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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 4 February 2004
The most under rated Doctor Who of all time.
MYSTERIOS PLANET is brilliant,Drathro is impressive,Tony Selbys Glitz is super and goes on to return to Doctor Who and the secrets are interesting and go on to appear later.The first story is very original and is written by the late great Robert Holmes.
MINDWARP is very good but the evil Doctor bit is annoying.Sil makes his second and final appearence in the show(he was going to appear in the cancelled series with the Ice Warriors in a story called Mission to Magnus) bringing the story to life thanks to Nabil Shabans brilliant acting.Sil is killed with Peri in a dramatic scene(Peri turns out to survive).Philip Martins writing is very good.
TERROR OF THE VERVOIDS is also very good but sadly this story introduces the appaling Mel who lets down an other wise good story by screaming all the way through.The Vervoids are good but look a bit rude when you think about it.
THE ULTIMATE FOE is an excellent conclusion written partly by Robert Holmes(who sadly died part way through writing it).This is anexcellent end where the Master appears all questions rae answered and the Doctor defeats the Valeyard.
This is an excellent story where Colin Baker takes a great bow out as one of my favorite Doctors.
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on 11 July 2010
As soon as i found out that trial of a time lord was coming to DVD i wanted to get it straight away, but most places were selling it for ridiculously high prices. But then i looked on amazon and all i can say is what a bargain! this box set contains 14 episodes of who filled fun. The special effects are well in front of there time (1986), the acting is brilliant especially the strong acting from colin baker, this is no doubtably his best season. This is different from any other classic doctor who, basically its 1 story split into 4 parts, mysterious planet, mindwarp, terror of the vervoids and the ultimate foe. I would say that mysterious planet and mindwarp are the 2 best and terror of the vervoids and the ultimate foe are still good just not as good. I enjoyed it all the way through and was not disapointed 1 bit, colin baker is not my favourite doctor but i was blown away by this masterpiece and if you are a true doctor who fan (like me) you should seriously consider getting this, and anyway even if you don't like it as much as i did it's not like you've lost a load of money is it ? I hope this review helps
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on 24 July 2008
After an 18-month rest and doubt cast over its future, 'The Trial of a Time Lord' is a wry summing up of 'Doctor Who' at the time. Just as the BBC were scrutinizing the Doctor's adventures, he is brought before his own people who sit him down to watch some stories and highlight what a meddlesome and reckless pain he is...But this is not clips-show - all the stories are brand new productions.
The first is amusing but a bit low-key, the second is a clever post-modern affair that deconstructs 'Doctor Who' as a way of prosecuting the Doctor and the third is a traditional monster yarn.
It all hurtles to a revelation-packed finale but, to be fair, it was all far too involving for casual viewers and was a bit of a mis-step for the show to improve its standing (why not just good, traditional stories with no confusing continuity references?). Saying this, a DVD copy allows for a better chance to piece this one together and, although it suffers all the 'Doctor Who' flaws (some cheap design and the odd dodgy performance), it is enormous fun. Colin Baker is a riot as the flamboyant show-man-like Sixth Doctor in his bizarre outfit and of the 14-episodes here, the eighth and the thirteenth are a must-see. The extras are dynamite!
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on 7 October 2009
Colin Baker was fated to become one of the more critised actors to play the famous Timelord, the Doctor.
His first season was a somewhat mixed bag, the producers weren't to sure what direction to take with this version. And the powers that be weren't so happy with the series anymore. So between the two seasons of Colins' Doctor was a long hiatus in time.
When CB returned with this season that consists of 4 tales connected by one big story namely the Trail of the Doctor by his peers the Timelords.
The stories are a decent bunch but somehow lack the funding that would make them look convincing. However from the point of view of a fan this is must-see Doctor Who.
Too bad that the BBC did not know how to utilize this Doctor, the people of Big Finish have made him one the best Doctors ever in their audiobooks.

This is the swansong of Colin Baker in his last season of televised DW, he never did the regeneration because he was fired from the job. Stupid BBC I say.

