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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the future used to look like
This 4-disc set of two consecutive stories from 1973 is great. Frontier in Space, the first story (2 hrs 23 mins), is a complex tale of interplanetary intrigue and diplomacy, in which the Master is engineering a war between to powerful empires, Earth and the proud, honourable Draconians, who face each other distrustully across the eponymous boundary. If this sounds like...
Published on 10 Oct 2009 by Sophie

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag
I've been a Pertwee fan since BBC2 repeated "Spearhead from Space" and "Doctor Who and the Silurians" way back in 1999. Since I didn't grow up with Doctor Who during the 90's he was the first Doctor I watched so I've retained a loyalty to him ever since, although I am gravitating more towards Troughton as the best Doctor these days. As all Who fans know by 1973 the...
Published 13 months ago by Gareth86


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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the future used to look like, 10 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
This 4-disc set of two consecutive stories from 1973 is great. Frontier in Space, the first story (2 hrs 23 mins), is a complex tale of interplanetary intrigue and diplomacy, in which the Master is engineering a war between to powerful empires, Earth and the proud, honourable Draconians, who face each other distrustully across the eponymous boundary. If this sounds like Star Trek, it is - it was written a month after the first UK broadcast of the similarly-themed "Balance of Terror". You wouldn't get away with that nowadays! This story is probably best remembered for its aliens du jour, the Draconians, who are both well-written and well-realised, with even close-ups bearing close scrutiny. It's a high point of science fiction alien makeup. Another high point is Roger Delgado, in his final appearance as the Master. Here he is almost jovial as he schemes to destroy Earth's empire, apparently solely to humiliate the Doctor. It's a playful interpretation of the role we get from Delgado here, and he has a great rapport with both the principals. Sadly, after five and a half excellent episodes, the ending is a real botch job. It's hard to work out what's actually happening. The various extras explain what went wrong, and what should have happened. That aside, Frontier in Space was always one of my favourites, and this release confirms its place in my Who top ten.

Planet of the Daleks (2 hrs 20 mins) is a different kettle of fish, despite segueing directly from the previous story. Written by Dalek creator Terry Nation, it's basically a rehash of two of his previous stories - "The Daleks" (1963-4) and "The Daleks' Master Plan" (1965-6). Longtime Who fans may experience deja vu while watching. However, there's still much worth seeing. Where Frontier in Space explores the broad sweep of interplanetary diplomacy, Planet of the Daleks emphasises the personal struggles of survival in a hostile environment and the search for courage and leadership, as a small group of people attempt to prevent the Daleks from learning the secret of invisibility. It's slightly let down by some cheap-looking production values, but the story mostly gets away with it due to the conviction of the cast (Jon Pertwee and Bernard Horsfall especially, and even Prentis Hancock is much better here than his lacklustre performance in Planet of Evil). While nowhere near as good as either Frontier in Space, or Nation's later Genesis of the Daleks, Planet of the Daleks is still a thoroughly entertaining adventure.

Extras (3 hours)
Frontier in Space:

Commentary with Katy Manning, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks, moderated by Clayton Hickman. A Thoroughly entertaining and informative soundtrack. *****

Perfect Scenario: Lost Frontier (30 mins) - This is an attempt to show how Frontier in Space drew on current affairs for inspiration. While there is much interesting material to illustrate the point, it's bizarrely framed in a pointless, distracting Matrix-themed science-fiction story where a future computer and student discuss the information. I'm going to sound like a Grumpy Old Woman here, but do we really need a documentary to be jazzed up with a back-of-envelope framing story and look-what-i-can-do effects? No more please. **

The Space War (18 mins) - cast and crew recollect the making of the serial. Quite interesting. ****

Roger Delgado: The Master (33 mins) - a biography of actor Roger Delgado. An excellent tribute to one of the show's best regular actors, with many clips from his appearances in everything from Quatermass to a documentary. There are also many fond reminiscences from his colleagues, and a moving description by his widow Kismet in which she describes hearing the news of his death in a car accident. A worthy tribute to a fine actor. *****

Stripped for Action: The Third Doctor (16 mins) - The third Doctor's adventures in comics appear to have been an artistic high point, and this is well worth watching for the beautiful illustrations. *****

Photo Gallery ****
Production subtitles - all the production trivia, alternate scripts, trivia and asides you'll ever need. ****

There's meant to be an easter egg, but I'm blowed if I can find it.

