Doctor Who: Planet of Evil (Story 81)
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The Doctor and Sarah have materialized on Zeta Minor at the edge of the known universe. They arrive to find the skeletal remains of a human; all the life having been sucked out of him. Of course, the Doctor and Sarah are blamed. As it turns out, Zeta Minor is something of a gateway between the universes of matter and anti-matter. The creature responsible for sucking the lives out of people is something of a hybrid creature which lives in an abyss between the two universes and who is attacking people it seems because a researcher is intent on removing hybrid crystals from the planet for use as fuel in the human colonies. The Doctor returns the crystals, makes the creature happy and all is well again.
This episode is fantastic for anyone, hard core fan and casual observer alike. The BBC effects department did a fantastic job on the jungle for this story (it was done entirely in studio!). The story also featured three of the best guest actors in the series' history, Prentice Hancock as Commander Salamar, Frederick Jaeger as Sorenson and Ewan Solon as Vishinsky. I don't give 5-star ratings lightly - get this DVD!
In Face of Evil, potent images of horror abound. Examples include the perpetual twighlight of the forest, the red, purple and black tones dominating the production design, in the fact that we don't see the monster at first, only its effect on the environment (an idea that resurfaced, along with the plastic jungle, in the similarly titled "Face of Evil.") There also is palpable fear generated by surveyors' scruffiness and dirtiness, their desperate rushes through the haunted wood, and the horrific look of their wizened corpses after the monster gets them. The look on Sarah's face when the monster almost gets her is another terrifying (to the 10 year old inside us all) image used in this story.
And the terror is relentless. The suspense builds as the action shifts to the Morestran spaceship. Sorenson's glowing eyes after he morphs into "anti-man," the steaming potion he must gulp (like Dr. Jeckyll) to keep his demons at bay, the corpses ditched from the ship plunging into the endless loneliness of deep space.... all unforgettable images terrifying to the mind of an imaginative 10 year old.
If there was a secret to Hinchcliffe's success as a producer it was this.
Another appealing quality of the Face of Evil is its ending.Read more ›
The story is your basic 'trapped in a haunted house with a mysterious killer' bit, but the overlapping plot elements and homages prevent it from falling into parody.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a great classic Doctor Who. I call Tom Baker the real Doctor Who. And he has his best side kick with him. The story takes place on the outer edge of the universe. Great Show!Published 4 months ago by Mr. Paul Goddard
One Step closer to completing my collection. Thank you, it's a great story!Published 8 months ago by VictorSlim3D
The Planet of Evil sounds rather alarming, but it is my three year old's favorite Dr. Who (even more that the Robot one). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Patricia B.
Excellent product and service. Best TV show after all time. Tom baker best ever dr. Who.Published 13 months ago by Sean powell
My Son Loves the Dr!
He is a true Whovian! If that is a word! LOL and this episode is a good one! I am a fan of Dr. Who Number 4 too however my son can tell you ALL!
one of the true classic stories. tom baker and elizabeth sladen are at their best.Published 15 months ago by Mark Anderson