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Customer Review

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars scissors paper stone, 29 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who - Destiny of the Daleks [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
a doctor who story from 1979 comes to dvd. four twenty five minute episodes on one disc, with tom baker as the doctor, lalla ward as his companion time lady romana, and need you ask who the villains of the story are?

K9 is written out for the story right at the start so that they wouldnt have to decide who'd come off best if he went up against them.

the tardis lands on the dalek homeworld skaro, just as romana has regenerated. the tardis crew find the daleks who had long abandoned the planet have come back, looking for their creator davros who they left for dead long ago. that was in the earlier tom baker story genesis of the daleks. although what happened there is referenced you'll probably understand this one better if you've seen that one. another alien race called the movellans are also there, but they have their own agenda. caught up in a war between the two races can the doctor save the day and free all the human slaves?

there's a good story in this one rather struggling to get out from some cheap production values. unlike late 80's doctor who where the production standards get accused of being shoddy [often with good reason, but that's another debate for another time] this one just looks cheap. and that's probably because they didn't have much of a budget to play with. the dalek casings were getting a bit tattered by this time, and they look it. watch the daleks in episode four as they're quite clearly walking, whilst slightly hidden by sand dunes. it was easier than making them glide across bumpy ground.

there's also the occasional spot of rather weak guest star acting, and some poorly acting extras most of whom dont seem the slightest bit bothered about being exterminated by the daleks. after a decent set up in part one the pace of part two is a bit slack. but things do get going in part three and the real meat of the story comes in part four when the doctor is wonderfully entertaining as he explains irrationality to some far too rational aliens. excellent acting from tom baker here.

the season this story comes from has a reputation for being a bit too silly, but that doesn't, after some early comedy in part one [a comical regeneraton sequence that doesnt quite work as comedy and a verbal misunderstanding that does] the rest of it is serious enough. it also rather blunts the davros character because it plays him as a pathetic old man. which is a fair interpretation but it robs him of some of his power.

so whilst there's a fair amount wrong with this there's also some good stuff, and it is a worthwhile watch all in all. lalla ward is in her first broadcast story as romana here and you can already see what an excellent foil to the doctor she will be.

a rather average lot of extras are also on the disc, but there are some interesting highlights:

a commentary from lalla ward, david gooderson [davros] and ken grieve the director.

terror nation: a thirty minute long [approx] documentary about the work of terry nation, who created the daleks. this does start at a bit of a fast pace and looks as if it will cram it all in quickly but it does covers all it needs to, and the love and enthusiasm that all interviewed have for nation's work and creations does come across through.

directing who is a short chat with the director about his work on the story. it's a good listen although he does look a bit distracted at times.

cgi effects offers the chance to replace some of the effects in the story with somewhat better versions should you wish.

trailers and continuities are the bbc trailers of the time for the story. this bit includes a short trailer made for the entire 1979 season of the show with tom baker in character, and is well worth a look.

prime computer adverts: a handful of adverts for a computer that tom baker and lalla ward made, acting in character as the doctor and romana. only ever broadcast in australia these are quite fun and geniune curios, especially for a british audience, so they're worth watching.

production information subtitles, which will display information about the story and production whilst you watch it, should you switch them on.

a photo gallery of stills from the story and it's production.

a trailer for the beneath the surface dvd, three doctor who stories featuring the monsters the silurians. which was then released in january 2008.

english language subtitles.

and the radio times listings for the story can be viewed by watching the disc on a computer, going to the computer screen on the menu, and then clicking on what comes up.

for a dvd easter egg watch this on a computer, go to the second screen of the special features, and move the pointer to the top left of the screen till it lights up a hidden doctor who logo and click on that. but all this consists of is a few brief shots of clapperboards for the recording of the story, so it's nothing very special.

so, whilst this story and dvd are not quite as good as they could be, they have their good points and as a whole it's worth a look
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