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Doctor Who: The Moonbase (Story 33) (2014)

Patrick Troughton , Michael Craze , Morris Barry  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Doctor Who: The Moonbase (Story 33) + Doctor Who: The Web of Fear + Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World
Price for all three: $38.97

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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick Troughton, Michael Craze, Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines
  • Directors: Morris Barry
  • Writers: Kit Pedler
  • Producers: Innes Lloyd
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Black & White
  • 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: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,143 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

New to DVD! Digitally remastered Doctor Who classic The Moonbase! (NOT FINAL) The TARDIS arrives in 2070 AD on the Moon, where a weather control station under the command of a man named Hobson is in the grip of a plague epidemic - in reality the result of an alien poison planted by the Cybermen. Polly realizes that as the Cybermen's chest units are made of plastic they must be vulnerable to attack by solvents. She and her friends manage to destroy all the Cybermen on the base with a 'cocktail' of such chemicals shot at them through fire extinguishers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars RED ALERT!!!! The Moonbase DVD is a MESS!!! February 27, 2014
Verified Purchase
The Region 1 DVD release of The Moonbase has been severely botched by BBC Worldwide and they have NO intention to fix their mistake or offer replacement discs to customers who already purchased this abominable release! It was mastered with an incorrect framerate of 23.98 (film speed) instead of the correct NTSC video framerate of 29.97 and essentially removes all of the VidFire sequences which is the process used by the Restoration Team to restore a "live" video look to sequences that were originally recorded in the studio onto videotape. The result makes these sequences look like they were incorrectly shot on film instead and the pixels are muddy and smeared on episodes 2 and 4.

According to the Doctor Who DVD FAQ, BBC Worldwide is aware of the mastering problem and they have issued a statement that they have NO plans to fix it or offer replacement discs with a "Take-it-or-leave-it" attitude:


Due to a tight schedule, Worldwide Americas had this DVD authored in the US instead of the UK (as they normally do). In the process of converting this from the PAL video system, it should've been authored as interlaced video at 60 fields per second, however, the US engineers instead treated this as if it were progressive video. This has resulted in the loss of the VidFIRE video-look effect, and the episodes play slightly slower than they should play; they're about 1 minute longer than they ought to be. They did apply a digital pitch-correction so that the sound didn't lower in pitch. It's still playable, but the video-look is absent, and it does run 4% slow."

This is just inexcusable for fans who have waited DECADES for a proper release.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars MOONBASE MASTERING ERROR February 14, 2014
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Worldwide Americas have made an apparent mastering error on this DVD. It should have been authored as interlaced video at 60 fields per second, however, it has instead been treated here as though it were 24 frame-per-second film. This results in the loss of the VidFIRE video-look effect, and plays the episodes slightly slower than they should play; they’re about 1 minute longer than they should be.

This is probably the reason the price went down. Since they haven’t recalled DVD’s in the past when errors have occurred, I recommend NOT buying this DVD till the error has been corrected. Just great after waiting several months after this DVD was delayed from its original release date of last winter, and now we still can’t buy ity!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT get this DVD! Mastering errors! February 22, 2014
Verified Purchase
Do NOT get this DVD! There are mastering errors in the video that cause the video to look like film recording instead of video tape, as they were originally intended to. The video also runs slower, resulting in the running time being about a minute longer than it should be.

BBC Worldwide Americas is aware of this issue and they have stated they will not correct it. They will not issue new discs or replacement discs for people who bought it. Why should they when they can release a so called Special Edition, double dip you, and cause you to pay for the same content twice, like they did with the R2 DVD of Remembrance Of The Daleks?
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Massive mastering error. February 15, 2014
By C. D.
Verified Purchase
BBCWW screwed up even more than usual on this one.

We're used to getting errors in our R1 releases, which are a low priority compared to the R2 releases. Messing up the story name on the spine, or the text on the back is par for the course. But, they've removed the vidfire and screwed up the playback speed this time. Episodes clock in at a minute longer than they should.

They should recall this and issue us all replacement discs. They won't, but it is the correct response to this problem. Instead I'll likely just do an amazon return.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay story; cool but problematic DVD April 28, 2014
During the Patrick Troughton era of Doctor Who, the show featured several "base-under-siege" stories that involved alien monsters attacking, well, bases. To be honest, I don't like this storytelling formula, or think that it works well for the show. Apart from the fact that it's repetitive, it pretty much guarantees that everyone the Doctor encounters on his travels will be a soldier, scientist or stubborn bureaucrat who's in charge of the base.

That said, "The Moonbase" is a pretty good example of a story about, ahem, bases. The obligatory bureaucrat character is one-dimensional, but played by a good actor who does interesting things with the role. Meanwhile, the villainous Cybermen - in only their second appearance - are weirdly sinister and creepy. (I do miss the more human aspects of their Tenth Planet design, though.) Also, Troughton's Doctor really comes into his own in this story; in a great speech, he establishes himself as a crusader against evil who's ready to protect humanity at all costs. Good stuff.

So the story is, for me, a mixed bag. But how about the DVD? Well, since logging onto Amazon I've found out that it's mastered incorrectly, and plays at the wrong speed. To be honest, I didn't notice this problem when I watched it, so I'm wondering how bad it can actually be. (Well, maybe I noticed it on a subliminal level. I did, after all, fall asleep on The Moonbase because it felt slow!)

Setting aside the tech stuff, the DVD is otherwise fairly impressive but unexceptional for the Doctor Who range. The standout feature is that the "lost" episodes one and three of this serial are presented in animated form. The animation is pretty great; it makes the Cybermen look extra-creepy, and the likenesses of the actors are captured very well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic Dr. Who Story
Published 2 days ago by J. Arndt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
No worries
Published 10 days ago by Alan millican
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY
If you haven't already heard, they completely botched this US release and I've had to buy it again from the UK ... Read more
Published 12 days ago by landru141
4.0 out of 5 stars What's the problem?
I don't notice any problem with the quality, sound, glitch, or anything people in the customer reviews are saying about some problem. I like the story.
Published 1 month ago by Tanja Ely
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! The animation is the selling point here.
I'm so glad the makers of the DVDs decided to put some of the stories missing episodes to animation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by cdillon85
4.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who Moonbase
Yes, I am a fan and yes I enjoyed this presentation. Two episodes were "animated" with original soundtrack and they came off quite well.
Published 2 months ago by Al
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray!
Great Classic Dr. Who. Amazing to have the whole story. The episodes that are animated are almost better than the original film. very crisp and easy to watch.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, Wonderful Animation to Replace Missing Episodes
I just loved this story. There's far too little of the faboo Patrick Troughton around, and he's a marvelous Doctor. Read more
Published 2 months ago by sc
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD
Great DVD, Good Price, I like Doctor Who, all of them. I strongly recommend this DVD to all Doctor Who fans
Published 3 months ago by Steve P.
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible animation
This is yet another episode in which the video elements of several episodes, thanks to BBC stupidity of wiping them, were destroyed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Col William Russell
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