Planet of the Daleks:

Commentary wth actors Katy Manning, Prentis Hancock and Tim Preece, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks. A good-natured and lively commentary track. ****

Perfect Scenario: The End of Dreams (30mins) - the second part of this effort loses its way, as Planet of the Daleks had less current-events context to make this feasible. This idea hasn't worked and I hope all involved are sent to bed without supper. *

The Rumble in the Jungle (17 mins) - cast and crew look back at the making of the story. Quite good but nothing amazing. ***

Multi-colourisation (11 mins) - How episode 3 had its colour restored. The highlight for me was that some of the software for this highly technical and complex process was written in BBC BASIC! Fascinating exploration of the restoration, which incidentally is now indistinguishable from the other episodes, it's a first-class job. ****

Stripped for Action: The Daleks (14 mins) - a reasonable exploration of the Daleks' appearances in comics, concentrating on the early seventies. ***

Blue Peter (13 mins) - two items from the childrens' magazine programme, featuring an appeal for any information on the theft of two Daleks from the BBC, and their subsequent return. OK but a bit too long, especially as some of this was on the Genesis of the Daleks DVD. ***

Photo gallery ****
Production subtitles ****

TL;DR - Frontier in Space is a classic of TV sci-fi, Planet of the Daleks is good entertainment, the extras are variable but plentiful. Buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag, 19 Jun 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
I've been a Pertwee fan since BBC2 repeated "Spearhead from Space" and "Doctor Who and the Silurians" way back in 1999. Since I didn't grow up with Doctor Who during the 90's he was the first Doctor I watched so I've retained a loyalty to him ever since, although I am gravitating more towards Troughton as the best Doctor these days. As all Who fans know by 1973 the series under JP was pretty much at its peak in terms of popularity through the creation of new enemies, such as the Autons, Axos and of course the Master. For the 10th anniversary it was of course felt that old favourites should be included, the Daleks to be precise, and that it would be effective to use them over two stories of that season.

Before I give a quick review I'd just like to point out that after several years of analysing the Pertwee era, I feel that during the time of Barry Letts producing the show each season had an iconic story,a total turkey and a hidden gem. Season 9's a good example of this with "The Sea Devils" undoubtedly one of the most popular stories of all time, "The Time Monster" one the most hated and "The Monster of Peladon" is for me one of the very best of the entire Pertwee era, but it often gets overlooked.

So working to that formula where do "Frontier in Space" or "Planet of the Daleks" sit in Season 10:

Frontier in Space:
For me this the total turkey of the season, and I'd actually argue that it's the worst story in the entire Pertwee era. Nothing happens over 6 episodes, and I really mean nothing. The Doctor and Jo are taken captive several times, there's a lot of posturing going on as the threat of war heightens and a lot of padding. It's poor, very, very poor. As I understand this story is rated highly amongst Who fas but for the life of me I don't understand why. I found it slow (which all TV from the 70's is compared to today but normally it never bothers me), with perhaps too many guest performers and an unsatisfying ending.
There are some positives as Roger Delgado makes his first (but sadly final) appearance of the season, and once again is terrific. It's a shame he didn't have a more fitting end to his time on the programme. The Dracoians, introduced as a new alien race, are brilliantly realised and well played by the actors. They bring great nobility and arrogance to the roles.
Overall then I'm not a fan of this story. Let's hope things get better.

