Customer Review

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and gritty iconic classic, 4 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
Finally, this superb classic comes to DVD - and it's about time too. 'The Deadly Assassin' is a high-concept dark gritty tale that's one of Tom Baker's finest. This is the first time ever that we get to see the Time Lord featured on his own, plus the first time we properly get to see his home planet of Gallifrey. It's written by Robert Holmes, directed by David Maloney and produced by Philip Hinchcliffe (so how could it fail!), plus it's one of the most violent episodes-ever!

This is a 'story based' review only, but hopefully the extras should be pretty decent for such an important release. Plus for obvious reasons, it's essential that we get a Tom Baker commentary.

The Gallifrey set may look a bit low-tech, but this is because they were going for an operatic/theatrical look back in 1976, and for this reason it's still an effective and impressive set today that's very well lit. However, what really impresses the most, is the brilliant plot plus the Time Lord going through the Matrix. And once unconscious, he enters into an horrific virtual reality world where he faces imaginery threats. Later on, he's involved in a deadly game of survival with Chancellor/Hunter Goth (sorry about the spoiler - but hey! it's over 30 yrs old).

The threat scenarios from Goth (monitored by the Master) are very imaginative, for example: the Doctor stumbling down, hanging onto and then falling off the edge of a cliff caused by a samurai warrior cutting his scarf, getting his foot caught on a railway track as a train races towards him, being shot at by a biplane, the pond water getting poisoned, plus being almost drowned in a gas-filled marsh etc.

This is not only one of Baker's best (as mentioned), but also one of his finest ever performances. He literally fires on all cylinders here, ranging from the deadly serious to the comical, plus the physical but wounded man of action.

Overall, this is a real gem that's action packed, with great use of that iconic quarry again (Betchworth Quarry, near Reigate, Surrey - the same one they used for 'Genesis of the Daleks'). The tropical jungle landscape is also very effective (Royal Alexander and Albert School, Surrey). This is an absolute must!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Mar 2009 12:28:29 GMT
Bob Marlowe says:
Hi Richard,
Let me take the opportunity to return your compliments on my Fendahl review by saying this is a pretty damn fine review as well. I'm glad you're of a similar mind on Tommentaries and the story. For the sad reason that so many major players from the story are no longer with us-a Tommentary seems quite likely.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Mar 2009 14:46:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Mar 2009 15:51:28 GMT
Richard says:
Thank you Bob, I'm glad that you enjoyed my review.
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