Customer Reviews


35 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't say I remembered this one...
I must have missed this one on the original run on TV and also in the Video release. Quite unusual then to watch a Tom Baker era story for the first time. The other reviews pretty much sum it up. Dated sets, low budget, etc. I enjoyed the performances though and in particular Louise Jameson's Leela - I'd not seen one of her stories for a while.

The extras...
Published on 4 Aug 2011 by R. NEIL

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Woolf It
There's a man trying to commit suicide because he can't pay his taxes. If I'd been ten years older, I'd have scented the satirical rat, but at 14, I didn't. What a very naughty man Mr Holmes could be.

There is a re-assuring solidity about the production of Sunmakers, which might be unusual in a programme shot in a studio and the roof of and inside a tobacco...
Published 12 months ago by Alex Lyon


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't say I remembered this one..., 4 Aug 2011
By 
R. NEIL (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
I must have missed this one on the original run on TV and also in the Video release. Quite unusual then to watch a Tom Baker era story for the first time. The other reviews pretty much sum it up. Dated sets, low budget, etc. I enjoyed the performances though and in particular Louise Jameson's Leela - I'd not seen one of her stories for a while.

The extras are a little under par by Doctor Who standards. The Dudley Simpson featurette is good. The 'making of' documentary is passable. The Day of the Dalkes trailer is very good! The out-takes are ridiculously short but it makes you realise that the team behind the DVDs try and get everything they can into them - we are normally spoiled by the extras!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This is the moment when I get a real feeling of job satisfaction!", 9 Feb 2012
By 
I. R. Cragg (Otley, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Viewers of 'The Sun Makers' who had a year previously been treated to 'The Robots of Death' and 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' must have wondered what had happened to 'Doctor Who' in the intervening twelve months. Far from being a rich, dark fusion of homages to literature and classic horror films, 'The Sun Makers' is a witty satire, primarily on the British tax system but also on high finance and big business generally as the last survivors of the human race are held in thrall by an alien Company with its own agenda. The script is one of Robert Holmes's most entertaining, the performances are larger than life but given room to breathe and while the story may not be conventional Who, it's perhaps one to put on when you're in the mood for something lighter and slightly cleverer than your average serial.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only my claims..., 26 Sep 2011
By 
James F. Graham "jack4381" (South West UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
One of the most hilarious myths in Who fan culture is that 'Sun Makers' is a right-wing allegory about the horrors of the big state and punitive taxation. This is to misunderstand the story but also, more important, it is to buy into one of the centrepieces of reactionary ideological bull pervading our culture: the idea that conservative politics is about the liberty of the individual while socialist politics is about the power of the state.

In 'The Sun Makers', Robert Holmes is not just satirising "the UK tax system", as fan guidebooks usually inform us. He's satirisng the symbiotic link between the state and big business. Yes, the Collector's personal guard are called the "Inner Retinue" (which sounds a bit like "Inland Revenue"... thus implying that the Vat man is a bit of a brutal thug, geddit???) and there are are corridors called the P45, etc. But all this occurs under the absolute domination of an organisation called "The Company", run by a guy in a pinstriped suit, who is clearly doing this for the profits. Where do the profits come from? From the ludicrously exorbitant taxes (i.e. "breathing tax") paid by the population to the Gatherer, who is the ultimate state official but is grovellingly subservient to his corporate master. So, the state gathers and the Company collects. Really, how much clearer could this possibly be?

It's sometimes objected that the society in the story is more like a Stalinist dictatorship... because it's got torture chambers, prison camps, a news service that broadcasts government propaganda and lots of bureaucrats. Well, the capitalist world has torture chambers, prison camps, utterly subservient news and bureaucrats aplenty.

In 'The Sun Makers', the Company has, effectively, bought out the government... or merged with it to the point where they have become one... though, of course, the Collector reveals their intention to simply leave the humans in the lurch once they've made as much profit out of them as they can. They artificial suns will run down without Company maintenance and the humans will die. In the meantime, the humans work to provide the Company with surplus. They work in factories and foundries (obviously making stuff, which must then be sold on the intergalactic market) and, if they get sent to the Correction Centre for defying the Company, they end up working for free...