Planet of the Daleks:
When I bought this boxset I fully anticipated this to be the stinker. I've read plenty of reviews to suggest that this is considered to be the weakest of season 10 but I was pleasantly surprised. With David Maloney returning to direct the programme for the first time in 4/5 years it's a big step up in quality. Although the Spiros jungle is very obviously a set it still has a real atmosphere and is very convincing. It's a much stronger story for Jo, although the idea of her settling with one of the Thals is rather crow barred in at the last second and one feels it was merely added to prepare the audience for Katy Mannings departure in the next story. Bernard Horsfall (who sadly passed away recently) gives a great performance as the leading Thal, a strong yet agonised performance. Pertwee is better here than in Frontier, and his purple velvet suit is one of my absolute favourites of his entire wardrobe.
Overall it's a solid, enjoyable romp with the Daleks, which actually for me ranks as Pertwees best Dalek story, and sits comfortably in mid table when looking at his era as a whole.

Finally just returning to my theory I'll give you my selections for season 10:
Iconic: The Green Death
Turkey: Frontier in Space
Hidden Gem: Carnival of Monsters
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pertwee In Space!, 10 Sep 2009
By 
M. Evans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
At last! Some more Pertwee on DVD! These two 6 parters that can be watched and enjoyed seperately or as one long epic are an excellent couple of adventures, from a time when the show was enjoying one it's most successful periods. It's also a refreshing change of style, as at the time most Pertwee stories were earthbound, aliens invade type scenarios, and outer spacey stuff was rare. Frontier In Space is one of the most ambitious stories of the 70's, with it's numerous different locations (Earth, Draconia, the Moon, the Ogron planet and outer space) and is all the better for it. The spaceship model work is very good (if a little wobbly at times, and you can occasionally see strings, particularly during the Doctor's 'space walk') but the story gets away with some remarkable feats through the visual effects team's creativity and imagination (I won't mention the Ogron monster though- woops. Think big orange carrier bag). The Draconians and the Ogrons are excellent creations. we'd seen the Ogron's earlier in the Pertwee era, and the Draconians (allegedly Pertwee's favourite 'monster') still look impressive today and are one the most believable alien 'cultures' seen in the programme. Pertwee is a little on auto-pilot, but still one of the best Doctor's ever, and he gets to be typically heroic. Sadly this was the last appearance of Roger Delgado as the Master, who dosen't really get a proper send-off, but is a delight to watch. Don't be expecting much Dalek action in this one though, they only make a little cameo at the end. Overall, Frontier In Space is a very enjoyable story that has a good plot, with lots of machinations, double-crossings and misunderstandings, great aliens, and a fast pace.
Planet of the Daleks, which picks up right where Frontier in Space left off, is perhaps not quite as good, but it's a great Dalek story, probably one of their best outings actually, and very very Doctor Who. The jungle planet of Spiridon is very memorable, there's plenty of action and excitement (the escape from the Daleks up the air shaft is a highlight) and while the plot does feel a litte cliched and derivative of many previous Dalek stories (especially the very first) it's at least never boring. And Pertwee wears a very nice purple velvet suit.
Overall, these are two great Doctor Who stories that no self-respecting fan should be without, and are a great example of some typical 70's Doctor Who.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Space War, 8 Mar 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
Frontier in Space
```````````````
1973 heralded the 10th anniversary of Doctor Who and so Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks wanted to make the 10th series of the titular programme a bit special. Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks are to be viewed as 1 overall 12 part epic, the main plot being that the Daleks were bringing war to both Earth and Draconian empires. Now I will admit that I pretty much love all the Pertwee era serials but Frontier in Space just doesn't do it for me. I can't get in to it. For me there is little to love about this story. The locations used are bleak and uninteresting and as for the 70's version of 26th century earth, they are not even worth mentioning. This is a great shame as it was the very last appearance of Roger Delgado's Master. Having the Master accidentally shoot the Doctor and then just flee in to the corridors of the planet of the Ogrons was a woefully inadequate end for such an immense villain. That is most probably one of the main reasons why this serial does not agree with me.

Direction by Paul Bernard is standard, lacking any real originality and the script from stalwart Malcolm Hulke is not well realised. I think its a shame that the script never made it to screen. The plot was a fascinating one and really, this story should have been a classic. But in my eyes is not. On another matter, Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning put in extra special performances here, The Doctor and Jo showing that events are just as dangerous as portrayed. But nobody could shine more than Roger Delgado. The Master is very entertaining here, although his exit from Doctor who is the worst thing since unsliced bread, he still manages to captivate the audience with his pure genius and damn right evilness.

Overall then Frontier in Space is a very rainy day sort of story, it will never rank highly with me and as noted above, I think it's a shame as both Malcolm Hulke's script and Roger Delgado's Master should have been treated with a bit more respect. 6/10. Recommendable perhaps?

Planet of the Daleks
``````````````````
Terry Nation returns to Doctor Who after a 6 year absence, and what do we get from the creator of the Daleks...A repeat. If Planet of the Daleks had been written by anybody other than Terry, the copyright police would be out in force. I mean we have such original ideas as the Thals {1963}, invisible creatures {1965}, dangerous vegetation {1965}, etc etc. I could go on but I feel sure most of you have busy lives and who am I to intrude. Generally speaking, you get the point, Planet of the Daleks is a rerun of 1965's The Chase and surrounding Dalek serials of the time.

