20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last of the gothic greats?
There are many candidates for the last truly great DOCTOR WHO story in its original run. Some might say the show never had any greatness at all, others might believe that they every single episode is a masterpiece, but for me, IMAGE OF THE FENDAHL might be one of the last of the true greats, the last hiccup of gothic horror carried over from the previous year that had...
Published on 19 April 2009 by Emanon
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ancient Skull, A Secret Cult, Mad Scientists, A Creepy Mansion & Slimy Monsters!!!!
Yet another Gothic style Baker story - this perhaps does not reach the same heights as Horror Of Fang Rock, Talons Of Weng Chiang and certainly not Pyramids Of Mars but is still easily the best of the current releases.
There's good atmosphere, effective sets and in terms of available resources some reasonable FX. Tom Baker is walking on water here with great use of...
Published on 2 May 2009 by Adam Jackson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars recommended,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)this was always one of my favourites. and seeing it again confirms to me just how good it is. Monster in it a bit dodgey ,but thats the fun of it
For me the fact that Daphne Heard gives a fab.performance as granny makes it a must have if you like the old Dr. Who.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor is in,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)This story is just another example of how well a Doctor Who story should and could be made. I can enjoy watching these older stories repeatedly. More so than many of the newer ones. If you like classic Doctor Who, you can't go wrong with buying this dvd.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary Doctor Who Story....Where's the Sofa?,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)Well this is the story that scared the hell out of me when I first saw in 1977 aged ten.
Looking at it again, via the VHS it still has the capacity to unnerve, the scene in part one with the death of the hiker in the woods in very Hammer Horror and is superbly done. The camera work, music, cross fades and just sheer terrified acting make this the most frightening scene in the classic show's history.
The story is not without it's faults however and is possibly one episode too long, episode three features a lengthy scene in the TARDIS where the Doctor and Leela try to locate the Fendahl's home planet only to find that it's been timelooped by the Time Lords and so return to the main action. A waste of fifteen minutes.
The regulars are on their usual fine form as are the guest actors in particular the late Daphne Heard as the old woman, Mrs Tyler, she is quite simply terrific and has an immediate rapport with Tom Baker and would have made a truly great companion.
The story is influenced by Quatermass and the Pit to a degree, such as an extraterrestrial manipulation of the human race's development to suit it's own end. But this is no bad thing really as the storyline takes the usual Doctor Who spin on the story and makes it it's own without any direct ripping off of the previous production.
All in all a very good story, not quite a classic but very enjoyable all the same and stands upto repeated viewings.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Gothic Hurrah,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)Contrary to other reviews, I actually like this story and remember it fondly from it's first transmission, and repeat viewings of my old VHS copy did nothing to diminish that fondness. There are obvious similarities to Nigel Kneale's Quatermass and the Pit, but being a big fan of that story as well I find this no bad thing. Tom Baker is on fine form, even showing the Doctor having a tantrum when the sonic screwdriver won't open a locked door. Louise Jameson looks beautiful and has one of her better scripts to work with. Of the supporting cast Dennis Lill struggles with a Dutch accent, Wanda Ventham is....well... Wanda Ventham, and Edward Arthur is just a bit too smug for his own good.
The realisation of the Fendahleen and the Core is probably the weakest part of the story, however there is a general air of underlying menace that sets up a nicely creepy atmosphere.
The commentary is, thank the Lord, another Tom Baker one, but for the first time with Louise Jameson, which should be entertaining.
For the last hurrah of the Gothic classics in Doctor Who, this was a good send off. Enjoy it for what it is - a romp!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasingly Scary,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)This is an adventure starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson as the Doctor and Leela on current Earth and falls into the arc of stories that take Doctor Who into the horror story genre.
The story itself is generally quite generous with the horror effects - don't forget that the story was broadcast well before the nine o'clock watershed and I found the fendahl creatures acceptably strange, though possibly not quite as scary as I remember (but I was about 13 when I last saw it :-)). Leela was a great companion and this story continues to let her have a role apart from the running and screaming type of companion that had characterised a large number of others.
