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Doctor Who: The Face Of Evil [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Louise Jameson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Mar. 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006LI4XG2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,169 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

When the TARDIS arrives on a jungle planet, the Doctor encounters two warring tribes, the Sevateem and the Tesh. The Sevateem worship a god called Xoanon and the Tesh are supposedly keeping Xoanon prisoner…

But why do the Sevateem call the Doctor the Evil One? And what are the invisible creatures in the jungle? The Time Lord, with the help of a girl called Leela, is about to find out.

Special Features
• Commentary
Into the Wild Cast and crew talk about the making of The Face of Evil
From the Cutting Room Floor Film trims provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the film shoot.
Tomorrow’s Times – The Fourth Doctor A look at press coverage of Doctor Who during the Tom Baker era.
Doctor Who Stories: Louise Jameson talks about her role on the programme in this interview shot for 2003’s The Story of Doctor Who.
Swap Shop An extract from Louise Jameson’s appearance on The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, interviewed by Noel Edmonds.
• Denys Fisher Toys Advert
• 1976 Typhoo Tea Doctor Who Promotion
• Radio Times listings
• Programme subtitles
• Production information subtitles
• Photo gallery
• Coming soon trailer
• Digitally remastered picture and sound quality



"The Face of Evil" (1976) was the fourth story in the 14th season of Dr Who. Tom Baker was well and truly established in the role of the heroic Time Lord, but the Doctor's popular assistant, Sarah Jane Smith played by Elizabeth Sladen had departed at the end of "The Hand of Fear". This story was inspired by HG Wells' The Time Machine (filmed in 1960) with its future society split in two: one group descended into primitive superstition the other surviving as a technological elite. Adding a crashed spaceship, a computer with multiple personalities and a mysterious carving of the Doctor, this would have been a routine adventure but for one thing; the first appearance of a new assistant played by Louise Jameson. An instant hit with the audience, Leela was a different kind of Dr Who companion. Confident, not adverse to violent self-defence, scantily-clad and unselfconsciously sexy, Leela was part-way between Tarzan's Jane and The Avengers' Emma Peel. Writer Chris Boucher acknowledged The Avengers influence, also noting that he named the character after Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled! Leela stayed with the Doctor until the end of "The Invasion of Time" (1978). --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Best remembered for introducing one of the Time Lord's most memorable companions, the warrior Leela, Doctor Who - The Face of Evil has a lot more to recommend it than Louise Jameson's skimpy costume fuelling millions of schoolboys' and their dads' fantasies. It's a surprisingly compelling mystery that sees the Doctor arrive on a planet plagued by invisible monsters (not the only time the show would borrow from Forbidden Planet in Tom Baker's tenure), a tormented villain with the doctor's voice who makes others act out the images of his torment and two warring tribes, one primitive, the other more hi-tech. While he's trying to work out whether they're the captors of a survey team that crashed on the planet or their children, it gradually emerges that we're watching a sequel to a story that was never told by the series, one that deals with the disastrous long-term consequences of his interfering in the past - so far in the past that it's not until the terrific visual punchline to episode one that he even remembers it...

It's one of Baker's best stories, and in Leela he has a surprisingly vicious (at least at first) and ferocious companion, one who actually kills and is proud of her deadly prowess. It's quite a leap from the Victorian Pygmalion figure the role was initially intended and yet despite, as Jameson informs us in an interview on the DVD, being based on a combination of her dog and the little girl who lived in the flat upstairs, she's not presented in a patronising way as a bit of cheesecake with a blade: she can look after herself and is more likely to rescue the doctor than need rescuing herself.
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'The Face of Evil' sadly isn't one of the better remembered stories of the Philip Hinchcliffe era which is a shame as it's a superb story. The pace is slow but it's an intelligent script with some great ideas behind it.

The story deals with the intriguing idea of the Doctor's intervention having an adverse effect on a civilisation; the Doctor was responsible for, albeit accidentally, driving Xoanon insane. There is also a pleasing element of mystery to the early part of the story as we see a primitive tribe with what appears to be the remains of advanced technology.

The set design is creative; the story features a convincing jungle set but after two episodes the action shifts to the futuristic white corridors of the colonists spaceship which are also impressive sets. The chamber with three large screens that represents Xoanon is also very effective. The Sevateem are well realised with good costumes. The Tesh on the other hand are less impressive, they have silly costumes and a bizarre comical bowing ritual.

After a downbeat performance in 'The Deadly Assassin' Tom Baker is back to his old self here cracking jokes and being eccentric in a very strong performance. Louise Jameson is superb as new companion Leela. Leela's characterisation is very different to other companions, she is portrayed as fearless, violent and extremely tough with the Doctor objecting to her acts of brutality. Leela is also shown to be ignorant but intelligent, the Doctor even describes her as a genius.

There are some very memorable cliffhangers such as the one at the end of episode one where we see the Doctor's face carved Mount Rushmore style into a cliff face. The episode three cliffhanger where Xoanon torments the Doctor is harrowing.
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The Face of Evil is the beginning of the new era for Dr Who. It all started in January 1977 when viewers, especially the male population caught their first sights of Louise Jamieson as Leela. Leela was very different to the Doctor's previous assistant Sarah Jane Smith. Leela was savage, but she was very brave in an understanding way.

I would like to say to any Tom Baker fan to get this adventure as the acting is first class from the lead actors Tom Baker and Louise Jamieson to the brilliant casting of the Savateem from Brendan Price as Tomas, Victor Lucas as Andor, Leslie Schofield as Calid to the casting of the Tesh from Leon Eagles as Jabel and Miles Ellis as Gentek, but all acting glory goes to David Garfield as the Savateem Holy, but misguided mystic Neeva who grand and over top performance is the crowning glory to this 1977 Dr Who adventure.

I am looking forward to more 1970s classics like the Mind of Evil, The Ambassadors of Death, Terror of the Zygons, Nightmare of Eden, plus the BBC should issue a seperate Special Edition DVD of 'The Revenge of the Cybermen' (similar to the 1972 Jon Pertwee Dr Who adventure 'Day of the Daleks') for true 1970s Dr Who Tom Baker fans. The BBC should also use advance and realistic CGI to re-create the missing 1979 Tom Baker adventure 'Shada'.
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It really is surprising that many Doctor Who fans don't rate this movie among their 'top ten'-s. It has one of the finest time-travel paradox stories ever in the history of Doctor Who (maybe second only to "Blink"). It shows Leela (a new companion who is strikingly different from all her predecessors) in all her action-oriented glory. It also shows, through the story again, the consequences of actions that are committed by the Doctor, often without the necessary amount of consideration that was actually called for. Brilliant episode, and most definitely worth repeat-viewings. Highly recommended.
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