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Customer Review

29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My all-time favourite story, 8 April 2010
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Creature from the Pit [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
I am often astonished how quick Doctor Who fans are to put down this story, while praising its immediate predecessor, City of Death, to the skies. To me they are two sides of the same coin: zany plots, outsize characters, witty scripting (and script-editing) by the incomparable Douglas Adams, and a stellar performance from Tom Baker. And the effects? Well, if one were to believe everything said about the awfulness of the production, one would probably be pleasantly surprised to find that it isn't as ghastly as all that (rather like Weng-Chiang's much-maligned rat). Yes, there are some sub-par shots, but as a whole there is quite a bit of clever artfulness at work - no different from elsewhere in 70s Doctor Who.

On the whole though, I find that the charm and inventiveness of the story wins out over all objections. Lady Adastra is a deliciously arch villainess, and the character of Organon, the canny fraud of an astrologer, is a sheer delight. And what to my 10-year-old self was an excellent primer in economics, remains a superb cautionary tale about corrupt dictatorships that willingly impoverish their people by manipulating scarcity and holding onto lucrative monopolies. Doctor Who at its very best.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Apr 2010 11:58:28 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2010 09:04:58 BDT
A. Customer says:
Well you can't expect everyone to agree with you now, can you?

Posted on 1 May 2010 00:39:23 BDT
Listening to Tom Baker reading out a version of this on Radio 7 at the moment - an adaptation of the novelisation I think. It had some brilliant ideas (planet with no metals, intelligent creature who communicates in a different way from humanoids) and an excellent villain in Lady Adastra - but perhaps some of the realisation on screen wasn't great. But I think you are right that maybe this story doesn't deserve the panning it generally gets - I have some pretty strong memories of it myself.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2010 11:29:02 BDT
Sophie says:
Maybe we should all go and buy the audio version then. As the saying goes, the pictures are better on radio.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2010 12:05:16 BDT
Ben Koerner says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 29 May 2010 11:44:21 BDT
Jason Covell says:
Well, I'm happy to let others have their views, but at least I've put forward my reasons. I'd be interested in hearing more as to why people describe the story as the "very worst", as though that were self-evident and requiring of no further argument.

If anyone wants to refute my points, or at least raise some of their own, that would be a start.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jul 2010 16:27:16 BDT
Zenorac says:
For all its faults, 'The Creature From The Pit' is vastly superior to the recently transmitted dross that was Matt Smith's first season.

Posted on 26 Jan 2011 13:36:46 GMT
I agree wholeheartedly with you, sadly their are those who just cannot enjoy for enjoyments sake.,They must be sad souls to have a glass half empty as opposed to half full.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Sep 2013 11:21:09 BDT
Alex Lyon says:
I'd be careful with my use of 'vastly' but I put up with this back in 1979, Creature did not make me stop watching Dr Who, but Mr Smith chirping about his own cleverness and his sonic-bloody-screwdriver did.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Sep 2013 11:33:15 BDT
Alex Lyon says:
But the very point of a review is critical appraisal, weighing the good against the bad; A is wonderful, B is less so, why is that? I can, for instance, warmly recommend you to Ian McKellen's King Lear - not least for Mr McCoy's Fool - but if I were to praise Johnathan Pryce's Timon of Athens to you, using the same words and tone, I don't think I would be doing you any favours because I simply don't believe it's anywhere near as good a piece of theatre, in fact (all due regard to Mr Pryce) it's a dull production of a dull script with very little in it to enjoy, even for enjoyments sake.

Regarding the Pit, I don't think there is really any question of the glass being at anything like its demi capacity.
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