The Ark in Space was a bold statement that Doctor Who was under new ownership. After five successful years, Jon Pertwee and his producer, Barry Letts, had both just departed and new producer Philip Hinchcliffe was keen to take the programme into deeper and darker waters.
Hinchcliffe was lucky not only to have the experienced writer and script editor Robert Holmes on hand, but also he had the considerable talents of incoming Doctor, Tom Baker. The Ark in Space was Baker's second transmitted story and the third in production order, but given his assured performance you could be mistaken for assuming he'd been in the part for years.
The central concept of the story is deeply disturbing - a group of parasitic aliens called the Wirrn infiltrate the Space Ark where the last members of the human race are in deep hibernation and they proceed to lay their eggs in the helpless humans. This allows the Wirrn to consume their hosts, thereby inheriting the knowledge of their helpless victim.
Whilst the concepts are horrifying, some of the realisations are maybe less so. There's no getting around it, but when Noah is infected by the Wirrn, the initial possession looks uncomfortably like his arm is covered in green bubble wrap, for obvious reasons. But by the time this happens you should have already bought into the concept of the story and its ideas. If not, then it's probably best to switch off DVD and do something else.
As I've said, Tom Baker is never less than totally mesmerising. The relatively small cast allows Baker substantial screen time and Robert Holmes' script gives him plenty of good material to work with. He is ably supported by Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter as Sarah and Harry. It's easy to see why Sladen would go on to become one of the most popular of all the Doctor's companions, although here she does overplay a little. Later on as her working relationship with Tom Baker deepened they would enjoy more subtle byplay.
Although Ian Marter didn't remain with the series for long, his square-jawed, enthusiastic performance was a definite plus for the early Tom Baker serials. Here he gets some good two handed scenes with Tom early in the story, and handles them very well - it's a shame that there weren't more of them during his time on the show.
Originally released on DVD in 2002, this special edition has slightly improved picture quality. But anyone thinking of upgrading will surely be doing so for the additional special features.
All of the original special features from the first release have been retained, with the exception of the news report on the filming of Revenge of the Cybermen. As it's also on the Revenge DVD, this is no particular problem. Disc 1 has a new making of documentary, running for half an hour, called A New Frontier. This is an entertaining watch, and it was particularly nice to see Wendy Williams (Vira) and Kenton Moore (Noah) recount their memories of the show.
All of the material on Disc 2 is new to DVD and kicks off with The Ark in Space - Movie Version, a 70 minute edit produced for a BBC repeat in 1975. Back in the 1970's it was quite common to edit Doctor Who stories down for an omnibus repeat, there's another example on Planet of the Spiders. This is an interesting curio, and good to have on disc.
There's a couple of other small Tom Baker pieces. Scene Around Six which dates from 1978 is a news report featuring Tom Baker visiting schools in Northern Ireland. The reaction of both children and adults to Tom and his interaction with them is just wonderful to see. It's a small reminder of just how popular he was back in the day.
The second Tom Baker item is just over a minute of mute 8mm film from the location filming of his first story, Robot. It's short, but incredibly sweet as it gives a lovely behind the scenes look at Tom's debut story.
The other major new special feature is Doctor Forever! - Love and War. This is the first in a new series of documentaries which will appear on the Doctor Who SE's to be released this year. This edition looks at the range of original fiction published by Virgin and the BBC in the 1990's and has some notable and interesting contributors, amongst them Russell T. Davies, Rob Shearman, Mark Gatiss and Gary Russell. It's an entertaining half hour for anybody who remembers and read the books, the only slight drawback is that it's presented by Ayesha Antoine who has all the warmth and animation of a block of wood. Thankfully she's not on screen very long, as the voices who shaped Doctor Who in the 1990's take centre stage to tell their stories.
If you've not got The Ark in Space then it's an essential purchase, as it's one of the very best Tom Baker stories. If you already have the 2002 DVD, then you need to weigh up whether the new special features are worth a repurchase. In my opinion they are. And whilst The Ark In Space might look dated and slightly unconvincing in places, there's no denying that it still packs a punch - nearly forty years after its original transmission.
on 29 January 2002
An early outing for Tom baker as the Doctor ably assisted by Elisabeth Sladen and the late Ian Marter as Sarah and Harry. This horror story in space centres around a space station in orbit of the earth in the distant future. This ark holds the remaining members of the human race awaiting to return to Earth after it has become habitable again. The problem involves creatures who have invaded the station. I will leave the rest of the story to you but some of it is generally unsettling for what many regard as a childrens programme. The DVD includes new special effects which are seamlessly inserted into the story. However this is not the only reason to buy this the acting is excellent and the story is generally gripping. A definite buy for any fan.
