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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1666 and all that
Although the Doctor is still attempting to return Tegan to Heathrow in 1982, the TARDIS is proving less than co-operative. Instead, the time-travellers find themselves in 1666. The fear of plague still haunts the land, but the Doctor is more interested in the wrecked remains of a spacecraft's escape pod.

When he discovers that the alien survivors intend to...
Published 14 months ago by Mr. D. K. Smith

3.0 out of 5 stars A Visitor from Another World
Travel back to 1666 - the great fire of London was started by aliens! A great story, good acting and the historic theme makes this outing with Peter Davison very interesting. The Grim Reaper robot is impressive and the suspense of the real aliens - the Terdaptils, works well. One to watch.
Published on 14 May 2012 by Andrew50

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1666 and all that, 6 May 2013
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Visitation - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Although the Doctor is still attempting to return Tegan to Heathrow in 1982, the TARDIS is proving less than co-operative. Instead, the time-travellers find themselves in 1666. The fear of plague still haunts the land, but the Doctor is more interested in the wrecked remains of a spacecraft's escape pod.

When he discovers that the alien survivors intend to unleash a virus to destroy the human race, the Doctor faces a race against time to avoid a final visitation.

Eric Saward's debut script for the series clearly impressed producer John Nathan-Turner, as he offered Saward the script-editor's job shortly after.

It's interesting that during Saward's tenure as script editor you sometimes come away with the impression that he was less interested in the Doctor and more interested in his own creations, such as Lytton and Orcini. This seems to start here, as the most compelling character in The Visitation is the roguish actor and highwayman, Richard Mace (a nice guest turn by Michael Robbins).

So whilst Michael Robbins is good value and there's some nice location filming, The Visitation does feel a bit derivative of earlier stories such as The Time Meddler and The Time Warrior. It's therefore a solid, if unremarkable story from Peter Davison's debut season.

This special edition carries over all the bonus features from the original DVD. In addition to this there's three new documentaries, the first of which is another edition of Doctor Forever, this one covers the Audio releases and is an interesting watch.

Grim Tales reunites Davison, Fielding and Sutton, and they, along with Mark Strickson, take a stroll around the locations used in the story, for an informal chat about making The Visitation. This interview footage in intercut with talking heads footage from the likes of Eric Saward. Having the TARDIS crew together is a definite plus, and makes this a cut above the normal making of documentaries.

Davison, Strickson and Fielding are together again for the final documentary, The Television Centre of the Universe. This sees them, along with Yvette Fielding, back at Television Centre to chat about their memories of working there. As with Grim Tales, their interview footage is intercut with talking heads such as costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux and AFM Sue Hedden amongst others. This is another good documentary that explores some of the magic of Television Centre. A second part will appear on a forthcoming release.

As with all these Special Editions. if you have the original DVD then a decision to rebuy rests on any improvement to the picture as well as the new special features.

This release has used the original film elements, so the PQ of those sections does look better than the original DVD. Although I'd say that this isn't enough to justify a new purchase. The two new documentaries featuring Davison and co are entertaining, particularly if you're a fan of this era. So whilst this won't be an essential purchase for many, overall it's a good package.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very welcome Re-Visitation (Geddit?!), 2 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Visitation - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
As hard as it may be to believe, at the time 'The Visitation' was the first proper historical Doctor Who story since the (outstanding) 1977 story 'Horror of Fang Rock' more than four years previously. It was a most welcome return and the story really makes the best of its 17th century setting.

Eric Saward's script is simple but very effective; there are only a small number of proper characters but they are mostly well written. It's also pleasing that Saward's habit of sidelining the Doctor isn't in evidence here; the Doctor is a central character throughout. I was pleased that the sonic screwdriver was written out in this story as I was never keen on it. The trouble is Saward struggles to find things for all three companions to do. It doesn't help that Richard Mace almost becomes a companion for this story.

