Welcome to the jungle,
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Planet of Evil [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
The Doctor and Sarah accidentally stray off course and land on a dark hostile creepy alien jungle planet called Zeta Minor - after receiving a distress call, in this classic four-part adventure written by Louis Marks. Sarah then gets a spine-tingling chill and senses that something is not quite right. She detects a force/presence on the planet. They both then get 'captured' and accused of murder, by ironically a 'rescue team' that was sent down to find the original landing party. This is directed by David Maloney who directed some of the best episodes from the original classic series including this, plus 'Genesis of the Daleks', 'The Deadly Assassin' and 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang'. Wow! - what a track record.
Even today, the jungle set still looks amazing, it really has a visually striking look to it, and it is definitely the best planet that the original series ever did, although the similar one from 'The Face of Evil' is pretty impressive. It was definitely ground breaking for its time (1975) and was designed by Roger Murray-Leach who was one of the best set designers the show ever had. Also, the music score by Dudley Simpson is very effective. However, having just praised the set designer I must admit that the Morestran's spaceship design is pretty poor, but I put this down to the priority being the realisation of the jungle, after all this was the same guy who designed the excellent sets for 'The Ark in Space', 'The Deadly Assassin' and 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang'. That said, having different floor heights for the ship was a good idea that worked well. I have to mention that the costumes are a bit embarrassing, but hey it was the mid-Seventies.
Don't let any of the above put you off because this is a great story with a classic 'Jekyll and Hyde' theme in the guise of professor Sorenson - the only survivor from the original landing party, a k a - 'Anti-Matter Man'. Also, I think this is Elisabeth Sladen's favourite episode, and she certainly puts in one of her best performances here.