Doctor Who: The Five Doctors
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THE FIVE DOCTORS - "I am being diminished, whittled away piece by piece. A man is the sum of his memories you know, a Time Lord even more so." Someone is taking the Doctor's past selves out of time and space, placing in a vast wilderness - a battle arena with a sinister tower at its center. As the various incarnations of the Doctor join forces, they learn they are in the Death Zone on their home world of Gallifrey, fighting Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti - and a devious Time Lord Traitor who is using the Doctor and his companions to discover the ancient secrets of Rassilon, the first and most powerful ruler of Gallifrey.The Five Doctors was originally broadcast to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of Doctor Who in 1983. This new version of the story features extended scenes, previously unseen sequences, new visual effects and a stereo soundtrack. Not intended as a replacement for the original edition of the story, this is an alternative version which uses state-of-the-art technology to embellish and enlarge one of the greatest Doctor Who adventures ever.
THE KING'S DEMONS - "We sing in praise of total war; against the Saracen we abhor" It is thirteenth century England, and King John is visiting the castle stronghold of Sir Ranulf Fitzwilliam. Ranulf's personal fortune has dwindled away, freely donated to Kin John to help fund the Crusade. While staying with Ranulf, the King's greed is criticized by the baron's head-strong son, Hugh. As a result, Hugh is challenged to a duel by the monarch's enigmatic French Knight-at-Arms, Sir Giles Estram, a duel the young Englishman has little hope of surviving.When the TARDIS materializes and disturbs the joust, the Doctor's party are proclaimed friendly demons by the King, who seems strangely interested in their "blue engine." Before long the Doctor becomes embroiled in court politics, and he realizes that there is far more to the situation than a simple battle of honor between nobles.
Music Only Track
- Special Edition version featuring extended scenes, sequences not broadcast, new visual effects, stereo soundtrack
- Remixed in full 6-channel Dolby Digital 5.1 format
- 33 minutes of soundtrack music
- Who's who
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I must say how much better the SE version (located on Disc 2) does in technical revamping. I am not talking merely some better effects, but the subtle yet impactful arrangement of cuts, a few added seconds of scene length here and there, new transition music, and so on. It's quite extensive, and the Info Text on the 2nd disc brings it home to how much of these tweaks were implemented- this was no slap job but an extremely thoughtful and dedicated revision. The purist in me cries out, but it's a really tiny voice in the face of a superior production. ;)
Sure, a couple bits are a bit... eye rolling, even for infamous BBC production values of the time, such as the "Chess Board" sequence, yet on the other hand, the cave scenes with the 2nd Doctor and the Brigadier are quite excellent. All in all, even for the casual buyer of Doctor Who, THE FIVE DOCTORS is a MUST HAVE as one of the Best of the Best of Early Doctor Who!
Yes, I know Tom Baker (born in 1934!) refused to cooperate because his ego is *still* out of control and he traditionally refused to share the stage with any of the other Doctors, but Terrence Dicks (the writer of this story and of many other Doctor Whos) fixed it. He and the producers took Baker out of another story which never aired, (*Shada* -- never saw air time due to strikes but you can buy the DVD now), and stuck him in plenty good enough, (along with companion Lalla Ward "Romana" who later became Baker's wife... briefly), to complete "The Five Doctors" theme. What did they do about poor old dead William Hartnell? They got a great actor who looked and acted just like him (Richard Hurndall), and he was absolutely superb! You will immediately accept him as Hartnell.
HERE'S THE STORY: One by one, each of the five Doctors get swept up by a *triangular Time Lord snatcher* [my phrase] and all except the Baker Doctor get sent to Gallifrey (where the Time Lords reside and run the Universe, or Galaxy, or whatever.) Baker gets "stuck" in some sort of time warp and so he's pretty much out of the picture at that point. The short of the story is, some nefarious person, (The Master? He's in it too and very good at that!), is trying to become immortal and the five Doctors, for some convoluted reason, are subjected to being pawns of this unknown villian, who is revealed near the end. In the meantime, you get to enjoy LOTS of former companions and you additionally get the fun of seeing the Doctors interact. They certainly do not love one another, even though they are theoretically the same person (alien, actually), regenerated.
As an additional benefit, there are more goodies with this two-disc set. On one disc, you get the entire story, all episodes, plus a "companions commentary" option, plus some other extras. On the second disc, you get the exact SAME entire story, only it has available a so-called "production commentary" in which Terrance Dicks continually rants about what he didn't write which sneaked into the story, plus his unending pointing out all of his great ideas which DID remain in the yarn... and Peter Davison mostly remains calm and listens to what this renowned, but somewhat insane, writer has to say. Oh, Davison *does* have a few things to say. Plus there are more extras on this disc. So it's a monumental deal.
Did I like the story? Well, as convoluted as it is at times, (Terrence Dicks had to perform constant re-writes due to people popping in and out of the project up until the last minute), I really, honestly thought it was great. There is a LOT of outdoor scenery (shot on film) and so it's a so-called "piebald production", mixing film with videotape. But that was the norm for period Doctor Who and most folks don't even notice. Film was expensive so they usually avoided location shooting and this one has enough to maintain up one's interest. The best adversary in the flick? Definitely, *The Raston Robot*, here, if you want to copy and paste the address: [...]
Do not hesitate in the least to grab this Doctor Who treasure chest. You will be pleased that you did. It's not *The Brain of Morbius" but you'll still love it.
Well worth the money if you want a really entertaining Doctor Who story!
Oh, and one more thing, if you haven't watched this story (and by some happenstance are still reading this) - Do yourself a favor, watch and enjoy . . . this really is a fun anniversary tale.
Most recent customer reviews
The actor who played the first doctor did very well.
Wish there had bin more Tom Baker .