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28 of 29 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

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars
This is not the greatest Tom Baker Doctor set to own. Firstly, and the main reason is that the 3rd in this loose trilogy, stars Peter Davidson, and its pretty weak.

The two Tom Baker series are better, but not classics. Sure both have their moments. The Tardis within in a Tardis sequence in Logopolis is the best scene in the whole boxed set by some margin, but...
Published on 15 Jan 2011 by S J Buck


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bubble memory never fades, 25 Mar 2007
By 
Don Kepunja "ownstunts" (Retford, Northern England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (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)...
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Entropy increases.", 4 Feb 2007
By 
Hector Lerbioz (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change, change, change..., 20 Aug 2007
By 
Calculus (4th Dimension) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (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!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From One Era To Another, 22 Mar 2007
By 
Amazon Customer "A Likely Lad" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
These three stories form what the fans term 'The Master Trilogy' and is noticable for the goodbye of Tom Baker and hello from Peter Davison.

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trakenites; Logopolitans and Castrovalvans...a new beginning for Doctor Who, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
I was really excited when I first heard about this DVD box set! Back in March 2007, I was keen to watch the closing stories of Tom Baker's tenure and the beginning of a new era 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 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 addition of the DVD special features to tell the `behind-the-scenes' story, it was worth watching all three in one go.

The box set also features the first three stories of 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 DVD covers of the stories signed by her). I had no idea at the time that I would be 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 Sarah is. 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. Johnny Byrne wrote this story and it contains a very captivating and engaging plot. Being his first story, Johnny manages to keep the action going and put his messages across very well.

When I spoke to Sarah about it and certainly from hearing her on the DVD documentary and commentary; she said it was her favourite story. She loved the sets and costumes of that story since they're filled with so much detail and authenticity. The costume she wore in 'The Keeper of Traken' is her favourite! I like the sets and costumes too, since they 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. A world where people live for 3,000 years of harmony held together by...'people being terribly nice to each other'. The Keeper and his control of the Source depicted how this alien society worked and the various beliefs and superstitions these people have. There's a sense of a marriage between the scientific and the spiritual with the Traken people which got me fascinated.

The story depicts the Fourth Doctor and Adric working well 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 that he was going to leave soon. This story seems to 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 before in 'Earthshock' (ironically his last story). Seeing him again in this story was quite a comfort and I was able to see him in a new light, using his mathematical skills and technical 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, Adric's your lad. Matthew Waterhouse certainly welcomed this script with gladness as it certainly adds a different side to Adric's character that we don't often see in terms of his resourcefulness when handling a situation. His relationship with the Doctor certainly develops here by this point as they get to share scenes together when they're in the TARDIS at the beginning of the story which I liked.

Of course the highlight of this story for me is the introduction of lovely Nyssa of Traken, new companion for the Doctor. Sarah 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 as a regular. How right they were to keep her on, since she shines as Nyssa throughout. 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 do her stuff in using her scientific knowledge and technical prowess 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 to be the next Doctor Who companion! Also her relationship with her father Tremas is so sweet.

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 who loves his daughter Nyssa and is a willing ally to the Doctor when helping to save Traken from devastation or finding the TARDIS. It's interesting to see where Tremas' journey goes throughout the story, as when he's with the Doctor they're discussing the politics of Traken, the beliefs they have and the source manipulator. That scene when the Doctor challenges Tremas to give him the master plans for the source manipulator and he's reluctant to do so is very inspired. Tremas turns out to be a really good person and is interesting to watch, and you really believe he's Nyssa's father in this story when they have scenes together and show affection towards one another.

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 the 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 director John Black says is 'ghastly'. Brilliant stuff!

The rest of the cast are brilliant too and I recognised one or two faces. There's Denis Carey as the Keeper (who played Professor Chronotis in the aborted 'Shada'). There's Shelia Ruskin as Kassia, Nyssa's stepmother. There's John Woodnutt as Seron (who I know as Sir Watkyn Basset in 'Jeeves and Wooster'). There's Margot Van der Burgh as Katura (who was `The Aztecs', a William Hartnell story). And there's Robin Soans as Luvic, who has a twist at the end of the story.

At the end of the story, everything seems safe as the Doctor and Adric leave Traken and Nyssa and her father plan to put everything back together again. But suddenly Tremas is kidnapped, killed and taken over by the Master. The Master leaves Traken behind, on his way to do terrible things. I found it so devastating and gut-wrenching at the end when Nyssa called for her father, wondering where he is. It all ends on a cliff-hanger and I was keen to find out what happens next after finishing watching this story.

