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Showing 1-10 of 41 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 48 reviews
TOP 50 REVIEWERon January 12, 2015
All these Pertwee adventures are pretty much completely new to me, so it's quite fun watching them and discovering interesting bits of lore and even unique production differences in these early shows that actually have modern day reflections in the run of Doctors, even up to our current 12th (or 13th depending on how you want to look at it) Doctor.

One neat thing is that this particular serial does the intro-music, replays the cliffhanger, then pops the actual title/episode sequence up. I found myself rather liking that format, and not unlike the modern "Previously Seen" setup. Also a pretty "action" packed serial although it takes 5 episodes to get to the real Dr. Who-ish themes... and I do use the word action somewhat loosely as it's pretty tongue-in-cheek, even compared to the standards of the 60s and 70s. Still, cool to watch the Brigadier play the Gunfighter, and Nicholas Courtney sure pulled it off well if not the fisticuff sequences. And I sure got the 007 vibe going from the Doctor- well, until we finally get into more familiar "alien" territory (hah).

Since this is all new territory to me, I did keep trying to guess the actual ending revelation, and pleasantly found myself not entirely correct as the plot finally begins opening up in episode 6 and 7. Definitely one to grab if you are exploring Pertwee's tenure for the first time, like I am.
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on December 6, 2016
Another great DR. Who adventure. I collect them and I have all of the pertwee era. Everyone one of them is good imo. This is fine adventure from the 1970 season. The acting is great and we get lots of unit too. The main assistant was great and the actress who played her has sadly died. But here she is in her youth. The story concerns a group of astronauts returning from space. Well something returns and it's evil. The dvd looks good too. The bbc did a fine job with this one.
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The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) is now working hand-in-hand with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT. So he's on the scene when the Brigadier investigates why the astronauts on Mars Probe 7 have not communicated with Space Control since they started the trip back to Earth seven months before. Professor Ralph Cornish, head of the program, sent a recovery space capsule to investigate, and now they're having the same problem with the rescue mission.

When, finally, the rescue mission lands on Earth, the three astronauts in it are kidnapped in a daring raid. Not only that, but scientist Liz Shaw notices that the Geiger counter is showing maximum radiation. What is going on? Who has kidnapped the astronauts, if indeed, these creatures able to kill with a touch are actually our astronauts.

This episode sends delicious shivers up my spine. I think it does an excellent job of stringing the viewer along, trying to figure out what is happening and why. As the Doctor says, "I don't know what came down in Recovery 7, but it certainly wasn't human!" I appreciate the general theme of the dangers of xenophbia. I also get a kick out of Liz Shaw's white go-go boots. I had a pair myself in sixth grade.

This review is for the October, 2012, release of "Ambassadors of Death" on DVD, the first time it will be offered on DVD. There are seven 25-minute episodes. This longer format is not always appreciated - there's more time for character development and conversation, which isn't to everybody's preference.

The show first aired in March - May, 1970. It sounds like there's good reasons why it's taken this long to get out on DVD. The show was originally filmed on color videotape, but several of the seven episodes were only stored on black & white 16mm film. With new technology, they are "picking" the color out of the film. The DVD release is in full color for all episodes. I wonder if that will change the shiver factor for me. The scene where a kidnapped alien astronaut trudges out of it's room like Frankenstein, to mount the stairs while one of its captors cowers against the door, looks pretty awesome in grainy black & white. [After watching my DVD, I think it holds up pretty well in color!]

This will be a 2-disc release. The only extra on Disc 1 is the Commentary. The other extras are on Disc 2. After my DVD was received and watched, I've added to my description of these extras:

