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Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Story 155) (2012)

Sylvester McCoy , Sophie Aldred , Alan Wareing  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Story 155) + Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol (Story 153) + Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis (Story 154)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Ian Reddington
  • Directors: Alan Wareing
  • Writers: Stephen Wyatt
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Color
  • 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: August 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083SI9AO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Story 155)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Although Ace hates clowns, the Doctor decides to take his companion to the Psychic Circus on the planet Segonax. There they find a group of scared performers who live in fear of the sinister and creepy Chief Clown. But what is so dangerous about this particular circus, why is there such a small audience and will Ace be able to overcome her fear before it's too late?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy Show where Ace truly shows her stuff May 25, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Doctor and Ace receive a mysterious advertisement for the Psychic Circus, on the planet Segonax, and decide to check it out. Ace isn't happy about it. She is secretly afraid of clowns (it's called coulrophobia), but the Doctor insists on going.

Well, this is one circus that won't put Ace's fears to rest, that's for sure. Before the Doctor and Ace arrive on the scene, we see a clown jester in white face, with a predator's smile, tracking two circus escapees. One dies, the other, the Bellboy, is taken back to his circus cage.

When Ace and the Doctor arrive at the circus, they realize there is something very weird here. There's only three people in the audience, a father, mother and exceedingly creepy little girl. Well, all three are creepy. The Ringmaster is creepy, the clowns are creepy, especially the Chief Clown, who chased down the escapees.

This is one circus where you will just die to take part. And there's a twist.

"The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" first aired December 1988-January 1989. This review is for the upcoming August 2012 DVD, which is the first time this show has been released on DVD. It will be one disc of 98 minutes.

I read that an asbestos scare at the BBC studios helped inspire an episode that could be shot outside the studios, such as in a large tent! Otherwise, "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" may have gone the way of "Shada".

Doctor Who performs some magic tricks when it's his turn in the circus spotlight. Sylvester McCoy was coached by "The Great Soprendo", stage name of Geoffrey Durham.

This seems to be a love-it or hate-it episode. I'm in the former camp, and Ian Reddington as the menacing Chief Clown has a big part in that.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roll Up For The Psychic Circus May 21, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Synopsis: The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and his companion, Ace (Sophie Aldred), discover all is definitely not what it seems when they visit the Psychic Circus on the planet Segonax. All the performers fear for their lives; their sinister audience demands constant amusement, and for whoever gives an unsatisfactory performance, it will undoubtedly be their last.

In my opinion this is one of the coolest, creepiest Dr Whos ever, and by the end, you yourself might find the circus a little... sinister.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of it's time August 19, 2012
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Back in the 80s, Doctor Who was really being criticized and forgotten but this story was well ahead of it's time. It's very creative and would be amazing if done today with more money thrown into it. It's amazing that JNT turned out what he did with the budget the BBC gave him. The cast is great and studio problems that nearly cancelled the serial actually helped the realism of the tent scenes. Another great addition to the Doctor Who collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does not deserve to be obliterated in the ring November 25, 2013
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My first exposure to Sylvester McCoy was "The Curse of Fenric", and while far from a bad story, it still didn't quite make my favorites list. I did, however find Sylvester McCoy's Doctor to be excellently written and brilliantly portrayed. After I watched "Remembrance of the Daleks," McCoy was cemented as my personal favorite Doctor. What does this have to do with "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy?" Just that Sylvester McCoy, and the Doctor, are at their best here. It's definitely one of his darker portrayals, which I loved, particularly in his last season. What complements McCoy's acting here is the brilliant writing and Sophie Aldred's excellent performance as Ace. The Chief Clown is creepily played by Ian Reddington, and he is excellent as well. In fact, excellent pretty much sums up this entire story.

