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Doctor Who: Colony in Space (Story 58)

4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: Colony in Space

The Time Lords discover that the Master has stolen their secret file on the Doomsday Weapon and decide to send the Doctor and Jo on to retrieve it for them. The Doctor finds himself on an alien planet in the middle of a territorial dispute between peaceful colonists and the Interplanetary Mining Corporation. Watch out for Roy from Eastenders.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Nicholas Courtney
  • Directors: Michael E Briant
  • Writers: Malcolm Hulke
  • Producers: Barry Letts
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005F265IO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,842 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Colony in Space (Story 58)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. J. Dangermond on February 28, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Whether you agree or disagree with the overall story being good or bad, this is still a good way to get your Jon Pertwee/Katy Manning fix. I first saw this on PBS, luckily one episode each Saturday, in 1976.
This is probably the weakest story of this particular season, although it promised a lot by being the first Pertwee adventure away from Earth. I think that too many elements were added for this story (Master, colonists, mining company, natives, Doomsday Weapon...eliminating something from it actually would have created more interest). The ending of Episode 2 is actually a fun cliffhanger.
It was fun to note that Jo Grant's reaction in the TARDIS was no different than most of the other companions before her (bigger inside than out, NOT ON EARTH, OH MY!).
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Format: VHS Tape
The Time Lords use the Doctor to investigate the barren planet Uxarieus, where the powerful Interplanetary Mining Corporation is pressuring a group of colonists to vacate the mineral-rich planet. Intrigue, murder, and deception abound while the Doctor and Jo uncover an awesome power buried deep within an ancient city...
Spoilers follow. This Jon Pertwee story is not remembered for much beyond it being the first Third Doctor story where the character leaves Earth. As a change of pace, 'Colony In Space' may have been refreshing when it first aired, but in comparison to other Doctor Who stories (most of them set on other worlds), there is not too much in this padded 6-parter that stands out. The plot involving scheming mining officers and the bland colonists is insufficient to fill out over 2 hours of story, but a few actors, particularly those playing the chief miners, gamely put their all into their limited roles. The plot gets more interesting once the ever-reliable Roger Delgado again shows up as the Master (posing as an Adjudicator), but only slightly. The final storyline about the struggle to control an ancient doomsday weapon is cliched but necessary to give this story an extra bit of kick. Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning and Delgado are as delightful as usual and obviously the foremost reasons to purchase this video, one of the last Pertwees not yet released commercially. For all the roundabout storytelling with characters escaping from capture only to wind up imprisoned again to kill time, and the campy aliens and robots, fans of this show and these actors will probably enjoying seeing 'Colony In Space' again for the first time in a long while.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The main reason I kick in that extra, 5th star is that the audio commentary is quite fun. Katy Manning's sometimes raunchy anecdotes has become one of my favorites among ALL the decades of early Doctor Who, and I do enjoy hearing Terrance Dicks wrangle and talk about the gossipy bits that went on. Add in the director Michael E. Briant's open willingness to delve into actually interesting technical aspects and stories about his directorial debut and Graeme Harper, who was a mere Assistant Floor Manager at the time yet has become "the longest-serving crew member on Doctor Who" since. I barely even noticed the "moderator" Toby Hadoke's minor contributions in this commentary.

The "Making Of" is average, and the "Cutting Floor" thirteen minute piece is visual only. As for the story itself - I must say I enjoyed Bernard Kay's performance as Cadwell as well a couple other supporting cast members, and there are some nice story touches and deep, even philosophical, sub-themes, an aspect that I always loved most yet not all that common. Certainly a worthy buy and fun adventure.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Colony in Space" was the first Doctor Who story to allow the Doctor to leave Earth after being exiled to the planet by the Time Lords at the end of season six, so these episodes could have been something really special. Instead, "Colony" is a solid, workmanlike production that had to meet the usual challenges posed by England's unpredictable weather and the BBC's budget constraints, but it's nothing remarkable.

The Master, who escaped with his TARDIS fully operational at the close of the previous adventure, "The Claws of Axos," steals the Time Lords' secret file on the Doomsday Weapon, so the Time Lords shanghai the Doctor and Jo to the planet Uxarieus to stop the Master from seizing control of the device. So much time had passed since the Doctor last needed the TARDIS (almost two years) that the production crew had forgotten how it was supposed to work: when it takes off for Uxarieus with the Doctor and Jo inside, it simply blinks out of frame rather than making its usual slow dissolve.

On Uxarieus, colonists with a rightful claim to settle the planet struggle to eke out a meager existence while representatives of the Interplanetary Mining Corporation secretly sabotage their work in hopes of exploiting the planet's rich duralineum deposits. Meanwhile, the colonists' leader, Ashe (marking the return of John Ringham, a veteran character actor who had appeared previously on Doctor Who in "The Smugglers" and "The Aztecs"), is trying to keep peace with reptilelike humanoids that live in the "Primitive City" beneath the planet's surface.

Actually, the city isn't "primitive" at all but the remains of a once advanced civilization that slipped into decline after building the Doomsday Weapon.
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