An essential story that revealed a new vision for `Doctor Who', the full magnificence of Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor, the dark imaginings of Robert Holmes and the indescribable horror of frothing, green, alien, multi-nucleate bubblewrap... 5*
Amazon have bundled together reviews of all versions of `The Ark in Space'; this reviews the 2013 Special Edition with the new extras. If this story is new to you, then it's one you really must see; everything that makes the Tom Baker years so popular is right here, in only his second broadcast story. If you already have the earlier release, then the picture quality of this Special Edition is superb - the all-studio video production is incredibly crisp, bright and colourful. I think it's the best quality I've seen to date and it looks brilliant when upscaled on an HD TV. The new DVD extras are enjoyable too, including an excellent `making of' feature.
The DVD sleeve notes say firmly that this story is a classic - and they're right. New producer Philip Hinchcliffe and script editor (and here also the writer) Robert Holmes lifted the series back out among the stars, to the home of many First and Second Doctor adventures. Robert Holmes only had a few weeks to fill an unexpected gap in the production schedules, after other scripts were thought impractical, but the results are excellent with a very strong story and great writing.
The space-station setting is starkly lit and gleaming white for the most part, but with moments of gloom and shadow appropriate for what might be called the first `Gothic' story. It began this most famous era with a simple but horrific idea. There are certain wasps on Earth that lay their eggs in caterpillars so the larvae have fresh, *living* food - the Wirrn are giant `wasps' and they need something large for their grubs to eat - something about the size of a person ...
This story has a well-known `fault' which I personally don't find a problem at all - the Wirrn in their putrescent larval stage are made from green bubblewrap. In 1975 this wasn't obvious, people mostly sent parcels wrapped in cardboard and brown paper and even tied up with string, so bubblewrap wasn't widely known. Even today, this doesn't spoil the illusion for me any more than, for example, imagining we can see "the vasty fields of France" on stage during `Henry V'. Here we are out in the infinitely more vasty starfields of space and imagination can work overtime.
As well as the strong script (years before `Alien'), this story works for three reasons: superb sets, fine direction by Rodney Bennett and excellent acting. Roger Murray-Leach's sets may have been built on a small budget, but they don't look it - or sound it, with their cathedral-like production acoustics. Forty years later, Space Station Nerva still looks impressive; back in 1975 it was astonishing. In the first episode the Station almost becomes a character itself, as the three regulars carry the story along on their own with great performances, exploring the mystery of an intact, seemingly abandoned space station with only the merest hint of a `monster' - until the unforgettable first cliffhanger!
Tom Baker is utterly magnificent. When he first appeared in `Robot', I liked the new Doctor but it seemed odd seeing a new actor in what was obviously the sort of UNIT story that had been home to Jon Pertwee, my Doctor, for five years. This story is different; with a futuristic vision and really great writing, Tom Baker creates a new, delightfully alien Doctor of sheer brilliance. His soliloquy on humanity in episode 1 is perhaps the best this Doctor ever delivered for the awe and wonder it evokes, and his humorous, slightly spiky interaction with Harry Sullivan is another highlight.
Ian Marter gives a great performance as the unflappable naval Surgeon-Lieutenant, acting as a foil for the Doctor's wit and hardly turning a hair as alien horrors surround them on this, his first trip in the TARDIS. He's such a good companion and so well written that Sarah is actually sidelined for the first half of the story, though this is partly for good plot reasons. Elisabeth Sladen mentions this on the commentary and was apparently unhappy about it, but as the story unfolds Sarah establishes an entertainingly jokey friendship with Harry and shows just what she's made of, putting herself deliberately and literally into a tight spot to help the Doctor's plan.
The guest cast are few but very good. First Medtech Vira (Wendy Williams) emanates cool intelligence - a product of a constrained society in crisis: "there was not much joke in the Last Days" - but we can tell there is a caring person behind the professional façade. EngTech Rogin (Richardson Morgan) is a complete contrast, with his clever and matey engineer's personality and annoyance that his prediction of a "snitch-up" has come true. There are two more Techs, Lycett and Libri - also well played and at least they are around long enough to get names and some lines ...
