Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection 17 Seasons 1980

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Season 18
Available on Prime
(58) IMDb 6.8/10
Available on Prime

4. Leisure Hive: Part 4 TV-PG CC

The Doctor and Romana decide take a much-needed holiday on the pleasure planet of Argolis. Ravaged decades before by an interstellar war between the Argloin and the Foamasi, Argolis now hosts the Leisure Hive - an ideal retreat for tourist from all over the cosmos. But a series of suspicious accidents leads the Doctor and Romana to discover that the Hive holds dark secrets.

Tom Baker, Lalla Ward
22 minutes
Original air date:
September 20, 1980

Leisure Hive: Part 4

Season 18
Available on Prime

Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Horror
Director Lovett Bickford
Starring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward
Supporting actors Adrienne Corri, David Haig, John Collin, Nigel Lambert, Martin Fisk, Andrew Lane, Roy Montague, Ian Talbot, Harriet Reynolds
Network BBC America
Producers Barry Letts, John Nathan-Turner
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

I really enjoy every DW show I have had the chance to watch.
With "Shada" being scrapped thanks to a strike, the story was never made and viewers were shocked to see the Doctor's new, more serious nature.
The Show still holds up due to The great acting and well written scripts.
Gary Pelletier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Twiddles42 VINE VOICE on July 28, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I just can't review this as a mere story. The behind the scenes for its development are far more considerable, and knowing the context of the time is as relevant as anything else. So please bear with me.

In 1980, the media was endlessly criticizing "Doctor Who" as becoming more silly and repetitive. Incidental music was recycled, and the whole thing needed a revamp. My intent in this review is to adumbrate the details of the time and why "Doctor Who"'s format was shaken up considerably, while at the same time critiquing this first episode under the new producer's reign.

John Nathan-Turner, who had worked on the show in various aspects as far back as 1969 (floor assistant for "The Space Pirates"), was promoted producer.

Noting how silly the show had become, he sought to make it more serious - but allowing the Doctor to retain his wit for when it fit in the story, rather than the element of making jokes at the audience. One such joke where silliness was out of hand was in the previous year's story, "Nightmare of Eden". Cornered into a wooded alcove by some monsters, the Doctor is heard yelling "My arms, my legs, my everything!" as if he's addressing the audience rather than the scene the character was in. Fast forward to "The Leisure Hive" and such silliness is gone. But the humor remains. In one of the show's best moments, a murderer used the Doctor's scarf to strangle someone to death. The prosecutor states "His scarf killed Stimson!" The Doctor retorts, "Arrest the scarf then!" We know he's being funny, but the humor flows with the script and with the characters rather than the actor making a joke just for the audience.

John was a shrewd man, in ways.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on October 28, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Romana on Argolis: "It's the first of the leisure planets. In relative Earth Date 2250, there's a hideous war against some reptile people called the Foamasi. Most of the planet gets wiped out by two thousand interplanetary missiles, but the survivors build a recreation center called a Leisure Hive. And there's something called an experiential grid. Cells of different environments designed to produce physical, psychic, and intellectual regeneration."
After not only missing the opening of the Brighton Pavilion but also getting the century and season wrong, the Doctor and Romana go to Argolis in 2290, forty years after that terrible war, and become involved in the intrigues of the native Argolins. Bookings to their hive are disastrous, as other leisure planets have anti-gravity swimming pools and speed learning. Brock, the initially pessimistic Earth agent who advises the Argolins to do something about their cash flow, accepts the position on the Board, but recommends they sell the planet and hive to the Foamasi, their ancient enemies, of which the Argolin survivors still have bitter memories. After all, selling them their own planet would be the ultimate defeat. Things have a chance when Hardin, an Earth scientist and lover of Argolin Chairwoman Mena, claims to have found a better use of tachyonics--to manipulate time.
The main attraction of the hive is the Tachyonic Recreational Grid, run by the youthful Pangol. The science of tachyonics, the manipulation of faster-than-light particles, involves temporary duplication of any physical object, and the manipulation of the duplicate object without harming the original, demonstrated by Pangol going into the TRG and his tachyon duplicate's arms and head coming detached while it's talking.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charles P. Kalina on January 15, 2006
Format: DVD
"The Leisure Hive" was the start of John Nathan-Turner's run as Producer of Doctor Who. JNT made the show more serious and mature (or at least teenage). Depending on your point of view, he either saved it from its slide into farce and self-parody, or took away the sense of fun and whimsy that made it a delight.

"Leisure Hive" is right on the cusp, a JNT production but with a story and script conceived and written before he arrived, with traces of the old style. The DVD highlights this with special features (commentary, "information text", and some short making-of films) that show the transition. For instance, it's interesting to learn that some of the more obscure details of the story (such as the villains' names and aspects of the costumes) are actually vestiges of the original, more light-hearted version.

"Leisure Hive" isn't a story I would use to introduce Doctor Who to those who have never seen it. It's not as fun and a bit hard to follow and not as coherent as other stories. Other Tom Baker-era releases on DVD ("Talons of Weng-Chiang" or "City of Death" in particular) are better and more enjoyable. But if it's not the best of the Tom Baker-era episodes on DVD, it's still tremendous entertainment and for the fan, definitely worth adding to one's collection.

Three stars compared to other Who DVD releases -- but Five-plus compared to anything else on television.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Fox on June 3, 2007
Format: DVD
With this storyline, "Doctor Who" embarks upon its tumultuous trek through the 80's with a bang. Starting of course with a new opening sequence complete with a revved-up version of the theme music. I still remember how this surprised me when I was watching the show on PBS in the late 1980's; it seemed excitingly up-to-date, and, well, like most things that are self-consciously up-to-date, it's rather dated now. Pleasantly so, like a hit song by Duran Duran that you haven't heard in ages, but in any case it's rather emblematic of a fairly noticeable shift in the show's long history.

In fact, it's extremely difficult to evaluate "The Leisure Hive" on its own terms instead of as the starting point of John Nathan-Turner's extended tenure as producer. For one, because his fingerprints are all over it. He seems madly intent on redesigning and reinvisioning everything from the Doctor's scarf (toned down to burgundy) to his pet (K9 is written out in what seems like a rather malicious joke). Sometimes he seems almost prophetic; his emphasis on prominent instrumental music with a greater variety of texture and his insistence that the special effects be as top-notch as possible is very much something taken for granted in television today and can readily be seen to great effect in the new "Doctor Who" series now running. But then again, sometimes he seems to be working at cross purposes, toning down the wonderful "undergraduate humor" that Tom Baker brought to the role and which tends to appeal to adults while attempting to make the show more sophisticated by incorporating undergraduate astrophysics (tachyons in "Leisure Hive"). Anyway, at least Romana's still around, so we are given some modicum of continuity.

Now, as for "Leisure Hive" itself, it's lots of hits with a few misses.
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