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Doctor Who: The Mutants (Story 63)

20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

When the strange message pod turns up at UNIT HQ, the Doctor and his assistant Jo suddenly involved in another dangerous mission for the Time Lords. The TARDIS takes them to Skybase One above the inhospitable Solos. It is the 30th century and the planet is about to gain independence from Earth’s glorious empire. But someone on Solos has other plans and, alarmingly, the natives are slowly evolving into fierce-looking creatures. It’s time for the Doctor and Jo to find out why.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Making of
  • Production Notes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning
    • Directors: Christopher Barry
    • Writers: Bob Baker, Dave Martin
    • Producers: Barry Letts
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011
    • Run Time: 145 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0049S1NXW
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,190 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on October 31, 2003
    Format: VHS Tape
    Upon seeing the old bearded man running towards the screen through the mist and bushes at the onset of the story, no, it isn't the "It's..." man from Monty Python's first season. Rather, it's a mutant native of Solos, derogatorily called "Mutts" by the Marshal of Solos.
    The appearance of a small sphere resembling a cross between a basketball and a coconut is a three-line whip from the Time Lords to the Doctor, a task that's an emergency. The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Jo to a Skybase hovering over Solos in the 30th century Earth Empire. "Once [Earth] sacked the solar system, they moved on to pastures new. Solos is one of them, one of the last [to gain independence]. Did you ever read Gibbons' Decline and Fall?... Empires rise and empires fall."
    They instantly fall in trouble. The Marshal, the blustering, stout colonial ruler of Solos with piggish eyes and expression, is stunned to hear that Earth is finally giving Solos its independence. "We can't afford an empire anymore. Earth is exhausted, finished, politically, economically, and biologically," says the Administrator (Geoffrey Palmer). In a panic, the Marshal has the Administrator murdered, then imposes martial law to continue his reign over Solos, which has been exploited for its thaesium. Ky, leader of the more radical natives, is not only framed for the murder, but the sphere is intended for him.
    The Doctor, Jo, and Ky are befriended by two of the Marshal's guards, Stubbs and Cotton, who learn of the Marshal's plot and see Solos as a "stinking rotting hole" that should've been given independence years ago. The planet is grey, but that's nothing compared to the Doctor's description of 30th century Earth, "land and sea alike, all grey.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nancy A. Fox on November 24, 2011
    Format: DVD
    This is an enjoyable story from the middle of the Pertwee era. While it is not highly regarded by many fans, I have always liked this story. The story basics are the Doctor receives an odd object, and tells Jo that it is an important message that must be delivered. Jo follows the Doctor into the TARDIS and they end up on an Earth Sky Base orbiting the planet Solos quite far in the future. The Earth Empire is declining - they can no longer afford to keep far-flung colonies such as Solos going, so control of Solos is being returned to native populations. Mucking things up are warring factions among the native populations, apparent mutations among the native population, the murder of an Earth government official, members of the Earth force that don't want to give up control of Solos, and atmospheric experiments to make the atmosphere breathable by humans.

    This was done in the middle of Pertwee's 5-year stay in the role, and it shows. John Pertwee is very comfortable and commanding in the role. The relationship between Jo Grant and the Doctor has grown to become one of affection, trust and respect. The costume and set design were quite striking. Terrance Dicks as script editor, and Barry Letts as producer had really come in to their own by this time and had formed an excellent pool of talent to pull from. Christopher Barry returns as director and does a nice job keeping the pacing going. James Acheson designs the costumes on Doctor Who for the first time and hits a home run with the "Mutt" costumes. Bob Baker and Dave Martin have created a fascinating world for the Doctor to visit.
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    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cole Kekelis on August 19, 2003
    Format: VHS Tape
    This is one of the Third Doctor's best episodes!
    It is an action-packed 6-parter from Pertwee's golden period.
    An empire is in decay and a world is left ravaged by the evils of colonialism. The Doctor goes against the ruthless Marshal of the planet Solos and works to uncover the mystery behind the monstrous mutation of the Solonian people. The Marshall rules Solos from his orbiting Skybase and will stop at nothing to prevent the weary Earth Empire from retracting and granting Solos its independence.
    Those who liked Colony in Space and Frontier in Space will enjoy this epic Doctor Who socio-political thriller.
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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. O'Sullivan on February 10, 2011
    Format: DVD
    Nothing lasts, or ages as fast, as politics. It's always up front and always being crushed by the heel and at the same time; and with THE MUTANTS you can see this happening again and again over this (too long) six part series. The Doctor and Jo are given a mission to play ball with Ky, leader, rebel of a planet long held under the rule of Earth and soon to be given freedom. In the midst of this there are those who will hold onto power as long as they can, even if it means not only the death of the people they rule, but even the planet in question...it's politics, it's social commentary, it comedy, it's a moral, it's too often a snore.

    And at the heart of it is a mystery no has bothered to explore...exactly what interest do the Time Lords have on Solos? Exactly why are they returning ancient tablets to a people who have long since forgotten who they are or even what they were (Ky's speech about how the world used to be is pure fancy on his part, he's too young to know exactly how Solos was before the Overlords came) and what are the Time Lords hoping to gain from it? At the heart of the mystery is the one thing we take for grated with Time Lords...regeneration; and it's here again as well. A race of people who at a certain time (be it from crisis or nature) change their nature, their bodies and become new people. The people on Solos appear to become a form of gods, gifted with great powers over nature and matter and seem to serve no purpose other than to provide a touch of Deus Ex Machina for the Doctor to help end the show on a peaceful note...and that's it; the Doctor's only role in this story appears to be playing the part of a mid-wife on behalf of the Time Lords.
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