Peter Davison gives his usual superb performance here; watching him it's easy to forget that this was only his second story to be filmed. Michael Robbins is magnificent as highwayman and actor Richard Mace. Michael Melia does a good job of playing the Tereleptil leader, it couldn't have been pleasant for him in that costume. John Savident, of Coronation Street fame, puts in an appearance in the first episode sans distinctive Lancashire accent.

The story is very well executed by director Peter Moffatt; the large amount of location filming is splendid. The sequences of the android wandering through the forest disguised as the grim reaper are particularly effective. The Tereleptil costumes are very impressive, the mouth even moves. Paddy Kingsland's incidental music is very good indeed. The scenes towards the end, set in London are nicely done. The Tereleptil leader meets a suitably grim end, burning to death. The conclusion of the story, with it being revealed that the Doctor started the great fire of London, is genius.

'The Visitation' is not quite one of the series' all time classics but it is a very enjoyable adventure nonetheless.

All of the special features from the original 2004 DVD release are also included on this special edition. These include 'Directing Who Peter Moffatt' A very nice 26 minute feature which looks at Moffatt's directorial contributions to Doctor Who. It's composed of footage from an interview with Moffatt interspersed with clips from the stories he directed. Moffatt comes across as very likeable.

There is also 'Writing a final visitation' which is an interview with Eric Saward in which he talks about the writing process of 'The Visitation'. It's quite good and it lasts for approximately 12 minutes. The other extra from the original DVD release is 'Scoring the Visitation' in which incidental music composer Paddy Kingsland discusses with Mark Ayres the music he composed for the story. It's very detailed and it lasts for 16 minutes.

While there were some pleasing extras on the original DVD, they have gone to town for this special edition. 'Grim tales' is a 45 minute 'making of' documentary. However it breaks the formula of the usual 'making of' documentaries; Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Mark Strickson explore the locations used for the story. They've clearly gone to some effort to make this documentary.

'Television Centre of the Universe part one' is a very engaging feature about (yes!) BBC television centre. It's presented by Yvette Fielding who is joined by Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Mark Strickson. Together they go on a tour of the centre and share their memories of working there. There are some very funny anecdotes and plenty of banter between the four.

'Doctor forever- the apocalypse experiment' is about Doctor Who on audio. It almost exclusively focuses on Big finish. This is likely to be a love it or hate it feature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terileptils; the Plague; the Great Fire of London; Richard Mace and an adventure with the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric!, 8 May 2014
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I'm very happy to write this review on my birthday!

This is one of my favourite stories from the Peter Davison years. It's a lovely story with lots of things happening in it and features my favourite TARDIS team - the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Adric. I'm very happy to have met all four cast members of the TARDIS team, who have signed the original DVD cover of this story for me - Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse.

The story of `The Visitation' is about the Doctor and his friends arriving in the TARDIS on Earth in 1666. The Doctor's trying to get Tegan back to Heathrow Airport in her own time, but has missed the margin by a fraction of 300 years too early where it's all forest and woodland. But the Doctor and his friends have more things to worry about, as they've arrived in the midst of the Great Plague and there are angry villagers who want to kill them. With the help of a local highwayman and thespian, Richard Mace, they manage to escape. But soon they discover the planet's in danger as a new alien menace has come to cause havoc. They are the Terileptils - lizard men - who are on the run from their own planet and about to destroy the world with an advanced form of the deadly plague. Can the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Adric with their new friend Mace stop the Terileptils in time, or will it result in a ball of flames?

This story was written by Eric Saward and directed by Peter Moffatt. This is Eric Saward's first contribution to the world of `Doctor Who' and he would later become script editor for the whole of the Peter Davison and Colin Baker eras of the show afterwards. Here he delivers a really exciting and intriguing tale set in a historic time setting and with an alien element - a pseudo-historical, much like `The Time Warrior'.

Peter Moffatt also directs a lavish tale with splendid location work as well as a fine pace and charisma. This story is one of Peter Moffatt's many directing jobs n `Doctor Who' and is one of his finest. I enjoy watching Peter Moffatt's stories as a director and he's a hit with the actors who enjoy working with him. I love how he's picked the woodlands in Black Park and the Tithe Barne in Hurley to act as manor house in the story.

