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  • Doctor Who - The Trial of a Time Lord [VHS]
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Doctor Who - The Trial of a Time Lord [VHS]

23 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison
  • Writers: Sydney Newman
  • Format: Box set, Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 3
  • Studio: BBC Warner
  • VHS Release Date: July 19, 2000
  • Run Time: 351 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WGBS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,607 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The three videos in this Limited Edition Boxed Set contain all four episodes of Doctor Who?s immortal adventure, "The Trial of the Time Lord," starring Colin Baker as the Doctor. VIDEO 1: THE MYSTERIOUS PLANET - The saga begins when the Tardis is drawn into a mammoth space station. The Doctor emerges alone to face a tribunal of the Time Lords, and placed on trial for cosmic interference. The trial beings with a screening of the Doctor arriving on Ravalox. 99 Minutes. Produced by Robert Holmes, Director by Nicholas Mallet. VIDEO 2: MINDWARP - The cosmic prosecutor, Valeyard, builds his case against Doctor Who, with evidence recorded in the Matrix and through the Tardis. The Doctor?s most recent adventure is introduced as evidence of his guilt. 99 Minutes. Produced by Philip Martin, Directed by Ron Jones. VIDEO 3: TERROR OF THE VERVOIDS, THE ULTIMATE FOE - Doctor Who presents his case, a story from his near future that occurs after he has met a new companion, Melanie. Finally, in "The Ultimate Foe," the truth is revealed. 153 Minutes. Produced by Pip & Jan Baker and Robert Holmes, Directed by Chris Clough.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Colin Baker is by far the most under-rated of all the actors who played the Doctor. His tenure was brief and at times controversial, his companions were maligned, his stories were often criticized and Doctor Who itself underwent a serious revamping during his reign.But most of that criticism is not entirely accurate nor fair. While the majority of his Season 22 stories would make far better indications of just how good Doctor Who really was with Colin, The Trial of a Time Lord is actually a perfect indicator of what was good and bad in his era.The overall atmosphere of this epic 14 parter is light and at times flippant. In stark contrast to the violence of season 22 and the pronounced instability of the Doctor himself, this story starts out brightly and (gasp!) the Doctor and his companion Peri actually seem to like each other. The first 4 episodes, (The Mysterious Planet) are unfortunately not the best work of DW's esteemed writer Robert Holmes. The story is weak and much of the dialogue is poor. But as usual, Holmes does manage to save grat lines and characterizations for the main characters and for two new creations - the slimy criminals Glitz and Dibber. Glitz is one of the most memorable characters created in Doctor Who's final years. The Mysterious Planet introduces many elements which could be interesting, but most are never touched upon, and there is some simply dreadful acting by many of the guest stars.Parts 5-8 are not too much better, with writer Phillip Martin resurrecting his character Sil (Vengeance on Varos) and writing a script filled with some good ideas, but lacking in its final execution. Colin Baker ends up playing the Doctor as totally unlikable for this episode, and once (and if) you get over that, one does realise it's a good performance.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on March 3, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
For the first time since the Key Of Time, an entire season was dedicated in an umbrella theme consisting of multiple stories, and put together, Trial Of A Timelord is a lengthy 14 episodes. There's a borrowing from Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol and the three ghosts. Like them, the first three stories are looks at the Doctor's past, present, and future.
"The Mysterious Planet": After an impressive computer graphics shot of a space station and a tractor beam drawing the TARDIS into a docking bay, the Doctor finds he is on trial for interfering in the affairs of other people and planets. The Valeyard (pron. vallyard), a title meaning Learned Court Prosecutor, presents as his first evidence the Doctor and Peri's trip to Ravalox, a planet once destroyed by a fireball that reminds Peri of Earth. Not only that but it has the same period of rotation, angular tilt and period of rotation as Earth. Well, guess what? It IS Earth, but what's it doing light years away from its home constellation? He also runs into a mercenary, Sabalom Glitz, who's interested in certain technological secrets the planet's undercity habitat contains, as well as the subterranean society. However, some portions of evidence are bleeped out, arousing the Doctor's suspicions.
The second part, "Mindwarp," is a trip to Thoros-Beta, where the Doctor and Peri run into that avaricious capitalist slug, Sil, from Vengeance From Varos, and his boss Kiv, whose powerful brain makes him his planet's financial wizard, but he is a hybrid mutation among his race, and his brain is expanding within a skull that lacks elasticity. Unless something is done by neurosurgeon Crozier, he will die, and if he dies, both Crozier and Sil will be executed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Liosatos on May 14, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
The 5-star rating encompasses the whole Colin Baker era, the most underrated in Dr Who history. Colin Baker has the distinction of being the only Doctor not to leave the show of his own will. In other words, he was fired. Michael Grade, BBC Controller at that time, took it upon himself to order John Nathan-Turner to replace Baker. This was most unfortunate, as Baker brought a fresh, energetic approach to the role. He relished playing the Doctor, even stating at one point that he intended to stick around long enough to break Tom Baker's record tenure. This is a departure from the previous Doctor, who intended to stay on for only three years so as not to become typecast in the role.

The Colin Baker era is unfairly criticized for its undue violence. While it has its violent moments, is it any more violent than the UNIT era (arguably the best era in Doctor Who history)? Or how about Genesis of the Daleks, which opens with a soldier in a gas mask? If you want non-violent Who, watch the first several Hartnell stories. But even those contain scenes such as cavemen clubbing each other to death and daleks who "EX-TER-MI-NATE".

It took the Doctor six incarnations to finally get it. He understood that showing compassion for someone who's trying to kill you is ridiculously stupid. He understood that it's kill or be killed. His "uncompassionate" nature has been targeted by clueless critics who can't distinguish between killing an innocent victim and killing a vicious killer. The doctor's killing of Shockeye in "The Two Doctors" is a favorite target of these boneheads. I say if a murderous letch with the "strength to snap you in half with one hand", as the Doctor states, is out to kill you and have you for dinner, you do what you can to survive.
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