Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $5.67
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol (Story 153)

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
Price
New from Used from
DVD
(May 08, 2012)
"Please retry"
1
$99.98

Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime
Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime Start your 30-day free trial to stream thousands of movies & TV shows included with Prime. Start your free trial

Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: Happiness Patrol, The

On the planet Terra Alpha, bright fluorescent lights and garish candy-striped colors abound. The population constantly displays happy smiles. There's no sadness on Terra Alpha. Anyone feeling remotely glum disappears. Quickly. Having heard disturbing rumors, the Doctor and Ace arrive to topple the entire regime overnight. But they haven't reckoned upon the varied punitive measures enforced by colony leader Helen A. There are many delicious ways in which to vanish on Terra Alpha: you can be hunted down by the omnipresent Happiness Patrol or mauled by Helen A's ravenous pet Fifi. But those especially unlucky few will find themselves entertained in the sweetie factory manned by Helen A's psychotic henchman… the Kandy Man. This time, Happiness will prevail.

]]>

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Georgina Hale, David John Pope
  • Directors: Chris Clough
  • Writers: Graeme Curry
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AAF1FW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,246 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

"The Happiness Patrol" comes from an unpopular and often-neglected era of Doctor Who -- the end of the original series, when ratings were poor and internal BBC support for the show was practically nonexistent. But in spite of all that, this is a pretty cool serial that deserves a charitable reassessment.

The basic premise is that the Doctor and his companion Ace arrive on a planet where sadness has been banned, and is punishable by death. The planet is ruled by the insane dictator Helen A, who is an obvious parody of Margaret Thatcher. (Amusingly, British journalists didn't notice the Thatcher parallel until 2010, when "The Happiness Patrol" was exhumed and re-examined by the media, and became briefly controversial.) Helen A's chief henchman is a robot, made of candy, who kills dissidents by drowning them in syrup.

Does all this sound a bit grotesque, perhaps even ridiculous? Well, it is ridiculous, of course. But for those who agree with the left-wing politics of this serial, and can enjoy its peculiar brand of dark humor, there is much to appreciate here. Indeed, I quite like the gutsy social commentary in the script, and I think it's still very relevant. Meanwhile, some of the serial's perceived weaknesses -- false-looking sets, over-the-top acting, and a general campy atmosphere -- become more acceptable, and perhaps even appropriate, when you view them through the lens of political satire.

As for the DVD itself, it's one of the best single-disc Doctor Who editions to come along in a while. It includes a making-of special that intelligently examines the serial's politics and production strengths/weaknesses, as well as an extensive collection of extended and deleted scenes (the highlight of which is a much better introduction scene for the character Susan Q).
Read more ›
Comment 14 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
In the Sylvester McCoy era of Doctor Who epsidoe entitled "The Happiness Patrol" The Doctor and Ace have come to the colony of Terra Alpha a colony set in the early days of the Earth great expnasion into the stars. What the Doctor doesn't know is the leader a woman known as Helen A has institued a no saddness policy within the colony. Anyone not smiling or even being happy is sentenced to death. With her all female sqauds known as the "Happiness Patrols" they enforce her rules on the colony. However force of arms is not the only thing at her disposal she also has her candy kitchen and within is the being called "The Candy Man" a being who loves to make sweets. Sweets that kill that is and of course when all else fails Helen A has her faithful pet Fifi a creature that only Helen A could love.
Meanwhile on the planet itself the Doctor encounters Trevor Sigma a Terrian census taker is on the colony to see the numbers of those on the planet are kept up and also to ensure that proceduers are kept up to regulation. A visting medical student who enjoys the harmonica and is trapped on Terra Alpha until he can find a way to escape and get back to Earth. Ace also meets a young happiness patrol memebr who wants nothing more then to be sad, but fears what would happen if the rest of her sqaud ever finds out the truth. Also strange beings seem to be watching from the shadows and seem to be waiting for something to happen.
Can the Doctor stop Helen A, her spies, the happiness patrols, The Candy Man and even Fifi and try to sort out the colony so no one has to keep smiling forever? Or will those that are on Terra Alpha live in the grip of fear if they show anything but happiness? So check out "The Happiness Patrol" to find out.
Comment 5 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Having fallen in love with the Seventh Doctor during Remembrance of the Daleks, I got his next story, and it's another excellent episode. It's very strange too; if it weren't for all the bright colors, I could've sworn that Tim Burton had worked on this one. Still, this has some memorable characters like the Kandy Man, Helen A, and my favorite the blues player Earl (SPOILER I can't tell you how glad I am he didn't die); awesome moments (the Doctor overthrowing a regime in one night is already cool, but with scenes like him talking the sniper into dropping his gun and tricking a Happiness Patrol squad into being arrested, this is just gold), and great music, this is one of the more memorable Doctor Who adventures.
Comment 3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
The Sylvester McCoy era, past and present as well as one can safely assume in future as well, has received a pretty bad rap from some fans. There are stories that have been criticized from production values, scripts, performances and other elements. Even as someone who is a proud fan of the Seventh Doctor and his era, I admit that some of that criticism is valid. There are stories from the era though that aren't quite as deserving of that rap though and The Happiness Patrol is a perfect example of this.

There's the script for example. Graeme Curry's script takes the Doctor Who cliché of citizens vs. an evil government and turns it into something more. This story famously was the subject of a tempest in a teacup scandal back in 2010 for the fact that it was a satire of Thatcher's Britain with Shelia Hancock's Helen A being based on her. That element is present without a doubt and it's easy to detect for anyone familiar with Thatcher and her politics from Helen A's slogans to the drones being told to down tools (a reference to the infamous miner's strike of 1984-85) but there's more to the story than that. There's elements drawn from tyrannical governments from around the world including references to an entire village being raised to the ground and mass disappearances similar to events in Chile and Argentina. The titular Happiness Patrol, once you move beyond the colorful outfits, calls to mind elements of Soviet secret police and intelligence organizations from members turning on each other (including an informant being pinned with a medal only to be executed). All of this mixing and matching of elements forms only a part of the script though.

For into this, set on a colony world centuries in the future, Curry also throws in a larger moral message.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: doctor who remembrance of the daleks, sylvester mccoy