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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello Vicki Welcome To Rome.
Season 2.
Now then what have we here, well in my opinion we have two neglected little gems, that's what. Two stories from the always ignored (In fan polls.) Hartnell era.
These two stories are from Season two, a season which had the highest "overall" viewing figures in the shows history.
~~~~
The Rescue.(Two Episodes.)
A succinct and competently...
Published on 26 Jan 2009 by Armchair Pundit

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Titter
The Rescue

This may have been another cost-cutting measure, 'How much can you do on not very much?' Bit of set for planets surface, bit of spaceship, and the villain was that nice Mr Bennet all along.

It's a funny sort of story; how credible is it that Vicki, who knows Bennet very well, is going to be convinced by his turning up in his Koquillion...
Published 11 months ago by Alex Lyon


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello Vicki Welcome To Rome., 26 Jan 2009
By 
Armchair Pundit "Armchair Pundit." (Durham City, England.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Season 2.
Now then what have we here, well in my opinion we have two neglected little gems, that's what. Two stories from the always ignored (In fan polls.) Hartnell era.
These two stories are from Season two, a season which had the highest "overall" viewing figures in the shows history.
~~~~
The Rescue.(Two Episodes.)
A succinct and competently written two parter, who's sole purpose is to introduce the Granddaughter replacement Vicki.
And by doing so quickly rebalances the demographics of the group after the departure of Susan.
It's main plotline hinges on a murder mystery with Sci-fi overtones, which the Doctor solves, with the help of some prior knowledge of the indigenous civilisation he'd gained from a previous visit.
Originally planned as the first story of the second season it was put back into third place because of extra work required on, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth".
Ep.1~ The Powerful Enemy.(2/1/65)
Ep.2~ Desperate Measures.(9/1/65)
Overall opinion:~a pleasing little diversion from some of Season two's more facetious offerings.
~~~~
The Romans.(Four Episodes.)
Forgetting about the historical inaccuracies in some of the main characters. This story was unique for many years afterwards, as been deliberately done in a farcical fashion.(Input by the great Dennis Spooner.)
The Tardis crew via many convoluted reasons end up in Rome, but neither party (Vicky and the Doctor)(Barbara and Ian.) is aware of the others presence. The Doctor is mistaken for lyre player Maximus Pettulian, and finds himself embroiled in intrigue and murder in Nero's court.
Many of the situations are terribly contrived, but some are amusing.
- The Doctor using the, "Emperors New Clothes" syndrome to fool the snobs in Nero's court, whilst pretending to play the Lyre.
(He can't play a note.)
- The Doctor gives Nero an Idea to rebuild Rome.(Involving fire.)
On a religious note one of the characters turns out to be one of Rome's early Christians.
Anyone who's seen, "Spartacus", "Ben Hur" and "Carry on Cleo" will see at least one scene inspired from those classic films.
Ep.1~ The Slave Traders.(16/1/65)
Ep.2~ All Roads Lead to Rome.(23/1/65)
Ep.3~ Conspiracy.(30/1/65)
Ep.4~ Inferno.(6/2/65)
Overall opinion:~It was nice to actually see The Doctor meeting a historical figure for once, instead of just name dropping, like he does a lot during the Pertwee years.
This story shows Nero not fiddling while Rome burns, instead he "Lyred", much more believable.
(The fiddle hadn't been invented.)
The Romans is still even now an amusing treat, don't let the fact it's in Black and White put you off.
~~~~
Trivia~ According to research Nero died in his thirties. A lot younger then the middle aged Derek Francis, who plays him here.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting adventures from the 1960s re-issued with care, 19 Mar 2009
By 
D. M. Farmbrough "Dave Farmbrough" (Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
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Two good stories from the time of the earliest Doctor, William Hartnell. They come from an age of black and white television and when issued on VHS a few years ago they suffered from having been converted from video to film and back again. Now, new processes and a lot of hard work has meant that these stories can be enjoyed in crystal clear picture and sound quality, perhaps even better than when they were first shown.

The Rescue is two twenty-five minute episodes, which makes it the length of one of today's modern Doctor Whos. The story was designed to introduce the companion Vicki, played by distinguished actress and writer Maureen O'Brien, at the start of her career. Even though it's short, the story is exciting and has a strong cast, being focussed on the four regulars and Bennett, played by film star Ray Barrett.

The Romans is a really great story, its four episodes giving an epic adventure on a grand scale. There is a lot of humour in these episodes, but because the actors play it straight, you never get the feeling they are sending it up. The set design for ancient Rome is beautiful, the costumes are perfect, and the acting and direction is superb. It really is very impressive what the BBC could achieve on such a small budget.

The DVD extras are pretty good with a profile of Romans script writer Dennis Spooner, who wrote for every classic television series in the 1960s, a documentary about Romans and Nero, and a bit from Blue Peter about Romans. There is also a rather weak documentary about Doctor Who girls, but that doesn't detract from the rest. The commentaries are well-judged, bearing in mind that some of the participants are in their eighties, Doctor Who fan journalists have been brought in to moderate and prompt memories, and this works very well.

