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An Odd Split But It Works,
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Earth Story (The Gunfighters/The Awakening) [DVD] (DVD)
At first glance, it seems an odd split to put together these two stories under a rather weird title, but that's "Doctor Who" for you - never sitting still, never mundane, always on the go as a programme. For me, watching "The Gunfighters" was just like seeing new "Who", as I had absolutely no memory of it from the time it was first shown (I was probably out playing football on those Saturday afternoons....!). It was fun and entertaining, despite the sometime dodgy accents of the support cast, and the chance to see William Hartnell towards the end of his tenure is fascinating. WHile sometimes struggling, he is still very much an engaging and interesting Doctor, and it was a real shame that his health deteriorated enough that the production team decided it was time for him to go not too long after this story. (He only had four more left, two of which are, at present, completely lost from the BBC archive.) That decision, though, was to prove one of the great TV moves EVER, creating the concept of regeneeration, so that the show could always change its lead character and move on.
And four regenerations later, we have "The Awakening", one of my favourite Peter Davison stories. A two - part gem, with some nice performances and a really atmospheric feel to the "war games" of Little Hodcombe.
All in all, a great little package to add to your "Who" collection.