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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag, 4 April 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: Nightmare of Eden [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
Bit of a mixed bag all in all.

This show does have many of the problems that affected most of the Williams era. We have - poor production values (wobbly sets, the girl clutching the wrong part of her body after being shot, unconvincing monsters), hammy acting (Tryst's ridiculously fake accent means he cannot be taken seriously as a dangerous criminal and comes over as a fool instead) and misplaced, unfunny "humour" (the serial could have done without Tom Baker's ".. my everything" line in episode 4 for example).

Yet it cannot be dismissed quite so easily. David Daker's portrayal of the conscientious spaceship captain who thanks to drug addiction first becomes a giggling idiot and then into a violent, almost psychotic individual is most convincing. The scene where he confronts Romana, believing her to be able to provide him with another "fix", is quite chilling for its time, more reminiscent of past glories like "Seeds of Doom". The anti-drug message is one that I agree with and it was brave of Who to tackle such an issue.

As for the extras - I think they come across as perfunctory compared with what we have seen on other recent releases. The "making of" documentary is all over in about 13 minutes, shot against a boring plain white background and features only 3 of the main production team. All of whom believe that the whole thing was a disaster and that it was all someone else's fault. It's well-known that Alan Bromly quit the show (and his job soon after) after one heated argument with Tom too many, but the precise nature of their disagreements ? Unknown. It would have been good to have had one or two of the cast giving their tuppence worth on it, although I appreciate that Lalla and others are on the commentary. It was good to have the feature on Bob Baker going it alone, although this was short and we don't get much idea of why Dave Martin bailed out. The "strange love" feature I can take or leave - I don't dislike it strongly as others seem to.

The "coming soon" showcases the Ace boxset. I never liked the Sylvester era and nothing here is likely to make me change my mind. Michael Grade had this era of the show in mind I believe when he denounced it as rubbish on Room 101. Pity to give people like him ammunition.

Only 3 stars I think. Tom at his best was better than Pertwee or any other doctor in my opinion, but after Hinchcliffe left things were not the same for me, and Pertwee was much more consistent over his tenure of the role.
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