I like how this story utilises the historical backdrop with the Great Plague and everything, and how it affects society and that the Doctor and his friends are in danger because of it. The villagers' distrust and determination to execute and kill the Doctor's friends because of their superstitious nature is a consequence of that. Pretty soon the story leads to the Great Fire of London, which becomes a significant element in the course of the story.

I'm very happy to have met and had `The Visitation' DVD cover signed by all four actors who played their TARDIS characters in the story. I was fortunate to meet all four at the Project Motor Mouth 2 convention run by Janet Fielding in Slough, August last year.

Meeting Peter Davison was a delight! It was brief meeting really and I didn't really get a chance to chat much to him, since he's a busy actor; couldn't stay long at the convention; was working on `The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot' at that same time at that hotel venue for the convention; and also was on his way to greet the new Doctor Peter Capaldi at the `Doctor Who: Live' event the following Sunday. But I was glad to finally meet him. I quickly said how much I liked `The Visitation'; that his era of `Doctor Who' was my favourite and I enjoyed the Big Finish audios he'd done. Most importantly, I said to him that Nyssa's my favourite `Doctor Who' companion. He was pleased to hear me say that and he cheered. I'm glad I shared that with him since I knew that would make him happy. I hope I'll be able to meet and see Peter again soon.

This is the fourth story of Peter's era in TV, although it was the second to be recorded. Peter is still fresh from his `All Creatures Great and Small' days. I really like Peter's Doctor! He brings so much energy to the part with such conviction and integrity. His Doctor is aware of what's going on with the Great Plague and is intrigued by this `comet' that was seen in the sky at nightfall. He doesn't believe it since Earth isn't supposed to have a comet for years at this time. Peter's enthusiasm reigns throughout and he clearly is getting to grips with the part. He shows concern for his companions Nyssa, Tegan and Adric, but it's clear he likes Nyssa the most since he chooses her to come with him to the break into the back of the house, telling the others to stay with Richard Mace at the front. It shows how much Peter favours Nyssa as his favourite companion. I sometimes find it funny when the Doctor tolerates Tegan's bossiness and complaining when she's angry for him missing the mark to get her back to Heathrow Airport. He doesn't understand her at times. `Why does she always overreact?' It's a great performance and I love how Peter plays the Doctor. Sometimes his voice goes high-pitched, reminding me of Tristan from `All Creatures' sometimes.

I was delighted to meet Janet Fielding for the first time at her convention in Slough last August. When I first met her, she immediately said `Hiya Tim'. This startled as I wondered if she was psychic or something, or if Sarah who was sitting next to her told her my name. But it turned out she saw my name on the DVD cover of `The Visitation' since Peter signed it first. She could have admitted she was physic, but didn't. It was lovely meeting Janet and I told her how much I enjoyed her in the Big Finish audios she's done recently. She jokingly commented how much she and the others gave Peter a hard time during recordings. I've managed to meet Janet twice at conventions, and I'm lucky to have met her since she was diagnosed with cancer not long before I met her and it was fantastic to see her fully recovered. I'll always have fond memories of meeting Janet at that convention.

Janet plays Tegan with such vibe and fiery energy. Tegan seems sad at the beginning when she's about to leave the TARDIS, after all the things she's experienced and being through with her friends such as the Mara in 'Kinda' (pronounced incorrectly by Janet). Tegan tends to moan at a lot in this story I'm afraid. She gets annoyed and angry with the Doctor for failing to get her back to Heathrow. `Call yourself a Time Lord! A broken clock keeps better time as you do! At least it's accurate twice a day! Which is more than you ever are!' She storms out of the TARDIS in anger because of that. She doesn't like the place they've come in 1666 since it stinks. That made me laugh when she said that. Pretty soon, she and her friends get caught up in danger and she's a prisoner of the Terileptils with Adric. She soon gets a bracelet on her wrist that controls her mind and puts her under hypnosis from the Terileptils. She can't break free of her control and almost kills the Doctor by opening the cage with the infectious rats inside, which could mean `the end for us all'!

