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Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus (Story 5) (2010)

William Hartnell , Jacqueline Hill , John Gorrie  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus (Story 5) + Doctor Who: The Beginning (An Unearthly Child / The Daleks / The Edge of Destruction) (Stories 1 - 3) + Doctor Who: The Sensorites, No. 7
Price for all three: $57.20

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Jacqueline Hill, William Russell, Carole Ann Ford, George Colouris
  • Directors: John Gorrie
  • Writers: Terry Nation
  • Producers: Verity Lambert
  • Format: Black & White, Subtitled, Full Screen, NTSC
  • 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: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 5, 2010
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002PHVHK8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,151 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Commentary by actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, director John Gorrie, and designer Raymond Cusic, moderated by Clayton Hickman
The Sets of Marinus: Interview with designer Raymond Cusic
Photo gallery
PDF material (DVD-ROM, PC/Mac): Radio Times listings, Cadet Sweets: Doctor Who and the Daleks (scans of the entire set of the Cadet Sweet cards, which features a mini Doctor Who story involving the Daleks and the Voord
Production note subtitles

Editorial Reviews

For all the Whos in Whoville (sorry, wrong Doctor), this vintage Doctor Who adventure from the venerable British series' inaugural season is a must-own collectible. For the uninitiated, Doctor Who is television's longest-running science fiction series and it has gained a cult following that rivals those of Star Trek and Star Wars. Dr. Who, portrayed here in his first incarnation by William Hartnell, is a Time Lord who travels the cosmos in a spacecraft called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), whose exterior looks like a police call box.

Originally broadcast in 1964, The Keys of Marinus is a six-episode arc that features the doctor's original traveling companions, science teacher Ian Chesterton, history teacher Barbara Wright, and the doctor's granddaughter, Susan, who is given to screaming at the first sign of peril. Hartnell's doctor is a sprightly curmudgeon who relishes adventure and mystery, which he finds after the group lands on Marinus, an island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid. Doctor and company are compelled to retrieve four microcircuits that are the keys to the Conscience of Marinus, a computer that has eliminated evil from the minds of men (except apparently the evil Yartek and his web-suited Voords, who want to seize the machine). Their quest takes them most memorably to "a planet of the most contented people" (beware the brainwashing powers of the "mesmerent"), another world overrun by plants, and finally a city where Chesterton, framed for murder, is considered guilty until proven innocent--by the doctor, of course. As is characteristic of this series, the special effects are a hokey hoot and the actors sometimes step on each others' lines. Hartnell vacationed during production and is absent for two episodes. But this is a surprisingly prophetic cautionary tale: it may be good to heed the doctor's prescient observation that "man was not made to be controlled by machines." If you have yet to make an appointment with the doctor, perhaps the episodes featuring Tom Baker--the fourth and most popular of the doctors--are a more accessible introduction. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

On a remote island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid, there is a machine that can remove evil from the minds of an entire population – the Conscience of Marinus. Fearful of its immense power falling into the wrong hands, its sole guardian has scattered the machine’s operating keys across the planet. The TARDIS crew arrives to find the island under attack by the evil Voord. Marinus’ last line of defense – and its only hope – is the Conscience machine. The Doctor and his companions must undertake a deadly quest to recover the keys of Marinus.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another interesting release September 25, 2009
It's worth noting that you've been watching a cut version of this story all these years; read this from the Restoration Team website:

"[The film copies had] seven seconds of cuts to episode two and ten seconds of cuts to episode four. The most likely reason for these cuts is either physical damage to the transmission videotape or physical splice edits in the tapes, both of which might be expected to produce disturbing picture off-locks in the film recording.

It was decided to reinstate all the audio material back into the episode, leaving Peter Crocker with the problem of how to fill seven black holes in the picture! Using various combinations of cutaways, composite images and retiming, he was able to cover all the holes. Although this will obviously differ from what what would have been seen originally, it does at least allow the story to be enjoyed uncut for the first time since its transmission in 1964."

As for special features, read on...

* Commentary with actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, director John Gorrie and designer Raymond Cusick. Moderated by Clayton Hickman.

* The Sets of Marinus (dur. 9' 25") - designer Raymond Cusick recalls his work on this story.

* Photo Gallery (dur. 7' 25") - production and publicity photos from the story.

* PDF Material - Radio Times listings plus the entire set of Cadet Sweets 'Doctor Who and the Daleks' sweet cigarette cards in Adobe pdf format for viewing on PC or Mac.

