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  • Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol (Story 153)
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Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol (Story 153)


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Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol (Story 153) + Doctor Who: Dragonfire (Story 151) + Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Story 155)
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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.)
  • 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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AAF1FW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,157 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Story" 11
  • "Series" 6
  • "Opinions" 4
  • "Writing" 2
  • "Special Features" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Little Roy Blue on May 7, 2012
"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).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jacob on July 20, 2012
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Correa on January 24, 2013
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Ruble on July 3, 2013
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In which Seven was amazing, Ace was wicked, and the show could do a very clever satire on the UK under Margaret Thatcher's rule and pull it off. Even those of us on the other side of the pond knew about the Iron Lady, and the horrific fantasy world presented here, in which everyone was happy (because if they weren't, the Kandyman would get them), and everything was painted pink, and there were no negative thoughts. Because people who thought negative thoughts tended to disappear and then reappear as a member of the Happiness Patrol.

The poor TARDIS painted pink is still one of the funniest (and at the same time, the most horrific sights) to be committed to film.
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The Happiness Patrol is an OK serial, I haven't seen so many classic Doctor Who stories in years and years but because
of the 50th Anniversary I am making up for lost time and collecting my fav episodes and also renting them from my local library system to see if my memory jives with the story...
Everyone seems to think The Happiness Patrol was one of the best Sylvester McCoy stories, but having just watched it last night
it's not the story that is worth getting the DVD for it's the Extras, in particular the documentary about how political and anti-establishment Doctor Who really has been all this time. The writers were ingenious because instead of blatant stories about racism or class structure that Star Trek was famous for they were just trying to tell a good story and often enough political views and social commentary made its way into the fabric of the story. The Happiness Patrol is one of those more overt and as the then head writer notes it wasn't just about Thatcher who was Prim Minister then, it was also about what was going on in South Africa and raids on townships and the "disappearances" of non conformists. It's an intriguing episode, but if you get it really, seriously watch the documentary first or last, but do watch it because that's what makes this DVD worth the money!

Other than that I do admit that this is a great episode featuring Ace, Sophie Aldred. It showcases her acting talents nicely and seems to me more about her than the Doctor here. Also, as it's been said the Kandy Man... that's K A N D Y not Candy Man is probably one of the best monsters DW ever had had.
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