However, this does not make Planet of the Daleks a bad story, far from it in fact. By no means a classic but nowhere near as bad as Day of the Daleks. The story has been lucky and unlucky in life, Episodes 1,2,4,5,6 all survive on their original broadcast videotapes but episode 3 does not, only surviving as a B&W telerecording. The VHS release in 1999 released the episode in black and white and I don't mind saying that it did spoil things slightly, mainly because this is such a colourful adventure. Thankfully episode 3 has been returned to full colour by the Doctor Who Restoration Team in cooperation with Legend Films and The Colour Recovery Working Group. Its not perfect but believe me its a vast improvement over monochrome.

The direction of Planet of the Daleks is much better than in "Frontier", as David Maloney returns to Doctor Who to shoot this Dalek escapade. The studio sets are amazing, it really is unbelievable what a show like Doctor Who can produce from such a limited budget. The jungle is easily as good as it was in "Planet of Evil", with special mention going to the evil plants. The special effects are brilliant here also, especially the character of Wester, his invisibility was very well portrayed by the C.S.O. and really adds believability to events. Overall I have to say that the design work done here was fantastic and a really beneficial part of the storyline. Casting is another reason why this story works so well, Bernard Horsfall is brilliant as the leader of the Thals Taron, such great acting is why he was such a regular face on Doctor Who. Future regular Prentis Hancock acts exceptionally well as dubious Thal Vaber also.

Overall, Planet of the Daleks is not a classic Pertwee yarn, but it is still a great story. The acting from the regulars and the quest cast is sublime and the design work is extraordinary. This is a brilliant example of why Doctor Who led the way in television entertainment in the 20th century. 9/10. Highly recommended.

Now then, the BBC DVD release of these two classic series adventures is worthy of its own paragraph. First off is Clayton Hickman's cover artwork, some of the most well put together of the entire range. Furthermore, the restoration work carried out on these two stories is excellent, special note going to the recoloured episode 3. The Doctor Who Restoration Team has done a beautiful job in restoring these classic adventures. The BBC have included some rather juicy and a rather odd batch of special features as well. We have a very strange 2 part hour long doco about some humans from the 26th century looking back and studying these two stories. The whole feel of these two doc's are very surreal. Most odd indeed. Further to those wacky extras we have the by now traditional making of features. Very informative and highly entertaining. There is a lovely documentary detailing the life of actor Roger Delgado, this is a very emotional doc and talks to a lot of Roger's best friends and his wife. Very moving at the end. Other bonus features litter these two DVD's and are of interest to most hard-core fans. As ever there are commentary's on both DVD's by the actors and production team, both are entertaining as ever. All in all a great addition to the range and highly recommended by this viewer. 10/10.

