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4.5 out of 5 stars
54
4.5 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who - Planet of Evil [DVD] [1975]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 1 February 2014
For some reason this story never seems to rate that highly in fan polls possibly because it is overshadowed by the preceding and suceeding stories ("Terror of the Zygons" and "Pyramids of Mars" respectively). And yet this is fantastic stuff. Creepy, menacing with a real sense of threat the new series seldom matches. The way the monster dehydrates and sucks the life out of the spaceship crew scared the crap out of me in 1975 and still disturbs today. If you ever hear anyone complaining that Who had creaky sets then just get them to watch the jungle scenes here - as alien and convincing as anything you will see in any Sci-Fi film or series. Get this and get creeped out.
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on 10 December 2014
Tom Baker is awesome. DVD came in great condition
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on 25 February 2011
Great Tom Baker story, the set design is some of the best of this era, much of it was recorded at Elstree, the change in film stock is the giveaway. A geat story from a great season.
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on 11 March 2016
One of the better Tom Baker stories.
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on 21 July 2014
this is dr who at its best great
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VINE VOICEon 13 October 2007
PLANET OF EVIL is one of the weaker stories in the early Tom Baker seasons, but because the overall standard of productions at that time was so high this means it still has much to recommend it. It's certainly nowhere near as poor as say, REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN from a few months earlier or THE ANDROID INVASION, transmitted a couple of months later in 1975. If you're a fan of this period of WHO it's a a no-brainer as to whether you'll want this in your collection.

Even now the incredible design work by Roger Murray-Leach on the alien jungle looks outstanding and hasn't dated a bit. The rich colours (scarlets and peacock blues), chiaroscuro lighting and surreally weird-looking plant life gives the overall impression of a totally alien environment that's bulging with hidden menace. This is boosted by some imaginative camera work by director David Maloney and composer Dudley Simpson building tension and atmosphere very effectively with one of his better scores.

Tom Baker and Elizabeth Sladen are very much on form and are supported by a couple of really excellent performances by Ewen Solon and Frederick Jaeger who does "going quietly nuts" rather beautifully. The extras and the commentary on the disc give an impression that this was a mostly very happy cast and crew giving their all with conviction and energy. As usual the documentaries are polished, well-researched affairs, whilst due to the aforementioned jungle on Zeta Minor the photo gallery is one of the most visually pleasing selection I can remember seeing on these releases.

However, the story is far from perfect. The whole business of having a Jekyll & Hyde planet is a good one, but unfortunately all the explanations about anti-matter, i.e. what it is and does are utter flapdoodle. Basically it is and does anything that's convenient for the purposes of the story. When for example, Sorenson as "anti-man" splits off into multiple killer creatures in the final episode no real thought or credible explanation is given as to why this should happen. It's just that the tension needs cranking up with some extra jeopardy at this point so it's thrown in. No wonder Tom Baker claimed he could never understand the plots!

I'm not entirely convinced by Prentis Hancock's performance either, here playing the highly strung Salamar. It's not awful exactly, just a bit wooden and lacking in that extra edge that might help the viewer to forget he's watching an actor who knows he's in DR WHO wearing a horrible blue space suit. Most of the rest of the crew of the Morestran probe aren't exactly wonderful either. Poor old Michael Wisher, who's reduced to spouting technobabble looks and sounds like he wishes he could put on the Davros mask again!

The commentary is slightly dull, but boosted by Tom Baker's presence. As usual his general air of coming from another planet with an occasional stream of non-sequiturs ensures that you want to keep listening. The supply of anecdotes from Prentis Hancock, Philip Hinchcliffe and Liz Sladen is low (possibly because the production was a happy one?) and they are often reduced to those 2 dependable standbys: saying what you see and praising other actor's performances.
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on 8 May 2008
There is a fine, budget priced, recreation of a swampy, alien landscape here, which makes a change from the usual quarry. Tom Baker is always good to watch, and there are some great cliffhanger finishes. The plot's a bit weak, though, and the anti-man transformation, clearly cribbed from Jekyll and Hyde, looks a bit silly today. Salamar is a little over the top too. Still lots of fun, and with some interesting 'extras' this has to be worth watching.
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on 6 April 2015
All Excellent
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on 14 July 2015
Il ove it
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on 17 October 2014
a classic
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