I wish more people outside fandom were familiar with this story and so I'm glad to finally see it on DVD. It really is, despite its jokiness and shlockiness, quite a powerful diagnosis of where we are and where we're headed. It's not "anti-tax", it's anti regressive taxation, taxation that leaves the Company untouched while filling its coffers with the fruits of the labour of the many. It's against the state that stifles individual liberty, not by failing to reward enterprise and initiative, but by forcing people to pay through the nose for the privilege of not starving to death because no corporation will stoop to buying their labour. It's against a system that can build mini-suns but can't (or won't) give working people a decent standard of living. It's against a system that asks you to "Praise the Company!" as though its a deity or a force of nature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're not allowed sunlight! It's far too good for them!, 5 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Yes, the acting is hammy & not taken seriously in the slightest, but what do you expect from a Tom Baker Story!
I know.. Not all of Tom's are like that. But this one certainly is! In fact, It's like watching something more like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or Monty Python!

If like me, you are interested in Politics, you'll love this story for it's satirical humour & blatant disregard for Bureaucracy! All aimed at mocking the system! Bob Holmes never ceases to amaze me with lines like "These Taxes.. They are like Sacrifices?" Asks Leela. "Sort of, only paying Taxes is more painful!"
There are lots of little things in there that make this a very entertaining story. Of course, the children wouldn't have ever cottoned on, but this isn't meant just for children. (You hear me me Moffat?!)

Contrast is met with confined studio shots, & capacious film & location material. As well as a balance of tongue in cheek humour, pugnacious violence & horror. Who ever thought of being "Steamed" to prolong the pain of death to satisfy the villain's nefarious thirst for torture of his victims, has a sick mind. But an innovative one! (Ever heard of that word Moffat!)

The word for today's story is "Avarice", & everyone is obsessed with monies! This worryingly bares resemblance to today's predicament, what with the constant fear of recession & the collapse of the euro.

This story isn't one of the more memorable ones sure, but that's not to say that it can't entertain you from start to finish. There are many good moments in here like the hilarious initial meeting of the Doctor & the Gather; all that talk of raspberry leaves & earth's departure or what ever. The point is they play off each other just perfectly! It's K9's first proper outing. Leela shows her propensity for violence & has some great lines like "Touch me again, & I'll fillet you" & "Before I die, I'll see this rat hole ankle-deep in blood... That is a promised thing". Leela really saves the day in this one, & is such a joy to watch. (Unlike companions now)

A Good Doctor Who story doesn't need to be epic, action packed, sexed up, frenetic, romantic, historic, & what ever else you can throw in there to attract as many viewers as possible. And this little number proves it. It's a charming, cosy, well written, even paced, entertaining little trouble maker of a story! One that I have frequented on many occasions. And due to its re-watch value, it's a story I shall be visiting again. (Thank goodness its lastability isn't cut short due to the entire story relying on a twist at the end or something! Especially one that doesn't make sense.. Ever..)

"Perhaps everyone runs from the Taxman!" - Leela
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Woolf It, 24 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
There's a man trying to commit suicide because he can't pay his taxes. If I'd been ten years older, I'd have scented the satirical rat, but at 14, I didn't. What a very naughty man Mr Holmes could be.

There is a re-assuring solidity about the production of Sunmakers, which might be unusual in a programme shot in a studio and the roof of and inside a tobacco factory, and in Camden Deep Shelters. The production design is very good indeed. It all fits together remarkably well.

The concept is really the silliest stuff, but the quality of the writing is so high, coupled with committed performances and good direction more than compensate for that.

The ubiquitous Mary Whitehouse effect is offset here by Robert Holmes' flair for nasty ideas - the Steamer for one - and some deliciously ripe dialogue - Hade has all the best lines, and Richard Leech is clearly having great fun - even the consumbank at the end of Episode 1 works well, given that it's just a transparent box and dry ice, and there's plenty of implication of the horrors of the Correction Centre, even if we never do see them.

William Simons does two very good episodes as Mandrel (after that he turns into a good guy) and his exchanges with Leela (Louise Jameson clearly having fun too) are delightfully nasty. If the two ever did come to a fight, I'd bet on it being bits of Mandrel that'd end up being sent to recycling.

Henry Woolf does a lovely star turn as the Collector, with a delightful nasal drawl that never really sounds properly human, and those scuttling fingers like tentacles under that big, bald dome of a head with its Dennis Healey eyebrows.

And David Rowlands and Roy Mcready make a nice duo, as do Michael Keating and Adriennne Burgess (both to go on to Blake's 7), I especially like the latter as Veet.

