27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bubble memory never fades
JUST as the looming, entropic undoing of the universe casts shadows before it the Doctor cannot ignore, this loose trilogy - and Logopolis in particular - has cast a long shadow across many seasoned Whovians' lives. Season 18 was a death-haunted, melancholy thing given it was `children's TV', a moody sequence of stories about partings, loss, societies in decay; in Tom...
Published on 25 Mar 2007 by Don Kepunja
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty ordinary fare
While I like the Master as a nemesis of the Doctor, three episodes in a row about him was about two too many. I am quite shocked so many have written such positive reviews, it is a boxset I could quite easily watch once and only watch again if I was watching my complete collection from start to finish
'The Keeper Of Trakken' promised to be a good story, but the...
Published 17 months ago by Owzat
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bubble memory never fades,
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD]  (DVD)JUST as the looming, entropic undoing of the universe casts shadows before it the Doctor cannot ignore, this loose trilogy - and Logopolis in particular - has cast a long shadow across many seasoned Whovians' lives. Season 18 was a death-haunted, melancholy thing given it was `children's TV', a moody sequence of stories about partings, loss, societies in decay; in Tom Baker's finale even the Doctor couldn't escape, saving everything, but not himself. Could this box still evoke the same dark feelings it did in a ten-year-old, a quarter of a century on? Delighted to report - appalled to report - it's `Yes.' Logoplis is how to say 'goodbye' properly.
These stories appeal because they're Doctor-centric. ...Traken, the slightest of the three but ideas-rich and beautiful looking, opens with the kind of Doctor-companion exposition not seen since the Hartnell era. John Nathan-Turner's tenure as producer would eventually become top-heavy with references to the show's past, but here it's still beguiling (perhaps thanks to the guiding hand of golden Pertwee-era stalwart Barry Letts), the looks back adding gravity as the end of everything looms. It's all in Baker's face, suddenly older, more gravely etched than before. The excellent commentaries across all the stories add texture, and the lead actor admits in his that, having agreed to stand down, he had many fears about the future - a neat mirror to the Doctor's own unspoken fear that perhaps there wouldn't be a future. The grin wasn't hiding the fear, and so all-the-more heroic, in the face of a dreadful unknown.
Logopolis is the dark heart of this set, brooding and funereal. In terms of its (still slightly wooly) science - perhaps even in its attitude to life and death - this is where the show first started to grow up, and touch on the `after-effects' that Russell T Davies threads through his stories. So many moments still resonate - the darkening control rooms as the Doctor and (not-as-bad-as-you-remembered) Adric explore the recursive loop trap (writer Christopher H Bidmead admits his fascination with the TARDIS as a jumping-off point - and what fan isn't fascinated by the ship?); the Watcher; the Cloister Room and more, the Cloister Bell - a harbinger of doom nightmarishly distorted by the very unraveling it heralds. If you can get this set for under £20 then do; it's worth it just to hear Baker say `the Cloister Bell' in ep. one, though he has so many memorable lines here - `Because he's here' of the Watcher, `Nothing like this has ever happened to me before', the rant at the `companions' he `never chose' and of course `It's the end...'; you will see that sequence a dozen times if you watch this lot soup-to-nuts, and never fail to thrill at the sickly dying fall of that helter-skeltering music as the Doctor - The Doctor for so many viewers - lies broken at the foor of the Pharos.
Castrovalva can't compete, but sets up the massively-underrated Davison Doctor neatly nonetheless. To make him so young and vulnerable was a brave and necessary step, and the excellent documentaries and add-ons give both the outgoing and incoming Time Lords a chance to have their say about playing the role. It emerges that Castrovalva was the fourth Fifth Doctor story recorded, to give the new man time to find the characterisation, then unpick it as the regeneration starts to fail; Davison's determined creative struggle with the role throughout his period in the TARDIS (which he rounded out with his finest performance) is one of the fascinating subtexts in this set, as is the help he got from his `second self' - there are many nods to both Patrick Troughton and his portrayal of the Doctor throughout, including the story of his amazing appearance on the Castrovalva set... bending the rules of time, and all that... Davison's archive interviews (Pebble Mill, Nationwide, Swap Shop) hint at a slight zany, unhinged humour under the pleasant open manner and floppy-haired, head boy good looks; shame that couldn't have broken free when he donned the cricket sweater. Still, splendid fellow.