In summary, this boxed set is a fantastic way to enjoy these two adventures with the Third Doctor, we have the last appearance of the Master and Terry Nation's triumphant return to Doctor Who, although Frontier in Space was a disappointment for me, Planet of the Daleks saves the day with its recoloured episode 3. I very much enjoyed this BBC DVD box set from 2entertain and the BBC. Highly recommended, 10/10. The last thing I will say is,

Many thanks for your time as its greatly appreciated.

M.B.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD review: Lived up to my expectation!, 3 Oct 2009
By 
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
Frontier In Space & Planet Of The Daleks has always been my all-time favourite Dr Who stories than any other Classic/New Series adventure. For me, Planet Of The Daleks is better than any other Dalek Story ever made including the New Series of Dr Who. But that's just me. I just love everything about it. The two stories are completely different only inter-link in between, which is why both stories stand alone brilliantly on their own merits.

Planet of The Daleks is a solid Dalek story adventure that has elements of the early Dalek stories from the 60s and does not have Davros in it. The Dalek props used in them have such a metallic authenticity, that gleams. The Dalek Supreme truly excels on screen. There are so many memorable scenes, one of them is on location film where the Daleks are pushed into the pool of ice. The exotic jungle, has an alien planet feel to it, where the subdue lighting by director David Maloney is really effective, even more so in the Dalek Head Quarters and corridors and is now evident in the colour episode three.

I won't go into the storyline but focus on the DVD.

Firstly the dvd cover sleeve for each story is reversible. But why have the same picture? An alternative cover like `K9 & Company' dvd sleeve would have been great or an internal photo collage for each story.

Frontier In Space Disc 2:
Perfect Scenario: Lost Frontier: is a documentary dealing with social issues of 1972/73 around the World and some of it's reflection on `Frontier In Space'. The concept of a futuristic dreamers into discovering the similar social issues in this story is bizarre and padding, though very interesting.

The Space War: is the making of the story, with some great insights from Michael Hawkins (played General Williams).

Roger Delgado Biography: is well documented and strongly absorbing.

The Easter Egg: the experimental Dr Who theme for the opening/end credits to episode 5 at the time, that did not take off.

The photo gallery is really great. I remember pictures of Frontier in Space that featured in Dr Who Weekly, then Monthly and now called Magazine, well they are all featured in this gallery.

Planet of the Daleks Episode 3 was truly a visual experience. It looks fantastic in COLOUR! Though the texture is different to the other episodes just like in `The Sea Devils' and `Claws of Axos' DVDs. It must be said the colour match to the other five episodes are the same. Well done to the Dr Who Restoration Team!

The Easter egg is an original alternative commentary from 2007 for episode 3 before the colourisation restoration was considered.

I found the `Perfect Scenario: End of Dreams fared better than `Frontier In Space', this one focuses again on the social issues around the world in 1972 like the Vietnam War and how `Planet of the Daleks was conceived by Terry Nation. Though by now the two white coloured suited dreamers in the chairs and repeated scenes are a bit padding. But the contents and particularly the interviews are great. `Rumble in the Jungle' is a great look at the making of `Planet of the Daleks' with interviewed footage of the Director David Maloney.

The photo gallery is just simply brilliant! It has some stunning pictures of the Daleks on location as well as deep in the Dalek Headquarters. There's a wide selection of behind the scenes, particularly the Daleks on the Tardis set.