This DVD is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Ainley following his death in 2004.The special features on `The Keeper of Traken' DVD are as follows.

There's a `Swap Shop' interview by Noel Edmonds with Sarah Sutton that I enjoyed watching, featuring clips from `The Keeper of Traken' and Sarah's star performance in `The Moon Stallion'. There's `The Return of the Master', a short featurette with Geoffrey Beevers talking about his time as the Master. There's the flagship making-of documentary called `Being Nice to Each Other' 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 and for a BBC1 repeat. There's also a photo gallery; an impressive info text option to watch during the story; and two PDF documents to access on a computer which are a `Radio Times Listings' for the story and the `Doctor Who Annual 1982'.

There's a series of audio options on this DVD. There's also a brilliant audio commentary featuring Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse, Johnny Byrne and the late Anthony Ainley. 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. As well as the commentary, there's also an isolated music track for this story. The story's music is composed by Roger Limb, who did a lovely Traken/Nyssa theme to the story that I love hearing.

So overall then, `The Keeper of Traken' is a brilliant beginning to a trilogy of stories and is one of my favourites in Doctor Who. It features the introduction of Nyssa, my favourite companion, Nyssa and is certainly a beautiful story to watch. The sets and costumes are very impressive as is the story making it more appealing. You'll certainly enjoy this! Highly rated!

'LOGOPOLIS'

This is another enjoyable DVD experience and is the second story of the 'New Beginnings' trilogy. It's the first to feature another new companion Tegan Jovanka (played by Janet Fielding), the second story for Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) joining proper as a companion in the TARDIS and most importantly the last to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor and regenerating into Peter Davison.

Tom Baker had been playing the Doctor for seven years by this point and was well loved by the fans and the viewing public in general. He had some many adventures with many companions such as Sarah Jane Smith and Leela and had faced great foes in the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans and the Black Guardian. But the clock has chimed for Tom's time in `Doctor Who' to end and hang up his scarf. He didn't want to go, but due to changes in the production team as well as changes for the show itself in the 1980s, Tom couldn't cope and decided to leave a part he enjoyed playing. Tom is the Doctor and made the part his own, and it's so heartbreaking to see him leave in this story having playing the character so seven years as a landmark achievement.

The last story for Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor was written by Christopher H. Bidmead, the show's script editor in 1980. `Logopolis' is a very complex, complicated and intriguing story about TARDISes within TARDISes and a world dedicated to pure mathematics. I did enjoy `Logopolis', although I had to say I did find it hard-going and not being able to follow easily as I would have liked. I did have to watch the story a number of times in order to get a fully understanding of some of the interesting concepts that were running throughout. Also, and this meaning no disrespect to Chris Bidmead in anyway, this story doesn't really define or conclude the Tom Baker era as a whole. It doesn't suit Tom Baker's Doctor really and isn't really the right story to define his heroism and all he did in the seven years of the show. But it's an interesting if not somewhat dignified and decent ending to a season as well as an era.

In this story, we get to meet for the first time Tegan Jovanka, an air stewardess making her way to Heathrow Airport. Tegan's a very interesting character and this is a great introduction for her in the series. Janet Fielding plays Tegan with such fieriness and independence as she so wants to be on a plane in the fly and be an air stewardess. She stumbles into the TARDIS by accident and gets caught up in an adventure of immense proportions. Tegan's pretty bossy at times, but there's a certain level of compassion in Tegan despite her hot-headedness which Janet plays pretty well.

It was great to see Nyssa back into `Doctor Who' again from her first story in `The Keeper of Traken'. She doesn't appear until the last five minutes of Part Two of `Logopolis', but it was great to see her and Chris Bidmead re-introduces Nyssa very well and Sarah is absolutely lovely to see. Nyssa is on the search for her father when he was kidnapped by the Master from Traken. I found it very heartbreaking when Nyssa discovers thinking it's her father at first but then realises the Master killed him and took over his body. Also when Nyssa sees her planet destroyed by the entropy field created by the Master, she and Adric are in the TARDIS when this happens and it's immensely heart-breaking. Nyssa's face and choking voice when she speaks about how the Master has `blotted her world out forever' is terribly sad and heart-breaking.

Anthony Ainley makes his comeback into `Doctor Who' as the Master. He's stolen Nyssa's dad from Traken and is walking inside his body. Anthony Ainley is my favourite Master in `Doctor Who' since he's so cool and calculating and I love his elegant evil whenever he appears on screen. It's great to watch him playing the Master in `Doctor Who' and I love it when he has confrontational scenes with the Doctor, the Monitor and his companions on Logopolis, and when find it chilling and frightening when he's killing people turning people into dolls with his Tissue Compression Eliminator or just being plain nasty and doing his evil laugh that is so memorable.