Of course at that same convention in Slough, I got to see lovely Sarah Sutton who was there. She plays Nyssa of Traken (my favourite Doctor Who companion). It was lovely to see her and she seemed happy to see me. I'm sure we met before somewhere. `Let me think. Err...once or twice,' Sarah jokingly replied, which I laughed. When I asked her to sign `The Visitation' DVD cover for me she was very happy to do so. I told her how much I liked this story, and she told me she did too. We both agreed it was a very good story with a good historical setting on Earth. Sarah likes `Doctor Who' stories with historical backdrops since she can follow them easily, so I knew she would like this one. She gave me an extraordinary compliment saying that `If I could explain the plot to her about `The Visitation', she would be very grateful.' I was delighted and said to her I'm sure I could explain the plot to her very well. I couldn't do it then, but I hope I'm explaining it very well in this review and perhaps Sarah's reading it.

Nyssa in this story is tremendous. I enjoyed watching every scene with Nyssa in it, whether it's in the TARDIS with the others, joining the Doctor when they get and explore the manor house, or whether it's with her, the Doctor and Richard Mace when they discover the Terileptil escape pod. I liked Nyssa's scenes with the Doctor when he encourages her to go back to the TARDIS and get the sonic booster working to destroy the Terileptil android. She's unsure about it, but the Doctor has great confidence in her. There's a point when she smiles at the Doctor which was very lovely. I loved it when she's in the TARDIS building the sonic booster and she tests it out to see if it works. She wears big headphones at one point to do this, which makes her very pop girl indeed, ha, ha. She manages to destroy the android with the sonic booster, which proves Nyssa's technical expertise and achievement. There's a moment when Nyssa's with Adric and she mentions how sad she is after destroying the android. She says it's `a magnificent machine'. Many like Adric would look at Nyssa and remark `Are you serious?' since the android was trying to kill her. But Nyssa's very empathic about life and considers the android being more than just an android which is very interesting and shows a great depth to her character and I enjoyed that.

The final member of the TARDIS crew is Adric, played by Matthew Waterhouse. I've met Matthew a couple of times before meeting him again in Slough and asked him to sign `The Visitation' DVD cover. I'd just recently read his book 'Blue Box Boy: A Memoir of Doctor Who in Four Episodes' and enjoyed reading his experiences and recollections of making the show. It was a nice to meet Matthew at that Slough convention and having a group photo with him, Janet, Sarah and me, which made me very happy.

Adric at times seems rather annoying in this story and slightly underused I'm afraid. He gets scolded by the Doctor at the beginning and he's so annoyed since he tries so hard to get things right. He has an interesting bond with Richard Mace during the story. I liked Adric's curiosity about the wine Mace was drinking in the cellar and him not understanding the concepts of `nectar' and what it tastes like which is very funny. Adric is with Tegan when they're being interrogated by the Terileptil and also when they're trapped in prison cell. Adric manages to escape, though he's pretty rattled, upset and annoyed to find Nyssa in the TARDIS and not the Doctor. `Where is he? Why is he never around when you want him?' Adric makes out that he's useless in this story and he certainly says it when he can't help Nyssa work on the sonic booster. `I can't help out anyone. I can't even help you on that.' Adric tries to be of use and tries to find the Doctor, which ends up with him getting caught by some angry villagers waiting for him in the forest. Adric however does get to fly the TARDIS (which must be a fan boy's dream) and rescue the Doctor, Tegan and Mace from the manor house. He does it amazingly well with an inspirational thump on the console from the Doctor. He also manages to kick an android in the backside when trying to rescue Nyssa who's inside the TARDIS.

