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Doctor Who: The Aztecs - Special Edition (Story 006) (2013)

William Hartnell , Jacqueline Hill , John Crockett  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Doctor Who: The Aztecs - Special Edition (Story 006) + Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus (Story 5) + Doctor Who: The Sensorites, No. 7
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Jacqueline Hill, William Russell, Carole Ann Ford, Keith Pyott
  • Directors: John Crockett
  • Writers: John Lucarotti
  • Producers: Verity Lambert
  • Format: NTSC, Black & White, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,534 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: The Aztecs--Special Edition is one of the famed history-based episodes from the early '60s (this one's from 1964) during the tenure of William Hartnell as the Doctor. The crew of the TARDIS finds itself transported back to 15th-century Mexico during the reign of the Aztecs. Not only that, the TARDIS plops down inside a sealed Aztec tomb. The crew members are safe and eventually escape the tomb--but because they escaped, the Aztecs believe that Barbara (Jacqueline Hill) is a powerful goddess. Barbara takes preeningly to her new role and hopes to change history by preventing a human sacrifice. But can history be changed--even by the Doctor? This packed disc contains terrific extras pertaining to this episode, including a rollicking commentary and great features on creating the Aztec kingdom on a budget. But what most Doctor Who fans will love is the inclusion of one of the episodes previously thought to be lost, Galaxy 4. It's impressive how the producers were able to reconstruct Galaxy 4 since a complete episode hasn't been found. So the editors and producers stitched together stills, pieces of the episode, and very satisfying animation to tell the story, which is a more traditional futuristic interplanetary adventure. The extras also include some random treasure troves, like a peek at the empire of Doctor Who toys, many of which are extremely collectible by now. Doctor Who: The Aztecs--Special Edition is a must for any fan of Doctor Who. --A.T. Hurley

Product Description

The TARDIS materializes inside an Aztec tomb. Outside it, the Doctor and his companions soon discover that Mexico in the 15th century is a bloodthirsty and dangerous place. And with Barbara mistaken for a reincarnation of an ancient high priest called Yetaxa, the history teacher thinks that she can put an end to the barbaric human sacrifices once and for all. But can she rewrite history without disastrous consequences?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Barbara and Susan exit the TARDIS to find themselves inside a stone room. Lying on a slab is a man's body, bedecked in jewelry and an ancient American mask. Barbara knows immediately that they're in the tomb of a very important Aztec priest, because Aztec history was one of her specialties. Susan shivers at the one thing she remembers about the Aztecs, that they performed human sacrifices. Then Barbara gives her some more background on the Aztecs, leading into one of the main plot points: "[Human sacrifice is] only one side to their nature. The other side was highly civilized.... [The Spanish] only saw the acts of sacrifice. That was the tragedy of the Aztecs. The whole civilization was completely destroyed, the good as well as the evil."

Susan finds a hidden door into another room, and goes back to the TARDIS to get Ian and the Doctor. Barbara, in the meanwhile goes through the door, which closes behind her, and is accosted by an angry Autloc, High Priest of Knowledge: "Woman! ... You trespass and must be punished!"

Fortunately for Barbara, she had tried on a magnificent snake bracelet in the tomb, and is still wearing it when she's taken away. What do you know? Believing the tomb to be permanently sealed, the only way she could have gotten the bracelet is if she is the god Yetaxa, returned to her people.

Barbara really takes to the part, too, and when the others join her, they are amused to find that they are to play her servants. But then it turns serious. Yetaxa is to preside over a human sacrifice, and Barbara is determined to use her position to halt this Aztec practice. The Doctor is angry, but cannot convince her to leave history as it is. Barbara, you see, sees it as saving the Aztecs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I already owned "The Aztecs" Doctor Who adventure and have seen it more times than I can remember, but what led me to re-purchase this DVD for a 2nd time (and I must say I am VERY glad I did) was getting the ENTIRE "Galaxy 4" story with it.

Just so you know, a little more then half of this story is done with, "Telesnaps." Basically, Telesnaps are still photos of the picture as it was being filmed during TV production. The BBC produced an entirely remade version of Doctor Who's, "Marco Polo" using entirely just Telesnaps. What makes this so awesome is how the BBC recently obtained footage of long lost segments of the original "Galaxy 4" story and combined them with previously owned Telesnaps to pull together the scenes still lost to time. They also included some CGI and animations to complete the story and make it flow even better. Basically, you end up with a pretty good interpretation of the WHOLE STORY!

