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The greatest show off Earth,
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy [DVD]  (DVD)
The fourth and final story to be shown in Sylvester Mccoy's second season as Doctor Who comes to DVD, with all four episodes complete on a single disc.
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy sees the Doctor and his companion Ace visit the famous Psychic circus whilst it's on the planet Segonax. Despite Ace not being too keen on clowns. The two time travellers aren't the only people on their way there, as an electic bunch of travellers are doing the same. But the circus is no longer the happy and carefree place it once was. As the performers live in fear of the chief clown. And a very demanding and rather small audience.
Can the Doctor find the truth that lurks under the big top?
Coming from a period when the style of the show didn't find favour with many, this is one story where it works to it's advantage. Because the level of quirkiness is just right and it never goes too far or pantomimey. The outdoor filming may be in quarries but it creates a wonderfully alien and desolate landscape. The supporting cast of characters are all played at just the right level of eccentricity - although it could probably survive without the dig at Doctor Who fandom - and a problem with the production that led to most of the interior work having to be shot in a big tent in a car park rather than the usual bbc studio also works to it's advantage because it makes it look more convincing.
With a good plot that develops at just the right pace, and superb villainy from actor Ian Reddington as the chief clown, it's not the greatest story ever. But it's a very good one indeed.
The DVD has the following language and subtitle options:
It's also English audio captioned.
It has the usual features for this range of:
A commentary from some of the cast and crew [not unfortunately including Sylvester Mccoy].
A photo gallery of stills from the story and it's production.
Production information subtitles.
The radio Times listings for the story as PDF files.
The option to listen to the score of the story all on it's own.
And a trailer for the next dvd in this range, that as ever involves fast editing and is one epileptics may have a problem with.
A typically excellent thirty minute long making of documentary. Which among other things tells the full story of why they had to go to the car park.
Eleven minutes worth of deleted and extended scenes. These usually involve people walking from one set to another but this lot does have some good character moments. And some are unfinished so it means they will go from black and white to colour at random. Do look out for a scene of the buried robot, as it shows it got some dialogue which was cut from the final version.
Model effects: a two minute long feature about a visual effect shot planned for episode one, showing the shot itself and a visual effects man explaining it and why it was cut.
The psychic circus: a pop song recorded by some of the cast all about the psychic circus, using images from the story for it's video. This also involves flashing images and fast editing which may cause problems to some.
Remembrance demo: Mark Ayres, who wrote the score for this story, did a demo of his work by taking two scenes from earlier story 'Remembrance of the Daleks' and writing new music for them. This is that music set to the scenes in question.
Tomorrow's times - the Seventh Doctor: is the latest in the series that looks how the press of the time covered a various era of the show. In the case not very nicely. The quality of the journalism is as poor as many say this era of the programme was, but there are a couple of better articles than expected. Although the Janet Street Porter impression isn't very welcome. And it ends rather abruptly on a to be continued note that seems to promise a look at how the show survived in other media post 1989.
There is also a one minute long clip of a parody of the show from 'Victoria Wood - seen on TV' which also plays exactly as you would expect, parodying stupid companions and cheap sets and monsters and the Doctor's costume. There is one good joke in the middle of it. But that's that. It's only a minute long. Thankfully.
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Initial post: 30 Oct 2013 21:23:47 GMT
Ian Redington is scary as the chief clown in this a great tv Seventh adventure.
Paul your reviews are a credit to you very engaging.
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