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Doctor Who - The Curse of Fenric [VHS] (1975)

William Hartnell , Patrick Troughton  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

Price: $24.88
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison
  • Writers: Sydney Newman
  • Format: Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: May 31, 1995
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630225678X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,435 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The Doctor and Ace are put to the ultimate test when the Tardis materializes in Second World War England at a top naval base.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
This release is unique - it contains both the original transmission version of the story, and a 1 hr 45 minute re-edit that contains 14 minutes of previously unseen footage, that is dedicated to the Director (Nicholas Mallett) and the Producer (John Nathan-Turner) and justifiably so.
The story itself is a classic Dr Who monster tale, but with a few grown up twists added, and also gives the companion, Ace, some maturation in the process. This is a story I'd recommend to people I'd try to get hooked on the series, even though I'm still embarrassed over the question mark vest the Doctor wears... I am a fan of JNT and what he had done with the show despite the crass slop the script editor prior to Andrew Cartmel had allowed during his years as script editor, and the only thing I can't forgive JNT for is the question mark pullover vest. Even the 6th Doctor's outfit is far less grating on the nerves. But I digress. Andrew Cartmel, script editor for all of the 7th Doctor's era, is at his best here. He reintroduced the concept of mystery and seriousness to the show and he did it right. If only the show had continued for another year, with more stories to fill out their plans...
The video quality itself is quite good, even exceptional. Given the high prices that Who discs command, it's a shame that Warner Bros won't release them on dual-layer discs to improve the compression artifacting, but this release (along with "The Two Doctors"...) seem to be the most visually clean stories they've released to date. Even so, the releases up to now have been more or less great (with only "Ressurection of the Daleks" really showing the artifacting to an annoying level.)
The audio had been remastered into Dolby 5.1, because somebody kept the original audio tapes.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"The Curse of Fenric" tries so hard to be a quintessential Doctor Who story. Pseudo-historical tales are a hallmark of the show, and this one is set at a British naval base during World War II but features an extraterrestrial (extradimensional?) threat very much true to form. Like some of the most beloved classics especially from the early seasons of Tom Baker, "Fenric" takes classic and cliche motifs from known horror movies and translates them into a science fiction idiom, in this case any number of "living dead" type movies like "Evil Dead II" or "Prince of Darkness" (to name the ones I've actually seen, not being a big fan of horror films myself): the emergence into our world of a demonic being through some sort of activating text and/or ritual, his bringing an army of zombies or vampires to bear against the heroes, surrounding them in a frail safehold and besieging them there, and yes, we even have the poor ill-fated priest who ineffectually waves a Bible or cross at the creepies only to be promptly overtaken by them. "Fenric" also features an ecological undertone similar to many of the greats from Jon Pertwee's time (especially "Inferno") as the zombies are in fact a badly mutated version of humanity from some polluted industrial meltdown of a future. Then too there's a Cold War fable a la "The Armageddon Factor" (among others) as the Russian and British soldiers decide to stop their clandestine maneuvers against each other so as to fight their common enemy, evil itself (originally airing in 1989, this may well be one of the last of its kind). Why, with the final chess game between Fenric and the Doctor, there's even a whiff of "The Celestial Toymaker" from way back.

And yet it all comes across as trying too hard.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of a bad bunch February 3, 2005
By the time the original series got around to the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), the series was a shadow of its former self, which can be seen in the currently available on dvd Pyramids of Mars, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, The Aztecs, etc....
Still, the 7th Doctor "era" which lasted the equivilant of 1.5 seasons in the Tom Baker era, had the occasional high point.
This story is the top of the heap when it comes to the 7th Doctor.
My advice is to watch the special edition version of the story, on disc 2 instead of the orignial version on disc 1. The new version has added scenes, updated music and some better post production work making it flow and look better.
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29 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fatal Curse for Two Doctors... June 7, 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
BBC Video continues to turn out the quarterly releases of the Doctor Who back catalogue on DVD and the latest pairing brings two stories from the latter years of the series lengthy broadcast run. Although technically featuring stories from two different eras of Doctors (and featuring a third in a guest role) both The Two Doctors and The Curse of Fenric come from the very troubled final years of the show's 26 year run when even the fans found it hard to find favor with their hero's antics and the general viewing public made it clear that they could care less!
The Two Doctors was unfortunate enough to be on air when the show was famously cancelled by the BBC, albeit to return 18 months later in a revised and truncated format. Perhaps it is for this reason that this story is not that highly rated, but in all honesty it's more likely to be that the adventure was typically symptomatic of everything that seemed to be wrong with the production at this time.
The first six part adventure to be made and broadcast since 1978, this lengthy story was in fact broadcast in three double-length episodes at the beginning of 1985 in the first full season to feature the controversial sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker. I've always believed that Colin had the personality and charisma to be a very, very fine Doctor indeed and had he followed Tom Baker and not Peter Davison, things could have been very different for him. As it is, his characterization was horribly misconceived, as was his truly appalling costume and he successfully alienated the very loyal and devoted fans of the show and the general public alike. By the time The Two Doctors was on air, one third of the audience had switched off from the start of the season and the BBC was naturally looking to see why.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Ok McCoy Doctor Who episode which tells of the story of various unival evil charaters and the role the Doctor played.
Published 2 months ago by Edward Kirven
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric
The DVD quality is excellent and the show is very good, not worth $34.99, should have sold for 14.99. The VHS is priced at $24.88 with amazon as well and should sell for $ 8.99. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Rumor has it....
Rumor has it that John Nathan-Turner was looking for fresh ideas for a 7th Doctor story and visited a nearby preschool and asked the children there what they would like to see in a... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Lee Leonard
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Period Piece!
Over the years this episode has really grown on me. At first I did not like it because there were just way too many unanswered questions, like: How do the inscriptions suddenly... Read more
Published on June 19, 2012 by A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and Ace must discover what a code breaking machine of WWII...
In the Sylvester McCoy era Doctor Who episode entitled "The Curse of Fenric" the Doctor and Ace have come to the coast of England during WWII and to a military base conducting... Read more
Published on December 15, 2011 by Jacob
3.0 out of 5 stars Originality Lacking in An Otherwise Great Series
I love Doctor Who, but this is not his finest hour. Sylvester McCoy, as the Seventh Doctor, is clearly a fine actor, but, in this case, he was given a weak script to draw... Read more
Published on December 5, 2011 by A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Doctor Who's greatest epics - especially now
I could wax on forever about how much I adore this story and how absolutely amazing it is in my opinion (and increasingly that of many other DW fans). Read more
Published on September 14, 2011 by M. Duvall
5.0 out of 5 stars "And the chains of Fenric will shatter!"
I've got a soft spot for the 7th Doctor's era indeed. Beginning my Who journey in the 21st century, I decided in the lapse between series 5 and series 6, I would watch some old... Read more
Published on June 7, 2011 by Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who Gets Scary with "The Curse of Fenric"!
I first saw this years ago on TV as a kid. I didn't remember much about it, but I did remember it was good, scary, and action-packed. Read more
Published on February 25, 2011 by Jero Briggs
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Ingredients, Incompetent Recipe
In search of GOOD Sylvester McCoy stories for my classic Who collection, I finally purchased this one and watched it. Read more
Published on August 25, 2009 by Kenneth Sohl
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