The people of Logopolis are an interesting bunch. They are led by the Monitor (played wonderfully by John Frazer, who looks a bit like Noel Edmonds funnily). I imagine life on Logopolis would be pretty dull, since all they do is muttering numbers and sit in corners playing with beads and holding the universe together in existence. `A sweat shop' as Tegan would say. One imagines what Logopolitans would talk about daily in conversation as it would be all maths, maths, maths. `Did you know 68 plus 79 equals 147 and that the square root of 3.498 is...?'

A mysterious character appears in the story watching the Doctor called...the Watcher. He's like a ghostly figure watching in the distance dressed in white, seeing what's going on with events as the Fourth Doctor comes to the end of his life. The Doctor's companions don't know he is and we as the audience don't know either as we're wondering whether he's good or evil or not. But then as it transpires (and this is a spoiler coming up), it turns out the Watcher is in actual fact the Doctor from the future. It's a future Doctor watching to see what the Fourth Doctor does during the events of `Logopolis' and seeing that all works out before he regenerates.

The regeneration scene between Tom Baker's Doctor in Peter Davison was pretty impressive and I enjoyed watching it, finding it very heartbreaking indeed. Tom's lying there on the ground after falling off the radioscopic telescope of the Pharos Project, seemingly dead with his companions around him. I liked it when the Doctor has his life flashing before his eyes with images of monsters such as the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Zygons and the Black Guardian as well as images of his companions like Sarah Jane, Harry, Brigadier, Leela, Romana and K9. As he stirs, he puts on a big grin and declares, `It's the end! But the moment has been prepared for!' And indeed the moment has been prepared for, as the Watcher approaches and envelops the Doctor in a white light. As Nyssa realises the Watcher was the Doctor all the time, the Doctor as Tom Baker on the ground changes, first into the Watcher, then into a white version of Peter Davison, before finally ending up as Peter Davison proper in Tom Baker's clothes. He sits up and looks about him with new energy. The new Doctor has arrived and a new era is about to begin!

The special features on the 'Logopolis' DVD are as follows.

There's a very insightful documentary called `A New Body At Last', detailing the end of Tom Baker's reign and the beginning of Peter Davison's, featuring interviews with Tom Baker; Peter Davison; Sarah Sutton; Matthew Waterhouse; Christopher H. Bidemead; etc. There's also two Nationwide news interviews made back in the 80s with Tom Baker and Peter Davison; as well as 'Pebble Mill at One' interview with Peter Davison and some amusing suggestions on what he should wear as the Doctor. There's a couple of 'news items' focusing on Tom Baker and Lalla Ward's marriage engagement, the announcement of Tom's departure and Peter's appointment as the Doctor. There's some continuity announcements for `Logopolis' made during initial transmission; a photo gallery; and a very impressive info text option to watch during the story; and two PDF documents containing Radio Times listings for the story and the `Doctor Who Annual 1982'.

There's also two audio options, including a very entertaining and interesting commentary with Tom Baker (the Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan) and Christopher H. Bidmead (the writer of the 'Logopolis'). There's a music only option to watch and listen to during the story, with incidental music composed by Paddy Kingsland.

I enjoyed `Logopolis' very much. It's not the best Tom Baker story ever, but it's a decent end to an era that's all about change and the beginning of a new era with three new companions in Nyssa, Tegan and Adric; the featuring of the Master played by Anthony Ainley, and a memorable regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison. You'll find it worth enjoying watching this story to see that regeneration take place!

`CASTROVALVA'

The third story of the `New Beginnings' trilogy and it's the beginning of a new era. This is `Castrovalva', the first story of Peter Davison's era and of his first season as the Doctor. The story really does itself justice in setting up the Fifth Doctor perfectly well in starting his character as he goes through his post-regeneration trauma with his companions to help him out.

The story follows on from `Logopolis' as the Doctor and his companion escape in the TARDIS only to get caught in a trap by the evil Master. The Doctor doesn't know who he is yet and his regeneration is failing. With Adric gone, Nyssa and Tegan have to get the Doctor to a place of safety as the TARDIS takes them to the city of Castrovalva. But the paradise they come across doesn't turn out to be all it seems, and the Doctor has to solve the puzzle in order to get himself and his companions free from the Master's trap.

