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Doctor Who: The Awakening (Story 132)


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Doctor Who: The Awakening (Story 132) + Doctor Who: Frontios (Story 133) + Doctor Who: Planet of Fire
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Frederick Hall, Glyn Houston
  • Directors: Michael Owen Morris
  • Writers: Eric Pringle
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: NTSC, Color
  • Language: 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: July 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004TPJMQU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,728 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Awakening (Story 132)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Little Hodcombe, 1984. The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough arrive in a small English village, looking forward to spending some time with Tegan’s grandfather. They soon discover that all is not well – Tegan’s grandfather is missing and the locals are reenacting dangerous war games from 1643. With the past mixed up with the present, can the Doctor stop the games before an evil entity hidden in the village church awakens?

Customer Reviews

Good performances all around and a pretty creepy alien.
Byron
Photo gallery - production, design and publicity photos from the story.
John
Still, underneath those surface flaws there's a crackling good story.
Makkabee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Byron on March 31, 2011
Format: DVD
This is one of the best Davison stories from his mostly great final season (except for the stinker Warriors of the Deep).
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John on June 25, 2011
Format: DVD
- Commentary with actor Michael Owen Morris and script editor Eric Saward, moderated by Toby Hadoke.
- 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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Makkabee on July 27, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This isn't a perfect story by any means -- it combines some of the flaws of the new series (overly hurried plot) and old (laughable special effects). Still, underneath those surface flaws there's a crackling good story. The Doctor and his companions return to 20th century Britain so that Tegan can visit a relative. There they find that a local bigwig is turning a harmless village festival, a reenactment of an English Civil War battle, into something altogether more sinister. The Doctor and his companions have to figure out why, and put a stop to it, but to do so they must defeat the very people they're trying to save. Plenty of room for drama there.

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?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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By Mikal C. Johnson on April 28, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've liked this storyline in who since I first saw it. Despite the awkward absence of Kamelion, this story kept me enthralled from start to end.
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By Hatbox Dragon on October 4, 2012
Format: DVD
Season 21 episode set between Doctor Who: Warriors of the Deep, Story 131 and Doctor Who: Frontios - Episode 133, starring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor with Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough (Mark Strickson).

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.
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