These are THE best Dr Who DVDs I have seen. The extras are a real treat. The Dalek War Box set has lived up to my expectation.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Somewhere on this planet there are TEN THOUSAND Daleks!", 8 Oct 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
There has been a lot of revisionist opinion spouted in recent times criticising Jon Pertwee's time on DOCTOR WHO, a great deal of it from people who weren't even born at the time, and that's a bit of a shame because when I was an eight year old, Jon Pertwee as DOCTOR WHO was, quite simply, the best thing ever. Many of the elements that still influence the modern version of the show came to prominence during this era - The Master, the Brigadier and UNIT, to name just a few. Also, there were some of my earliest televisual memories; Sea Devils, Giant Maggots and lovely old Bessie. UNIT was at the peak of its popularity and the feisty and foxy Jo Grant (played by Katy Manning) was the big sister you really wished you had.

So the arrival of the DALEK WAR BOX SET on DVD to bolster this sadly under-represented era of the series is an absolute joy and it completes the releases from 1973's Series 10, following directly on from CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS. Twelve episodes spread over 2 linked stories which show the series sometimes at its very best (the make up - especially on both the Draconians and the Ogrons - and some of the model work being as good as any seen in the show), sometimes at its most derivative (the dalek story riffing at length on its own mythology) and sometimes absolutely awful (stand up the monster on the Ogron's home planet - oh, you can't...). There are also lots of quarries on display, but then, well, it is DOCTOR WHO, isn't it?

FRONTIER IN SPACE is Malcolm Hulke's six part space opera which introduces the rather striking samurai-like Draconians who are being manipulated into a war with the human race by a "mysterious" third party - see the name of this box set for a bit of a clue - who are working in association with the Doctor's "best enemy" The Master, played here for the final time by Roger Delgado who died shortly after filming this story. As ever with Malcolm Hulke's scripts there's a bit of an underlying political theme going on which can make it a little slow going at times, but all in all there's a lot to like.

The story ends on a (fairly) thumping great cliffhanger which leads directly into the next story, which - happily enough - is also included in the set. PLANET OF THE DALEKS sees Terry Nation providing his first script for the series since his epic contribution to THE DALEK MASTER PLAN back in the William Hartnell era and in many ways the elements of this are a "greatest hits" package of his previous contributions - a deadly jungle, invisible monsters, caves of ice, super viruses, bonkers escape plans and the return of the Thals - but there's enough of a spin on these well used themes to keep things interesting and the underlying threat of the hidden army of Daleks being "somewhere" is effective enough to keep the plot moving along. Sometimes the budget doesn't quite stretch far enough - the TARDIS wardrobe and the miraculous cassette box being good examples here - but sometimes it's frankly brilliant (the jungle, the fungus) in an altogether bonkers way and Jo really does get to have her finest (half) hour...

The production team of Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks are now regarded as some of the "high priests" of classic Who and yet their era seems to be less than loved in certain quarters, which is rather a shame really, as the Pertwee years really do have a lot to offer if you give them the chance. Certainly the moral stance that the Doctor takes during the coda to the Dalek story is enough to make the viewer stop and think - something this era attempts a lot - and that's something to be truly admired in a TV show aimed at a family audience.

4 discs means that there's a pretty hefty set of extras provided for both stories. Alongside the now obligatory PDF and photo collections, and an entertaining set of commentaries from members of the cast and production teams, there's a bumper crop of documentaries that range from the frankly wonderful (a marvelous tribute to Roger Delgado) to the utterly annoying (the "Zed's quest" pieces). Actually the "Zed" things are an attempt to put the televised stories in a contemporary social context and as an idea it's pretty sound, but the format chosen just irritates. There are two more comic strip documentaries of which the Dalek one is the pick and a bizarre couple of sequences about Dalek theft from BLUE PETER that have to be seen to be believed. The 2 "making of" pieces are hardly comprehensive, being little more than interview pieces and mostly had me wondering if Katy Manning is channeling TERRAHAWKS these days...