I really like Peter Davison since he's my favourite Doctor. In his first story, he's recently recovered from a rough regeneration. He's weak and confused with amnesia, which put me in mind of David Tennant's Doctor when he was recovering from regeneration in 'The Christmas Invasion'. I liked those moments when Peter acts like William Hartnell and changes into Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee when he's finding his Doctor. He mentions companions' names such as Jo and Vicki when confused talking to Nyssa and Tegan. Peter gets to travel around in a box most of the story time in this story, but he comes out in the end as an action hero facing the Master in the last episode.

I love the friendship between Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) in this story and how they develop as characters. They get to know each other and form a good bond when going through the woods of an alien planet and carrying the Doctor in the Zero Cabinet in order to get him to Castrovalva.

Sarah as Nyssa is lovely in this story. She's the one who calms Tegan down and is resourceful in sorting out a crisis. Nyssa's still upset from the loss of Traken and hates the Master's face. She uses her scientific knowledge very well when escaping Event One and gets to use the ion bonder and the Doctor's sonic screwdriver in the story. Nyssa changes out of her Traken fairy skirt into fetching trousers, as well as losing her tiara and jacket in the story. Nyssa's such a compassionate and gentle person in this story and I like her so much. Nyssa is named the TARDIS' technician by the Doctor.

Janet as Tegan is equally a joy to watch. Tegan gets to pilot the TARDIS to Castrovalva, although there's a moment of disappointment towards the end when it turns out she didn't fly it. I liked the moment when she suggest `looking up the index file under index file' and thinks she's talking nonsense. She was once told by her father that `if' is the powerful word in the English language, which helps her and Nyssa to find the index file in the TARDIS data bank. Tegan's not so bossy in this story as she's level-headed and resourceful in this story. Tegan is named the TARDIS' coordinator by the Doctor.

Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) has a bad time in this story. He gets used by the Master to set traps for the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan. He gets caught in the Master's haldron web aboard his TARDIS, creating block transfer computation using his mathematical knowledge. He projects himself to give messages to the Doctor's friends. He gets freed from the web and escapes with the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan. Although Adric's pretty green, as was Matthew as he had been drinking too much the night before filming. Poor boy! Adric was named by the Doctor as the TARDIS' navigator when he wasn't around.

The Master as always is pretty evil in this story and Anthony Ainley plays the part so well. I like how he uses Adric for his own evil purposes and how he sets the traps in place for the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan in the TARDIS when they don't even realise it. There are two traps set by the Master in this story - Event One and Castrovalva itself. The Master gets to wear a disguise in this story, which took me by surprise. When the Master was finally revealed in Part Four, I did not expect that! He gets to have his first confrontation meeting with the Fifth Doctor at the end of the story, which is a real treat.

I liked some of the concepts running through this story, written by Christopher H. Bidmead. Chris makes use of the TARDIS and introduces us to the Zero Room, a place where one can relax and be isolated from the outside world. This place is one where the Doctor goes to recover from his regeneration, until it gets jettisoned and a Zero Cabinet has to be made out of what's left. The first two episodes mostly take place in the TARDIS when we get to know the Doctor and his companions to start off the series and they're hurtling and trying to escape from Event One. The themes of recursion are pretty evident in this story, and I managed to get to learn about recursion through my IT degree at Cardiff University.

Visiting the city of Castrovalva was interesting. It seems like a beautiful paradise, until the city folds in on iself. Chris Bidmead, the writer of this story, was inspired by the works of Escher with the complicated city structures of stairs going up, down and up again. The Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan find themselves going around and around in circles when trying to leave Castrovalva. The look of what the city looks like in its recursive occlusion, whilst not totally convincing in terms of special effects, was pretty frightening. The revelation of what Castrovalva actually turned out to be in terms of its history and existence took me by surprise.

The Castrovalvans in this story include Derek Waring as Shardovan (the librarian); Michael Sheard as Mergrave (the physician) and Frank Wylie as Ruther. These are actors cast by director Fiona Cumming to play these characters. There's also the Portreeve, the sort-of mayor of Castrovalva (played by Neil Toynay) who seems a pretty nice elderly man of the town but has a mysterious twist about him.

The special features on the `Castrovalva' DVD are as follows

There are three interviews with Peter Davison. An entertaining interview with Peter on Noel Edmond's `Swap Shop'; an equally entertaining interview with Peter on `Blue Peter'; and a recent conversation with Peter for this DVD talking about `Being the Doctor' from 'Castrovalva' to 'The Caves of Androzani'. There's an interview with director Fiona Cumming about `Directing Castrovalva'. There's short featurette called `The Crowded TARDIS', which is an insightful look into the pros and cons of the Fifth Doctor TARDIS team containing comments from Tom Baker; Peter Davison; Sarah Sutton; Christopher H. Bidmead and director John Black (who directed 'The Keeper of Traken').

