Customer Reviews: Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric (Story 158)
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on June 18, 2014
The DVD quality is excellent and the show is very good, not worth $34.99, should have sold for 14.99. The VHS is priced at $24.88 with amazon as well and should sell for $ 8.99. I am a collector of DR Who and are two episodes short of all of them from day one, so listen to me!
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on June 7, 2011
I've got a soft spot for the 7th Doctor's era indeed. Beginning my Who journey in the 21st century, I decided in the lapse between series 5 and series 6, I would watch some old Who, try it out. I started off on Netflix and watched Ghost Light and The Curse of Fenric. I loved both and eventually saw all 12 of the Seventh Doctor's adventures. While they ranged from far and few between, many were cracking, and this one is no exception- in fact, it's his best outing!

I don't know why people have maligned this story on Amazon. It ranked 30 out of 200 on the mighty DWM 200. That's a got thing btw. And it's fantastic to boot.

The story is very complicated (which could garner some fair complaints) but rewarding if you understand it, and it may take several views too. The story is about a group of British Soldiers who have become wary about the Russians and have tricked them by making a device known as an encoder which will actually end up poisoning them and destroying Moscow with the high level poison the British people are mining in the costal town. An ancient entity is awoken amidst the chaos and creatures that are the warning and the future of the biowarfare and the victims of a terrible curse emerge from the sea. Meanwhile, Ace begins to suspect the Doctor is up to many tricks, and he isn't explaining anything.

The plot is very complicated, I won't lie. However, the DVD includes a movie-length version with 12 minutes of deleted scenes put back into it which helps the story to breathe and plays just like a movie. By far the best special feature out of many great ones.

The Curse of Fenric is strong for many reasons. The story is original and very smart (a tad confusing, yes). Cartmel's plan is beginning to show and we learn more about Ace in the 2nd entry of the Ace Trilogy. Mark Ayres' score is suitably eerie, the acting is brilliant, and the special effects are good. The best part is easily the location work and Nicholas Mallett's brilliant direction. It lends the story an authentic feel and the production values haven't been so high in a while.

Some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy and the 4 part broadcast version is pale in comparison to the movie, but the movie is the price of admission really and should the real reason to own this DVD. This is easily McCoy's best story, dark, creepy, and well-acted. A must for any fan of Who!
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on February 25, 2011
I first saw this years ago on TV as a kid. I didn't remember much about it, but I did remember it was good, scary, and action-packed. Then about a week ago or so, I rewatched it on the internet, and it was just as good as I remembered. A very spooky and eerie story about an evil entity rising once again in a small English village off the coast of Britain during World War II. This adventure is excellently directed creating a scary atmosphere. Some great momments include the dead Russian soldier under the water opening his eyes, the two girls in the water after they have been turned into Haemovores, the two girls attacking their step-mother, the army of Haemovores rising from the water and walking towards the church in the grave yard, the part where the Doctor, Ace, and the Vicker are trapped in the church and trying to keep the Haemovores out, and part three's cliffhanger ending where we see the first appearance of Fenric. It's got great performances in it, lot of good and scary parts, plus a lot of action on the side of that.

This DVD includes both the original four-part version of the story plus a new extended feature-length version with newly added CGI effects and a new sound mix which greatly improove this story which was great to begin with. The extended version also includes an added scary part that wasn't featured in the original where two soldiers run into an army of Haemovores in a dark tunnel.

A great adventure that combines "Doctor Who" with "Steven King's Salem's Lot", and does a very good job at scarying you. Highly recommended!
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on March 25, 1999
I was reluctant to purchase The Curse of Fenric, because I used to have a copy of it dubbed off of television, and I was never a huge fan of the McCoy years. His era started off with a wimper, had a glorious but extremely short second season, and then finished with lots of mythological- fantasy mumbo-jumbo aimed at the level of a five year old. I bought this video because I was reading a few reviews of it on Doctor Who fan web sites and thought that my memory of it was perhaps mistaken. I had enjoyed it originally, but thought that it could never compare to some earlier programs I loved dearly. I watched Fenric again yesterday, for the first time in about 3 or four years, and was blown away by it! First of all, McCoy is absolutely brilliant as the Doctor - I say this as a veteran Who fan of 21 years. He has the uncanny ability to act bemused and whimsical one minute and serious and stern the next. The entire beginning sequence in which he and Ace infiltrate the military base is wonderfully carried out and illustrates Ian Briggs' skills as a writer and his sensitivity to the characters of the Doctor and Ace. The minister in the story is basically a good man. Much like the rest of us, he tries to understand the world, all the while knowing it might be horrific in the last analysis. His underplayed performance is really an asset to the production because it shows us how empty and drained he is by his experience of so-called Christendom, an emotional state that prefigures the very real evil awaiting all of the characters. I loved the use of Norse mythology in this story. The scene where the writings in the crypt are created through the control of one of the character's voices is chilling and reminds one of the traditional identification between being and speech, e.g. God said "Let there be light," and there was light. The added footage creates new dimensions to the story, illustrating that perhaps it would have worked even better as a 5 or even a six parter. The special effects were superb - some of the best ever in Doctor Who. I was amazed that this was the same season that produced Survival, an interesting but horribly enacted story with daft plot devices and vacuous characterizations. Now I can see more clearly than ever what John Nathan Turner was trying to do to salvage the program and make it more competitive with other higher budget programs. The script for Fenric is top-notch, and I cannot believe that the B.B.C. would have killed off such a lucrative show, especially considering Fenric was the penultimate show of the original program's run. Now we can only wonder about what might have been. I recommend this video to anyone who craves a good action adventure with an intelligent pen behind all the actions.
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on December 31, 2008
Sylvester McCoy was a spectacular Doctor, perhaps second best out of all ten actors to play the part, and Sophie Aldred's Ace is one of the more interesting and entertaining companions. It's too bad that many of their stories suffered from muddled plotting and clumsy staging, but regardless of a story's quality, the Doctor and Ace are still worth watching.

