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


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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: #115,398 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

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Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Story" 12
  • "Opinions" 5
  • "Characters" 3
  • "Acting" 3
  • "Writing" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 By Skywalk7 on 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 By Stuart O. Vance on August 19, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 By Scott Nossek on November 25, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 By Keitheaux on June 5, 2013
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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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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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