The real scene stealer was Daphne Heard as Martha Tyler, an old crone with 'the sight' and knowledge of the old ways that would prove pivotal. Ms Heard managed a real old-time country accent with aplomb.
The only real extra worth noting was commentary from Louise Jameson, Wanda Venthan, Edward Arthur and Anthony Head and Colin Mapson. There are a few odds and sods such as a trailer and pdf files of the Radio Times listing. Apparently the picture and sound has been digitally remastered.
3.0 out of 5 stars .,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)Good story once again let down by the BBC's interpretation of the monsters. Makes you wonder whether they deliberately made the monsters so naff in the hopes that the public would stop watching so they could cancel the show. Didn't work if that's what it was.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Who,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)Image of the Fendahl is one of my favourite Tom Baker stories. It is spooky, atmospheric and witty in equal measure. Louise Jameson gives one of her best performances as Leela. If you are a new customer to Classic Doctor Who - you could do worse than start here.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spitting Image of Nigel Kneale,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)Every long-standing Who fan knows the 'gory' details of how Graham Williams' tenure was all but strangled by budget-cruching inflation, by the rising ego and tantrums of the star, and by 'humour not horror' edicts laid down by BBC top brass. There was more to it than that of course, but it's still surprising how quickly the old Phillip Hinchcliffe ethos was swept aside; only the third story in, and Image Of The Fendahl represents the gothic-horror subgenre of Doctor Who clinging on for dear life before the inevitable end. (This was the last story to be script-edited by Robert Holmes, which is explanatory in itself; compare Fendahl here to the Holmes-written The Sunmakers, the very next story shown.)
It's also farewell to writer Chris Boucher before he takes up more permanent residence as script editor of Blake's 7. Sadly, of his three Who scripts this is unquestionably the weakest of the trio. Almost a point-for-point steal from Quatermass & The Pit; Boucher was reportedly unsatisfied with how the monsters were realised, but the problems run deeper than either of these issues. This is a script that positively relishes the concept of predestination but it repeatedly rams the point home in a rather undramatic and dull way; partly through lengthy exposition scenes that a lot of viewers will fidget through, but mainly because the Doctor never seems to try to stop the encroaching danger from coming to a head. Of particular note is the blind-alley subplot of the fifth planet, which does absolutely nothing except keep the Doctor out of the way until it's far too late to prevent the manifestation from happening (even Leela comments on it). The guest cast go several miles beyond mere overacting too, particularly the annoying Edward Arthur who does everything short of and and wink straight at the camera during Adam Colby's many 'are you trying to tell me' scenes.
Image Of The Fendahl isn't by any means a bad story (much worse was to come in the very same season), but really the most positive comment I can make is that it scared the pants off me when I was eight, which I suppose was all it was intended to actually do back in 1977.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Doctor Who story (almost),
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)Actually it's my 2nd, but Image of the Fendahl is a true Dr Who classic. The production is superb and the acting is some of the best ever seen in the show. The final episode is also terrifying with the vision of Thea's transformation forever embedded in my brain - and something that gave me nightmares back in 1977. Very often criticised for its padding - I actually find this to be a benefit as the characters have time to interact and be more fleshed out, which gives the fate of the characters an added sense of tragedy. Tom Baker also gives one of his best performance in this as well. I recommend this Dr Who fans old and new, never disappointing and certainly in my opinion, the last great Dr Who story of the 70s.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not a classic,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  (DVD)a good story with some good character acting , but the story does't hold up at the end and the monsters are poor .. it's watchable and the first 2 episodes are very good but finishes weak and you get a feeling the special effects department were either out of money or ideas .
presented in 4:3 aspect with a clear picture and sound with some good extras including commentary by tom baker and louise jameson.
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Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD]  by George Spenton-Foster (DVD - 2009)