The sets are convincing, the location footage is great, and every supporting character is memorable, with the exception of Whizz Kid. There are some really interesting plot twists, like the one at the end of episode 3 and partway through episode 4. So, in conclusion, "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" is a brilliant story that all McCoy fans, and for that matter all Doctor Who fans, should check out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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A pretty good story of the Seventh Doctor and Ace visiting the Psychic Circus. The story features scary clowns, killer robots, and even an unexpected werewoman! There is even a rapping ringmaster! That's the nifty parts, the less than ideal part is that the outdoor scenes were mostly filmed in a quarry, but this is augmented by special effects which make it somewhat better. The final baddies were a bit out of left field for me, and I felt they didn't really fit in with the rest of the story. However, it wasn't too out of line for Doctor Who of the late '80's.

The DVD extra's feature both Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as well many other members of the cast and production team discussing the making of the episode. This was particularly interesting, as this episode would have been lost like Shada had John Nathan Turner and other production team members gone to Herculean efforts to finish the serial. Great effort and creativity were used to film the "studio" portion of the adventure in the face of unexpected issues, and this is all discussed in the extras.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Under the Big Top December 23, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I got this DVD for myself on a whim, as it wasn't available on Netflix. Almost every single Doctor Who serial is available through Netflix, but there are a few, mostly the most recently released Doctor Who serials, that aren't available on Netflix yet and I decided to check out this serial without really previewing it, so to speak. It is actually an interesting story, and it does draw parallels between 'The Greatest Show in the Galaxy', the Psychic Circus, and Doctor Who, although it doesn't praise itself too highly. There is a dark undercurrent to the Psychic Circus at this point in its history, according to the players, as the idealism of its past, symbolized by 60s/70s hippie counterculture, has died out and now it is a very grim place that has betrayed the wide-eyed optimism and love of its greatest fan, feeding him to the lions, so to speak. And so Doctor Who explores the dark realm of a failing/failed circus full of monsters and betrayal, acknowledging that they haven't always been 'The Greatest Show in the Galaxy'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Show
An above average McCoy. Enjoyed the extras. Some creative acting here. Dr Who fans should like this one. Video quality is quite good.
Published 7 months ago by Al
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and Ace discover a circus where the audience must perform...
In the Slyvester McCoy era of Doctor Who episode entitled "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" The Doctor and Ace traveling inside the TARDIS encounter a strange robot messanger that... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jacob
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
Enjoyed and added to my collection of all the Doctor Who dvds. Would recommend other Dr Who fans to buy.
Published 13 months ago by CVP
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a big fan of "classic" Doctor Who
But was never that much of Sylvester McCoys Doctor. Getting these DVDs from the years that he stared as the Doctor are slowly changing my mind. Read more
Published 14 months ago by NORMAN L. JOHANSEN
3.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
First off this was not the dvd I was looking for that Mr McCoy did. I didn't like the storyline in this, which doesn't happen often with my favorite Doctors. Thankfully!
Published 15 months ago by Lillie B Ivy
5.0 out of 5 stars That's an accurate description of the series alright!
I continue to collect the last two-thirds of McCoy's run, and I continue to be impressed by him & the storytelling quality. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Patrick Correa
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S THE DOCTOR! WHAT COULD BE BETTER?
IT'S THE DOCTOR! WHAT COULD BE BETTER? Another great addition to my Doctor Who collection! And Sylvester McCoy TOO? GREAT!
Published 17 months ago by hondo101
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr who the greatest show in the galaxy
The seventh doctor, Sylvester McCoy, is as mysterious as ever in this episode. Lots of action and plot elements here.
Published 20 months ago by Ja
3.0 out of 5 stars Passable 'Who' But Exceptional Features Make This A SHOW Worth...
Full disclosure! Full disclosure! Yes, I'll admit it: I'm a bit of a Doctor Who nut. Maybe not what you'd call a full-fledged Whovian (Google it, if you're at a loss or so... Read more
Published 21 months ago by E. Lee Zimmerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Far out of this galaxy
I've been waiting for this episode to show for some time. I was happy to see it available from Amazon and pre-ordered it. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Entertained
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