2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Average Story - Good DVD,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Meglos [DVD] (DVD)
You're unlikely to hear anyone list 'Meglos' as their favourite 'Doctor Who' story - indeed, it doesn't have a particularly good reputation, and tends to languish among the forgotten 'Doctor Who' stories, or rather the ones some fans would rather forget. Actually, this is probably a little unfair - made in 1980 as part of Tom Baker's final series as the Doctor, it's far from his worst, and has a few things to recommend it. Chief among these is Baker's dual role as both the Doctor and the villanous Meglos, who steals his appearance in order to snatch the powerful Dodecahedron from the people of Tigella. Well, it makes a change from Meglos' natural form - thankfully glimpsed only briefly in Part 1 - which is a giant cactus. That probably tells you all you need to know. 'Meglos' is a strange combination of complex pseudo-science and wilfully daft elements, such as the band of motley space pirates commanded by General Grugger (Bill Fraser), which just about works. You won't necessarily find it easy to care about the rather boring Tigellans, or fully understand what the point of the Dodecahedron really is, but it's enormous fun seeing Tom Baker playing Meglos playing the Doctor, and that is really the big draw here.
If that's not enough for you, the bonus material on the DVD certainly should be - there are some fascinating featurettes on here. Of particular note are 'Meglos Men', which reunites writers John Flagan and Andrew McCulloch as they tell the story of how they came to write for the series, and revisit some of their old haunts - this is a refreshingly different way of approaching a making of documentary, and is so much more interesting than a standard interview-led piece would have been. Also, 'Jacqueline Hill - A Life In Pictures' is an affectionate look at the life and career of the actress who played schoolteacher Barbara Wright to William Hartnell's Doctor in the 1960s, and subsequently returned as priestess Lexa in this story, with tributes and memories from her husband and colleagues. There are also pieces on the Scene-Sync technology used in 'Meglos', 'Entropy Explained' which offers a little scientific background to some of the story's ideas, and the usual commentary, photo gallery, production notes etc that you'd expect on any classic 'Doctor Who' DVD.
All in all, this isn't a standout story from the Tom Baker era, but it's better than its reputation would suggest - but even if you don't appreciate the main feature, the extras make this well worth the purchase.