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

William Hartnell , Peter Purves , Michael Imison  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.98
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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: The Ark (Story 23) + Doctor Who: The War Machines (Story 27) + Doctor Who: The Space Museum/The Chase (Stories 15 and 16)
Price for all three: $64.05

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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: 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00272NJ7U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,005 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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    4 of 5 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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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Who April 17, 2013
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    It doesn't have the high-tech effects of the new series, but this showed what classic Who could do on a budget in the 1960s. A great serial for any Who fan or a person who wants to learn more about the 1st Doctor.
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    1 of 1 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 7 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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    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 19 hours 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 3 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 4 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 7 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 11 months ago by Sandra Gass
    3.0 out of 5 stars Great quality
    This product came to me in good shape. I LOVE Doctor Who and bought this to get more of a feel for the classics. Read more
    Published 11 months ago by Megan
    3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of William Hartnell
    A low budget leads to a 'bottle' story set in an space-faring ark. The writers and the actors all seem to be on holiday here, so it's not the best of the First Doctor stories.
    Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor must help save a group of humans and aliens from destroying...
    IN the William Hartnell era of Doctor with the episode entitled "The Ark". The Doctor, Dodo and Steven have landed on a spaceship traveling to a distant start that will take them... Read more
    Published 20 months ago by Jacob
    2.0 out of 5 stars So lost...
    ...and it's not really anyone's fault. The only story you can purchase before this one is story 17, which leaves a whole season of information out. Like where is Vicki? Read more
    Published on August 6, 2011 by S. Molina
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story!
    The Ark is one of those stories I have a soft place for. Sure, the aliens look a tad weird. Yes, the lines could have been better. Read more
    Published on April 17, 2011 by Michael Valdivielso
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