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Doctor Who - Meglos [DVD]

3.8 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, John Leeson, Jacqueline Hill
  • Directors: Terence Dudley
  • Writers: John Flanagan
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: 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: U
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Jan. 2011
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004ASO950
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,094 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

On Tigella, two opposing factions are irrevocably divided over one fundamental issue: the Dodecahedron, a mysterious artefact which provides the entire planet’s energy. With the Savants and the Deons locked in a crippling stalemate, and their civilisation on the brink of collapse, the Tigellan leader Zastor seeks the Doctor’s help. But the Doctor and Romana have been trapped aboard the TARDIS in a timeloop by Meglos, the last of the Zolpha Thurans, who will stop at nothing to steal back the awesome power of the Dodecahedron...

Special Features
• Commentary by Lalla Ward (Romana), Christopher Owen (Earthling), John Flanagan (writer), Paddy Kingsland (composer) and Peter Howell (composer)
• Meglos Men Writers John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch meet with script editor Christopher H Bidmead
• The Scene Sync Story - A look at the pioneering technique used to create of many of the story’s shots
• Jacqueline Hill – A Life in Pictures A look at the life of Jacqueline Hill, with husband Alvin Rakoff, Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert and actors William Russell and Ann Davies
• Entropy Explained
• Isolated Score
• Radio Times Billings (PDF DVD-ROM – PC/Mac)
• Production Information Subtitles
• PhotoGallery
• Coming Soon Trailer
• Digitally remastered picture and sound quality

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Meglos, despite some of its negative points, is, in essence, a Doctor Who story that was before its time. It is a story that, at its heart, deals with the struggle between religion and science.

As a viewer, you can't help feeling a struggle off-screen as well. You almost feel the tug of war between the writers, the script editor and the director, as they fight it out to gain their own narrative. And what we're left with, through sheer luck, is a melding of the three, that essentially benefits the story in a way that no single party could have done on their own.

Once you get past the dodgy wigs, and the tiresome time loop scenes, there are many elements that make this a rather enjoyable story.

Tom Baker, nearing the end of his tenure as The Doctor, puts in a sterling performance as Meglos, not to mention the welcome return of Jacqueline Hill as Lexa who bookends her Doctor Who career here.

Then there is the truly fantastic make-up which makes the characterisation of Meglos even more villainous and believable. There are also some great FX shots in the story, combined with highly detailed models, that work together using the new Scene Sync technology - yet another example of the story being ahead of its time.

The DVD is rounded off with some excellent features that compliment the story.

The 'Commentary' features Lalla Ward (Romana II), John Flanagan (Writer), Christopher Owen (Earthling / Meglos) and Paddy Kingsland (Composer). John and Lalla seem to take turns guiding, but understandably, Christopher Owen tends to get lost in the background, and doesn't really seem to contribute much until the final episode.
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'Meglos', the second story from Doctor Who's eighteenth season, has rather a poor reputation which I don't think it deserves. The story is, admittedly, far from perfect but there's far more to like than dislike. Coming after an outstanding story like 'The Leisure Hive' this was never going to be considered as good.

Visually the story is rather impressive, especially the Zolfa Thura 'scene sync' scenes. Tom Baker's cactus make up/costume looks fabulous. There's some great incidental music from Paddy Kingsland (who scored the first episode) and Peter Howell (who did the other three). Howell's music for some of the Tom Baker Meglos scenes, in particular, is superb. The story is very well directed by Terence Dudley.

Tom Baker gives a decent performance as the Doctor but he positively shines as Meglos, bringing a real sense of menace and rage to the role. Jacqueline Hill (who played companion Barbara Wright from the first episode of Doctor Who in 1963 until 1965) is on fine form as Lexa. Bill Fraser and Frederick Treves are good fun as pirates Grugger and Brotadac respectively.

The main idea behind the story is the Doctor being impersonated by a cactus and, understandably, the writers struggle to bulk this thin concept out to four episodes. The Savants/Deons conflict on Tigella is just a generic science vs religion plot which isn't especially interesting. It is never explained where the Dodecahedron came from or why it is so powerful, which is irritating. Things go downhill towards the end, with Lexa being killed off for no apparent reason. When the action moves back to Zolfa Thura in part 4 you get the distinct impression that the writers are flagging.

Despite all the flaws, 'Meglos' remains a consistently entertaining story.
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This is one of the stronger Baker Classics, and enjoyable to watch. This is another Baker one to add to my collection of Dr Who's between 1963-1989, Subtitles very helpful. Quality good. Couldn't get this on VHS in the past, so DVD is a welcome addition.
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Love Baker but this story is a bit 'seen it before' kind of feel. He seems to be phoning it in a bit too. That said, I love this era of DW and hamming it up dressed as a cactus must have been a hoot. Might try it some time. And Jacqueline Hill but as a baddie!
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The five stars are for the dealer. No fault with them, but unfortunately this is a rather weak story carried through only by having Jacqueline Hill back. I was surprised at the uncharacteristic lack of interest on the part of all 'characters' in the death at the end of the show. Usually more respect is shown.
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This is a story which has grown on me over time. By no means a classic Meglos does however have much of interest. The return of Jaqueline Hill to Dr Who - former 1st Doctor companion Barbara - here playing a high priestess. Tom Baker gives an interesting performance as Meglos himself. And the sfx may be considered cheap by todays standards, but in 1980 there were few TV progrrammes, in the UK or US, who could achieve what the dr who production team did on such a small budget. Worth a look.
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Format: DVD
Coming only a year after Doctor Who reached record 16.1m ratings with City of Death, John Nathan Turner's first season as producer showed the downward trajectory that would be one of the hallmarks of his tenure when Meglos barely managed a quarter of that figure, with an equally dismal `audience appreciation rating.' Yet despite Turner being handed a seaworthy vessel and proceeding to drill holes in it below the waterline with bad creative decisions and dodgy casting in later years, it's not a bad little story even if the Doctor doesn't have much to do in the first episode, and what little he does he does repeatedly. Unfortunately it's a very undeveloped one, with both plot and character veering too often to the perfunctory and originality largely extending to the villain being... a cactus. A meglomaniacal plant has its possibilities, but there's the feeling that the Doctor had been here before too many times to find much to interest him and the central debate between science and religion - in particular a religion that has been built around unexplained technology whose priests don't want explained or explored - never gets off the ground.

There's one interesting bit of casting in having one of the very first Doctor's original companions from the very first episode, Jacqueline Hill, playing the high priestess, although she's not helped by having to share many of her scenes with Edward Underdown, who gives an embarrassingly bad performance - most of the time he doesn't even wait for his cues. But then maybe the general rushed feeling of the production was contagious - the four episodes are very short, with a lot of repeated footage from the previous episode to pad out the running time.
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