The tax jokes are very good; the Inner Retinue, the P-45 Route, and the opening scene, where it because quite clear that poor Cordo is never going to pay off his debts. It all adds to the lovely feeling of liberation at the end - let's all stand up to the Tax Man - even if, with five other Megropolises still working , there may still be a lot for Cordo, Mandrel, Bisham, Goudry, Veet, Synge, Hakit and the rest to sort out after the TARDIS has gone.

And finally, it's a very good story for K-9, who was out of action for all of Image, but hurrah, the dog is back! Long live the doggie.

(I've said 3/5, but it's on its way to a 4)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Stuff the company!", 28 April 2013
By 
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
The Sun Makers is a cracking romp from the pen of Doctor Who's greatest writer, Robert Holmes. What it lacks in terms of set design (and it lacks a lot) it more than makes up for with Holmes' witty dialogue, helped no end by some first class guest stars and strong turns from the regular cast of Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and John Leeson as the voice of K9.

Landing on Pluto, the Doctor is surprised to find a breathable atmosphere, seven artificial suns and the remainder of the human race being worked and taxed to death. Who controls the mysterious Company and are there too many economists in the government?

Written after Holmes had received a particularly large bill from the Inland Revenue, The Sun Makers is a none too subtle swipe at the evils of taxation. As mentioned, there's some wonderful lines and both Richard Leech as Gatherer Hade and Henry Woolf as The Collector take the great dialogue they've been given and run with it.

Hade's obsequious fawning is a particular highlight, with Hade praising the Collector with a seemingly endless supply of synonyms for "large" - "Your Colossus", "Your Amplification", "Your Hugeness" for example. Ironic, when you consider how small the Collector actually is, which of course is the point. And then when things start to go awry, as the Doctor incites revolution, Hade's flattery becomes more and more inappropriate - "Your Monstrosity", "Your Corpulence". It's a small touch, but it works so well.

Ironically, the state of the economy at the time the programme was made (1977) is reflected on screen. Increasing inflation meant that Doctor Who's budget was shrinking in real terms, so this resulted in sets that look quite flimsy and unconvincing. But when you've got a story as entertaining as this, it's best just to relax and enjoy the ride.

Special features include a documentary on the making of the story, as well as the usual production subtitles and commentary track. Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Michael Keating and director Pennant Roberts are on the commentary and it's an enjoyable enough listen, although it lacks the focus of recent, moderated, comm tracks.

So whilst there's nothing too outstanding on the special features front, the quality of the story is more than enough to make this an essential purchase.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who - The Sunmakers - Dr Who, Leela and K-9 Vs The Taxman, 23 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this classic comedy sci-fi adventure from 1977 as The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), Leela (Louise Jameson) and K-9 (Voice of John Leeson) and a group of rebels brilliantly acted by Ron Macready(Condo), William Simons (Mandrel), legandary Blake's 7 actor Michael Keating (Goudry)and Adrienne Burgess(Veet)againist evil TAXLORD and Dictators The Collector played with evil glee by Henry Woolf, the Bombastic Money gradding Gatherer Hade played dramatic by Richard Leech, and also by Jonina Scott who plays Hade's assistant Marn.

It is a sad indication that it always the same that the rich and wealth in the world constantly bend the tax laws and rules to pay alittle or absolutely no tax at all, and the poor and working men and women who are struggling to keep their heads above water. I would like to say to the Fourth Doctor, Leela and K-9 to send the TARDIS to 2013, and see its the same situation is occuring in Earth where we have a heartless and gutless Governments who are protecting the Multi Million and Billion Pound Tax dodgers who are not contributing anything to help and grow their countries economies at all. These Government are continuing exploiting and heavily taxing the poor, low and middle income men, women and families along with OAPs and the disabled. I would love to see the Doctor, Leela and K-9 add a 60 -70% growth tax on each and every rich fat cat, but that is just fantasy and not reality, but one day it will happen.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, 13 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
I found this story quite funny, and whether its a poke at the taxman, the bbc, or both, I still enjoyed it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who - The Sun Makers, 5 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Great stuff! This is the direction in which both tax and the corporate world are headed! We need the Doctor and Leela!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable Tom Baker, 29 Jun 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this story. It's actually quite chilling and does contain a lot of killing and some violence. Leela gets to be her warrior self quite a bit.
The story is about a cruel leader who tries to completely rip off everyone by intimidation and even death if they don't pay up. The concept of being steamed to death is nasty indeed.
The Sun Makers is a dark story that may not be suitable for the kids.
Its a big kids story for sure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Doctor Who - The Sun Makers [DVD] [1977]
7.90
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews