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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Surprise on Varos
Surprisingly dark, yet fantastic at the same time, who knew a Colin Baker story could be so good?

Actually, I'd been at a loss for a while. I'd been getting what was generally considered the best story (or best two) from each Doctor, on DVD, but I was stuck at one for Colin Baker. No one could settle on one they liked, until a while later I kept hearing...
Published 17 months ago by Edgar Duncan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars decent dvd
The storyline is ok, the special effects are very good for the time and budget and the casting is very good. However the special features on this dvd are very poor. The audio commentary for this story is possible the best feature of this dvd. value for money is good.
Published 5 months ago by joshuaconnor


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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Jun 2014
By 
J. E. Salter - See all my reviews
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My husband loved it
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3.0 out of 5 stars decent dvd, 12 Mar 2014
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The storyline is ok, the special effects are very good for the time and budget and the casting is very good. However the special features on this dvd are very poor. The audio commentary for this story is possible the best feature of this dvd. value for money is good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Baker at his best!, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos (Special Edition) [DVD] [1985] (DVD)
Don't let me deceive you, I really do mean COLIN Baker at his glorious best. This story is one of the best the 1980s had to offer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 1 Nov 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos (Special Edition) [DVD] [1985] (DVD)
Great, classic episode of the original Dr Who series. Love Colin Baker, he was regenerated before his time and throughly misunderstood.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, excellent monster and an above average DVD, 11 April 2002
By 
D. M. Farmbrough "Dave Farmbrough" (Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Colin Baker's Doctor really comes into his own here. Playing against a really evil villain brings out the best in Colin's acting and livens up this script no end. Nabil Shaban as Sil clearly takes great joy in playing the character and makes him evil, memorable, and yet humorous at the same time. Ably supported by Martin Jarvis as a baddie who isn't really bad, plus Quillam and The Chief, the story is a bit over-populated and perhaps these latter two characters could have been combined into one. The story is one of the better 1980s stories, with a great deal of thought going into the principles behind it. Basically, the Doctor and Peri enter a world where the two main exports are live-action video nasties and Zeiton Ore. Evil alien Sil is trying to extort the Zeiton from Varos at rock bottom prices since the inhabitants don't know the real value. Although made in 1984, as Colin Baker remarks in the commentary, this is years ahead of its time as the real-life elimination games and viewers' voting systems were prescient of Big Brother and its clones. The DVD features a decent commentary from the literate Baker, entertaining Shaban and gorgeous Nicola Bryant (who played Peri). The other extras are from limited material and feature trailers, outtakes and that's really about it. At least they tried.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance is mine, saith Sil, 12 April 2011
Best remembered for introducing the abhorrent gastropod-esque alien Sil, and for its 'gratuitous violence' [sic] getting Mary Whitehouse in a lather, this mid-80s serial saw Colin Baker at his peak as the Sixth Doctor - playing his bombastic and witty version of the Time Lord with aplomb, and even pushing a villain into a vat of acid; superb!
The serial also features a pre-Robin of Sherwood Jason Connery as heroic rebel Jondar, and acclaimed thesp and 80s TV stalwart Martin Jarvis as the hapless Governor, constantly undermined by the insidious Sil and treacherous security officer Quillam.
The story reminds me in places of a Graham Williams produced late 70s fare such as Doctor Who - the Sunmakers [VHS], with its satirical undertones and bureaucratic shenanigans, and it is well produced and enjoyable overall.
Extras are thin compared to more recent releases but include an enlightening commentary featuring Nabil Shaban - the actor who played Sil, Baker and Nicola Bryant (Peri) although the latter is pretty quiet throughout, plus a behind-the-scenes mini-feature, outtakes, and a photo gallery.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Video Nasty or Nicey?", 28 Feb 2008
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Review now contains an update for the Special Edition (see below)Vengeance on Varos has long been considered one of Colin Baker's stronger stories and it isn't hard to see why. It has dated a little due to the budget and what was possible with effects at the time but there is still a lot to enjoy.

Colin gives a strong and commanding performance here having clearly settled into the role. He runs from a disillusioned Doctor pondering the possibilty that he might have to sit out eternity in a faulty Tardis, to a victim of mental torture and then finally a vengeful agent of retribution.

Nicola Bryant is good too but the Doctor/companion relationship in their first season was a problematic one. Bickering nearly all of the time they seem like a jaded married couple who stay together beacuse it's too much effort to get divorced. Thankfully this story is not the worst culprit this season.

