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Doctor Who: The Ark (Story 23) (2011)

William Hartnell , Peter Purves , Michael Imison  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Peter Purves, Jackie Lane
  • Directors: Michael Imison
  • Writers: Paul Erickson, Lesley Scott
  • Producers: John Wiles
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: 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: March 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00272NJ7U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,242 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • Production Notes

  • Editorial Reviews

    New to DVD! Digitally remastered Doctor Who classics The Ark! The TARDIS arrives some ten million years in the future on a giant spaceship carrying all the Earth's surviving plant, animal and human life (much of it miniaturised and in suspended animation) on a 700 year voyage to a new home on the planet Refusis II. Dodo is suffering from a cold - an unknown affliction in this era - and as the human Guardians of the ship and their servant race the Monoids have no resistance, a plague breaks out. The Guardians place the travellers on trial and Steven is forced to defend them against allegations that they spread the disease deliberately. Fortunately, the Doctor finds a cure. The TARDIS leaves the spaceship, which Dodo has nicknamed the Ark, only to arrive back there as it is approaching the end of its voyage. Partly as a result of the earlier plague, the Monoids have now grown strong and enslaved the humans

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Realised Stories of the Third Season. January 27, 2011
    Even if The Ark doesn't quite fulfil its promise of delivering on the deeper themes at work, it's still entertaining, and what's more, is one of the best realised stories of the third season. Of course, this tale would be outstripped by its more popular stablemate "The Ark In Space", with its similar ideas of Earthlings escaping disaster. But despite this, The Ark is a clever little tale that manages to be boosted by its presentation and (for the time) swanky production values.

    1 disc, 97 minutes, 4 episodes, full frame video, English mono audio, English subtitles, $24.98 SRP

    Audio Commentary with Peter Purves ("Steven") and Michael Imison (director)

    "All's Wells That Ends Wells" - A feature on the influence of writer H.G. Wells on the series

    "One Hit Wonder" - On what makes a successful monster

    "Riverside Story" - Touring old production haunt Riverside Studios

    Photo Gallery

    PDF materials: Radio Times Listings

    Production Notes Subtitle Option
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Concepts May 2, 2000
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    The idea of having this story take place over 700 years (or whatever it was) was a clever idea. It really demonstrated how much the Doctor interferes. (The Valeyard should have used this story for his evidence against the Doctor!)
    I really liked the invisible people as well. It was entertaining, witty, and a wonderful buy.
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    7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Two Stories Pretending To Be One March 13, 2002
    Format:VHS Tape
    (Note: Warning! Spoilers ahead!)"The Ark" is one of three stories remaining from William Hartnell's third season in Doctor Who. And I must admit it is one of his weakest. Thin on story, especially in the first two episodes, this tale gives us a view of Humanity in the very far future. Millions of years on, in fact. A long time after man has conquered space, the remnants of Earth's native sons are on a huge space craft inhabited by all forms of remaining life on Earth, who flee from the planet's imminent destruction, to colonize a planet they have never even set foot upon.
    The Doctor and company arrive with new companion Dodo (picked up in the final moments of the previous story "The Massacre"), who has an illness unknown to Human science of the 57th Segment of Time, the common cold. The illness quickly spreads throughout the population of both Humans and their friendly servants, the alien Monoids, killing a number of both species. After some debate as to whether the TARDIS crew have brought the illness on purpose or not, the Doctor is finally allowed to search for a cure, using Steven (who has also somehow attracted the illness which he should already have an immunity to!) as a guinee pig.
    Well, of course the Doctor finds the cure and saves the day. The TARDIS dematerializes and then suddenly RE-materializes in the exact same spot, only 700 years later. Things on the Ark have changed significantly, as now the Monoids have become the masters, enslaving Humanity as the Ark approaches the long sought planet for colonizing. The Doctor and crew must find a way to free the Humans from the Monoids, and prevent the extinction of man.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    "The Ark" was a workmanlike production from the middle of William Hartnell's third season as the Doctor, perhaps a bit more expansive than most because it was taped at the more spacious Riverside Studios instead of cramped Lime Grove, where monsters or aliens were usually attacking the Doctor in isolated space stations and similarly limited locales.

    The Doctor, Steven and Dodo land in what appears to be a jungle habitat for a London zoo but is actually part of a spaceship from 10 million years in the future carrying the human race, their slaves the Monoids, and Earth's animals to a new home planet, Refusis II, after Earth's destruction. The journey will take 700 years.

    Dodo infects the ship's passengers with the common cold, unleashing a deadly plague that threatens to wipe out the humans as well as the Monoids. Once the Doctor narrowly resolves this crisis, he and his companions leave the Ark only to find the TARDIS has returned them to the same ship hundreds of years later. Now the once-docile Monoids have turned the tables, enslaving Earth's humans just as they are about to colonize Refusis.

    The two-part nature of the story is clever enough, but the ludicrous design of the Monoids prevents them from posing any credible threat to the humans: picture an actor in a full-length rubber suit that binds the legs together like Morticia's in The Addams Family, with an oversized Beatles wig on his head that covers everything but his mouth, which contains a ping-pong ball painted to look like an eyeball. (Meanwhile, because the actor's mouth is full of eyeball, his lines have to be spoken by another actor off-camera.)

    This DVD is still worth a look, though, for its Special Features, which include "All's Wells That Ends Wells," a brief documentary tracing H.G. Wells' influence on Doctor Who and this story in particular, and "Riverside Story," a tour of Riverside Studios, with Peter Purves ("Steven") and British television critic Matthew Sweet.
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    5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who BBC restoration April 10, 2011
    By Zap
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    The BBC is atoning for past sins (destroying so many Doctor Who episodes) by providing first-rate restorations of those surviving. The Ark looks good and includes a multitude of special features which illuminate the history and the making of the early Hartnell episodes. Highly recommended.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Fast service at a fair price.
    Published 2 months ago by Roger B. Burritt
    4.0 out of 5 stars Noah's ark in space
    a good story with some elements from H.G. Wells. I do agree with the actors and the other people interviewed, the monuds are ridicules. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by daryl drumheller
    5.0 out of 5 stars I Have Been Waiting Too See This One!
    I Being Watching Doctor For A Very Long Time,
    Have Just About All The DVD But I Don't Have This One, Is Very
    Excellent, Too.
    Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Planet-like Spaceship called the Ark
    This is my favorite story in the William Hartnell Era! Firstly, because I believe planet-like spaceships do exist and that they are befitting a level of sophistication well beyond... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Grant A. Barbey
    5.0 out of 5 stars great story
    A must for your Dr Who colection if you like the first doctor. I just love the first doctor .
    Published 5 months ago by James D.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very Clever
    The Ark is a story like none other in the Hartnell era. It's essentially two stories wrapped into one.

    Before I go further, let me say that Dodo is annoying for some. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Mark Vanderlinde-Abernathy
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best early episodes of Dr Who!
    Dr Whovians! This is one of the greatest early episodes! Great Quality! Great Plot! I have followed the show most of my life and enjoy each and every Doctor and what they bring... Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Debbi Laughman
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good First Doctor story
    Interesting plot device has the Doctor and companions visit the same location twice, 700 years apart. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by ken
    5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta love it :)
    Special Features, include "All's Wells That Ends Wells," a brief documentary tracing H.G. Wells' influence on Doctor Who and this story in particular, and "Riverside... Read more
    Published 14 months ago by Jim Phillips
    5.0 out of 5 stars Strange New Work
    We always wonder what is going to happen in the future of earth. Doctor Who handles it in a wonderful way
    Published 18 months ago by Sandra Gass
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