Kenton Moore is excellent in a monster of a role as Commander `Noah'; at first ruthlessly efficient and really unlikeable with his eugenic talk of `regressives' and the `gene pool'. But it's another very unsettling idea in the background of this story - if you could only save a few hundred people from Earth, how would you choose? His `breakdown' (and worse) is very well played and it was originally even better than we see it.
Because while I don't find the bubblewrap `makeup' a problem, what still disappoints me about this story is the ugly cut made in episode 3 at the climactic encounter between the Doctor, Noah and Vira. As the commentary explains, it was filmed, looked great, must have been emotionally intense and would have been very memorable - but it was cut on grounds of `taste'. A great pity, especially as this made Noah a less sympathetic character, since we lost the full poignancy of his and Vira's doomed love-story. Ian Marter's excellent `Target' novelisation shows what we missed here and also at Lycett's literally sticky end.
The Doctor and his friends certainly help a great deal, but the ultimate heroes of this life-affirming adventure are the five awakened humans of Space Station Nerva - all of them - willing to make any sacrifice and proving that they are indeed members of, as the Doctor says, "an invincible species".
This is a terrific story where Tom Baker really took off as the all-new, truly regenerated Time Lord and the legend of the Fourth Doctor was born. 5*
Thanks for reading.
NOTE: You'll probably want to navigate to the second page of the `Special Features' Sub-menu and select `Alternative CGI Effects'. These impressive effects, inserted seamlessly into the story, make the exterior views of Space Station Nerva look as good as the interiors have always done.
DVD Special Features
On Disk 1:
The commentary with Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and Philip Hinchcliffe is as entertaining as you'd expect and also has a lot of fascinating background information.
NEW: `A New Frontier' (30 min) is a really good new `making of' documentary, with Philip Hinchcliffe and director Rodney Bennett, plus the actors' perspective from Wendy Williams and Kenton Moore, enjoyable and very interesting.
NEW: A very good photo gallery including some fun informal and rehearsal pictures.
`Roger Murray-Leach Interview' (10 min): the designer talks about his work on several memorable shows during the Tom Baker years, very good.
Several small items: The original and CGI replacement effects sequences, original BBC trailer, schematics of `Nerva Station', an impressively bleak `TARDIS-Cam' short animation.
Two `Easter Eggs'.
On Disk 2:
NEW: The edited `movie' 70 minute version, unrestored. This is how we were sometimes (rarely) allowed to see a `Doctor Who' story repeated, at Christmas etc. Really an item for completists, but it does demonstrate the leap in quality to the final restored version.
NEW: `Doctor Forever! - Love and War' (30 min): Fans of the Virgin range of `Doctor Who' novels will love this history of the Doctor's survival in print from 1990 to 2005, with an excellent group of contributors.
NEW: `Scene Around Six' (10 min): BBC News film of Tom Baker's visit to Northern Ireland in 1978, cheered by huge crowds. Anyone who still underrates classic `Doctor Who' and its impact should see this: vox populi.
NEW: `Robot 8mm Location Film' (1 min): short but good film of the stars on location in Tom Baker's first story.
Several items as PDFs:
Radio Times listings, two product promotions and a fun, 69-page `Technical Manual' (1983) covering the Doctor's own technology and the fully or semi-robotic characters from K-9 to the various types of Dalek and some very obscure characters indeed. And plans for making a card model TARDIS!
on 11 April 2006
Story: 4/5 - Extras: 3/5
Tom Baker's second story in the role (although The Sontaran Experiment was filmed first) is vintage Who. Scripted by prolific Who writer Robert Holmes, The Ark in Space is one of those entirely studio-bound stories with shonky model work and a rubber monster. As such, the futuristic setting looks pretty dated, but as the story relies as much on character work as it does on conventional sci-fi conceits, it doesn't really matter.
Even at this early stage, the Fourth Doctor's character is becoming well-established, complete with Tom Baker's trademark toothy grins and effective put-downs, and Ian Marter is very proper and British as over-his-head Naval medic Harry Sullivan. Only Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane Smith gets a poor treatment here, made to act even more terrified and hopeless than usual (not to mention spending half of the first two episodes in cryogenic sleep).
