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Doctor Who: Dragonfire (Story 151) (2012)

Sylvester McCoy , Bonnie Langford , Chris Clough  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.98
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Doctor Who: Dragonfire (Story 151) + Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol (Story 153) + Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Story 155)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred
  • Directors: Chris Clough
  • Writers: Ian Briggs
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2012
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AAF2ZG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,101 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In the bowels of an ice planet/interstellar supermarket, ruled over by a murderous master of cold, arrives time-and-space traveler the Doctor (the Seventh, played by Sylvester McCoy) and his sunny companion Mel (Bonnie Langford) with her abundant ginger curls. In no time at all they're on a dragon hunt, accompanied by a sketchy space rogue (Tony Selby) and a spirited girl from Earth, Ace (Sophie Aldred--who, at the end of the three-episode serial, becomes the Doctor's new companion). Dragonfire is a particularly frustrating Doctor Who story; it has moments that are smart, surprising, and intriguing… and moments that are flabbergastingly dumb. (It doesn't help that the sets and costumes combine cheapness and extravagance as only the 1980s could.) The extensive extras--including a making-of featurette and detailed trivia notes--suggest that this narrative schizophrenia is mostly due to an interesting script being poorly translated into production. But the script has its own problems, which are cheerfully pointed out in another extra, with three clever Brits discussing Dragonfire in depth, savaging its failings but also appreciating its virtues. These unusually frank bonus features make this DVD package much more engaging than the story would be on its own. McCoy's Doctor is lackluster, with enjoyable moments of whimsy but lacking any gravitas. Fortunately, Aldred delights; her charisma makes her the center of the story from her first appearance, outshining the bland Langford. Another plus is the supporting performance of Patricia Quinn (from cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show) as a rebellious underling. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

At the Iceworld Space Trading Colony on Svartos, the Doctor and Mel unexpectedly encounter an old 'friend.' The penniless and desperate Sabalom Glitz has only one option to leave Svartos: find the fabled 'Dragonfire' treasure concealed somewhere in the depths of the planet. Joined by Ace, a teenage waitress with a love for explosives, the group ventures off to uncover lost riches, not knowing that Kane, Iceworld's ruthlessly intimidating overlord, will gladly murder them all to gain possession of the Dragonfire himself. Before long the Doctor finds himself playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with Kane's mercenaries, descending through the ice caverns ever closer towards the deadly gaze of the monstrous dragon that lurks below.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fire Extinguished May 20, 2012
It's rather difficult for me to say anything negative about the Sylvester McCoy Era, only due to the fact that I met the man, and as a person, I really enjoyed his company. But as the Doctor... Realistically, I know that it was not his fault that he got the shortest stick, due to all the behind the scenes machinations at the Beeb which started during Colin Baker's time. So I have to walk that fine line once again, trying to be as unbiased as possible as I write this.

Simply put, I can't help to note how times have changed as this program is now being compared to the new series! Granted, it is only reasonable that some would compare these old series stories to the new ones. And yet, there are a plethora of Doctor Who stories that I watched decades ago, and much to the satisfaction of my memory, as they are being released on DVD, and I love them just as much as I did then.

Dragonfire didn't quite hit that mark.

Setting the story aside, which I never recap since most people reading these reviews should already know the story, and if they don't, most other reviewers recapped that more times than I can count, I want to focus on what makes this DVD something you may wish to spend you hard-earned money on.

Mel departs as the Doctor's companion at the end of this story and Ace takes her place.

Well, that pretty much covers it.

I feel that the commentary was more entertaining than the show itself. The participants of the commentary are, Sophie Aldred / Ace, Edward Peel / Kane, Andrew Cartmel, / Script Editor, Chris Clough / Director, and Ian Briggs / Director. Several of these contributors are in only one or two of the three episodes.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dracula in Space with ACE! March 17, 2012
Ace! Sort of Dracula is space, with ice... The imagery is pretty clear. DragonFire is the 7th Doctor story that intros ACE who stays at his side until the series "hattus' though the 90's... Ace is the most interesting character to come along in ages... She is an Earth girl who likes to blow things up and is inexplicably lightyears from Earth. The story is a bit of a treasure hunt with a typically ineffective set, by Slyvester McCoy, the Scottish Doctor, is a pleasure to watch even at the era's worse offerings... Although, The Doctor's self- imperilment only to close the first ep with a 'literal' cliffhanger is perplexing to watch. But on the plus side Mel departs by the end. This is the beginning of a bit of a new direction for the 7th Doctor, trending toward darker territory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters and Story with the Best Dr. Who July 29, 2013
Verified Purchase
This is old school Dr. Who at its cheesiest with Sylvester McCoy, who seamlessly cruised from cool understated generosity to other actors into broad, very physical clownishness - never showed a bit of ego, just entertained like a pro. Who cares if the solid wall of ice visibly trembles when he kicks it? I'm just there to have fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dragonfire February 11, 2014
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Sylvester Mccoy rocks as the Doctor, Ace is aces and we meet mel.
You're usual Doctor Who movie i was entertained.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who dragonfire December 10, 2013
By Al
Verified Purchase
The presentation of this Doctor really made a step up in special effects. After the first episode, however, the series began to cater to the "punk" crowd and the writing became so weird it actually killed the series for a long time. For those of us die hard Dr.Who fans this does provide a "fix".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dragonfire October 2, 2012
Verified Purchase
This is great. One of my favorites. Doctor meets one my favorite companions, Sophie Aldred. She's awsome. She likes to blow stuff up with her homemade Nitro 9. Sylvester McCoy is a good Doctor. Serious and comic well balanced.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who- Dragonfire August 15, 2012
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Dragonfire by itself is an average story in the Doctor Who range. It sees the return of Sabolm Glitz from Trial of a Timelord, and also introduces us to Ace a new companion for Doctor #7. While there are some actors who could have stayed home in this tale, there are some strong performances from Edward Peel, Patricia Quinn and Tony Selby. Bonnie Langford has her strongest story yet with the Seventh Doctor,and Sophie Aldred puts in a good performance for the moody Ace. The story does lack in some ways with continuity, and the worst cliffhanger in Doctor Who may be seen at the end of episode 1. However the final episode at least projects some feeling and horror when Kane does away with Belaz. The extras are intriguing, and give some insight into how the story came about. The screen test for McCoy was quite entertaining, and it was interesting to see him with Janet Fielding (aka Tegan). I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars overall. Enjoy!
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye, Mel and Hello, Ace! February 23, 2012
I know a lot of fans are not too fond of the 7th Doctor, but this overall was an okay story. We are also re-introduced to Sabalom Glitz from the previous season and a great guest appearance from Patricia Quinn (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)! The only thing I found weird was the cliff hanger for episode one. I don't want to give it away, but after you watch it, you're gonna be "Huh? Why'd he do that?" I was kind of sad to see Mel go, though. I think if she'd stuck along with Ace, they'd be both would be more trouble for the Doctor than he bargained for!
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