I got hooked onto this story when I discovered Michael Robbins was in it, playing Richard Mace. Michael Robbins is brilliant! He's well known for playing Arthur in the British sitcom `On the Buses' - `What a lot of rot you talk!'. He's also been in episode of `The Good Life' with Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal involving fleas (sound familiar in relation to this story?). Here he does a fruity performance as Richard Mace, who's a roughened but charming highwayman and `was once a noted thespian'...before he joined `On the Buses'. Ha, ha. Sorry. Shouldn't make fun. Watching Michael in `Doctor Who' was fantastic and it's lovely when he's having scenes with the Doctor and tries to help him and his friends out in everything he does to stop the Terileptils. I love that first scene he did when rescuing the Doctor and friends who are escaping some angry villagers. Robbins plays the part in both comedic and refined terms, which makes it very enjoyable indeed. I like it when he's challenging the Terileptil on being called a primitive and wanting to see how effectively he can kill him in an instant.

Mace seems to be a coward at first and is freaked out when he sees the android dressed up as the Grim Reaper and can't take in the wonders the Doctor shows him. I found that scene fascinating when he, Nyssa and the Doctor are in the Terileptil's escape pod and Mace goes, `I do not understand any of this'. I like that moment, which new-series style in a strange sort of way, when Mace asks the Doctor how he knows all these things and the Doctor goes, `Ah. That would be difficult to explain.' `But you could trust us,' Nyssa adds encouragingly and reassuringly. Mace becomes a worthy ally to the Fifth Doctor team and Michael makes the part his own. Mace could have been a potential companion in the TARDIS, as he does get to go inside and finds `Amazing! Quite amazing!'. But Mace decides to remain on Earth and fight the fire since he finds the Doctor's life a little too fast for him, which is fair enough. Oh but how I do wish for another adventure where Richard Mace pops back into the Doctor's life again. Michael Robbins sadly passed away not long after this, and this story is a great tribute to the man who played an amazing character in `Doctor Who' as well as `On the Buses'.

The monsters in this story are the lizard-like Terileptils. There are three of them ranging from different colours - red, blue and green. There's one main speaking Teriletpil throughout this story and that's the Terileptil leader. The Terileptil leader is green and is played by Michael Melia (well-known for his appearances in `Eastenders'). I like the Terileptils as monsters. I always find reptilian monsters to be pretty scary in `Doctor Who'. I've created my own lizard-men in my own `Doctor Who' stories, much like the Terileptils themselves.

The Terileptils are a race of reptiles that have this obsessive love of art, beauty and war. They are advanced in their technology, keep very snazzy-looking androids and can breathe a hot atmosphere of soliton gas in their environment. When the Terileptils take their soliton dosage from their machine, it looks like they're having drugs, which is pretty eerie sometimes. They arrive on the planet Earth and take over a country house as their base of operations. They are on the run from the prison planet Raaga by their own people and they want to colonise the Earth for themselves. In order to do this, they capture rats infected with the deadly plague and re-engineer them to enhance the infection and kill the entire population causing mass murder and carnage. The Doctor's appalled by their vicious schemes, but the Terileptils justify themselves so easily in their beliefs.

I like it when the Doctor confronts the Terileptils in this story and Michael Melia who plays the main Terileptil is very good underneath all that costume and mask. The look of the Terileptil costume is very effective for its time in the 80s, even though it seems rigid and uncomfortable for the actor to wear. I like it when it opens its animatronic mask to talk. I wish Eric Saward when he wrote these monsters gave them names like when Malcolm Hulke named the Silurians in his novelisation for `The Silurians' story or when Robert Holmes named the Sontarans. It would have been nice to have seen the Terileptils as being more agile and fast-moving when walking, but due to costume and technical restraints that simply wasn't possible. I do like the Terileptils and I look forward to when they make their next appearance in `Doctor Who'. I hope Eric Saward will allow the Terileptils to appear in a Big Finish audio adventure then we can have more of them. The Terileptils have certainly become involved in the recent series as they were members of the Pandorica alliance in `The Pandorica Opens' and also were there during the siege of Trenzalore in `The Time of the Doctor' recently.