These would be a wonderful purchase for anyone wanting to see what Doctor Who was like in the 1960s, and allow you to enjoy the magic of thr first Doctor.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful bit of Sixties television., 21 Jan 2009
*The Rescue*

Quite a nice little tale. The sets and direction are outstanding - there are some snappy angles and many clever inlay shots - and the performances are fine. The Rescue is essentially a vehicle for Vicki's introduction though it manages to entertain in other ways, as the whole cast are on top notch form and the Didoan civilisation is intriguing. Maureen O'Brien is a breath of fresh air, her acting abilities light years ahead of Carole Ann Ford's irritating performance as Susan.

*The Romans*
Very amusing. Hartnell is well suited to light comedy and this is full of it. The script sparkles with wit and black humour, and counterpoints this with some quite heavy scenes particularly Ian's dramatic interlude aboard the slave ship. The whole cast are marvellous. One of the very best Hartnells.

Recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Doctor Who at its best, 23 Mar 2009
By 
Bryan (uk) - See all my reviews
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As someone who remembers The Rescue and The Romans first time round, this box set offers pure nostalgia. Koquillion was a fearful creature when I was young but having seen subsequent foes, in particular with the new series, Koquillion seems to be very tame. But that aside, it was great to re-live the memory of Barbara first meeting Vicki and then killing her pet sand beast! Under the guidance of a kindly old man, Vicki forgives Barbara and it is rather touching in the way it is handled. William Hartnell portrays a memorable meeting with Koquillion and it is understandable why he is considered the best Doctor by those who grew up with him. With the departure of his granddaughter in the previous story, the Doctor warms to Vicki and this is beautifully shown. In complete contrast, The Romans is slap-stick comedy but with a historic theme. Barbara's flight around the corridors as she tries to escape the clutches of Emperor Nero is amusing but detracts from the real events of the time. However, it is all made up when the Doctor accidentally sets light to Nero's papers, giving the Emperor the idea to burn Rome to the ground and when this is posed to the Doctor by Vicki he feigns ignorance and this is why these early episodes can only be called CLASSIC DOCTOR WHO. A true delight - if only the missing episodes could be unearthed from an attic or crumbling church...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the oldies !, 22 July 2014
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I really love these old episodes. Living in the USA ,I thought Tom Baker was the first doctor. It was years later I learned different. I have enjoyed both of these stories.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Billy Please, 20 Jan 2009
By 
I. D. Scott "scotties" (London) - See all my reviews
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I won't go into detail with regard to story-lines as that has already been done.I have these two stories on VHS and while not the best Hartnell adventure's they are still entertaining and well worth a watch.My favorite being The Rescue which introduces new companion Vicky to replace the Doctor's granddaughter Susan.The second story is a Rome-com and is very tongue in cheek.

A lot of early Dr Who is overlooked probably because most people never saw them on transmission and also because they are in B/W. In my opinion they can be among some of the best stories.You just have to take into account of the time they were made and the technology available at the time. For example editing was done by physically cutting the video tape and as the tapes were so expensive and re-used they tried to do as much in one take as possible.This is also why when actors fluffed ( which Billy Hartnell often did )their lines they were left in - none of your 25 takes to get in right here

The quality of the picture and audio on the VHS release was quite poor and for the DVD release it has undergone full restoration,something I am looking forward to seeing.

It seems we are being spoilt for classic Dr Who DVD releases this year.The highlight for me being the release of Planet Of The Daleks with the re-colourisation of episode 3 using a new technique of getting colour information from the chroma-dots present on the B/W tele-recording.
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4.0 out of 5 stars vicki, 27 Jun 2014
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Hello Vicki the rescue introduces us to Vicki,good episode not long enough,funny monsters.the Romans not really sci,do but still good,a must for dedicated fans
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who, 17 April 2014
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Received the package was a bit late in coming but for a second hand box set it was OK. The DVDs themselves were perfect quality
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to a new companion., 16 Mar 2014
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As The Rescue is only 2 episodes long, it may be thought that you don't get your money's worth with this DVD, but the bonus features make this worth buying. The effects may be a little primitive by today's standards,but generally an enjoyable experience watching this DVD.
The Romans marked a change of direction for Dr.Who at the time. This story seems to have been written more for comedy, than science fiction. Seeing William Hartnell is a more comical role, made me realise just how versatile he was as a actor.The difference between his performance as the doctor in this story, compared to the first few stories is unbelievable.Again the bonus features included on this disc, make for interesting viewing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Double programs, 22 Aug 2013
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I enjoyed both 'The Rescue' and 'The Romans'. The Romans I enjoyed most. William Hartnell's Doctor was way before my time, but I do like his 'old' version.
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Doctor Who: Rescue & Romans - Episodes 11 & 12 [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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