Highly recommended then, though with one small proviso: fans of Christopher H Bidmead (especially his excellent Target novelisations of Logopolis and Castrovalva) might be slightly disappointed to find that he comes across as a slight chump in parts of the commentaries, although it's possible he's sending himself up - possible. He even mentions at one point that he himself had recently re-read the novelisations and thought them rather good. Talk about recursive trap...
Anyway, don't be frightened by that grinding, tolling bell in your mind. You need this. And I didn't even mention the Master (a ghostly chuckle fades on the edge of hearing)...
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Entropy increases.",
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD]  (DVD)Depending on how you approach the 3 serials in this box set, they're either tawdry relics of a cheaper, slower age of television; or they're pure gold. There are so many reasons to enjoy the release of NEW BEGINNINGS, but even fan boys like me can see that not everyone is going to be bowled over. So let's get the criticisms out of the way first.
Generally, there are a number of problems that beset all of the productions. Firstly of course: the effects, though not ALL of them fall flat. For instance, after the poorly staged struggle between the Doctor and the Master on the Pharos project gantry, the sequence at the climax of LOGOPOLIS where Tom Baker's Doctor regenerates into Peter Davison's version works extremely well. However, this is one of the few exceptions. The fake eyes painted on Kassia's lids when she's possessed in THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN, the risible model work in LOGOPOLIS and the cheesy visual representations of the recursive trap in the citadel in CASTROVALVA aren't exactly high points.
Secondly, despite what I'm going to say about the acting later, it has to be said not everyone deserves a BAFTA. For example, Sheila Ruskin is well cast as the zealous, obsessive Kassia in THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN. But for my money she overplays certain moments. Witness her stagey collapse after the murder of Seron in episode 2.
This though is nothing compared to Anthony Ainley's Master in CASTROVALVA. Either he or the director seemed to think that his commendable underplaying in the previous tales was a bad idea, and he often relishes his part just a little too much. Take a look at the moment in episode four when he cries out: "My web! MY WEB!" All seriousness instantly evaporates. OK granted, it's a dreadful line to which an Oscar winner might have difficulty supplying credibility. Certainly his earlier, well-judged performance as Tremas suggests that he was capable of better.
Matthew Waterhouse's Adric too is a liability. In the huge shadow of Tom Baker's stellar performances, we don't notice him so much and he's less irritating. But he has this odd bouncy walk that suggests he's not comfortable in front of a camera. Called on to have a big emotional moment he makes an absolute pig's ear of it. In CASTROVALVA, he and Ainley in the Master's TARDIS have a competition to see who can be the most appallingly OTT. It's hard to say who wins.
Despite all this, I confess I love these stories. TRAKEN's pace, fairy-tale and mythological resonances, its detailed, opulent set designs, Shakespearean characters (not to mention dialogue) and sting-in-the-tail ending make it the best of the set. Spellbinding.
LOGOPOLIS might look cheap, but there's no denying the grandeur of the ideas and the emotional power of the 4th Doctor's swansong. Ainley's Satanic Master is genuinely creepy here and he would only be this good again 8 years later in his final story, SURVIVAL. Tom Baker's moody, brooding performance is a haunting thing of beauty. Paddy Kingsland, my favourite of all the 1980's DR WHO composers provides a rich, funereal and melancholic score.
Peter Davison gives a likeable, well-acted debut in CASTROVALVA, though his Doctor is so fragile and unstable for much of the time, it's anyone's guess at this stage how he's going to turn out. Luckily, this allows Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding's companions to shine. Tegan is rarely more sympathetic than here, and one can see the unused potential of the practical Nyssa. The large multi-levelled sets of the citadel are effective, and there is much to admire in the production and script.
