operation is being conducted on a research centre which goes horribly wrong. The Doctor, wonderfully played by the late Jon Pertwee, finds himself in an alternative Universe struggling to convince the scientists that what they are doing could destroy the earth. The alternative universe is run by the military, brash and uncompromising, unwilling to listen to the doctors warnings. The scenes here have to be seen to be believed. Both Nicholas Courtney and the lovely Caroline John play their respective counter parts wonderfully well. It is only when the doctor emerges back in the normal Universe that the action really excites to a brilliant ending. A great series all around. And to make it much better for viewers, numerous extras abound on disc 2 which will keep not only fans, but television historians glued to the screen for hours. Sadly, it was Caroline John's last appearance in Doctor Who, so its one to treasure. During her interview, she reveals the reasons why she left the series, and it was not difficult to notice that her leaving did have an emotional effect on her.

As for the Picture, it is good, but not brilliant, although sound in a Home Cinema system is more than adequate.

One of those great Doctor Who series you should not miss.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfected parallel, 27 Jun 2006
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
The final story from Jon Pertwees first season Infernon continues and concludes with the seasons more adult feel with a convincing backdrop of science horror.

The seven epsodes build up effectivly to perhaps the most effective

cliff hanger in the shows history at the end of part six.

In my opnion Pertwee worked best when he had something of force or consqunce to react to here he plays off well aginst the brigade leader and the obseasivly driven Profesor .

There are however some dated elements the romance element feels tacked on for a lighter feel to the storys prodomintly dark feel.

More effective then the recent Cyberman story where there was a contrived sense of sentamatality and speacticle .
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolfmen Attack!!!, 22 Jun 2006
By 
Mr. D. Swan "manmonkey" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
Long ago there was a time were the Doctor was a man, a serious man, he acted like a dignified hero and not like an over excited teenager that's just got a new Raleigh Grifter, That's a little Jib at David Tennant by the by. Ah gone are those days but we can still take a peak with BBC's DVD releases and this one, Inferno is an absolute gem, Yes it's from a different time, 1970, with different standards in special effect and production but if you're the kind of person that doesn't have the imagination to see beyond the clunky unconvincing special effects you've no business watching it.
This 7 parter tells the story of a British government sponsored Drilling experiment, The rather obtuse Scientist in charge believes that drilling through the earths crust would tap into reserves of a super gas that could cheaply fuel the UK for years to come, The Doctors involved as an adviser and as far as the chief scientist is concerned an unwelcome one, Whilst tinkering with his own experiment off activating the Tardis's Main console he quickly becomes concerned by the drilling and the sudden appearance of members of staff who after coming in contact with a mysterious green Goo have turned into bizarre green versions of Lon Chaney Jr. Later whilst the Doctor is using the Tardis console he accidentally gets transported to a parallel universe, in this universe the drilling experiment is under way in a UK governed by a 1984 Big Brother style government. In this parallel UK they successfully drill through the earths crust unleashing all sorts of bad stuff, bad stuff like the world blowing up, The doctor of course escapes back to his own universe to prevent the drilling and the same thing happening to his UK.
The Lon Chaney jr monsters running around are obviously an after thought, you get the impression they probably wrote it and thought " Bugger we've no monsters, here's 50p!! , down the corner shop and get some Green poster paint and a wolfman mask", never the less this really doesn't detract from the story, it adds a little excitement, even if it is a little bewildering. There are a few other flaws, not massive ones, I accuse myself of petty niggling to even think of them, just ignore all that and enjoy!, enjoy a ripping good Dr Who story from a time that's lost to us, savour it.

Special mention has to go to the Doctors assistant Caroline John who ( Shock horror) unlike Katy manning can Actually act!!.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inferno, 13 July 2006
By 
Poldy "Paul" (Darwen, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
Professor Stahlman is in charge of a project to drill through the Earth's crust in the hope of locating a cheap new source of energy. His American assistant has misgivings, as do UNIT, who are on site to provide security, but Stahlman will allow nothing and no one to get in his way, even when project workers become infected and go berserk. Meanwhile, the Doctor is using power from the drilling project to try to repair his TARDIS. One of his attempts at travel sends him into a parallel dimension, a fascist state in which the project is further advanced. Falling into the hands of the Brigade Leader, the Doctor is forced to watch helplessly as this alternative Earth is plunged into destruction.

