Doctor Who: Battlefield (DVD)
The Doctor and Ace join forces with UNIT and his old friend the Brigadier against Morgaine (Jean Marsh) and Mordred, Arthurian villains who recognize the Doctor as Merlin.
The Sylvester McCoy era of Doctor Who
tends to get a rough ride from some, but Battlefield
is proof that even in some of the darker days for the show, and with the budget seemingly vanishing into thin air, it could deliver a very good story. Penned by Ben Aaronovitch, who also scribed the underrated adventure Remembrance of the Daleks
from the same era, Battlefield
instantly wins favor by bringing back Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, played with his usual dignity and class by Nicholas Courtney. Along with companion Ace, they then find themselves caught up in an Arthurian adventure, with nods to Merlin, Excalibur, and the Lady in the Lake. It’s a good yarn, with an impressive monster waiting near the end. And while it does stretch the story a little thin, it’s one of the better adventures of the McCoy era. While Battlefield
isn’t vintage Doctor Who
, it is a whole lot better than the assorted naysayers would have you believe.
As usual, the DVD release is packed with many hours of extras to sort through. Battlefield benefits from a packed commentary track, and a host of behind-the-scenes extras (that recall, among other things, the moment when a water tank shattered with Sophie Aldred still inside it). And on disc 2 is an extended version of the feature. Well worth picking up. --Simon Brew