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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello Vicki Welcome To Rome., 26 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Rescue & The Romans [DVD] (DVD)
Season 2.
Now then what have we here, well in my opinion we have two neglected little gems, that's what. Two stories from the always ignored (In fan polls.) Hartnell era.
These two stories are from Season two, a season which had the highest "overall" viewing figures in the shows history.
The Rescue.(Two Episodes.)
A succinct and competently written two parter, who's sole purpose is to introduce the Granddaughter replacement Vicki.
And by doing so quickly rebalances the demographics of the group after the departure of Susan.
It's main plotline hinges on a murder mystery with Sci-fi overtones, which the Doctor solves, with the help of some prior knowledge of the indigenous civilisation he'd gained from a previous visit.
Originally planned as the first story of the second season it was put back into third place because of extra work required on, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth".
Ep.1~ The Powerful Enemy.(2/1/65)
Ep.2~ Desperate Measures.(9/1/65)
Overall opinion:~a pleasing little diversion from some of Season two's more facetious offerings.
The Romans.(Four Episodes.)
Forgetting about the historical inaccuracies in some of the main characters. This story was unique for many years afterwards, as been deliberately done in a farcical fashion.(Input by the great Dennis Spooner.)
The Tardis crew via many convoluted reasons end up in Rome, but neither party (Vicky and the Doctor)(Barbara and Ian.) is aware of the others presence. The Doctor is mistaken for lyre player Maximus Pettulian, and finds himself embroiled in intrigue and murder in Nero's court.
Many of the situations are terribly contrived, but some are amusing.
- The Doctor using the, "Emperors New Clothes" syndrome to fool the snobs in Nero's court, whilst pretending to play the Lyre.
(He can't play a note.)
- The Doctor gives Nero an Idea to rebuild Rome.(Involving fire.)
On a religious note one of the characters turns out to be one of Rome's early Christians.
Anyone who's seen, "Spartacus", "Ben Hur" and "Carry on Cleo" will see at least one scene inspired from those classic films.
Ep.1~ The Slave Traders.(16/1/65)
Ep.2~ All Roads Lead to Rome.(23/1/65)
Ep.3~ Conspiracy.(30/1/65)
Ep.4~ Inferno.(6/2/65)
Overall opinion:~It was nice to actually see The Doctor meeting a historical figure for once, instead of just name dropping, like he does a lot during the Pertwee years.
This story shows Nero not fiddling while Rome burns, instead he "Lyred", much more believable.
(The fiddle hadn't been invented.)
The Romans is still even now an amusing treat, don't let the fact it's in Black and White put you off.
Trivia:~ Ello, ello, ello what's all this then? Doctors aboard the USS Enterprise,well yes, kind of, check this out.
In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Neutral Zone, as Dianna Troi helps a woman from the past search for living family members the computer screen flashes up a family tree with the names William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker.
Maybe some Trek writers were closet Whovians?
Trivia 2- According to research Nero died in his thirties. A lot younger then the middle aged Derek Francis, who plays him here.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jul 2009 17:12:00 BDT
K. R. Mason says:
A very useful review, giving plot summary and a critique of the shows. It persuaded me to buy the DVD, which is the best recommendation i can give! Thanks for the review Armchair Pundit, from a Who fan, who well remembers watching the very first episode in 1963.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2009 16:37:32 BDT
Thank you Mr Mason.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2009 23:10:55 GMT
Paul Smith says:
yes, a great review... i have just ordered it too...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jan 2010 12:50:47 GMT
Cheers Paul.

Posted on 8 Oct 2011 06:17:43 BDT
I don't actually think it can spoof Carry On Cleo because I think it was written (not filmed) before it came out. The idea was apparently to spoof the 1951 film Quo Vadis.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2011 11:07:03 BDT
Carry on Cleo was in production when this went out, Dennis Spooner was aquainted with Jim Dale.
But I agree with you about Quo Vardis.
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