Inferno was the fourth and last story in Doctor Who's seventh season, when the Doctor was exiled to Earth and forced to work with the military, in the form of UNIT. Already chafing against what they saw as an extremely awkward situation, incoming production team Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks, solved the problem by creating a parallel Earth which was slightly ahead of its real-world counterpart. The story, centred as it is on the idea of the blind exploitation of the planet, was an early flowering of a narrative strand which was to become ever-more important during the Pertwee years of the early 1970's. The device of the alternative world helps to improve the pacing of the story, which is noticeably less padded than some other stories of the time.

The performances of the cast are uniformly excellent, with Pertwee on fine form, and the UNIT regulars clearly relishing the opportunity to portray more vicious versions of their usual characters in the fascist alternative world. In particular, Nicholas Courtney revels in his new characterisation, the Brigadier's humanity replaced by the Brigade Leader's barely-concealed panic and cruelty. The stunt team, Havoc, provide plenty of excitement as soldiers and workers are infected by the slime welling up out of the ground and go on the rampage.

The extras on this two-disc set are up to the level we have come to expect. The commentary from Letts and Dicks is informative, though the contributions from John Levene, who played Sergeant Benton, quickly become irritating. For no adequately-explained reason, he insisted on recording his commentary separately, and his comments are dropped in from time to time. There are two documentaries, one on the making of the story, and another as the first part of a history of UNIT. This latter is the more interesting, and features Havoc, the group of stuntmen employed full-time by Doctor Who.

This is a first-rate presentation of an excellent story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Things heat up for the Doctor in a parallel universe, 6 Jun 2012
By 
J Brackell (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
This Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) adventure is an odd one - originally intended to comprise of four episodes revolving around the dangers surrounding Project Inferno, an attempt to drill into the Earth's crust to unleash limitless energy, the studio asked the script writer, Don Houghton, to extend the serial by three additional episodes, causing him to write in the sub-plot of a parallel dimension in order to prolong the story without adding more expense in terms of additional sets and actors. Considering the decision to add the parallel universe was a last minute one, it works surprisingly well and doesn't feel tacked on at all.

The Doctor is an adviser to Project Inferno, something that irritates the project's co-ordinator, Professor Stahlman, who is obsessed with drilling to the Earth's crust despite the constant warnings of the risk associated with such an endeavour. One of the side-effects of the drilling is an unusually green liquid which poisons those who have contact with it, reverting them back to a prehistoric state, intent on a crazed rampage. The Doctor, meanwhile is working on his TARDIS console, in an attempt to reverse his exile imposed on him earlier in the season. This backfires sending him to a parallel universe, where everyone is warped versions of themselves, giving the actors a chance to play outside of their typical characters. Aware of the deadly consequences of the project from the parallel universe, the Doctor must get back to his true Earth and stop the Inferno from destroying everyone he cares about.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this serial as most of Jon Pertwee's adventures up until now have felt slightly lacking in the grand feeling of adventure from the black & white era episodes, mostly due to their fixed setting on 1970s Earth with the UNIT team. The change in pace and direction that occurred after The 2nd Doctor (Patrick Troughton) left has been something of a shake-up and left me wishing for the classic time-jumping adventures, so this parallel dimension voyage was a step in the right direction, bringing back the sense of travel and wonder to the series.

I really enjoyed seeing the 'mirror images' of the supporting characters and spotting the minor differences between the two universes. It took me a few times to realise that the Brigadier in "World B" didn't have a moustache, although I did keenly observe the eye-patch! Liz Shaw (Caroline John) seemed to enjoy playing a more villainous role, giving her more to work with than being the Doctor's `yes woman'. Even the characters who were introduced in this storyline were given compelling backstories and character traits in both dimensions, making the viewer care about them. (Twice over in some instances!)

Overall, this is quite easily the best of the Third Doctor's opening season, beating the more monster-driven stories of The Silurians and The Ambassadors of Death that preceded it. I hope that the upcoming serials return to the classic template of having the Doctor travelling to new worlds and time periods experiencing different cultures, rather than having the creatures visit contemporary Earth, which doesn't feel like Doctor Who at all.
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Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970]
Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970] by Douglas Camfield (DVD - 2006)
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