There is, of course, also the opportunity to see the rather splendid colour restoration job that's been done on episode 3 of PLANET - THE big selling point of this collection - and there's also a 10 minute documentary looking at how that was achieved.

The following story THE GREEN DEATH would see the departure of Jo Grant and the release of these two tales completes the tenth season releases of DOCTOR WHO on DVD, ironically meaning that Jon Pertwee now has a complete season available (which is more than some Doctors do) despite the relative rarity of releases from his era.

All-in-all then, a pretty good set. Not perfect, by any means, and if you don't love 1970's DOCTOR WHO, it's unlikely to change your mind, but it is certainly amongst the best releases in the range so far.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REMEMBERING THOSE WHO ARE GONE, 28 Oct 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
The special feature about Roger Delgado's life and work was magnificent, with many rare clips. I was in tears for the section about his untimely death. And now Barry Letts has died too, this is a fitting reminder of both these great men of drama.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Colour Episode Recolourised, 24 Aug 2009
By 
Amazon Customer "A Likely Lad" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
Other reviewers have given details about the stories and the extras so I shall avoid those and talk about the real selling point of this set.

Now as a Doctor Who fan this is the one that I've been waiting for and I suspect that the majority of other fans have also. The reason: an episode has been recoloured.

Back in the early 70's the BBC offered Doctor Who for sale abroad to countries that at that time were still on a B/W system and so couldn't play colour videotape, all copies that were sent to such places were telerecorded onto B/W film for their transmission in these countries. As time went by the BBC junked the colour master prints and as a result several Jon Pertwee episodes only existed in these B/W telerecordings, however the original colour signal was still embedded within the B/W prints, these signals called Chroma Dots are been unreadable until very recently, a new technolgy has been developed that allows these dots to be scanned and the colour retrieved. The usual restoration then takes place to bring the quality upto scratch and the end result is a colour copy of an episode thought to be lost forever in that format.

The procedure was used to great effect and acclaim on a similar missing colour vintage Dad's Army episode, Room at the Bottom, in late 2008 and the result was so good that the BBC transmittered the episode soon after.

There are still a handful of Pertwee episodes that need this colour restoration and, hopefully, this will allow them all to be given the treatment before too long.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Dalek Masterplan, 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
It's a touch misleading to bill this as a 12 part epic, because it's quite clearly two stories - equally good, but very different - with a narrative link.

Frontier has unarguably the cleverer script - it's Mac Hulke, and clever is really what you'd expect - and at the age of 9 3/4 I was fascinated - to the extent of remembering it as slightly more exciting than it is. Even in the gripping climax are areas of padding.

But it is well realised; the idea of the hypno-sound device being used to start a war is deftly applied so that it never feels tedious, and the ambassadorial politics makes for a refreshing change, compared to corridor-running, and the Dr can still be suitably dashing in (for example) escaping from the Draconian embassy (lovely location too).

It's episodic, but none the worse for that; the downside is that the material sometimes fails to stretch to reach the edges of the episode, and has to be padded with twaddle about space travel; this might be easier to overlook if 'twaddle about space travel' wasn't the subject of the whole of Episode Four.

There's an interesting contrast between the two empires; whilst the Draconians are very much of the Japanese Samurai tradition, Human society is a totalitarian, brutal bureaucracy, with a beleaguered president hanging onto power mostly, it seems, by good fortune. It is not an inviting future (the Hayward Gallery makes a splendidly austere prison - the South Bank could have been designed for Dr Who!). I'm glad we're spared any 'And I'll free all the political prisoners' from General Williams, when he leaves at the end - I wouldn't have believed him.

Just to query the reality of the story, why don't the various ships have names or numbers? There's a bit too much 'the battleship' or 'the cargo ship', 'the Draconian battle cruiser' - and (now I think of it) the individual Draconians don't seem to have names either.