As usual, the extras on the discs are excellent and a massive selling point. Photo galleries, commentaries, contemporary trailers, interviews and news items are all present. Most fans will want to see BEING DOCTOR WHO in which a mostly enthusiastic Peter Davison discusses his approach to the role. But best of all are the moments in the documentary A NEW BODY AT LAST where Tom Baker is surprisingly candid about how difficult he had become to work with and how this led to his leaving the show. A lot of the studio footage from the time would seem to bear this out. Far from ruining one's image of the man, one has to admire his honesty and self-awareness! 26 years later, the man is still a hero.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change, change, change...,
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD]  (DVD)For this review, the best way to get around this boxset is to review each serial separately:
-'The Keeper of Traken' brings the events in this 'mini saga' to a start. Even though 'Keeper is the weakest story of the three, it still has much to offer. Geoffrey Beaver's brilliant portrayal of the villain is truely spectacular. And, of course, there's also Anthony Ainley's great double part (for those who know.) 'Keeper also shows a solid performance from Baker (not Waterhouse!) and introduces the lovely Nyssa.
-'Logopolis' brings the Baker era to the climax it deserves. Logopolis is, indeed, the best in this set. It's got interesting (and real) scientific concepts, truely funny moments, truely serious/shocking moments and, of course, The Master. Plus, of course, a lovely planet of Mathematicians (guess what that's called!)
-'Castrovalva' opens up the Davison era of the show. This was actuarly the forth recorded serial in Davison's first season. You can clearly see that Davison is confident in playing his role and plays his 'confused' Doctor with great skill. Never before has The Doctor went through his regenerations in one swift move. Plus- you also find out that the TARDIS has a whole room dedicated to cricket!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From One Era To Another,
The use of the Master was an old technique used by previous production teams in surrounding the new Doctor with familiar things to allow him to find his feet.
The Keeper of Traken is usually the forgotten story in this trilogy being overshadowed by the huge events of the next two but is in many ways the best of the three, I'm not going to go into plot details but will attempt to review to discs themselves. 'Keeper' has one wonderful thing going for it, an absolutely first rate audio commentary, by actors Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, the late Anthony Ainley and writer Johnny Byrne.
This is such a refreshing change to hear Matthew voice his opinions without being constantly insulted and treated in a dismissive way by his fellow contributers as has happened on previous releases. Anthony Ainley gives his only contribution to a DVD in this commentary, recorded shortly before his death and has many points of interest to say.
There is also a 'making of' style documentary and Sarah Sutton's apperance on Swop Shop and a nice featurette on the return of the Master plus the usual PDF documents that appear on all three discs. It isn't often that I think that the audio commentary is so good as to be the best feature on the disc but it is here.
Logopolis is of course Tom Baker's final story and Doctor Who has never been as dark but again no plot reviews just the disc. The main feature, the episodes aside is the documentary 'A New Body At Last' which is not only a making of but also an overview of the events surronding the departure of Baker and the arrival of Davison, this was critical to get Tom Baker to participate and he does, now it is very rare for Baker to open up and actually talk about Doctor Who with it being tongue in cheek but here he does, he tells it like it is and there is genuine anger at effectively being removed from the part, some of his revelations are shocking and I watched in a sombre silence. A riveting documentary. The audio commentary is a little generic with only Tom Baker really having anthing interesting to say.
There are news items and appearances on Pebble Mill At One for Davison and quite extensive repairs to the episodes themselves in both picture and sound. Another great disc.
Castrovalva is Peter Davison's first story and is very nostalgic through the sense that this was a new beginning and direction for the show after the seven years of Baker's reign.
The extras are not quite as extensive as on the other two discs, with most of the important aspects being discussed on the Logopolis DVD these are more relaxed and easy going and are just there to fill space.
The main feature is a mini documentary by the director Fiona Cumming and is basically a behind the scenes type feature. The Crowded TARDIS is a look at the crew of the ship and is the most redundant feature in the set, it serves no function at all and just repeats facts mentioned in other features and commentaries. This commentary here is basically the same as Logopolis but with Davison replacing Baker and is nothing to shout about.
The most interesting feature is two deleted scenes, Peter Davison being interviewed on Blue Peter and Swop Shop and a music video put together featuring the title sequence. The whole disc is rounded off by a lovely little easter egg that features some really rare footage and is a delight.
