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Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy - Full Circle/State of Decay/Warriors' Gate (Stories 112-114)

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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(May 05, 2009)
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  • Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy - Full Circle/State of Decay/Warriors' Gate (Stories 112-114)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy (No. 112, 113, 114)(Giftset DVD)

The E-Space Trilogy is a well-regarded trio of stories from the tail end of Tom Baker’s tenure as the Doctor (and the show’s 18th season), and find him lost in a parallel universe full of alarming new foes; the trilogy also serves as a farewell to one of the Doctor’s best-loved companions, Romana (Lalla Ward) and an introduction to one of his most controversial, the teenaged Adric (Matthew Waterhouse). The TARDIS enters the alternate universe--known as Exo-Space or E-Space in 1980’s Full Circle, which finds the Doctor and Romana charting a course for their home planet of Gallifrey but instead finding themselves on the planet Alzarius, where a small band of humanoids find conflict within their number as well as from menacing, reptilian Marshmen. One of the humanoids, a teenager named Adric, stows away aboard the TARDIS and accompanies the Doctor to a new planet in State of Decay; there, they discover a medieval-like society in the grip of three lords who demand sacrifice from the population. The true identity of the lords lends an air of Hammer-style horror to the story, which is perhaps the most engaging of the set. Finally, an escape route from E-Space is revealed in Warriors’ Gate, but first, the Doctor and his companions must contend with a slave ship and its cargo of lion-like creatures called Tharils. Though the Doctor is eventually freed from E-Space, his departure does not come without its costs, as revealed by the final fate of Romana and fan favorite K-9 Mk II.

Though by no means among the best of the Baker episodes, the E-Space Trilogy delivers plenty of thrills in its three stories. Fans may find areas to quibble over--especially in regard to Adric, whose presence pales in comparison to Baker’s previous companions--but they bear up well in regard to solid plotting and consistent entertainment, especially when compared to the lighter tone of the previous season, which was overseen by Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame. Baker and Ward are once again the anchors of the show, and her departure is an unfortunate one (the Doctor would struggle to find an equally strong companion in the years that followed); Baker of course, remains a pleasure as the Time Lord, though one can occasionally perceive his growing dissatisfaction with the role (he would depart the series at the end of the season). And perhaps that’s the reason why he is absent from the set’s wealth of extras, leaving Waterhouse to contribute the majority of the commentaries, though Ward weighs in on Warriors’ Gate. Archival footage from UK TV chronicles Waterhouse’s debut on the series and preserves the original continuity announcements from the BBC broadcasts, while featurettes cover everything from Ward’s stylish wardrobe to the making of each episodes. One of the most interesting extras is “Leaves of Blood,” a 20-minute examination of vampires in literature and history, and featuring comments by such noted authors as Ramsay Campbell and Kim Newman. Deleted scenes and an isolated score option round out the supplemental features. -- Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • Commentary by actors Matthew Waterhouse, Lalla Ward, and John Leeson, writers Andrew Smith and Terrance Dicks, script editor Christopher H. Bidmead, directors Peter Moffatt and Paul Joyce, and visual effects designer Mat Irvine
  • All Aboard the Starliner: Full Circle making-of
  • K-9 in E-Space
  • E-Space: Fact or Fiction?
  • Swap Shop: Matthew Waterhouse interview
  • The Vampire Lovers: State of Decay making-of
  • Film Trims
  • Leaves of Blood: Vampires in literature
  • The Blood Show
  • The Frayling Reading: Christopher Frayling examines State of Decay
  • The Dreaming: Warrior's Gate making-of
  • The Boy with the Golden Star: Matthew Waterhouse retrospective
  • Lalla's Wardrobe
  • Extended and deleted scenes from Warrior's Gate part 2
  • Trails and Continuity
  • Isolated music
  • Radio Times Listings (DVD-ROM)
  • Photo galleries
  • Production note subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, John Leeson, Matthew Waterhouse, George Baker
  • Directors: Peter Grimwade, Peter Moffatt, Paul Joyce
  • Writers: Andrew Smith, Terrance Dicks, Steve Gallagher
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009
  • Run Time: 279 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001P7YD8W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,593 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"One good solid hope's worth a cart-load of certainties..." well, any fan worth their salt will certainly want this set...