1. Commentary. Parts of it were recorded in 2009. Participants include Caroline John (who plays Liz Shaw), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Michael Ferguson (director), Peter Halliday (the voice behind multiple alien voices, though he has acted in previous Dr. Who series), Derek Ware (stunt co-ordinator and a UNIT sargeant), Roy Scammell (stuntman), Derek Martin (stuntman), Jeffrey Deavers (Private Johnson, and Caroline John's real-life husband) and Terrance Dicks (script editor and "part author"). Caroline John just passed away in June, 2012, at the age of 71. Nicholas Courtney died in February 2011.
Toby Hadoke is the Commentary moderator, and he is really growing on me. He obviously researches the series and the commentators beforehand.
At the beginning of episode 1, the Doctor and Liz disappear and re-appear as he works to fix the TARDIS time vector generator (and can escape his exile on Earth). The main purpose of this scene was to get something sci-fi into the story early on, at the request of Barry Letts, the producer. Dicks says, "Barry used to say ... 'We need something Who-ish to happen!' "
The commentators talk about Who companions. Playing second string to the Doctor wasn't always easy. Dicks explains, "The reason why Barry wanted to ... change Carrie [Caroline as Liz] was because ... the character was too intelligent! ... There was no excuse for the Doctor to explain things".
You need to listen to the commentary for Episode 2, with all the stuntmen, to find out to what "Sign the blood chit" refers!
2. "Mars Probe 7: Making The Ambassadors of Death" (27 minutes) Commentators include Terrance Dicks, Michael Ferguson, Derek Ware, Roy Scammell and Margot Hayhoe (assistant floor manager). At one point, Margot mentions how all the stuntmen were very attractive, and the videos that are shown of rehearsals, etc., certainly bear this out.
3. TV trailer for "The Ambassadors of Death" (1.5 minutes)
4. "Tomorrow's Times: The Third Doctor" (13.5 minutes) Narrated by Peter Purves, this special goes to the archives of the British Library to see what newspapers were printing about Jon Pertwee's Doctor. One columnist wrote that Pertwee "manages to look like Danny Kaye while sounding like Boris Karloff."
Pertwee started as a whole new Doctor in 1970, which also ushered in full color for Doctor Who. In addition, BBC wanted the show to have a grittier feel to it. In spite of the lack of graphic blood and gore, there were still many complaints that Pertwee's Dr. Who was too violent, especially as it's time-slot was late afternoon, when very young children were more likely to watch the show. But, as Pertwee said in an interview, "Rubbish! Our programme isn't violent, it's all just fantasy. There is no blood, no pain - it wouldn't upset an eighty-year-old maiden aunt and my young son loves it."
5. Photo Gallery
6. PDF material: Radio Times Listing
7. Coming Soon TV trailer for "Claws of Axos". This is a great one, with fading in and out in black and tight cuts, the trailer is scarier than the series itself!

Happy Reader
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on March 5, 2013
Another great release from the BBC and the RT! The color restoration was better than the VHS release by leaps and bounds. It certainly wasn't quite as good as the full-color Episode 1, and there was color bleed at times (especially on Liz's hair and the Brig's uniform) but considering how much work went into restoring this serial, I think it's a pretty minor issue overall.

The commentary was great. It was nice to hear the different perspectives at different points throughout the episode. Usually I like hearing the same folks across the entire serial, but with one this long, I think swapping people in and out worked better. And it was especially great to hear Caroline John and Nick Courtney. Here's hoping that the RT got Caroline to record a commentary for the Inferno SE.
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on April 18, 2013
I really love this Doctor and he is one of my favorite Doctors, but this is not one of his best stories he has done. The story line of this adventure, without giving anything away, was unnecessarily drawn out into extra episodes when it truly did not need to be.

Unlike episodes that were very lengthy, such as Planet of the Spiders, which needed many episodes to cover the very involved story line, sometimes they just need to be cut a bit shorter for those watching, especially when adventure content is not being heavily utilized. In a nutshell I would say the episode is worth watching, but it isn't one of my favorite stories that I would watch over and over again, and there are a great many Pertwee stories that are much more worth watching repeatedly.
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on August 9, 2015
this is an interesting story. an alien race sends three ambassadors to earth to talk peace. but a general thinking that they are the first wave of an invasion force. this general would have won and started war between two world if not for the doctor and some quick think.
we also see the TARDIS control room has change it now looks like someone's living room. I find it funny that they make another alien race that needs radiation to live and is very deadly to humans.
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on June 22, 2014
Despite the unavoidable flaws in the restoration process, I'm so glad that it's been restored to a decent picture. This is a long story and very intense, so there is little boredom factor. I like it better now than when I first saw it.
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on January 7, 2014
As usual I will stay away from the plotline its mentioned in other reviews.

Production value is good. The pictures are sharp and the sound is nice and clear.

There are seven episodes on the first disc and the only special feature is the info text.

Disc two is all special features

"Mars Probe 7: Making The Ambassadors of Death" (27 minutes)

Trailer - Ambassadors of Death

Tomorrow's Times - The Third Doctor

Photo Gallery

PDF material: Radio Times Listing

Coming Soon TV trailer for "Claws of Axos"
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on June 24, 2014
I rated this story five stars because it show how resourceful the doctor can be when he does not have his tadris at his side. He uses a standard spaceship to rescue the humans in space and a force field to trap the bad guys around his car. I also like how far back the doctor has come from the old days dealing with aliens up to the present. I would recommend this story to all people. It is a great look back to how to make a very good science fiction story.
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on November 22, 2012
It's a bit on the long side at 7 parts. But overall, quite the Bondian Doctor Who. Action and stunts galore, OK some are a little cheesy but this is impressive on a DW budget. The aliens aren't even the bad guys really, it's humans who are the real villains. The new color isn't the best, looks very grainy and painted on in some parts. Some parts had the original broadcast color so the quality switches from fine to slightly annoying. Definitely a story from a season that was taking the show in more of an adult direction, one that would be brought back to a more kid friendly level the following season.
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