The audio of Doctor Who's "Galaxy 4" already existed and so by putting everything together it is as close to watching the complete story (once thought lost for good). The original taping of "Galaxy 4" was scrapped about 10 years after the story was released, back in the 60's or early 70's, and this was unfortunately the usual way shows were handled during the 60's. The producers of Doctor Who could have had no way of knowing that Doctor Who was going to become such a big hit and remain on air for another 50 years, which is why they destroyed many of these shows to the great loss of those that love everything "Who'ish!"

It is a shame that as time marches on the possibilities of continuing to find these lost episodes or intact stories gets worse and worse. Therefore having the ability at hand to recreate entire stories like "Galaxy 4" are indeed such an unexpected treat for all of us.

Thanks for reading my review.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, worthwhile special edition March 16, 2013
I love Doctor Who's first season, and "The Aztecs" is arguably its high point. Certainly, compared to later Doctor Who serials, this one feels confined and stagey - more like a theatrical production than a TV show. But for me, that style comes with more positives than negatives.

John Lucarotti's intelligent script concerns the clash between 20th century British values and 15th century Aztec culture. The Doctor's companion, history teacher Barbara Wright, is mistaken for an Aztec goddess, and she tries to use her divine authority to destroy the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice. The Doctor, meanwhile, argues that Barbara cannot change the established pattern of history and is destined to fail. The various moral dilemmas raised by this situation are explored in an unusually thoughtful way (unusual not just for Doctor Who, but for TV in general).

"The Aztecs" does have some production shortcomings, due to the fact that it was shot quickly, with really cumbersome cameras, in a tiny studio. Sometimes the camera wobbles. Sometimes the actors stumble over their lines. But given the ridiculous conditions under which this serial was filmed, I think it turned out rather well. Certainly, John Ringham gives one of the best villain performances in the history of Doctor Who. And ultimately, the story is so interesting - and the ending is so unusually grim and powerful - that the flaws are easy for me to overlook.

But what about the DVD itself? Well, I like it. I know that many Doctor Who fans resent buying special editions of previously released stories, but I don't mind so long as I detect some real improvements. Certainly, this version of "The Aztecs" has better picture and sound quality than the older DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars and enjoyed being able to see/hear Galaxy 4 in its entirety ...
upgrading from regular version, and enjoyed being able to see/hear Galaxy 4 in its entirety (or what we can see)
Published 25 days ago by Fred J Alexander III
1.0 out of 5 stars Not interested in getting the Special Edition version as 80 % of...
Hi all,
Well I suppose if you can't get the single 2003 version of The Aztecs then the currently more affordable Special Edition is a must own, but personally I went for the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ferris Bueller
4.0 out of 5 stars A great episode!!
I'm what you call a new Whovian. I started watching Doctor Who just after the 5th series (2010) ended and immediately caught up on the re-booted series. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L.D.
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Who: it's fun!
Keep in mind that this show was designed as an adventure show for children. Even so, this one has quite a bit of over-acting and a few fights. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Doctor Gangreene
4.0 out of 5 stars Galaxy 4 extra
I already had a DVD of the Aztecs and bought the special edition just so I could see the missing episode, Galaxy 4. 1 of the four episodes was found of Galaxy 4. Read more
Published 5 months ago by LMI
1.0 out of 5 stars money grab
This seems like nothing more than a money grab. Most Doctor Who fans already own Aztecs. Why on earth would they include Galaxy 4 as an "extra" on Aztecs instead of releasing the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Stephen Wilcoxon
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
I'm not a huge fan of the historicals in general, and this one is pretty slow. It introduces some interesting ideas about time travel but even at four episodes the story feels... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hans J. Rudmin
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my kind of story.
Doctor Who has always been my favorite show since i watched my first episode, 'Night Terrors', in September 2011. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Fuzzy Tomato
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a review of The Special Edition.
The Special Edition has the recently (2012) found "lost" episode #2 of Galaxy 4. The rest of the Galaxy 4 storyline is shown through audio and pictures (telesnaps), so you... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Patrick S. Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Hartnell's best historic story & Galaxy Four too!
Always liked this one best for the historical stories during the Hartnell era. Even though here they specify that time can't be changed, a rule soon forgotten. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Michael A. Nelson
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