The on-again-off-again blocks of tight continuity and multi-episode story arcs of the new Doctor Who series has already primed fans for the return of this string of CLASSIC Doctor Who stories and some of the best of Tom Baker's final season as the 4th incarnation of the Timelord. This set comes not only at a peak of the show's popularity, but during the restyling of the shows look (and sound). Producer John-Nathan Turner, retooled, the theme and graphic for the 80's, even the Doctor's threads, JNT introduced his appropriately somber plum gear. This set contains the finest examples of all of those changes, end for the Timelady Romana and K9, also the beginning of the end for the 4th Doctor.

"Full Circle" is the first of this arc featuring not only an introduction E-Space, a smaller universe with a universe, but the Doctor's questionable next companion, Adric. Adric is a sortof smarter-version of the 2nd Doctor's Highlander companion Jamie, crossed with Dickens' "Artful Dodger." Will Sci-fi writers never learn, the arrogant oversmart teenager is never appealing on screen, just as poor ole' Weasley Crusher. "Full Circle" for it's faults contains some great moments for Baker to chew-up the scenery, and some superb costuming, the Marshmen ala' creatures of the Black Lagoon. "Full Circle" is a tale of a culture apparently stuck in endless preparations for a "return home" with several dark secrets which further delay their journey. Determined to get "back to the basics" and have the Doctor solving problems without any quick fixes, the producers planned to remove K9 from the series.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These Classic Who stories from the Tom Baker years stand up well on their own,

(I'd give each story 3 1/2 - 4 stars - the main weakness for me being the character of Adric - although I'd take the character of Adric over the character of Peri, of the Peter Davidson and Colin Baker eras, any day),

but what makes this set really shine are the extras. Elsewhere on the web you can find folks enjoying or dissing various aspects of these extras, but I enjoyed them all (having watched the region 2 releases.)

My one main disappointment with this set is the absence of Tom Baker in the Commentaries or interviews.

Since Amazon US has not yet added a full description of the Extras included with this set, here they are (as posted on Amazon's UK site)......

Special Features:

Disc 1 - Full Circle

Commentary - with actor Matthew Waterhouse, writer Andrew Smith and script editor Christopher H. Bidmead.

All Aboard the Starliner - cast and crew look back at the making of this story.

K-9 in E-Space - a look at the robot dog's role in the E-Space arc. With actors Lalla Ward, John Leeson, script editor Christopher H Bidmead, writers Andrew Smith and Terrance Dicks.

Swap Shop - Noel Edmonds chats to Matthew Waterhouse and takes calls from viewers of the Saturday morning entertainment show after Waterhouse's first appearance as Adric.

E-Space - Fact or Fiction? - Could E-Space really exist?
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Comment 18 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Three videos in one review? Well, let me give it a shot!
Full Circle: In Adric's debut story, the Doctor and Romana go through a CVE (Charged Vacuum Emboitment), en route to Gallifrey, and land on the planet Alzarius. The planet is experiencing Mistfall, a bubbling of the mists that bring out the Marshmen.
Adric is caught between sides. On one hand, he feels stifled by the conventions of society, but the Outlers, led by his brother Varsh, see him as part of the establishment. Naturally, there is only one place for him, as the viewer will see at the end.
The paralysis of the Alzarian "Type D Oligarchy" is painfully aware, as the Deciders have enforced a policy of deliberate ignorance on its citizens, and are guilty of "willful procrastination." As Login says: "A little patience goes a long way." The Doctor replies: "Too much patience goes nowhere." The strongest supporting character is George Baker who plays the decisive Decider Login, the most respected member of the community, who in the end gets something done. Second place goes to June Page as Keara, Login's Outler daughter, who would have been an ideal companion, but Nyssa came along in Keeper Of Traken.
This is a story with a mystery that is gradually revealed bit by bit, and it works effectively to that effect. Clues include Decider Nefred's pained reaction on seeing the system files, Draith's dying words: "Tell Dexeter we've come full circle," and the pain shared by the Marsh child, being dissected by Dexeter, and Romana, who has an alien protein injected in her from a spider bite.
The Doctor's carelessness of leaving the Starliner door open leads to the Marsh child's entering the Starliner, subsequent capture, and death. Surprising for his character.
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