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Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric (Story 158)

49 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jun 01, 2004)
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$59.99 $45.48

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Doctor and Ace are put to the ultimate test when the TARDIS materializes in Second World War England at a top-secret naval base. The army church, built on Viking graves, bears inscriptions calling for the wolves of Fenric to return for their treasure. Thereafter, evil will reign. Even as the Doctor translates the inscription, hideous corpses rise up from the sea, and the evil Fenric is now free to summon his wolves to a killing rampage.

Additional Features

Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric is presented in two versions on a truly remarkable two-disc set. Disc 1 contains the four original 25-minute episodes exactly as originally broadcast with stereo sound. Disc 2 offers a completely updated 103-minute version supervised by composer Mark Ayres and following director Nicholas Mallett's original cut. The episodes are edited like a feature film and incorporate approximately 10 minutes of extra story material. CGI effects have been added and the sound remixed into full Dolby Digital 5.1 by Mark Ayres using the original stereo sound elements and his music files. The result is a massive improvement over the original series' episodes.

Disc 1 also includes an informative commentary with Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, and Nicholas Parsons and an isolated score. There is the usual information text, scored photo gallery and subtitles for the episodes and the commentary. "Modeling the Dead" shows Sue Moore and Stephen Mansfield making the Haemovore masks; "Claws and Effects" shows the BBC Special Effects unit on location; also included are 20 minutes of highlights from the 1990 Nebula 90 SF convention with Aldred, Ayres, writer Ian Briggs, Tomek Bork, Joann Kenny, and others, while "Take Two" is a four-minute piece on the story presented by Phillip Schofield. Disc 2 also features "Shattering the Chains" (an excellent analysis of the show by Briggs), "Recutting the Runes" (a fascinating interview with Mark Ayres on preparing the special edition), and a good interview with costume designer Ken Trew. --Gary S Dalkin

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • Extended takes
  • Featurette
  • Interviews
  • Music Only Track
  • Other
  • Photo gallery
  • Production Notes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred
    • Directors: Nicholas Mallett
    • Writers: Ian Briggs
    • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
    • Format: Color, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: 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: June 1, 2004
    • Run Time: 96 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0001GF25G
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,548 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric (Story 158)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    33 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Twiddles42 VINE VOICE on June 2, 2004
    Format: DVD
    This release is unique - it contains both the original transmission version of the story, and a 1 hr 45 minute re-edit that contains 14 minutes of previously unseen footage, that is dedicated to the Director (Nicholas Mallett) and the Producer (John Nathan-Turner) and justifiably so.
    The story itself is a classic Dr Who monster tale, but with a few grown up twists added, and also gives the companion, Ace, some maturation in the process. This is a story I'd recommend to people I'd try to get hooked on the series, even though I'm still embarrassed over the question mark vest the Doctor wears... I am a fan of JNT and what he had done with the show despite the crass slop the script editor prior to Andrew Cartmel had allowed during his years as script editor, and the only thing I can't forgive JNT for is the question mark pullover vest. Even the 6th Doctor's outfit is far less grating on the nerves. But I digress. Andrew Cartmel, script editor for all of the 7th Doctor's era, is at his best here. He reintroduced the concept of mystery and seriousness to the show and he did it right. If only the show had continued for another year, with more stories to fill out their plans...
    The video quality itself is quite good, even exceptional. Given the high prices that Who discs command, it's a shame that Warner Bros won't release them on dual-layer discs to improve the compression artifacting, but this release (along with "The Two Doctors"...) seem to be the most visually clean stories they've released to date. Even so, the releases up to now have been more or less great (with only "Ressurection of the Daleks" really showing the artifacting to an annoying level.)
    The audio had been remastered into Dolby 5.1, because somebody kept the original audio tapes.
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    10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Fox on September 15, 2007
    Format: DVD
    "The Curse of Fenric" tries so hard to be a quintessential Doctor Who story. Pseudo-historical tales are a hallmark of the show, and this one is set at a British naval base during World War II but features an extraterrestrial (extradimensional?) threat very much true to form. Like some of the most beloved classics especially from the early seasons of Tom Baker, "Fenric" takes classic and cliche motifs from known horror movies and translates them into a science fiction idiom, in this case any number of "living dead" type movies like "Evil Dead II" or "Prince of Darkness" (to name the ones I've actually seen, not being a big fan of horror films myself): the emergence into our world of a demonic being through some sort of activating text and/or ritual, his bringing an army of zombies or vampires to bear against the heroes, surrounding them in a frail safehold and besieging them there, and yes, we even have the poor ill-fated priest who ineffectually waves a Bible or cross at the creepies only to be promptly overtaken by them. "Fenric" also features an ecological undertone similar to many of the greats from Jon Pertwee's time (especially "Inferno") as the zombies are in fact a badly mutated version of humanity from some polluted industrial meltdown of a future. Then too there's a Cold War fable a la "The Armageddon Factor" (among others) as the Russian and British soldiers decide to stop their clandestine maneuvers against each other so as to fight their common enemy, evil itself (originally airing in 1989, this may well be one of the last of its kind). Why, with the final chess game between Fenric and the Doctor, there's even a whiff of "The Celestial Toymaker" from way back.

    And yet it all comes across as trying too hard.
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    10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BroInWhyteridge on February 3, 2005
    Format: DVD
    By the time the original series got around to the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), the series was a shadow of its former self, which can be seen in the currently available on dvd Pyramids of Mars, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, The Aztecs, etc....
    Still, the 7th Doctor "era" which lasted the equivilant of 1.5 seasons in the Tom Baker era, had the occasional high point.
    This story is the top of the heap when it comes to the 7th Doctor.
    My advice is to watch the special edition version of the story, on disc 2 instead of the orignial version on disc 1. The new version has added scenes, updated music and some better post production work making it flow and look better.
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    29 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2004
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    BBC Video continues to turn out the quarterly releases of the Doctor Who back catalogue on DVD and the latest pairing brings two stories from the latter years of the series lengthy broadcast run. Although technically featuring stories from two different eras of Doctors (and featuring a third in a guest role) both The Two Doctors and The Curse of Fenric come from the very troubled final years of the show's 26 year run when even the fans found it hard to find favor with their hero's antics and the general viewing public made it clear that they could care less!
    The Two Doctors was unfortunate enough to be on air when the show was famously cancelled by the BBC, albeit to return 18 months later in a revised and truncated format. Perhaps it is for this reason that this story is not that highly rated, but in all honesty it's more likely to be that the adventure was typically symptomatic of everything that seemed to be wrong with the production at this time.
    The first six part adventure to be made and broadcast since 1978, this lengthy story was in fact broadcast in three double-length episodes at the beginning of 1985 in the first full season to feature the controversial sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker. I've always believed that Colin had the personality and charisma to be a very, very fine Doctor indeed and had he followed Tom Baker and not Peter Davison, things could have been very different for him. As it is, his characterization was horribly misconceived, as was his truly appalling costume and he successfully alienated the very loyal and devoted fans of the show and the general public alike. By the time The Two Doctors was on air, one third of the audience had switched off from the start of the season and the BBC was naturally looking to see why.
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