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Doctor Who - Horror of Fang Rock  [DVD] 
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Another adventure for the intrepid space/time traveller. It is the turn of the century, and the Tardis materialises by a lighthouse on the desolate isle of Fang Rock. When the engineer dies in mysterious circumstances, the remaining crew blame the mythical Beast of Fang Rock - until the Doctor and Leela turn up...
It is the turn of the century, and the TARDIS materialises by a lighthouse on the desolate isle of Fang Rock. When the engineer dies in mysterious circumstances, the remaining crew blame the mythical Beast of Fang Rock - until the Doctor and Leela turn up...
When a small clippper runs aground on the crags of Fang Rock the lighthouse offers shelter to its desperate passengers. But the Doctor soon discovers clues that suggest that no one is safe on the tiny island. Whilst a private drama unfolds between the survivors of the wrecked clipper, another death occurs. The Doctor suspects a ruthless alien lurks in the thick unnatural fog around the island and secures the lighthouse. But has he really locked the horror out, or is it somewhere inside with them...?
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Top Customer Reviews
In September 1977 these two weekend fixtures seemed to merge in the Space-Time Continuum, producing the outstanding `Horror of Fang Rock'.
Terrance Dicks' script is superb, full of tension, incident, excellent dialogue and even some humorous moments, each character's motivation and personality clearly drawn and believable. The first-rate cast bring this script to life as sincerely if they were playing one of the Sunday classics, from the opening friendly argument between the lighthouse keepers about the rival merits of oil and electricity, to the arguing shipwrecked aristocrats (who are not feeling friendly to each other at all). The convincingly cramped lighthouse sets and swirling studio fog add greatly to the claustrophobic mood as danger closes in.
Tom Baker is in fine form, as the Doctor slowly pieces together the puzzle and even makes a rare mistake along the way - the Doctor's realisation of this is a dramatic moment. Of course he recovers from this to finish off his adversaries in a typically inventive manner before delivering the memorable final lines of the story, a quotation that stayed with me for more than 35 years.
Louise Jameson is excellent as Leela. The script gives her plenty of great material and she plays it perfectly as usual, laying down the law to timid earthlings, pushing heedlessly through Edwardian social conventions, even teasing the Doctor at one point and clearly enjoying it.Read more ›
At this point in time the show was under considerable pressure to tone down the supposed horror emphasis of Philip Hinchcliffe's tenure, but it seems that new boy Graham Williams couldn't resist delivering a story designed to be as creepy, oppressive, and downright disturbing as possible. Manna from heaven for a hardcore Hinchcliffe era fan like myself!
As in the Robots of Death, there is a feeling of real claustrophobia about Horror of Fang Rock; escape seems as impossible for the Doctor and Leela as it does for the unfortunate shipwreck victims (all of whom are played beautifully). Tom Baker is on magnificent form here, brimming with arrogance, unpredictable moodiness, and often quite inappropriate reactions to the events. Likewise, Leela is also at her best - fierce and fearless.
I love this story so much that I've had to step back a bit to write this review so as to analyse just what it is that makes it so special. I think a big part of it is that the environment is so convincing. I was surprised to discover that the entire lighthouse setting was mocked up in the studio - it still looks eerily "right". Another factor that helps it all work so well are the rich period details that combine to make you believe that what you are watching is taking place in the early 20th century. The supporting cast are excellent (not always the case with classic Who), Terrance Dicks' script is powerful and memorable, and even the 70s special effects stand up well.
All in all, this is an exemplary Fourth Doctor caper that deserves the high reputation it enjoys. "They always said the Beast of Fang Rock would be back..."
For the majority of the story, we only have a phosphorescent green glow to indicate the presence of the strange killer along with the occasional electrical discharge. Before getting to see the attacking alien, we see through it's eye. The final revelation of the alien is marginally disappointing and it looks rather more amorphous than it should in my opinion.
Leela gets to gloat splendidly after blasting the rutan with her improvised cannon while the Doctor muses over the validity of such activity. Leela also got a nice bit of violent dialogue when she promised to cut out the hearts of the shipwreck victims if they interfered with the Doctor's plans.
This is a fairly rare example of pure horror in the Doctor Who canon, and an excellent stab at the genre.
The only real problem I had with this was technical in the fact that the darker scenes, mixed with the mist, made it rather difficult to see what was going on.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oh yes theres something out there killing everyone. Well lets go out into the fog and investigate. Oh, wait! Aarrrggghhh!
Strangely though this is quite entertaining.
Does Tom Baker's Who get any better??
This is genius, great entertainment even outside the Who-world.
Great Doctor Who story with one of the best Doctor's played by Tom Baker and the only story to feature the Enemy of the Sontaran's THE RUTAN'S. Read morePublished 15 months ago by D.L