The main Terileptil in the story has an android serving for him when they're at the country house base of operations. The android's meant to be a thing of beauty, but didn't turn out quite what Eric Saward had envisaged. I mean yes it looks pretty, but too much. It's got too many diamonds, crystals and glittering items on its body work, arms and legs that deviates away from the main purpose of beauty. It looks too disco and has an 80s feel that's rather wrong for this story. It also looks more like a robot than an android, as in my opinion androids are more human-like in appearance. The android should have looked something like what they did for androids in `Star Trek' or what we saw with the Urbankans in 'Four to Doomsday'. But android appearance aside, it does a good job scaring people to death when dressing up as the Grim Reaper. For in 17th century terms, the Grim Reaper means `death' whenever people are superstitious. So they run away when they see the android as the Grim Reaper, giving the Terileptils greater advantage in getting what they want and local villagers out of the way.

The sonic screwdriver gets destroyed in this story. I was shocked and horrified as the Doctor became helpless and dropped the sonic screwdriver to the floor. The Terileptil Leader destroys it and it bursts into flames. I couldn't believe it! No, they can't destroy the sonic screwdriver! I felt like the Doctor. I felt they `killed an old friend'.

In the end, it turns out that it's the Doctor's fault for causing the Great Fire of London. This is something that Peter Davison appealed to when he read Eric Saward's script, as he liked the notion of the Doctor causing the Great Fire of London. I liked it at the end when Pudding Lane gets caught up in flames and the familiar Doctor Who theme music echoes at the end by Paddy Kingsland the music composer.

This story was originally released on DVD back in 2004. It contains a wealth of special features which I enjoyed watching.

The special features included the following. There's `Directing Who - Peter Moffatt', which is an interview with the director who looks back with affection on the Doctor Who stories he worked on. This included `The Visitation' as well as `State of Decay', `Mawdryn Undead', `The Five Doctors', `The Twin Dilemma' and `The Two Doctors'. This is a lovely interview with the director of some fine Doctor Who stories and is a great dedication to Peter Moffatt who sadly is now longer with us as he died in 2007.

There's `Scoring The Visitation', where Mark Ayres interviews composer Paddy Kingsland who provided the incidental music for this story. There's also `Film Trims' which is a series of footage cut from the final story, as well as unused takes and silent sequences of footage that would have been shown on the scanner screens during the story. There's a range of audio options, including an entertaining commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse and director Peter Moffatt who provide their insight and memories of this story which I enjoyed listening to. And there's also a `music-only option' where you get to hear Paddy Kingsland's isolated music score throughout the story.

There's `Writing a Final Visitation', which is an interview with Eric Saward who recollects how he came to write for `Doctor Who' and sharing his memories of writing the story. There's a photo gallery for `The Visitation' as well as an information text' option commentary that can be played throughout the story with some interesting points of trivia and comments. There's an Easter Egg to look out for on this DVD.

Since then, `The Visitation' has been re-released in 2013 with a new Special Edition DVD containing some new extra features and is now a 2-disc set. It contains the original special features on the 2004 disc on Disc 1, but contains new additional items on Disc 2.

On Disc 2, there's a really exciting new making-of documentary of `The Visitation' called `Grim Tales - Revisiting the Visitation'. It's so exciting as it's a documentary that features Peter, Janet and Sarah, guided by Mark Strickson (Turlough in `Doctor Who', coming in too early for `The Visitation'), and they revisit `The Visitation' locations and recollect the story in Black Park and Tithe Farm in Hurley. Where was Matthew Waterhouse? He was unavailable to appear in this documentary I'm afraid. This documentary was filmed in the summer of 2012. I love it when they arrive in the TARDIS as Mark guides the three regulars in the forest, remembering the story. I love it when they remember Matthew by doing that unconvincing fall he did in the story, but did it with such affection. They eventually arrive at the country house and they sit down and answer questions given to them by Mark before they can have a celebratory cake with figures of the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, Adric, the Terileptil and the TARDIS on display. It's such a 45 minutes of seeing Peter, Janet and Sarah enjoying the sunshine and recollecting what they remember about making `The Visitation'. It's the main highlight of this special edition DVD really. There are also subsidiary interviews with people like Eric Saward and Michael Melia who provide their recollections as well as the main part of the documentary.

