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Doctor Who - Terror of the Zygons [DVD]
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Another adventure for everyone's favourite time-traveller. Answering the Brigadier's space/time telegraph, the Doctor (Tom Baker), Sarah (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry (Ian Marter) arrive in the village of Tulloch, near Loch Ness. A series of attacks have taken place on local oil rigs, and many are blaming the legendary monster. The Doctor discovers the creature to be the Skarasen - cyborg pet of invading aliens the Zygons. Their own planet having been destroyed and their spaceship crippled, these deadly shape-shifters are now intent upon taking control of the planet Earth.
Loch Ness is the setting of this very traditional 1975 Doctor Who monster story, even though it was actually filmed in southern England with local atmosphere provided by Scottish character actor Angus Lennie (The Great Escape). The Doctor (Tom Baker) is called in to investigate a mystery involving the destruction of several oil rigs and it's not too long before the Loch Ness Monster is revealed as the culprit. But it's actually just a biomechanical weapon being manipulated by the evil Zygons who have been living at the bottom of the Loch plotting world domination. The organically designed sets and monsters are very striking, as are the visual effects with one notable exception: Really Big Creatures have always been a bane for the series with its limited budget to pull off and this story's reliance on an obvious puppet monster, especially during the climax, diminishes its impact. But there is still much to relish, particularly the dialogue of writer Robert Banks Stewart (who would go on to create the long-running BBC series Bergerac) that provides a number of gems including the Doctor admonishing the Zygons that if they succeed in their plans, "you'll have to come out on the balcony sometimes and wave a tentacle". With much derring-do, the Doctor saves the day as usual but not before four exciting episodes of fun and action. --Ryan K. Johnson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Robert Banks Stewart’s exciting story is a great adventure to end on, presented on two feature-packed DVDs, with reels of excellent location filming and action under the direction of Douglas Camfield once more, as with some of the early UNIT stories; top performances from the regular stars and guest cast, atmospheric sets and soundtrack and the best aliens ever to bring their Terror to `Doctor Who'. Oil, and the politics of oil, was never far from the news in the mid 1970s. So when the Zygons decide to make their bid for Earth from their Loch Ness base, oil rigs made a logical, topical first target. Fortunately the government have UNIT to call on, and the Brigadier can send for the Doctor, but the Zygons have a secret weapon of their own ...
Tom Baker plays the Doctor with a perfect otherworldly quality, irascible, playful and heroic as the situation demands. It's good to see Elisabeth Sladen given the chance to show Sarah Jane as the independent investigative reporter, in a typically good performance. Ian Marter wasn't in the series for long but his `Harry Sullivan' matches Frazer Hines `Jamie' as the best male companion, and was unlucky to be written out so soon. John Levene gets a good story as RSM Benton for the last time in the full UNIT setting. (Yes he and Ian Marter were both in `The Android Invasion' and it's not a bad story but is it a real UNIT story?Read more ›
Such was the impact of 'Terror of the Zygons'...coming so soon after 'The Ark in Space' and 'Genesis of the Daleks' that an article on Doctor Who was published in the old 'Listener' magazine. It paid tribute to Tom Baker (still a 'new' doctor then), and to the Hinchcliffe production team and speculated that, on the strength of recent stories, the programme might possibly run for all time. Nearly forty years later....
Firstly, with one important exception, the design work is first rate - from the Zygon spaceship interior to the creation off the Zygons themselves, one of James Acheson's finest contributions to the series.
The regulars, headed by Tom Baker are all on fine form. It's still quite early on in Baker's reign so the jaded flippancy of later years is absent - here he's firing on all cylinders, as he's still feeling out the possibilities of the part. Elisabeth Sladen's partnership with Tom Baker was going from strength to strength, and for my money the Doctor/Sarah combination of Season 13 is one of the strongest Doctor/companion team-ups in the series' history. It's a shame that Harry, played by the late Ian Marter, doesn't feature more - but sadly that's par for the course. He always gave his best, but there's simply not enough for him to do, so no surprise that this was his last story as a regular.
Though this was to be the final proper UNIT story until 1989, you wouldn't know this by viewing the story in isolation. Far removed from the comic relief of the later Pertwee era, in Zygons UNIT are a rock solid force and strong back-up for the Doctor, headed by Nick Courtney's immaculate performance as the Brig.
Returning to direct a Doctor Who story for the first time since his abortive work on Inferno (1970) was Douglas Camfield, one of the series' greatest stylists. The film work alone - such as the duplicate Harry attacking Sarah with a pitchfork or the hunt for the wounded Zygon through the woods - is several rungs above the norm, demonstrating why Camfield was so in-demand as a director.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for my mother-in-law. She is a big Tom Baker as Dr Who fan. We are slowly buying all of them for her. She loves it.Published 3 months ago by E. Spillings
Was terrified by the Zygons as a child, but love them now. Very happy.Published 4 months ago by Chris Fox
Terror of the Zygons, the opening story of the 13th season, has truly remarkable direction courtesy of Douglas Camfield (bar one forthcoming aspect) and is an exercise in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Undecided Reviewer
There is an extra disc packed with extras. The four part story comes with info text, audio commentary, 5.1 sound and isolated music score. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brian
Tom Baker at his best in one of Who's greatest stories ever.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer