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4.8 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: Inferno - Special Edition [DVD]
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23 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2013
This story is perhaps the best from Jon Pertwee's run as the Doctor, and it is truly unique in it's era. It's the only story from the classic run to be set on a parallel world, and its the final story to feature the late Caroline John who passed away last year and was a truly amazing actress, and her talents are shown off in this story. Nicholas Courtney who has also since passed also gives perhaps his best performance, as a baddie! The DVD itself is also packed with special features, as well as all of the original extras (we hope!), there are a few extra including the final part of Doctor Forever! Which promises to be an excellent series, I'm amazed they've been able to fit it on two discs. As for why this story needs a special edition, I have the original and the picture quality is poor, technology has improved vastly in the years since (a whole 7!) which will restore Inferno to it's original glory, which will, i am certain, enhance the viewing experience of this fantastic story.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Inferno is a brilliant story, well presented with just enough twists and turns to keep excitement levels high and to make this a fun ride. This was a serial of which I was unaware as a young teen in the mid to late `70s. At the time the only way you could experience the thrill of Jon Pertwee's Doctor stories, apart from very sporadic omnibus showings that you just happened to here about, was via Target's brilliant novelisations. (I loved these so much that at the end of 1978 phoned in to Capital Radio to tell them that buying them was the best thing that I could remember about the year!) To my knowledge Target didn't issue Inferno as a novel, so my first experience of this early story is this DVD and I've had a great time with it. There are some genuinely exciting and, dare I say it from behind my sofa, scary moments and the actors all seem to be having a whale of a time, with some great monster transformations- especially by John Levene- and the HAVOC team serve up some wonderfully over the top stunts. It's a shame that Caroline John didn't have longer in the role of Liz Shaw, she really comes into her own in this story.
Wonderful fun; one of the best Dr Who stories ever.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2013
Viewers are usually in one of two camps. Those that bemoan the special editions as cash-ins by the bbc and those, like me who see it as a chance to re-evaluate a story. One thing the Doctor Who DVD range has never done is to repackage and sell the same disc, story and special features. Many feature film studios (Universal especially) are porting out the same content with a different cover sleeve every few months. With Doctor Who you always get something extra. Some stories get some slight extras. All get a visual makeover. Some get fantastic additions. The Revisitation box sets started the trend but some of the newer releases are getting slapped back a bit and accused of cashing in. The Visitation admittedly was slight, The Aztecs was packed and with the bonus "Galaxy 4" feature. I still can't get into The Claws of Axos. I don't know why but I just don't like the story but the special features justify the cost.

The up-coming Regeneration set has had some mixed feeling but I quite like the idea of having the whole story of Regeneration combined together. Hopefully there are plenty of additional clips, the cgi-ed Baker/McCoy should be included. It's also the first chance to see The Tenth Planet. After all, the Davros Box Set was the first chance to get the 1st special edition of Remembrance of the Daleks and that was/is a fine set.

And if they make up season box sets, I'm sure I won't be the only one getting them.

BUT TO INFERNO.

I had felt I had seen this recently (the last dvd was out in 2006 although it feels nearer). I left the story itself until I had reviewed the extras. This must prove the point that some stories need revisiting. It was good to revisit the making of the show and the history of UNIT Part 1 (I can't remember where to find Part 2) but the suprising highlight was Hadoke vs HAVOC. Is Toby always got his own Dr Who costume. I can't recollect him ever taking his gloves off in one of these documentaries. Perhaps he's auditioning for a famous role. Anyhow I have enjoyed his past treks to find and meet Who alumni but this was by far the best and most moving. The Forever Doctor features continue to entertain but I always wish they (all) had longer running times.

And the Show itself. I don't think of INFERNO as a Monster feature even with the primords dotted about. It's a planet in peril story and it's the humans who are the big risk. As with Ambassadors of Death I find these the most enjoyable and fast paced stories in the Pertwee canon. Yes, even at 7 episodes.... Take that and your 4 parts, Claws!!! The acting is uniformly impressive and the improved restoration makes this a justified story to be revisited. So if you want to update your library and get a few enjoyable extras in the bargain, just give over a few more coffers to the BBC, via Amazon.

What we do need is a comrehensive, easy access guide to the DVD range extras. DWM should bring out a special.

UPDATE 2/10/13 - I didn't get the Regeneration Set. This is purely down to having all the stories already (bar Tenth Planet which is out soon) and there are no additional incentives (for me) - It's still a good starter for a Whobie Newbie
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
Jon Pertwees' debut story Spearhead From Space was the perfect one to launch his first season as the Doctor, but this one outclasses it in practically every aspect. Superbly written, acted and directed, it's still a classic 43 years after its' first transmission, and thanks to all the care and attention that has been lavished upon restoring the original colour videotapes to their former glory it looks as polished today as it did back then.

Inferno never fails to excite the viewer from start to finish - right from the first few moments of the first episode there is a sense of doom throughout, as it portrays what can happen when tampering with the earths' natural forces ends in near catastrophe on an epic scale. The story begins as fairly run-of-the-mill to start with until episode three, which is when the action picks up with the scene shifting from our world to a parallel one where the Doctors' allies have become bombastic, fascist figures driven by military rule. From here on the countdown to near-disaster is well and truly on as the project to penetrate the earths' crust is at a more advanced stage - only the Doctor can prevent what will happen, and yet he is the man alone and at the mercy of his captors.