There's another documentary called `The Television Centre of the Universe - Part 1' where Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Mark Strickson are guided by former Blue Peter presenter Yvette Fielding on their memories working at Television Centre before it got shut down recently in early 2013. Where Part 2 is of this documentary I've no idea as yet.

There's also an episode of the on-going series `Doctor Forever - The Apocalypse Element' which looks into the audio adventures of `Doctor Who' that were made during the wilderness years up to the present day with the show's return to keep it alive. This is special as it talks about Big Finish's involvement in Doctor Who (as well as AudioGo) which was thrilling to watch, although I would have liked more of the Doctor and Nyssa's adventures mentioned since it's pretty stripped for half an hour. But there are some nice interviews from Colin Baker, William Russell, Lisa Bowerman (who plays Bernice Summerfield in the audio adventures), Nicholas Briggs, David Richardson, Mark Gattis and also the man himself, Russell T. Davies, who was responsible for keeping Big Finish going even when the show came back on TV and they were about to lose their licence. Thank you Russell for more adventures with Doctor and Nyssa. Yippee!

There's some PDF files containing the Radio Times Listings for this story as well as a BBC Enterprises Sales Sheet. There's also a Coming Soon trailer for the next DVD release which is the special edition of `Inferno' DVD.

`The Visitation' is a fabulous Doctor Who story from the Peter Davison years. It's one of my favourites containing a slightly comedy feel and is renowned for being very good in utilising effective location work and a historical period setting for 1666. It's a favourite of mine with the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric, who I'm delighted to have the original DVD cover signed by all four of them, and features an interesting monster in the Terileptils that I've enjoyed. It's also a refined story starring Michael Robbins who does a terrific performance as Richard Mace in his own style and is fantastic being `a man of iron'. Highly recommend this story! It's one of the best!

The next story with the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric is 'Divided Loyalties'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Landing on Runway 1666 - The TARDIS!, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Visitation - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
England's green and pleasant land, spoiled only by rats, plague, the Grim Reaper and a giant alien fish lizard with attitude problems. Welcome to 1666!

`Heathrow airport' never looked better. So what if the Doctor did arrive 300 years early, you can't please some people! Attractively filmed around leafy parkland and a manor house west of London, `The Visitation' is a good-looking `history meets the alien' outing for Peter Davison's Doctor in his second story (in filming order), he brought a welcome freshness and energy to the series. The interior sets and effects set a high standard and the animatronic `monster' design is unforgettable. Michael Melia performs a convincing alien even under several inches of latex.

For once this is not a deliberate invasion; the three fugitive Terraleptils have crashed on Earth and have nowhere else to go. So, naturally, they decide to wipe out humanity and take the planet. No Terraleptil is going to win a galactic beauty contest but they do have a love of art (so the Doctor tells us), which must explain why their android looks like a glam-rock / disco art installation on legs! Like all the design work, it conveys high quality and adds to the very distinctive, glossy look of the story.

`The Visitation' gives the Doctor more companions than you can waggle a gill-flap at (if you're a Terraleptil), no less than four. The fourth `companion' is the wonderful creation of Richard Mace, out of work 17th century "ac-tor" and part time highwayman, played with zest, flamboyance and a rich, rolling delivery by Michael Robbins. Mace has obviously spent so long treading the boards of Restoration England's temples of theatrical tradition (as he might say) that for him, "All the world's a stage" is literally true. Even when he's up a tree or faced with a bad-tempered extraterrestrial, the curtain never falls. ("You jest, Sir!") Brilliant, and an example of how comedy in `Doctor Who' can add to a story when it appears to come naturally from the character's own life.

Three companions plus one does sometimes feel like too many roles with not enough action to go round, but the different characters play off each other well and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) has a good story with something properly scientific to do and gets the result. Attractive as the woods and country settings are, a longer section in plague-ridden London would have added to the story, the sets are excellent and deserved more time on screen.

`The Visitation' is a very enjoyable history plus monsters story with a memorable final twist and well worth a visitation of your own, I'll visit four stars upon it, plus a bonus star for the quality of the special edition extras. The special edition picture quality is sharp and colourful, displaying the fine location filming and sets.

