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This review is from: Doctor Who: Carnival Of Monsters [DVD]   (DVD)
The second story in Jon Pertwee's penultimate season as The Doctor sees The Timelord, along with assistant Jo Grant, receive a replacement 'dimensional stabilizer' for his TARDIS from The Timelords as a thankyou for his defeat of Omega in The Three Doctors. This enables him to finally leave Earth and UNIT behind and explore the cosmos once more. It is good to see the production team rise to the challenge of a different scenario from the Earthbound adventures that had made up the majority of the Third Doctor's tenure. The story is a self-contained gem; The TARDIS arrives aboard what seems to be a cargo cruiser on the Indian Ocean in 1926 however they soon discover that they are in fact inside an intergalactic 'mini-scope', used by a pair of travelling entertainers who are currently on the planet Inter Minor. Unfortunately for the entertainers (or 'Lurmans') the officials on the planet are entirely without humour and promptly impound the scope in order to destroy it...
The Doctor manages to escape from the machine and stumbles into a political coup, with the protagonists hoping to use the Scope as their weapon. They plan to let the Drashigs escape therby proving their president has lost control and should be removed from office. This idea of a meta-world is something that Doctor Who has always done well - think 'The Invisible Enemy', 'The Deadly Assassin' or 'The Mind Robber' - and Carnival is no exception. It is colourful, kitsch and charming; Pertwee is in fine form and the guest cast rise to the challenge too. The entertainers: Vorg and Shirna are as good a double-act as any seen before whilst the denizens of Inter Minor are both stagily (and perhaps unintentionally) hilarious, with their painted grey faces and Ogron-like haircuts. Even the Drashig - a giant reptile that escapes from the scope - is well-realised for the early 70s (it is far, far better than The Myrka..!) and the sub-plot featuring a pre-Harry Sullivan era Ian Marter is both inventive and strangely comforting, as Edwardian Doctor Who is wont to be. DVD extras are extensive; the pick of these are Behind the Scenes - Looking In: A 1972, snippet that was part of the BBC's 50th Anniversary celebrations and a nice litte 'Easter egg'.