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This review is from: Doctor Who: K9 Tales Box Set (Invisible Enemy/K9 and Co) [DVD] (DVD)
This Doctor Who boxed set comprises of Tom Baker's The Invisible Enemy, and a doctor who spin-off called K9 and Company. This release has been quite controversial for two reasons. The first being the fact that 2Entertain somehow managed to make an authoring mistake, much to the horror of Doctor Who fans, which meant that two scenes on Episode 3 of The Invisible Enemy were the wrong way around - ruining the episodes cliff-hanger. While 2Entertain did offer support for anybody who had purchased a faulty disk (offering a helpline number and an address to send the disc back to them.) The fact remains that not only should this not have happened in the first place (quality control anyone?) but a lot of faulty discs still remained on sale in various retailers including Amazon.co.uk and Woolworths, so I personally don't understand why they didn't undertake an entire recall instead of allowing the faulty items to be sold. The second reason why this release was controversial was because the spin-off K9 and company was never very popular. There are plenty of brilliant Doctor Who stories still to be released that feature K9, it therefore seems rather cheeky to create a boxed set called K-9 tales that in fact offers so little to the viewer. The first reason was why I held off buying the boxed set for so long, but after finally doing so, I'm not entirely sure if I'm happy doing so.
The best way to describe the best part of this boxed set (The Invisible Enemy) is to say that it's essentially a mediocre rip-off of The Fantastic Voyage, except with your classic doctor who budget and more plot holes. The story involves around The Doctor becoming infected by a virus after passing through a region in space. As a desperate measure The Doctor and his assistant Leela clone themselves which are then shrunk down and inserted into his body. The story is very irregular and doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny (something I feel most Doctor Who stores actually do). On the plus side it is first ever appearance of K9, but I feel that this is not Tom Baker's best. The revamped special effects actually work to the favour of the story. But the giant prawn sadly still doesn't work for me. This story is definitely one that is a matter of personal taste, and while for me it's not the greatest Doctor Who, it's still not the worst. There are good special features which was a welcome surprise - especially anything to do with K9. But The Invisible Enemy is a bizarre (but still fun) story. Needless to say K9 is the real star of the story, and I enjoyed his debut appearance.
The first problem with K9 And Company is the opening theme music, which will most likely put you off straightaway. But the story involves Sarah Jane Smith and K9 investigating a black magic cult. Sadly it doesn't really work at all. The characters are shallow and to be honest - boring, just like the actual story. You'll most likely want to fast forward through half of it.
The picture and sound quality of both stories has been restored nicely and is at least something to be thankful for.
If you have been unlucky enough to receive a faulty disc of The Invisible Enemy below is the telephone number and address for 2Entertain, so you can send it back to them. However, saying that I should also point out that the faulty disc might actually be worth a lot of money in the future. When DVD's go the way of Betamax, it might be a collectors item. I'll leave the choice entirely to you.
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