Best of the many extra features on the two special edition DVDs:
The commentary is very entertaining, full of cheerful memories and anecdotes and a good deal of fun at their own characters' expense.
`Grim Tales' where Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton go for a light-hearted celebratory trip (pun alert) in the woods. Mark Strickson guides them round the locations and leads them to find the site of The Chemical Toilet (I'm not making this up) then it's off to the manor for tea. It's obvious that all concerned enjoyed the experience then and now and this sense of enjoyment comes across for us to share.
`The Television Centre of the Universe - Part One' is a similarly jolly stroll through a day in the life of classic `Doctor Who' at the now deserted TV Centre.
`The Apocalypse Element' - the story of `Doctor Who' on audio.

NOTE: The DVD menu shows clips from the programme as background, so if you don't know the story already, press `Play' ASAP. And leave the PDF materials for later unless you want to know the whole plot!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Visitation, 18 Jun 2013
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A surprisingly good episode fromthe classic Dr's. No its not the best ever but you cant judge everything on the best, its got good characters both good and bad and rips along at a good pace. Well placed in any Dr Who collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Peter Davison Doctor Who stories, 24 Jun 2009
David (SPECTRE Island) - See all my reviews
This is one of the best stories from the Peter Davison era of Doctor Who. While attempting to return Tegan to Heathrow Airport the Tardis arrives in 1666 when the plague was spreading through England. He discovers that there are other new arrivals from another planet who are planning to destroy all life on Earth.

There is a delightfull guest star in the form of Michael Robbins who is perhaps best known for his roll as Arthur in On The Buses. As with most of the classic Doctor Who stories this dvd is packed with special features including a very amusing commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mathew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and the director of this story Peter Moffatt.

This is the American dvd release and is region 1 coded so you will need a dvd player that plays region 1 coded disks. The actual dvd content is the same as the British release with the exception of the dvd sleve design which I much prefer to the British one. So if you want to see a piece of the best classic Doctor Who series from the Peter Davison era than this dvd is well worth adding to your collection.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good., 23 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Both these adventures are set in history and both are from the Peter Davison era. In 'The Visitation', the Terileptils have arrived in 17th century England and plan to wipe out the human race. These are really rubbery monsters and are not remembered very fondly, but this is still an enjoyable yarn. The second adventure, 'Black Orchid', is similar to a Miss Marple episode. The Doctor arrives with his companions in 1920s England and they acquaint themselves with an upper crust family. During their stay at the family's luxurious mansion, a murderer strikes and the Doctor and his companions are held responsible.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly Good, 27 Jun 2005
R. Thomas "unreadable" (S Wales) - See all my reviews
In my opinion this story is the classic example of a romp, ie not excellent and not rubbish yet its a shade above average and very watchable. Watching this story its easy to see it has a lot going for it, the historic period, very good guest character, good villian/monster and a Doctor in Peter Davison on very good form. In fact watching it he bounds around the story clearly enjoying himself - the story is after reading the script he was really up for this, in fact if it wasn't for the quite frankly dull directing this story could be one of the great Who stories. I'm not going to go into the extra's in detail as bar the highly enjoyable commentary they are rather dull (focussing on the director ironically). In saying that this is an example of Who doing what it does well and is worth watching for The Doctors interaction with Richard Mace (guest character) alone. The descriptions best aimed for it are charming and enjoyable, it gets 4 stars from me but don't expect to see anything special in this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars scary monsters, 8 Jun 2014
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Another classic this time set in England in the 1600s,good story not to long,worth watching(that's how the fire of london started
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 27 Dec 2012
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An excellent story, a great buy, highly recommended.

Peter Davison - The Doctor
Janet Fielding - Tegan
Sarah Sutton - Nyssa
Matthew Waterhouse - Adric

(Visitation was ranked 77th in Doctor Who Magazine's Mighty 200 pol in 2009)
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Doctor Who: The Visitation - Special Edition [DVD]
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