So there we are three hugely important stories that took Doctor Who from one era to another and brought it firmly into the 1980's. Well worth a look.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Changing of the Guard, Part 4,
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Definitely one of the BBC's better Dr Who boxed sets.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AWESOME END AND BEGINNING...,
Tom Baker was brilliant as the Doctor especially in his last year in my opinion. He seemed to be become a little more vulnerable too, and that is a good thing. For a while it seemed that nothing really bad could happen to this incarnation of the doctor, but no, it is rectified here!
Tom always seems to me to be a real pleasant chap too. He never says anything really scathing about any of the stories on his bits in the behind the scenes stuff and interviews.
And so to the stories then. The set starts with The Keeper of Traken. A great start to the Master trilogy. Geoffery Beevers is great as the Master, he has a real evil sound to his voice, which is creepy and disturbing. And he looks pretty manky too. Good make up with real eyes this time, cool!! And Sarah Sutton is great as Nyssa. Shes hot and isnt her dress wonderful? And all the other characters are memorable and brilliant in a studio bound tale that doesnt feel like it at all though.
Logopolis is entertainment in its best form. Which is a real credit to the actors involved. As the Master barely even appears til the third episode. Real cool acting and rappor between Matthew Waterhouse and Tom Baker, and the universal threat is well realised and performed. And Tom gives a great performance especially in the final episode. A great Doctor reaches his peak on his last story, yeah! Ah, and lovely Janet Fielding joins the crew. Shes so hot tempered and fiesty, like a modern day Leela, and its good to have a character with real bite.
Castrovalva introduces us to the great Peter Davison as the new fifth Doctor, and boy is he great from the word go or what? He really seems like he was enjoying every minute of it! Ant Ainley is good as the master and the portreeve, although it is too obvious that it is him acting as the portreeve. Not as good makeup and voice acting as on Time flight where i didnt know it was Ant at all. But even that can be forgiven for this space trap of a story is great entertainment. And Nyssa falling in the river is a class scene, just look at her expression!
So i think ive given this trilogy the amount of justice it deserves!!!!!!!!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three good tales, each with the Master!!!!,
THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN:
From one Master to, yes, another.
TARDIS within TARDIS, the Doctor falling off a giant telescope and the Master! All concluding with the Doctor regenarating.
Peter Davison's exciting debut as the Doctor and one hell of a briiliant Doctor Who story.
Buy the New Beginnings boxset and prepare to be transformed in the way you think about DOCTOR WHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value package. <<Review includes spoilers>>,
The Master is not as physically hideous as he was in The Deadly Assassin (where his goggle-eyed, decayed face almost made me throw up!). Geoffrey Beevers says he insisted on using a less restrictive mask so he could act with his eyes.
Logopolis is a partially symbolic tale. It's clear that the city is modelled on a microprocessor, with references to machine code, arithmetic/logic units, and so on. The story involves some dubious scenes - such as measuring the police box exterior dimensions, but I note that it was such things that I found most fascinating as a child.
There are classic scenes, such as the Doctor's Tardis materialising within the Master's, which has already materialised around a Police Box - Leading to an infinite regression of Tardises within Tardises, getting gloomier and gloomier as the levels are descended.
Castrovalva, Peter Davison's debut, is a very interesting story that loses out because of budget limitations. You can picture how Castrovalva itself was supposed to look, with its Escher references, but some of the realisation is poor, as acknowledged in some of the extra features. Still, the Tardis interior scenes are well done. I found the opening up of the Doctor's ship fascinating.
Adric, Tegan, and Nyssa are less annoying that my memories of them. I now see them (particularly Adric and Nyssa) as youngsters, of whom my tolerance is greater than my previous view of them as young adults.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia Overload,
The biggest thing that impressed me (I impress easily maybe) was that one of the extra features on each disc, is the continuity announcements and the BBC trailers for EACH episode. This means you see the old BBC revolving globe, hear terribly posh announcers announcing the programme and also see "tonight on BBC1" trailers where the other Saturday night highlights were Tom & Jerry and The Kelly Monteith show (who?). Its all so scarey as it comes back to you when you watch it. Almost like being there again, in my Nan's living room.
