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Doctor Who: The Ark (Story 23)
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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
PDF materials: Radio Times Listings
Production Notes Subtitle Option
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.
I really liked the invisible people as well. It was entertaining, witty, and a wonderful buy.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Collection is growing!!!!! Thank you for having this awesome story!Published 7 months ago by VictorSlim3D
I found this to be a very intriguing way to handle a story. Basically it is done in such a way that it is two stories with the first two episodes being one story and the last two... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Malbus
I wanted this DVD as it is Dodo's first full show and I only had one other show with Steven. It is not one of the better classic Dr. Who stories, but it is o.k. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mike Volpe
Good classic Doctor Who story. Bit clunky, but still good!Published 11 months ago by tonyrepublican