John Friedlander's masks are excellent, for both Ogrons and Draconians, shouting 'alien' very loudly (and much more effectively than the alien make ups in Star Trek) without getting in the way of the lovely acting that Peter Birrell, John Woodnutt and (check out the wide staring eyes) Stephen Thorne are doing. Vera Fusek and Michael Hawkins are also very fine, to give the humans their due. Typically for Mac Hulke, there are lots of named characters.

The space bits are really the least effective, as the ship models aren't particularly well wrought, and some are so lacking in idiosyncrasy that the hypno-sound device doesn't seem to make any radical difference.

Oh, forgot the Ogron planet monster - it does look daft; maybe if we saw it kill an Ogron or two, then we'd be convinced? No, just have to pretend that an inflated orange mattress is scary then. Shame, because the appearance of the monster in the denouement would be a far better ending than the one we get (to be fair, I think with a bit of moody lighting, they might have got away with it).

Which is almost to forget the Daleks; when I was nine I had a strong suspicion that the Master had a rather greater power behind him, and here they are - the shot of them appearing over the cliff is highly effective, so too is the fact that they don't hang around for long.

Planet is a very different kettle of fish; underneath all the 'Invisible Daleks', 'Suicide Mission' and 'Bacteria' it's the same story Terry Nation told as The Daleks in 1963 - Mr Nation never being one to waste a good plot by only using it once (as a young film maker, I used it twice myself), and the good thing with Mr Nation is that he writes such an exciting yarn that it can sometimes take you twenty odd years to realise that you've heard it before (still, his trying to sell it to the BBC again in 74, and then again in 75 really was pushing his luck).

The fungus all over the TARDIS is a clever idea, and Jo having to tend to the stricken Dr and then strike off on her own to get help is an original start, and we're not at all sure who the blond guys are until the start of Episode 2, but before we get to that we've got the spray painting of the invisible Dalek. Now there's an effect that'd be easier in CGI.

First three Thals kinda famous: Bernard Horsfall (Dr Who...). Prentis Hancock (Dr Who...), Tim Preece (Reggie Perrin...). Second three less so: Alan Tucker (I, Claudius...), Hilary Minster (Dr Who, Allo Allo...), and Jane How (Dirty Den's bit o posh) bring us the cliff-hanger to Episode 2 'Somewhere on this planet are twelve thousand Daleks!' Well, that certainly concentrates the mind, and motivates all the often very stylish running around that makes up the rest of the story; down the ice tunnels (poor Marat), up the exhaust shaft, hide at the Plain of Stones (glowing eyed monsters), ambush two Daleks, sneak into the city, blow up ice volcano and drown all the Marx Toys Daleks in Polycel. To be fair the VFX are pretty good in a story that demands quite so many of a production team with so little money. Even if a little CGI (like some amateurs have done and put on You Tube) would have helped the VFX, the originals do look good, the massive army of Daleks in particular (even if they're all slightly the wrong shape).

It's got all the ingredients of a great Daleks R Us story, and the arrival of the Skaro Three at the end is a lovely stake raiser (shame the gold ones lights rarely match his lines) ; it's Daleks doing all the stuff they did in the comic strips, except fly.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 26 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. C. J. Iredale "juxtapose" (London Town) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
What's not to like here? Ok, very much a period piece, but if you are a fan of Doctor Who the first time round, these are classic stories, linked together to make a 12 part epic. Pertwee at his best, Katy Manning being his most accomplished companion, Roger Delgado in the original incarnation of The Master, Daleks, ejaculating plants, huge wobbly orange monster, it's all here folks! A most welcomed release after the plethora of very poor Doctor Who dvds from the 80s (what is the collective noun for rubbish Doctor Who dvds?), this is a real treat. As one episode of the second tale, Planet of the Daleks was only kept in a black and white format (cheers, myopic Auntie Beeb!), this has been re-coloured and this bodes well for the re-colousiastion of other stories the BBC lost in their original colour form. Well done to all concerned, this is a beaut and I can't wait to see it again!
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