The small guest cast is well performed, particularly Wendy Williams' Vira, whose certainty of and adherance to the established rules gradually unravels as the story continues. Kenton Moore as Noah and Richardson Morgan as Rogin are decent if more forgettable characters, with Noah's struggle against possession by the Wirrn being reasonably well-played.
Despite the obvious use of bubble wrap in the construction of the Wirrn larvae, The Ark in Space holds together well as a story. I always prefer my Who when it goes on location, but with a decent script a limited set budget can be overcome; maybe, however, the lighting could have been more moody. The model footage is looking old, but as a feature of the DVD one can enable a series of replacement CGI footage that looks pretty good.
In terms of special features, the leading feature is a moderately entertaining commentary by Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and producer Philip Hinchcliffe. As well as the traditional photo gallery, there are a couple of interviews; some unused title sequence footage and model shots; a couple of related cuttings from the BBC archives; and of course the usual informative on-screen production notes. Not a bad package overall.
on 18 November 2004
This was Tom Baker's second outing as the Doctor and he'd clearly got up to speed.
The Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan find themselves on an apparently deserted space station. While the Doctor and Harry are trying to outwit the station's defence systems, Sarah Jane is teleported away to be prepared for deep freeze. The Doctor and Harry search the station looking for the missing Sarah and stumble upon its true purpose; a cryogenic storage place for the remnants of humanity after earth had been destroyed by solar flare activity. This gave the Doctor one of his best ever speeches in extolling the virtues of Homo Sapiens. but there's a bug in the system, and it's a damned big one. Here the designers verged on the borders of disbelief as infected humans are woken only to start transforming into insects with the aid of green painted bubble wrap. Rather surprisingly, it isn't that bad, though, as the horror of the transformation overcomes that initial disbelief - largely down to the ability of the actors involved of course.
The Space Station is a bit ropey by today's standards, but as one of the DVD options, you can have an updated version, though it's not much of an improvement.The fully transformed wirrn are also a bit iffy, especially when making their way through space.
on 11 February 2013
My Granddad used to me, "If you have nothing new to say, keep your mouth shut".
Wise words, indeed, and when it comes to reviewing DOCTOR WHO Special Edition DVD releases it is some that should be heeded by all parties - DVD Commissioning Editors and Fandom Critics - and a careful assessment of what can be said "new" undertaken before continuing on a journey that will inevitably end with hard earned cash being agitated from fan's TARDIS moneyboxes.
There are two questions; (1) How valuable are these "Special Editions" - whether published under the REVISITATIONS sub-brand or singularly - in adding further narrative to DOCTOR WHO story, and (2) Should Fan Critics promote what is clearly a (clever, if not manipulative) marketing tool in perpetuating the DOCTOR WHO archive knowing that fan's, like myself, will buy the product because we are fans even though we know that such releases are/can be a "cash cow" for the BBC?
The answer to both those is, as yet, undefinable. There has yet to be a "special edition" release that truly demonstrates a worthiness to be re-issued. Am I being too harsh or, heaven forefending, (too) cynical, or (very) narrow-minded? Probably to all three.
On 18 February 2013, BBC CONSUMER PRODUCTS are releasing an undoubted and unchallenging classic story from 1975 but with less than a handful of new items for fans to view would they be better off buying a roll of `Bubblewrap' and get more enjoyment from laying it across the kitchen floor and `de-pimpling' it under bare feet? I want to say categorically "Yes" but I want to be truthful, honest and independent in voice. So, sadly I have to say "Maybe". Certainly the level of professional production quality exceeds all expectations but the new content hardly pushes the envelope of originality as it once did (recently only DVD extra content for THE SENSORITES' "Looking for Peter" and, in 2004, THE GREEN DEATH' "Global Conspiracy" have been extraordinarily perceptive). It would seem that this "special edition" will be viewed once and then left to garner a layer of dead skin cells and household detritus on the DVD shelf.