These episodes are enjoyable as ever and CB remains a great Doctor, Enjoy him.
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on 11 November 2003
After the famous 18 month hiatus of 1985-6, this was probably the most eagerly anticipated return of Doctor Who ever. And the opening few moments made it well worth the wait, with some of the best model effects the series, and possibly the BBC, had ever pulled out of the bag. However, once the TARDIS arrives in yet another cheap Gallifreyan set things quickly return to normal.
The main three players in the story's courtroom arc are all very good. Colin Baker seems particularly settled in the part and it is a great shame that he never got to have another crack at the whip after these fourteen episodes came to an end. Lynda Bellingham is also a pleasing female presence as The Inquisitor, acting as a nice mediator between The Doctor and The Valeyard. Michael Jayston probably deserves most praise here as the evil Time Lord, out to bring about The Doctor's execution at all costs.
The three stories presented as "evidence" both for and against The Doctor's case are very much a mixed bag. Robert Holmes's "The Mysterious Planet" features his usual host of well written characters but it lacks any real depth as a story in it's own right. Philip Martin's "Mindwarp" is probably the best of the three in my opinion. Sil was a great creation and he is back at his dastardly, yet amusing, best here. The relationship between Peri and Brian Blessed's Ycarnos is also touching and the story's climax remains shocking even now.
Pip and Jane Baker's "Terror Of The Vervoids" is a very Agatha Christie-esque who-dunnit in space and is certainly fun to watch. The cast all seem to be having a good time, and Honor Blackman appears to be relishing her role as the irrascible Professor Lasky.
It is the final two episodes of the season though which are the strongest, and they do wrap up events of the past 12 weeks quite nicely. I don't really feel there was ever any need to incorporate The Master here, but it seems that during the early 1980's it was compulsory to employ Anthony Ainley every year. Otherwise it's a great 50 minutes of television as everything seems to come together through slightly complex explanations. The scenes in the matrix are truly inspired (and doubtless inspired the writers of the recent films of the same name?!?!) The cliffhanger ending is also a nice touch though sadly was never referred to in future episodes.
All in all, it's a good romp and is highly watchable so I would recommend it to all fans of the show.
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on 10 March 2012
Everyone seems to have criticism for this Colin Baker season, including the Who team members themselves but for me this is one of the best Dr. Whos. along with the "key to time" series of Tom Baker's Doctor and many other fine stories. The actors are on top form including Nicola Bryant who is to marry/pair up with Brain Blessed - surely the stangest match of all time. There is nothing trivial about saving the cosmos from a black light explosion and the questions raised during the first adventure to make the court room story rivetting throughout the entire run of connected stories. Perhaps the odd costume of the Doctor puts people off - but wouldn't you expect aliens with concerns for Earth people to dress stangely? Bonnie Langford gives a good performance - forget her floppy panto. image and give her a break. Quick, rush and buy this box set!
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VINE VOICEon 23 November 2009
Trial of a Timelord is the season long story that encompasses Doctor Who's 23rd season. As a story it is perhaps overlong and lightweight, however when divided up into the traditional segments (The Mysterious Planet, Mindwarp, Terror of the Vervoids and The Ultimate Foe) the story fairs a lot better. The first three segments are essentially recordings of The Doctors adventures being used as evidence in his trial brought about by the Timelords, with the fourth being the series finale.

The box set is best watched in individual segments as opposed to all in one go. The Mysterious Planet is a bonkers little romp with witty dialogue, Mindwarp falls between a few categories for me and Terror of the Vervoids is a fantastic little whodunit. The finale though is a mixed bag, although the story (part 13 especially) is wonderfully surreal, despite surprise appearances and revelations it does come across a tad lightweight.

The extras are very good indeed showcasing a number of cut and edited scenes, the 18 month hiatus, nice commentary's, the effect Robert Holmes death and the implosion of Nathan-Turner and Sawards relationship had on the season. However what is missing is an option to watch the first three individual stories without the intrusive trial scenes.
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on 14 January 2016
The Valeyard who is the darker side of the Doctor between 12th and final incarnation.

The new series commends it's links to the classic series but omits this. A 14 part comedic theatrical romp superb music score too
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on 9 June 2008
Seems to be a continuing trend this, and one which has inspired me to write a defence.

Until these DVDs have been released, please leave them alone - for example, one of the main detractions from 'Invasion of Time' was the dodgy special effects (something pointed out by a swam of reviewers before the DVDs release), however when the DVD was released it came with CGI effects replacements making the story infinitely better.

Now, obviously the effects in 'Trial' aren't the issue, but when this DVD is released it will come with a ton of special features, and for nostalgia's sake, these will make the Boxset essential.

It should also be pointed out that 2Entertain are planning on releasing all existing Doctor Who episodes, not just those considered classics. As they are a business, they're very unlikely to leave 'Horns or Nimon' and the like until everything else has been sold - wouldn't make much marketing sense. However, saying that, 'Brain Of Morbius' is released next month and I doubt anyone will have any problems with that one!
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on 31 December 2011
I seem to remember reading in Doctor Who Magazine, before TTOATL was released, that it was voted the most-wanted box set. I felt the same. Even though I knew that most of the stories, overall, were a bit disappointing, there is something that intrigues me about this season.

Other reviews cover the general plots and synopsis of the stories that form the Trial season, so I won't recap it here. I'll simply say that the box set is definitely worth buying, largely due to the excellent DVD extras.

There's a "making-of" for each story, background on the Trial season itself, a feature on what season 23 was intended to be like before the "hiatus" - all of which contain excellent interviews with the principal players of the time. There's also the usual commentaries. And throughout, Colin Baker comes out as a thoroughly top chap. I liked his Doctor when I was a kid. I thought he was great.

The Trial season was intended to reflect the show itself being on trial by the BBC and viewers. As such, the whole box set has an interesting dual layer: the slick show on the surface; and the tensions underneath scratching at the surface. They're all unearthed in this very watchable package.
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