Set in 1943, "The Curse of Fenric" is helped immensely by a great location (the south coast of England standing in for the North Sea coast, and an honest to goodness old military base), and some hideous monsters, the haemovores. The inclusion of Viking legends, Soviet commandos, and a secret cipher-cracking machine makes it all into a bit of a jumble, but it does manage to work itself out in the end, and rewards a second viewing. It's not quite "cinematic", but the BBC never used to have that sort of budget; the result is modest but slightly more impressive than the usual cardboard corridors the Doctor runs around in.

The special features are a little thinner than on other DVDs, focusing on the makeup, costumes, and the location, with no interviews besides an informative chat with the story's writer, Ian Briggs. There is a special edition of the serial, edited into a single movie with a few added scenes.

This story is dominated more than usual by its guest cast, including the crippled scientist Dr Judson and the unhinged base commander Millington. Sophie Aldred as Ace really takes center stage for much of it, unwittingly helping out the villains as both sides are manipulated by Fenric and the Doctor -- mirroring the frequent references to chess throughout.

Though not the greatest Dr Who story, it's definitely not a dismal ending to the series, and how could it be with Sylvester McCoy as the second-best Doctor of them all?
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on April 20, 2015
This is a Sylvester McCoy story,not William Hartnell. Ever wonder how Ace ended up in the Dragonfire story from that accident? Answer's here! along with how her destiny was planned by another....
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on December 15, 2011
In the Sylvester McCoy era Doctor Who episode entitled "The Curse of Fenric" the Doctor and Ace have come to the coast of England during WWII and to a military base conducting secert experiments in espionage and bio warfare the likes of which no country has ever seen. Meanwhile a Russian commando unit has reached the same shores with orders to locate the base and steal its greatest machine the "Ultimo" machine that can break any code no matter what it is.
The base commander who is obsessed with the ancient legends of the cove in which a viking party raided and stole treasures from the far east amongest them a bottle that houses the spirit of an evil so great that it seeks revenge against the very person who imprisoned it so long ago. While the chief scientist is obsessed with ancient viking runes beneath a church by the sea and think his machine can crack the code of the runes engraved on the walls. Ace is confused as to what any of this has to do with the Doctor and why it is needed to be here. Along the way she encounters a woman who while working on the base and keeping her child hidden from the base commander.
The Doctor has stumbled upon the russian orders and makes discoveries through the church of the ancient legends and there he finds that those who raided long ago may still live as hemovories. Creatures that live on blood and prey on those without faith or courage to stand in what the belive in. The Doctor also begins to wonder if the evil of legend is something from his very past.
Can the Doctor trust the commander to do the right thing? Will the elgend of the vikings be retold in modern times? What are the russians really up to by spying on thier allies? Can Ace figure out what the Doctor is playing at and what all this has to do with legend of the curse of Fenric in time? Check it out in this thrilling Doctor who adventure.
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on October 22, 2014
Why exactly are this and Ghost Light so damn expensive? $50 each when nearly every other episode is $25 or less? Even Trial of a Time Lord is $36 and that's an entire season.
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on February 15, 2015
This Episode Doctor & Ace go back in time when Ace met her mother when Ace mother was a baby . Keep you guessing what going on who is good guys. I enjoy watching it .
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on August 10, 2016
Top notch Doctor Who adventure. Well written, excellently acted. One of the best of the Classic Who era, with the Seventh Doctor at his enigmatic best.
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