The continuity announcements are shown as a seperate thing, to the actual episodes, so they show the lead in and lead out with a few seconds of the titles but you really get the feel of it. Its great.
On Logopolis on one of the end title announcements, you hear the announcer say, "for fans of Dr Who there will be a run of old doctor who stories on BBC2 called THE FIVE FACES OF DOCTOR WHO" I got a shiver hearing that again, as that was almost certainly the point where, as a little kid I really signed up for watching the old episodes and getting interested in the series as a whole. I remember trying to get out of a fireworks display in 1981 to go home and watch one of the William Hartnell episodes from that very . Theres also a showing of the regular "Tom Baker is appearing at Madame Tusauds" clip that got shown at the end of some episodes. All well remembered by me.
We see the Swap Shop interviews done with Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Peter Davison, he's also shown on Blue Peter and Pebble Mill. Each clip appears to be the full interview, as well as a Nationwide interview with a very coy Tom Baker. In these clips the respective actors talk about the forthcoming events of Baker leaving, Davison taking over etc. All good stuff. I have a glimmer of memories for these, but I am sure I was watching these programmes in eager anticipation of the new series 26 years ago.
The main documentary on the Logopolis DVD is a real treat. Tom Baker is interviewed at length about his time on the show and admits he was a pain to work with, and his colleagues bear this out as they are interviewed back to back. The guy is a genius and has some brilliant one liners in his interview. Peter Davison says "Tom came up to say something to me in a bar after the regeneration scene was shot, I think he was wishing me luck but I couldn't hear him." Cuts to Tom Baker: "I think I was telling him to get the next round in." :)
Other highlights of said documentary, loads of rough cut footage of the regeneration scene, where we see Tom Baker bickering at the directors to hurry up and generally being miserable (fair enough though, he was leaving after all) and we see the layering of the regeneration as it happened (the watcher is shown walking into Tom Bakers body but the watcher is being filmed walking simultaneously with Tom Baker whilst being "overlayed" on his image (it is bizarre because I assumed the watcher was filmed later).
Speaking of the regeneration, due to the various interview clips such as Swap Shop, you get to see this scene replayed numerous times, and even after seeing the making of it, it doesn't lose its poignancy, because despite Bakers cantankerous nature between takes, he delivers the goods in what is essentially his death scene, and you can't argue with results.
As many people will admit, a lot of the special effects are embarrasing but easily ignored against the quality of the acting, with of course the exception of good old Adric, whose acting does get a bit better as things roll on, but its obvious now why he drew the short straw to leave. When it was originally shown though I had no problem with Adric, apart from the fact that I wanted to be him, travelling in that TARDIS. The bad acting I mistook at the time for Adrics naive manner, but, like the bad special effects, its hard to suspend disbelief as well as when you were 7.
I can't yet pass comment on the commentaries but I look forward to hearing them, particularly The Master himself commentating on The Keeper Of Traken, shortly before he sadly passed away in 2004.
All in all, you cannot go wrong with this if you fit the bill I described at the start of this review. Theres even the legendary 1981 Doctor Who annual in PDF format on DVD rom included amongst many other features I haven't even mentioned here. For the money, the word bargain, just doesn't cover it. This is a steal for what you get. Buy it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trakenites; Logopolitans and Castrovalvans...a new beginning for Doctor Who,
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Back in March 2007, I was keen to watch the closing stories of Tom Baker's tenure and the beginning of a new one with Peter Davison. I had already seen 'The Beginning' box set with William Hartnell in November 2006, and with this box set given the title `New Beginnings' it sent a tingle down my spine.
After now seeing all three stories I must say they've been the most enjoyable viewing experiences of my life. `The Keeper of Traken'; `Logopolis' and `Castrovalva' are three excellent stories and with the additional of the DVD special features to tell the `behind-the-scenes' it was worth watching all three in one go.
The box set is also the first three stories for Doctor Who companion Nyssa (played by Sarah Sutton who I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of times at conventions and had all three stories signed by her). I had no idea at the time that I found myself falling for Nyssa in Doctor Who in years to come, and this box set is truly the beginnings of a wonderful companion and a lovely lady.
THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN
I'm very fond of this story, as is Sarah Sutton. When I first saw `The Keeper of Traken', I was absolutely captivated into the story. It reminded me of a fairy tale in a strange Shakespearean setting. When I spoke to Sarah and certainly on the DVD documentary and commentary; she loved the sets and the costumes since they're filled with so much detail and authenticity and I admit I liked them too. I think the sets and costumes bring a sense of believability and helped me to appreciate the world of Traken. I would have liked to have seen more of the Traken world and its society had there been more time in the story.
The concept of Traken and its people is very impressive, as the Keeper and his control of the Source depicted how this alien society worked and the various beliefs and superstitions the people have. There's a sense of a marriage between the scientific and the spiritual with the Traken people which seems to fascinate me. Johnny Byrne's plot is also very captivating and as this is his first story, he manages to keep the action going and put his messages across in the story.
The story depicts the Fourth Doctor and Adric well working together in this story. Tom Baker certainly seems to be at his best and enjoying himself in the story. As this is the penultimate adventure to this tenure, it must have been hard for him with the knowledge he was going to leave soon. This story seems to be somehow put him at his heroic best when saving the planet Traken and defeating the Melkur.
Adric is well served in this story too. I'd only seen Adric once before this in 'Earthshock' (ironically his last story) and was really upset when he died so tragically in this story. Seeing him again in this story was quite a comfort and I was able to see him use his mathematical and technical skills and knowledge to good effect; whether it's picking a lock to a `grove door'; doing a fuller analysis of some energy emissions or disrupting the source in defeating the Melkur. Matthew Waterhouse certainly welcomed this script with gladness as it certainly adds a different side to Adric we don't often see before in terms of his resourcefulness when handling a situation. His relationship with the Doctor certainly develops her by this point as they get to both share scenes together when they're in the TARDIS at the beginning of the story.
The highlight for this story of course for me is the introduction of lovely Nyssa of Traken, the new companion for the Doctor. Sarah Sutton had auditioned to be in Doctor Who for only one story. But after impressing director John Black and producer John Nathan-Turner, Sarah was invited to come back to Doctor Who afterwards as a regular. And how right they were to keep her on since she certainly shines as Nyssa in this story as well as future stories. In `The Keeper of Traken', Nyssa is the daughter of a Traken consul and meets the Doctor and Adric when they come to rescue her planet from devastation. Even in this story, Nyssa manages to get to do her stuff in using her scientific knowledge and technical progress to good use. I love the scenes when she helps Adric get into the grove by persuading Foster Neman with money; or saving her father, Adric and the Doctor from prison with the `ion bonder'. Truly a remarkable character fitting to the next Doctor Who companion. Also her relationship with her father Tremas is so sweet. It was so devastating at the end of the story when Nyssa called for her father after he'd been taken over by the Master.
Tremas, Nyssa's father, is played superbly by Anthony Ainley (who would later play the Master for the rest of the series). Tremas is certainly a compassionate man and a willing ally to the Doctor when helping to save Traken from devastation or finding the TARDIS.
The Melkur statue in this story is quite impressive and really scary when he stands about in the gardens talking to Kassia and sitting in the Keeper's chair when he takes over Traken. It took me by surprise when in actual fact the Melkur was in fact a TARDIS and the real villain turned out to the Master in his decrepit form from `The Deadly Assassin'. Both the Master and Melkur are played wonderfully by Geoffrey Beevers (husband to Caroline John aka Liz Shaw), who's distinct and very creepy voice is what got him the part and when he appears in the flesh he's terrifying and as John Black says is 'ghastly'. Brilliant stuff.
The rest of the cast is brilliant too with the likes of Denis Carey as 'the Keeper' (who also played Professor Chronotis in the aborted production 'Shada' the previous year), Shelia Ruskin as 'Kassia', John Woodnutt (who I know from 'Jeeves and Wooster') as 'Seron'; Margot Van der Burgh as 'Katura' and Robin Soans as 'Luvic'.
The special features are as follows.
