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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 April 2001
It is generally perceived that Tom Bakers first two seasons as the Doctor were his best, and possibly the best ever. There are one of two stories which do stand above the rest. The brilliant Seeds of Doom being one of these.
I always felt that some of the earlier 6+ parters had too much padding causing boring repetiveness. Not so here. This story has the depth to be worthy of a six parter. Tom and Elizabeth really shine here and there are some terrific supporting performances too. Notably Harrisson Chase the meglomanic Millionaire who grows steadily madder by the second and thinks he is part of the plant world. Great Production, Great Costume Design and Direction. What more can you ask for in a Who story?. (Except Leighbridge-Stewart, Benton and co. as the UNIT team brought in). Nevertheless, TERRIFIC STUFF!
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on 12 May 2016
The great Tom Baker rocks as the Doctor in this BBC series. No Daleks or Cybermen and the SFX really do leave a lot to be desired but that's part of the charm of this series for Who purists. Still a good watch at a very cheap price.
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on 29 September 2010
In my opinion Doctor Who reached its peak with season 13 - and this was the best of the lot. The pace and excitement never lets up throughout the six episodes and the performances are some of the best in the series history. Tom Baker and Elizabeth Sladen are at the peak of their powers here. The location filming is beautiful as is the incidental music. Also drected by the greatest Doctor Who director, Douglas Camfield and written by "Terror of the Zygons" writer, Robert Banks Stewart - both in their final DW outings. I cannot criticise this story, and even love the Krynoid. To cap it all, it has some of the best cliffhangers ever seen as well.
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on 16 January 2016
Tom Baker at his darkest and best, a great villain in the marvelous Tony Beckley ably supported by a lifetimes best role for John Challis as Scorby, a super monster, lots of death and the Doctor saved by UNIT blowing the monster up.
Great location, including night shoots and a sense of real horror.
A wealth of wonderful extras, too, including a shed load of opinions on the commentary.
A must have for any Doctor Who fan, old or new.
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on 30 October 2013
Very enjoyable and entertaining. I am trying to collect all of the DVD's of Tom Baker, Bill Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy (I already have all of John Pertwee's episodes), so this was a must. Very good performance from John Challis, and also from Mark Jones and Roy Skelton. Picture quality excellent, and subtitles a boon. Will definitely carry on building up my Dr Who collection when finance allows. Have already ordered "The Hand of Fear", and have got six more Tom Baker stories to get my Tom Baker collection complete. Those 6 are saved for later. Have also ordered in advance "The Enemy of the World", and "The Web of Fear". My brother is also getting me "The Ice Warriors" for Christmas.

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on 9 August 2010
Review now updated. When a friend recently gave me a copy of this I was delighted since my original video was exchanged for filthy lucre years ago. This being bumped up the release schedules is the best news since winning the runner up prize in the World Cup Sweepstake!
One of the best of the early years of Tom as he battles murderous Krynoid plants. There has been criticism of it really being a 4 part story with a linked 2 parter stuck on the front, not without justification.
Why this reportedly late expansion of story works is because there's a different feel to both stories. The 2 parter in the Antartic is tighter, more traditional style horror pastiche. there are genuinely creepy moments such as the suggestion that a rather rough and ready amputation be done to stop the Krynoid's infection of its victim.
The 4 parter that follows has a larger set of characters, notably the dotty flower painter Amelia Ducat. Having had the foretaste of what happens once you get infected, the greater look at the horror of bodily transformation is all the more scary. As a likeable character gets infected, we see his terrible pleading to be released from restraint and promise that he won't harm Sarah, which we know he can't keep. His own self disgust is particularly well conveyed.
Tony Beckley is one of the creepiest and maddest villains ever as Harrison Chase, who loves plants more than people. Solon from Brain of Morbius looks quite rational next to him! There's a wonderful moment where he offers the most insincere sympathy for the plight of someone whose work experience has led him to betray his employer.
It's good to see Only Fools & Horses' Boycie, John Challis in a very different role which he makes quite a good fist of.
There are some funnier moments such as when the mutating man is served supper which consists of a tray of twigs and leaves even the cheapest Supermarket wouldn't sell!
The Tom and Lis partnership is at its strongest here in their golden period. Tom gets some good banter with John Challis' Scorby;

"when it comes to money Mr Chase and I are of the same religion!"

"I love a good quote!"

There is genuine atmosphere throughout.

Demerits? well, the animation of the Krynoid attacking is well done but there's too much of it, sparingly it would have been excellent. Also when the man playing the Krynoid (after its human shape has gone), rushes toward the camera very eagerly for an episode climax, it does look rather like Snorky from the iconic kids show The Banana Splits-I don't mind it too much as Snorky was my favourite!

There are a few lines of course which seem odd now best of all "I could play all day in my green cathedral!"

Also it's a shame we have UNIT but not the regulars, the Brig turning up would have been icing on a rich cake!

