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Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A matter of metals, 18 May 2010
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Creature from the Pit [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
A four part Doctor Who story from 1979, featuring Tom Baker as the Doctor and Lalla Ward as his travelling companion Romana. The TARDIS crew - and K9 - visit a planet rich in vegetation, and where rebels fight a nasty ruler. The Doctor helps the rebels, defeats the ruler, and deals with an alien who has been imprisoned on the planet and who has set plans for vengeance in motion.

It's all very standard stuff plot wise. Not that there's essentially anything wrong with that.

But this comes from a time when the show was accused of going a bit over the top, and this isn't entirely restrained from time to time. Added to which, there are three big faults with it.

1. The script doesn't really come together, jumping all over the place and rather wasting a potentially excellent villainess.

2. Romana. The first story Lalla Ward recorded in the part, and she spends all of it trying to find the character. Thankfully she did get very good indeed in later stories.

3. Erato. The alien. Meant to be a huge blob like creature. Not the kind of thing bbc visual effects of the 70's on a tight budget were ever going to be able to realise wholly convincingly. It just does not work.

Doctor who back then was always made, as one of the script editors once said, with the aim of preventing there being twenty five minutes of blank tv screen on a saturday night. This achieved that aim. But whilst it can offer occasional delights along the way, not least some good supporting performances and an excellent set for the surface of the world, it's not the best the show has to offer.

The dvd has the following audio options:

Language track: english

Subtitles: english

Adult navigation.

The usual extras for the range:

commentary from selected members of cast and crew.

Production information subtitles.

Coming soon trailer for upcoming release in this dvd range.

Photo gallery of shots from the story and it's production.

Radio times billings as PDF Files.

Plus a handful of extras exclusive to this release:

A twenty five second long extended version of one scene.

A three minute long clip from the bbc children's show of the time animal magic, with the Doctor telling viewers about fierce animals he's met during his time. An odd item, recorded seemingly during the production of the creature from the pit, because Tom Baker never seems to be entirely in character and you can hear people talking in the background which distracts. But it's an interesting curio and a good piece of nostalgia for those who remember animal magic.

Plus two decent documentaries:

Team Erato runs for fifteen minutes and has the visual effects team of the time talking about what went into making the creature and the end result. A full, frank, and very watchable piece.

Christopher Barry: Director: runs for nineteen minutes and is an interview with the director of this and a fair few other Doctor who stories. Filmed in the beautiful looking village where he lives, he is an excellent interviewee with lots of interesting stories to tell. This doesn't get up to this Doctor Who time till halfway through, but you might be absorbed enough not to notice or worry.

The latter two extras do life the whole package up somewhat. But all in all, despite not being terrible, it's not the best one in this range.
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