Firstly there's a Noel Edmonds Swamp Shop interview with Sarah Sutton which I enjoyed featuring clips from `The Keeper of Traken' and Sarah Sutton's star performance in `The Moon Stallion'. There's a short featurette called `The Return of the Master', mostly featuring Geoffrey Beevers talking about his time as the Master in `The Keeper of Traken'. The flagship documentary `Being Nice to Each Other' focusing on the making of the story, with contributions from Sarah Sutton, Johnny Byrne (writer), Christopher H Bidmead and Shelia Ruskin. There's also a series of trailers and continuity announcements during the transmission of this story on its initial run as well as a repeat. There's an isolated music track for this story; a photo gallery and an impressive info text option to watch for the entire story.
There's also a brilliant audio commentary featuring Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse, Johnny Byrne and the late Anthony Ainley. This DVD is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Ainley, following his death in 2004. I love the opening of Part Two when Matthew `marvellously' introduced Sarah when she joined proper on the commentary and Anthony Ainley being reunited with her after so many years as her father. It was lovely to hear the depth of Johnny Byrne's inspiration for the story and Sarah and Matthew commenting how much they would have liked to have discussed these concepts during the making of this story to make it work better.
So overall then, `The Keeper Of Traken' is a brilliant beginning to a trilogy of stories and is one of my favourite stories in Doctor Who, featuring the beginning of my favourite companion, Nyssa.
Another enjoyable DVD experience, and is the second story of the 'New Beginnings' trilogy. The first to feature Tegan Jovanka, the second story for Nyssa joining proper as a companion in the TARDIS and most importantly the last to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor regenerating into Peter Davison.
The special features are as follows.
A very insightful documentary detailing the end of Tom Baker's reign and the beginning of Peter Davison's called 'A New Body At Last'. 2 Nationwide news interviews back in the 80s with Tom Baker and Peter Davison. A 'Pebble Mill On One' interview with Peter Davison with some amusing suggestions on what he should wear as the Doctor. A couple of 'news items' particularly focusing on the announcement of Tom's departure and Peter's appointment as the Doctor. A photo gallery; some trailers and continuity and a very impressie info text option.
There's also a very entertaining and interesting commentary with Tom Baker, Janet Fielding (Tegan) and Christopher H. Bidmead (the writer of the 'Logopolis'). And also there's a music only option to listen to throughout the story.
The third story in the trilogy and the beginning of a new era. The first story of Peter Davison's first season, 'Castrovalva', really does itself justice as it sets up the Fifth Doctor perfectly as he goes through his post-regeneration trauma with his companions to help him out.
I love the friendship and development of Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Tegan's (Janet Fielding) characters in this story as they go through the woods of an alien planet and carry the Doctor in the Zero Cabinet in order to get him to Castrolvava.
The Master as always is pretty evil in this story and Anthony Ainley plays the part so well. Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) gets used by the Master to set up traps for the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan and the revelation of what Castrovalva actually turned out to be took me by surprise.
The special features are as follows
An entertaining interview with Peter Davison on Noel Edmond's Swap Show; an equally entertaining interview with Peter on Blue Peter; and a recent conversation for this DVD with Peter talking about the role of the Doctor from 'Castrovalva' to 'The Caves of Androzani'. There's an interview with director Fiona Cumming about the making of 'Castrovalva'. And there's an insight look onto the pros and cons of the crowded TARDIS in a short featurette called 'The Crowded TARDIS' featuring comments from Tom Baker; Peter Davison; Sarah Sutton; Christopher H. Bidmead and director John Black (who directed 'The Keeper of Traken').
The rest of the features include a few deleted scenes; a 1980s theme music video; trailers and continuities for 'Castrovalva' and as ever a highly informative 'info text' option to play during the story.
There's an enjoyable audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Christopher H. Bidmead (writer) and Fiona Cumming (director). There's also a music-only option to play during the story. See if you can try to find an 'Easter Egg' on this DVD. It's on the main menu.
Overall, this trilogy has been the most enjoyable and thrilling collection of stories to tell the beginning of a new era and is well worth the watch.
The next DVD to watch with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric is 'Four to Doomsday'.
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Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castr
ovalva) by Tom Baker (DVD - 2007)