However, there is true jewel that contradicts the inglorious content assessment; "A NEW FRONTIER - THE MAKING OF THE ARK IN SPACE" is fascinatingly astute and entertaining in equal measure. As expected, this new classy documentary (from PUP's Chris Chapman) chronicles its genesis (originally scheduled was a story called SPACE STATION from Christopher Langley, superseded by a complicated contribution from John Lucarotti), casting, design and filming with contributions from its series producer, Phillip Hinchcliffe ("...a vision of mine...science fiction...taking it away from Earth...Feature Film design on a shoestring"), director Rodney Bennett ("...very complicated script and lots of challenges as I'm not a very technical director...I would have like to have more slime..."), actress (as Vira), Wendy Williams for which time has been generous for her ("...haughty...very proud to be in it 40 years later"), actor (as Noah), Kenton Moore ("...I think Tom Baker was inspired casting...may hand was gift-wrapped in Bubblewrap..."). The documentary discusses the rigorous approach that Hinchcliffe applied to both the script and filming, undertaking self-censorship where he felt that elements would be unsuitable for the viewer (In episode three, Noah, then partly infected by the Warn DNA, confronts the Doctor and (his life-long partner) Vira in which the original script he pleaded them to kill him. "...for pity's sake, kill me..."). A fascinating insight in to the process of developing story narrative without being exploiting the viewers' goodwill, balancing a broad church of morality and depicting gratuitous acts of violence. A NEW FRONTIER delivers everything you'd expect from a featurettes; intelligent, earnest yet warm, and informative; if only other documentaries followed this winning formula.
In DR FOREVER! - LOVE AND WAR an array of DOCTOR WHO luminaries analyse the often overlooked (or purposefully ignored?) contribution of the VIRGIN BOOKS publishing licence in perpetuating the DOCTOR WHO brand following the broadcast termination of the CLASSIC SERIES (in December 1989). For nearly 15 years, the company's NEW ADVENTURE range of original novels reimagined, as Russell T Davies would do with the 2005 NEW SERIES, the Doctor and his companions for the most dedicated of fans and harnessing latent writing talent (including Paul Cornell, Robert Shearman, Gary Russell, Mark Gattis) that was genuinely fostered within the incestuous world of DOCTOR WHO fandom fanzines of the 1970's and 1980's. Thankfully, the documentary avoids crude acts self-congratulatory naval-gazing and gestalt pats-on-the-back, and eloquently focuses on the valuable contribution that the series of novels inadvertently provided in - perhaps - re-engaging the BBC in considering the brand as a equally valuable commodity and, yes, "cash-cow" (VIRGIN's licence was revoked-terminated, and BBC BOOKS launched their own novel series on the back of the 1996 TV MOVIE). Indeed, you may logically deduce that perhaps VIRGIN's contribution (and its Commissioning Editor, Peter Darvill-Evans) may have been a major catalyst in seeing the viability of re-commissioning a television series itself?
The only other `new' VAM (value added material) as part of this two-disc release is the 1975 edited `TV movie version', and, as an example of television drama produced on a shoestring nearly forty years ago, it is remarkably watchable. If only it had been "cleaned" as part of the restoration process.
Oh, yes, the cleaning process. The `blurb' states that "...newly re-mastered, utilising advances in technology and technique..." Now, I'm a little confused as I have viewed both this release and the original (2002) release and I'm struggling to see any difference (unless my SONY television and gold-plated connection cables are faulty..!). Personally, each of the `re-mastered' DVDs should include a mandatory VAM feature detailing the updates whether it is cleaning of picture flickering, scratches, dust, colour balancing.
Nevertheless, whilst the new content is (very) limited, the release of DOCTOR WHO - THE ARK IN SPACE is truly welcome, ready to be explored and devoured with the same relish as a mandible-chomping insectoid who thought, in discovering Space Station Nerva, that their all their Christmases and birthdays had come all at once. Yes, it is `classic' in the truest sense of the word but, regrettably, I felt that this release deserved more (perhaps, a 360 degree animation of Nerva's interior, demonstrating the extent of its storage capability) to warrant that emptying of the TARDIS moneybox.
I'm glad I sometimes disagreed with my Grandad about keeping my mouth shut; DOCTOR WHO - THE ARK IN SPACE is always worth talking about.
on 1 May 2002
This story sees the true beginning for Tom Bakers interpretation of the Doctor. His previous story was very much the 4th Doctor dropped into the 3rd Doctors territory with UNIT and an earthbound menace.
This story saw the Baker, Hinchcliffe (Producer)and Holmes (Script Editor) combination off to a flying start, with the TARDIS landing on a Space Station far into the future. This was the first story to emphasise the themes of the Doctors alienness (witness the scene in the Cryogenic Chamber) and the horror of the individual being taken over by the unknown, the latter the predominant theme explored by the show between 1975 - 77.