Fast forward to episode six, which for me is the best of the seven in total, and we witness the desperate attempts of all those involved to not only escape the possible destruction of Earth but to prevent it as well - it proves to be futile but thankfully the Doctor is transported back to the real Earth in the nick of time to warn of the impending catastrophe, and eventually the project is abandoned.

On the acting front, Nicholas Courtney excels in his dual role as the Brigade Leader - complete with duelling scar and eye-patch - and for the first time he uses his shouting voice to great effect, that plus a chance to demonstrate that he is equally capable of playing a power-hungry villain as he is that of the ever-loyal commander of UNIT. Derek Newark is simply brilliant as the oil-drilling specialist Greg Sutton - like Courtney he has a great vocal range that gets fully exploited to the max - and is my personal favourite character throughout the story, as he is the perfect foil for the unhinged Professor Stahlman, perfectly played by Olaf Pooley. The late Caroline John gives perhaps her best performance as Liz Shaw in what would turn out to be her final regular appearance, and it is something of a travesty that the character got only a quick mention in the first story of the next season, Terror Of The Autons - to have written out a character without giving them a proper farewell scene is frankly ridiculous.

Perhaps the one thing that many fans of the show pick up on more than any other with Inferno, it is that its' music score was not specially composed for the story - the soundtrack is mostly made up of stock music realised at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Delia Derbyshire, from which two tracks in particular stand out and are heard throughout all seven episodes - Blue Veils And Golden Sands, and The Delian Mode (spot the connection!). This music is probably some of the eeriest ever used in Doctor Who, and is simply perfect for this type of story.

All I ask you to do if you're buying this maybe for the first time is this - sit back, enjoy and prepare to be thrilled and excited for nearly three hours. Quite simply classic Doctor Who from the early-70s at its' finest, and I'm happy to name it as one of my all-time favourite stories.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2013
Its remarkable the effect that vidfire has had on the quality of the picture in this upgrade of this enthralling Who classic. Along with the fascinating Lost in the Dark Dimension documentary, this is really a recommended purchase.
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on 24 April 2015
great quality item, great price, just what I've been looking for, I highly recommend
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on 14 April 2015
Worked wonders on the re-mastering process,we loved it!
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on 31 July 2014
fast dilivery and was as described and new, thank you.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2014
'Inferno' is the final story from Jon Pertwee's first (and best) series in the role of the Doctor. The story is utterly magnificent and, for me, the finest of all of Pertwee's stories, but even so, did it really need the special edition treatment? The original 2006 DVD release wasn't exactly stingy with special features.

The story features what I believe to be Pertwee's finest performance as the Doctor and the rest of the cast are also superb. Nicholas Courtney and Caroline John both deliver in spades, they are brilliant in their regular roles as the Brigadier and Elizabeth Shaw but they also light up the screen as the evil Brigade leader and Section leader Shaw in the hostile parallel world. It really is a shame that John never got a proper departure scene (her departure is explained in 'Terror of the Autons' but it is never seen).

The parallel world is a highly compelling plot strand and it is brilliantly realised, mainly thanks to the cast. Also things are far less relaxed in the parallel world, which is even reflected in the costumes which are far more uniform like there. The Doctor later witnesses the destruction of this parallel world. This raises the stakes and increases the tension for the final episode as the Doctor attempts to prevent our Earth suffering the same fate.

Both Douglas Camfield and Barry Letts (who filled in for Camfield when he fell ill) do a fine job as directors. There are some fabulous industrial locations used and some extremely impressive actions sequences and stunts. This is the last Doctor Who story not to feature any specifically composed incidental music, however the sound effects and stock music used is highly effective in building tension and atmosphere.

Really there are only a small number of minor flaws in this story, one of these flaws is the Primords. Sadly they look comical rather than scary and the reason for their existence is never properly explained, having said that they are involved in some exciting chase and stunt sequences and they do add a sense of immediate threat to situations.

The other flaw is the Doctor's Venusian karate which makes its debut in this story, it looks really ridiculous and there's loads of it.

None of the niggles detracts much from the story and it is one of the glittering diamonds in Doctor Who's crown.

Now, for the special features. All of the extras on the 2006 DVD release are also on this special edition. These include 'Can you hear the Earth scream?' a very good 'making of' documentary and the excellent 'The Unit family- part one' documentary which covers the Unit stories from the Brigadier's first appearance in 'The Web of Fear' through to 'Inferno'. There is also a deleted scene in which the Doctor, the Brigade leader and Section leader Shaw listen to a radio broadcast. amusingly the radio announcer is voiced by Pertwee.

I should note that the picture quality of the story on this DVD isn't much of an improvement on that on the original DVD release, so really the answer to whether or not it's worth upgrading to this release depends on the new extras.

Among the new features is 'Hadoke vs Havoc' in which Toby Hadoke reunites the old Havoc stunt team and they prepare him to perform a stunt of his own. It's reasonably entertaining and it clocks in at 27 minutes.

The other major new extra is 'Doctor Forever!- lost in the dark dimension' which looks at Doctor Who's period off air from 1989 to 2005. The various attempts to resurrect the series in that time are discussed, it's another fairly good feature.

In conclusion, this special edition features a few decent new extras, but certainly nothing unmissable, so if you own the 2006 DVD release this isn't an essential upgrade, however if you don't already own this story in any form then I would recommend it very highly.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2013
Classic Dr who from the 70`s with Dr 3 Jon pertwee.
Improved picture and sound with loads of extras.
Well worth buying to ad to my collection.
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