There's also a few deleted scenes; trailers and continuities for 'Castrovalva'; a 1980s theme music video and a photo gallery for the story. There are two PDF documents containing the Radio Times Listings for `Castrovalva' and the Doctor Who Annual 1982 that can be accessed on a computer. And as ever; there's a highly informative 'info text' commentary option to watch and play during the story.

There are two audio options including an enjoyable audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Christopher H. Bidmead (writer) and Fiona Cumming (director). And there's also an isolated 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.

`Castrovalva' is a lovely opening story to begin the Peter Davison era of `Doctor Who'. It sets up the adventures for the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric as they embark on more adventures in time and space. It was looking forward to watching more adventures with these characters after watching this story, and find out more about what happens to them as they travel in the TARDIS. A good season opener to begin a new era for `Doctor Who' with a new Doctor!

This trilogy has overall been tremendous. It's the most enjoyable and thrilling collection of stories to tell the beginning of a new era from Tom Baker's Doctor into Peter Davison's. It is well worth the watch, and I loved watching the change over from Doctor to the next, seeing how they did in the 80s compared to nowadays. It's also great to watch Nyssa, Tegan and Adric who were fast becoming my favourite characters in `Doctor Who', especially Nyssa. A great trilogy that I'm certain you won't regret watching as it's worth the entertainment and exciting for `Doctor Who' fans.

The next story for the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric is 'Psychodrone'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, 15 Jan 2011
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
This is not the greatest Tom Baker Doctor set to own. Firstly, and the main reason is that the 3rd in this loose trilogy, stars Peter Davidson, and its pretty weak.

The two Tom Baker series are better, but not classics. Sure both have their moments. The Tardis within in a Tardis sequence in Logopolis is the best scene in the whole boxed set by some margin, but thats it really. Tom Baker does a fine job as always, but overall the script and stories are rather poor. Another factor is Anthony Ainsley, who is not in the same league as Roger Delgado's Master.

On the plus side there is another Tom Baker commentary on the Logopolis story. Thats worth having as these are pretty rare. And at the moment it is good value for money at under a tenner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Changing of the Guard, Part 4, 14 Oct 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
The BBC is nothing if not inconsistent with their Dr Who releases: after the ripoff of the 48-minute Sontaran Experiment being released as a full-priced single-disc with few extras, they made partial amends with this rather good boxed set seeing the last two Tom Baker stories, The Keeper of Traken (which reintroduced the Master for the first time since Roger Delgado's death) and Logopolis (which unfortunately introduced the most irritating assistant in the show's history, the incredibly surly Tegan) and the first with Peter Davison, Castrovalva. If Baker's later episodes had felt tired and stretched and Davison's never realy lived up to its initial promise, these stories at least are among the best from this era, with a fair amount of originality and ingenuity. But perhaps the most outstanding aspect of the set are the extras, the best of them a 50-minute documentary on the changing of the guard from Baker to Davison, A New Body at Last, which is surprisingly frank about Baker's increasingly atrocious behaviour on the set, which it even demonstrates with clips from the recording room floor and mea culpa comments from Baker (a combination of fear over being so typecast he'd never work again and the BBC `pub culture' of the day, apparently).

Definitely one of the BBC's better Dr Who boxed sets.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AWESOME END AND BEGINNING..., 4 Sep 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Tom Baker was always brilliant as the Doctor. People say quite a lot that he really didnt shine in his last year as the Doctor, what absolute trash!!!! Tom was excellent in his last year, his performance was far more serious and engaging, he was far more believable than in some of his earlier adventures. And for pitys sake, give the guy a break, he was ill during his last year too.
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!!!!!!!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three good tales, each with the Master!!!!, 18 July 2007
By 
Mrs. L. Studd - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
New Beginnings is the best DVD deal you may ever find.
It contains:

THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN:
From one Master to, yes, another.

LOGOPOLIS:
TARDIS within TARDIS, the Doctor falling off a giant telescope and the Master! All concluding with the Doctor regenarating.

CASTROVALVA:
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value package. <<Review includes spoilers>>, 7 Mar 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who - New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken/Logopolis/Castrovalva) [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
The Keeper of Traken has an excellent story. The history of the arrival of Melkur is well-told, and put a shiver down my spine.

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.
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