The first episode is particularly good with just the Doctor, Sarah and Harry carrying the proceedings along quickly and effectively, whilst the remaining three episodes build upons the aforementioned themes and tension. The sets are great, especially the corridors and Cryogenic chamber. The insect monsters, the Wirrn are unfortunately not that great due to the restrictive nature of their movements but as an introduction to how Dr Who was going to be for the next three years, this is great example of solid entertaining Who that kept the audiences at 10 million plus for most of the rest of the 1970's.
The extras are great too, particularly the CGI footage and the entertaining interview with Tom Baker at Wookie Hole, filming Revenge of the Cybermen. All in all, another very good, high quality release from the BBC!
on 3 June 2014
Tom Baker’s earliest ‘outer space’ serial in the title role of Doctor Who was this, a tale of giant insect-like aliens invading a space station where thousands of humans are being ‘stored’ in cryogenic sleep, awaiting the day when they are to be re-awoken – the day when the Earth is once more inhabitable after being ravaged by solar flares. When the Time Lord, along with travelling companions Sarah-Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan arrives on Space Station Nerva however, the Wirrn have already insinuated themselves into the infrastructure, and are busy devouring the sleeping bodies of the blissfully ignorant people, swelling their own numbers and preparing to take over The Earth itself.
Of course, it’s easy to decry the ‘not-so-special effects’ and poorly-realised monsters on display here, however to do that I think misses the point entirely. Although I’d say that the model shots of the ‘ark’ as well as its clinical interior are both excellent and would stand-up today, what really makes this serial is good old Uncle Tom. Love him or loathe him (and to be fair most fans seem to love him), he embodied The Doctor’s ‘alien-ness’ like no-one else before him, and surely like no-one else ever could. His sudden bursts of energy, maniacal grin at any hint of danger, and his innate remoteness (whilst somehow still displaying his fondness for Sarah and Harry), are just some of the things that make this so much more than a run-of-the-mill base-under-siege classic Doctor Who story. On top of this, the late-lamented Ian Marter plays old-fashioned naval surgeon Harry Sullivan as an immensely lovable duffer, and it would have been good to see him travel with The Doctor and Sarah more regularly. Say what you like about the bubble-wrap, the supporting cast are all superb, and the whole package is immensely satisfying for an ageing Whovian like me.
on 11 January 2012
Steven Moffat should rewatch this show and discover what Dr Who is all about. Because this is it. Fantastic sets, some real events and great acting. On top of all that A Doctor and companions you can actually believe in. It is also the beginning of the arc that culminates in Revenge of the Cybermen. Outstanding TV, this is from a time when you could sit down with anyone and not cringe your way through a episode. This is from a time when story drove the programme rather than silly ideas held together by todays effects technology. If I had to chose between those Alternatives I'd be here watching Ark in Space.
This is what can be achieved when someone you can take seriously is running the show.
on 6 August 2004
Well, after the tedium that was Tom Baker's debut story, we move on immediately to one of the best in the show's history. This story has an intelligent script and plot that is believable and entertaining. The whole thing is held brilliantly by Tom Baker himself who gives my favourate performance. It's a very tense but powerful perfromance with glimses of the humour that is Baker's trademark. He relishes the role here and he is blessed with a great script by the best Doctor Who writer Robert Holmes. The story is set in Earth's very Far future and solar flares have made the Earth uninhabitable for the time being. An extremely large group of Earth's population have gone into suspended animation on space station Nerva where the alarm clock has been set to wake them up after the Earth is clear. However an andromidan wasp called a "Whirrn" has interfered with the works to spread the larvae in order to take over the Earth , thus preventing the sleepers to wake up. Then the Doctor turns up.
The whirrn whilst not looking totally convincing on screen (especially when they begin to invade the outside of the Station)
are a well thought up villan and the transformation of Noah is well done with some creepy scenes at the end of episode 2 and beginning of epsiode 3. Also worthy of note is the "Homo sapiens" Speech by the Doctor during episode 1. Lis Sladen is good support for Tom in this story as usual and Ian Marter gives a good performance as Harry too with some amusing scenes between the two companions. The Restoration team must be continually praised for their excellence in restoring the original footage and in this DVD , worthy of note is the new space shots of the station. If you've just discovered the longest running Sci-FI series in the world than I can't think of a better way to start right here.