There were complaints about the violence and the Doctor's part in it. the acid bath scene is easy to defend. The Doctor assumed to be dead was about to be slung in it and the way the guards end up in there is not really deliberate. The only out of character bit is the James Bond quip that follows.

The Doctor being convinced he was in a baking hot desert is strong stuff but makes the point that mental torture can be just as damaging as the physical kind.

The vengeful way the Doctor leaves some characters in a stutation that will cause their death is more borderline.

A lot of the other ideas would be horrific e.g giant flies if they were better achieved but the limitations of the time stop this from being a horror show. The effect of Peri being turned into a bird is quite laughable!

Nabil Shaban is a marvellous villain both funny and creepy at the same time, complemented perfectly by Martin Jarvis' morally weak governor.

Jason Connery as he-man Jondar is a bit wooden (sad as it's possibly the only Dr Who father Sean watched), but this is due to inexperience and better performances would soon follow in Robin of Sherwood.

A great idea is the 2 characters who watch the events on TV like a Greek Chorus. This tells us more about their society than any amount of sets and explanatory dialogue ever could. Especially fine is the reveal at the end of how "Reality TV" obsessed they were, as the broadcasts stop leaving them wondering what to do next!
Not really for fans of the current version unless they are into other Doctors or they watch a lot of Big Brother (in which case the irony is all yours to enjoy!).

Extras are bare as it was an early release. The behind the scenes featurette amounts to a bit of in studio footage but at least the commentary featuring Colin, Nicola and Nabil is a good one.

The special edition update; I did not keep my original copy so I cannot say whether any further re-mastering has improved picture quality.
The making of Doc concentrates mostly on the writing side of it, how Philip Martin came to be involved and Eric Saward's thoughts on approaching well established writers for Who scripts. he says for example that had famous Harold Pinter been approached he would have delivered a great script that probably didn't fit the programme.
The scenes that caused controversy are discussed & it's presented by Matthew Sweet who has done good work on these docs before. Well worth a watch.

the Idiot's Lantern is a short & clever look on how televisin itself has featuyred in the show, presented by Channel 4 News' Samira Ahmed

Tomorrow's Times gets its teeth into a troubled period for Who and is presented by Sarah Sutton.

Deleted scenes normally of mild interest to me has a little gem where Sil blows his top and his voicebox!

A much better package for this story and if youre a fan of it who's fairly flushed or looking for present ideas to give family, it's worth picking up.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damn you Micheal Grade!!!!, 19 July 2005
As a reletively young Doctor Who fan (born 1985) I wasn't bought up in a household in which the doctor was compulsive viewing on a saturday tea-time, but I'm making up for it. Colin Baker, in particular, is sometimes rated as the worst Doctor, which I find very unfair. However, surley this cannot be the case when you watch 'Vengence'. Up to this point, purists of the series wouldn't give episodes the credit if they didn't have the charm of lines such as "...jelly baby?" from the Tom Baker years. This story has pace, grit, and definate credibilty as tough science fiction: the 1984 setting, the underlying satire, the unique action, etc. The production values for Doctor Who were always good (One notable exception) and this is shown in this episode. and at the heart of it is a Doctor, who lands his TARDIS in a situation which cries out for one person to get things done, and thats exactly what he does. The sixth Doctor is always accused of being brash and arrogant, I think its a fantastic juxtoposition of Peter Davison's naive fifth Doctor, and in a time when heroes would shoot first and ask questions later, a la The Terminator, Predator, etc, he fits in. Tom Baker he isn't, but then, he shouldn't have to be, and Its Colin Baker who's definately the Doctor you want on your side. Vengence has everything a 'Who' needs, but just presents it in a different way. Good sci-fi, good Who.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars baker is ,thats colin., 19 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos (Special Edition) [DVD] [1985] (DVD)
Colin baker is the 6th Dr re issued with improved picture and sound plus lots more extras.
Well worth buying.
Excellent.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONe of the BEst Colin Baker adventures1, 6 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This has to be one the best Doctor who DVDs that has been or will be released so far. The story puts the doctor and Peri, on the planet varos, where they need to find a vital element, so the TARDIS returns to normal, with an apperance by Sean connerys son, and added value such as deleted and extended scenes, commentry and an unused tardis end seen, this would great for anyone who owns a dvd player!
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Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos (Special Edition) [DVD] [1985]
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