2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Take it at your leisure,
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Leisure Hive [DVD] (DVD)
This was the first story of S18, the first for the JNT, Bidmead crew and the new look for Who as it stepped into the 1980s. But it wasn't all firsts; it was also the last season for Tom Baker.
The Leisure Hive still ranks as my favourite story from S18. There's still a hangover of the previous season's approach and some Adams-eque humour (a twenty minute war, squash players floating around in zero gravity and the baddies derived from an anagram of Mafiosi) and it gels rather seamlessly with the new look, which was very effects heavy and a visual and audio delight care of Peter Howell's soundtrack and the excellent direction of Lovett Bickford. Bickford has been criticised in some quarters - almost as if he's the Ken Russell of Who! - but personally I love his directorial flair, it really raises the stories game and provides the viewer with something genuinely special. After all, if you want to herald the dawn of a new era, you should do it in style!
The extras compiled for this DVD are very good. There's an interesting documentary on the intentions of the new era which includes some rehearsal footage of Tom going off at the deep end and the commentary featuring Lalla Ward, Christopher H Bidmead and Lovett Bickford is in turns both fascinating, enjoyable and frustrating - largely because the self important, delusional, arrogant bore Bidmead seems to think it's perfectly fine to sit there and slag off Bickford's directorial style and Tom's performance and overall behaviour. Bickford remains the gentleman and refuses to rise to the criticisms whilst Lalla - the former Mrs Baker whose marriage to her co star ended acrimoniously - rightly leaps to the defence of her ex husband and the overall tone and style of the show she so enjoyed working on. It's telling to note that when Bidmead got to sit with Baker for the commentary of Logopolis he kept his criticisms to himself. What a two faced stuffed shirt!