Doctor Who: The Awakening (Story 132)
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a nifty little story (only 2 episodes) in which a small English village, under the guise of an historical reenactment and the psychic influence of a malevolent alien, is forced to recreate the violence of the 17th century English Civil War. Good performances all around and a pretty creepy alien. It's nice to see a lot of scenes in darkness and more subdued lighting unlike a lot of the blindingly overlit sets of the time. Highly recommended.
- Return To Little Hodcombe - Director Michael Owen, actors Janet Fielding and Keith Jayne and script editor Eric Saward return to the three villages that played host to the locations for `The Awakening', and along with locals they reminisce about a memorable shoot...
- Making The Malus - visual effects designer Tony Harding and modelmaker Richard Gregory are reunited with the Malus prop they built for the story. Current owner Paul Burrows is on hand to describe the reality of living with a giant stone monster on the lounge wall...
- Now & Then - the latest in the ongoing series visits the villages of Martin, Shapwick and Tarrant Monkton to compare the locations used in the story with how they appear today.
- From The Cutting Room Floor - extended and deleted scenes from a timecoded VHS of the original edit and unedited film sequences, plus location action from the film rushes.
- The Golden Egg Awards - the inadvertent destruction of a prop lychgate by a horse was the winner of The Late Late Breakfast Show's Golden Egg Award. Peter Davison is on hand to collect the trophy from host Noel Edmonds.
- Photo gallery - production, design and publicity photos from the story.
- Isolated music - option to view the story with the isolated music score.
- Coming Soon - a trailer for a forthcoming DVD release.
- Radio Times listings in Adobe PDF format.
- Programme subtitles.
- Subtitle Production Notes.
In many ways this story foreshadows what Doctor Who would become in the 21st century. The short duration of the story, modern setting, and family links would all become hallmarks of the new series. (Admittedly the contemporary settings, while not part of the show's original concept, had been a feature of Doctor Who since the mid-60s).
If the story had just had a bit more room to breathe and grow it could have been a classic. If the 80s production team had recognized the limits of their budget and focused on special effects with a timeless quality (largely by hiding things as much as possible and letting audience imagination do the work instead of relying on computer graphics which would not age gracefully) that would have helped too. As it was, we're still left with a fun hour of fairly straightforward adventure, and the flaws are forgivable. After all, if you can't stand weak special effects, why are you watching Doctor Who in the first place?
For the first-time viewer, the setup of the Doctor Who series is basic enough: the Doctor is an alien who adventures in time and space in his TARDIS, usually with a human companion or two. You may feel a little lost with The Awakening if you're not familiar with the series, but there are no specific continuity issues to get caught out by.
The TARDIS arrives in Little Hodcombe, an English village currently in the grip of re-enactment fever. Tegan's grandfather has vanished, the lord of the manor is going nuts, people from the 17th century have slipped into the 20th and something very nasty is manifesting in the church. Is the violence of the Civil War about to explode all over again?
The Doctor's glib explanations about what's going on in Little Hodcombe don't make much sense, but that's not really the point. We get costumes, horses, secret passages, folklore, apparitions, chases, escapes, defiance, collapsing buildings, horror and all your prejudices against historical re-enactment troupes confirmed in a mere 50 minutes. The guest characters are surprisingly well drawn and play very well off the Doctor, and though I doubt the ending will surprise you, it should satisfy. The whole cast performs well and the special effects and model work are decent. It's nice to see lots of exterior work, too. Three and a half stars.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty good story for a two-parter. None of the talent in the commentary. Interesting Making of ...Published 11 months ago by VM370Guy
This story isn't bad but it's not quite good either. The locations are great with the mysterious church looking very spooky. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author
Only 2 parts in this series for $35 story was weak for a doctor who!Published 16 months ago by Kindle Customer
Most two part Doctor Who stories are largely forgettable. But I quite enjoyed this. It was very well paced as most of Peter Davisons last and best season as The Doctor.Published 20 months ago by Mark Who
Am a great follower of Dr. Who and like to catch up on shows I have not yet seen and then to have the opportunity to watch them againPublished 22 months ago by Priscilla
My middle son loves the dr who series, I am sure he has watched this by himself and with his friends.Published 24 months ago by sgtr