Plus of course the usual Subtitle Production Notes and Coming Soon trailer.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sea of Acid, Sand of Glass October 16, 2009
Season one, 11/4/64-16/5/64.
My main gripe with this story is, it's just too ambitious on it's minuscule budget. Who plays to it's strenghts when it embraces it's limitations, and doesn't try to do a story that needs a Hollywood budget. Okay rant over.
This was Terry Nation's first non-Dalek story, Dalek popularity was still in the ascendancy when Nation hastily delivered this script.
The only other time he went Dalek-less was the "Avenger" like Android Invasion.
Mr Nation's strong points were ideas to capture the imagination, but with this story his weaknesses are revealed, he simple couldn't write easy flowing natural dialogue in the same way as Whittaker or Spooner. This was also the earliest of the quest like stories which later came out as The Chase, The E-space trilogy, the Key to Time season, and the Black Guardian trilogy.
The reason for Hartnell's disappearance for episode three and four was, he was on two weeks holiday, and it worked wonders, he comes back in episode five completely invigorated with no fluffs or dries.
With six new sets required each week and only one designer (Ray Cusick).
This story does appear to have more production problems then most early Hartnell stories, example: when the secret entrance door swings open you catch a glimpse of one of the set workers operating it.
But episode four, "The Snows of Terror" sums up exactly why I always rate sixties Who above any other decade, and that is when Vasor is alone with Barbara he attempts to rape her. Very strong stuff for an early evening TV show. (A similar incident occurs with Edith in, "The Time Meddler".)
This touching on some of societies taboos was avoided in later decades. Which I felt was a shame, as it gave it an extra edge of realism.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The most unloved story" January 19, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"The Keys of Marinus" is on paper a sweeping outer-space epic. The TARDIS crew is solicited by a man named Arbitan -- the keeper of the Conscience of Marinus, a robed figure living in a pyramid on a deserted island surrounded by a sea of acid. Arbitan's played by George Colouris, who was part of Orson Welles' repertory and who had a role in Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition). So in the first part of this six-part story, the principal guest actor brings great gravitas to proceedings.

Then our heroes are sent across the planet in search of the hidden micro-keys that will reactivate the Conscience machine and set Marinus to rights. They travel to such terrifying locations as the Screaming Jungle and the Snows of Terror. They're imprisoned in a Velvet Web, and then later, in a fine "Perry Mason" pastiche, Ian is framed for murder and it's up to the Doctor to act as his defense counsel. This reads great on paper, as the novelization (Doctor Who and the Keys of Marinus) demonstrates.

So, how could this story go wrong? Well, a low budget, for one. The DVD release of "Marinus" looks fabulous -- the original videotapes for this story have long since been destroyed, but the existing kinescope transfers have been restored to a pristine VT look. Unfortunately, that process doesn't serve the story well -- with "Marinus" already well known for tons of technical errors, it's hard to look at this DVD for 45 seconds without spotting a stray stagehand or a roaming boom shadow or a wobbly set.

The writing isn't great, either.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Would recumend this to everone . Must own this to your Dr who collection .Great special effects.Could watch this over and over again
Published 1 month ago by James D.
4.0 out of 5 stars watch out for acid
in this the doctor and his companions land on a planet that a computer is used to input law and order over the people. or it us to. Read more
Published 2 months ago by daryl drumheller
5.0 out of 5 stars GIFT FOR GRANDSON
Published 3 months ago by kim
5.0 out of 5 stars was a Christmas gift
This was given as a Christmas gift and the person who received it is really into Dr Who. He has been collecting Dr Who DVDs
Published 3 months ago by Joan Patton
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving Onward and Upward
Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus after watching The Beginning is a breath of air. It's the next complete story on DVD following The Beginning and sees The Doctor and his... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Boj Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favorite
I love everything Doctor Who, and I say that because I understand that it can skew my opinion. Even the worst episodes I can find some merit in. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Raymond Doubrava
5.0 out of 5 stars dr.who
i think this has to be my favorite william hartnell doctor who episode,i have watched it at least 10 times since winter of 2013,if you like any of the original doctor who episodes... Read more
Published 9 months ago by sharona
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like old Doctor Who or cheesy sci-fi B movies, this is great.
The Doctor and friends land on a small planet, on an island surrounded by a sea of acid. They meet some interesting villains and make some new friends, and they have a number of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Doctor Gangreene
5.0 out of 5 stars The Keys of Marinus
Really good Dr Who show with more explanations and applications of time travel, a must buy to add to your collection!!!
Published 10 months ago by JKINSPECTOR
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a tad beyond their reach...
The Keys of Marinus is somewhat of a disappoint for many viewers. You would think a nice long story written by Terry Nation would be a great, wonderful, interesting and keep you... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Michael Valdivielso
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All Doctor Who dvds have English subtitles, but not closed captions.
Mar 5, 2013 by Derek Donnell |  See all 2 posts
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