The Tommentary (recorded with Mr Baker July this year), is a pic n'mix includings John Challis, producer Philip Hinchcliffe, designer Roger Murray Leach, writer Robert Banks Stewart, Douglas Camfield's son Joggs plus Kenneth Gilbert & Michael McStay. Now I know these aren't to everyone's taste but it's pretty good fun. John Challis introduces himself as "desperate to have another stab at Dr Who" & is especially good fun, clearly having enjoyed the story. Tom Baker is as usual commenting in response to the ongoing "is so and so still alive?" game they all play that he always looks at the obituaries "my only pleasure on a dark day" and stating Lis Sladen's lips "were made for kissing"!
Pod Shock is a lengthy making of and a damn good one covering how the story came to be written due to problems with another script, Tom playing stuntman,, the model work and why it was Douglas Camfield's last story.
A Now & Then look at locations is fun and "Playing in the Green Cathedral" is an enjoyable look at the work of composer Geoffrey Burgon.
New & old Who director Graham Harper recalls working as a Production Assistant in "So What Exactly do you do?" recalling the mentor relationship he had with Camfield and what the role actually meant.
In addition to trails and continuity plus coming soon, The 4th Doctor is looked at in "Stripped for Action." this covers the running down of the TV comic Who strip in particular reprinting old Pertwee stories with a hasty and crude redrawing of the face (they don't mention the more ingcongruous sight of Tom in a Troughton costume with the 2nd Dr strip reprint) and we then move on to how Dez Skinn made a rough pilot issue and persuaded the BEEB to give him the chance to produce a comic. Tom Baker's assistance promoting the comic is discussed too. It's very good but this is one occasion wher the short running time leaves it slightly rushed.

I found 1 easter egg where John Challis recalls performing his Jimmy Stewart impression for Tom when they met up again.

Top notch extras, I recommend this one for all fans, regardless of vintage!
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on 1 October 2010
Possibly an episode too long, but this is another 'classic' of the old series. It's also one of the rare stories in which Tom Baker had to pull out all the stops to prevent another actor overshadowing him. Tony Beckley's demented, mincing millionaire, Harrison Chase, was one of the old show's most entertaining villains. He was so good, I even forgave him his "animal fiends!" line (well, he didn't write the script, after all). Acting honours here should also go to John Challis, very convincing as the cowardly thug, Scorby and, of course, to Elizabeth Sladen who demonstrates exactly how she earned her reputation as the best companion of all. The scene in Chase's lab when she jeers at the panicking Scorby is probably one of her finest scenes on the series. This story has more than its fair share of disturbing scenes (Chase getting chewed up by the composter, Keeler tied to his bed and being fed raw meat during his metamorphosis into a Krynoid, the Doctor recommending one of the Antarctic base scientists have his arm amputated and Scorby being simultaneously strangled and drowned by pondweed). It's probably one of the most brutal Doctor Whos of the old series and a world away from the innocence of the Hartnell-Troughton era. But once you start watching, it's hard to stop.
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on 16 January 2015
Another great story from the 4th Doctor era, very good acting and an excellent script make this an absolute must for us fans, the DVD has brilliant picture quality and a host of nice extras.
Watch out for 'Boycie' from 'Only Fools And Horses' who gives a very good bad guy role.
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on 11 August 2014
The other reviews indicate what a great story this was, and still is. It's quite possibly the best who ever. Tom Baker brings a new edge to the role and Elisabeth sladen is at her best as Sarah Jane. The star of the show though is tony Beckley as harrison chase. You know from the moment you hear his strange synthesised music for the plants that he is ever so ever so unhinged and will make a worthy adversary. He is the classic villain, coldly polite and a total psychopath. The story predated alien but the idea of a murderous plant pod has reminiscences in the 79 film. It works very well and you won' t want to serialise it. The dvd has some interesting extras too.
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on 31 August 2007
The above is just one of the memorable lines uttered by Tom Baker's Doctor in this, what is regarded by many as the start of the so-called 'golden era' of Doctor Who. First broadcast in 1975 at the end of the fourth Doctor's second season, the serial sees Baker really hit his stride whilst Elisabeth Sladen exudes confidence; the resulting chemistry cementing the series' greatest double-act until Lalla Ward's Romana came along.
Not really one of the much-vaunted 'gothic' stories, this is more of a 'Boy's Own' romp, the action switching from Antarctic wastes to the mansion belonging to the sinister Harrison Chase, an unhinged billionaire botanist. Featuring green slimy monsters, ingenious methods of disposing of one's enemies and a host of 1970s TV stalwarts (plus the aforementioned John Challis), the story romps along at a cracking pace.
Whilst it is easy to mock the (clearly) polystyrene snow, rubbery aliens and fake locations, these are exactly what gave 1970s (and to a lesser degree) 1980s 'Who' its charm and great appeal. I have watched this story more than any other and it never fails to remind me of why I am such a fan of the show.
"Mr Stevenson, what you have done could very well result in the destruction of the entire human race..."
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