Doctor Who: Meglos (Story 111)
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New to DVD! Digitally remastered Doctor Who classic Meglos! On Tigella, two opposing factions are irrevocably divided over one fundamental issue: the Dodecahedron, a mysterious artifact which provides the entire planet's energy. With the Savants and the Deons locked in a crippling stalemate, and their civilization on the brink of collapse, the Tigellan leader Zastor seeks the Doctor's help. But the Doctor and Romana have been trapped aboard the TARDIS in a time loop by Meglos, the last of the Zolpha Thurans, who will stop at nothing to steal back the awesome power of the Dodecahedron.]]>
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Tom Baker does a marvelous job playing a dark version of himself that is discomfortingly malevolent and yet physically identical to the Doctor except for brief periods when he breaks out in cactus skin. Jacqueline Hill plays Lexa, the leader of the Deons, in a return to the series after playing the Doctor's companion Barbara Wright in the show's first and second seasons.
The Special Features menu includes a whimsical memoir by the story's writers, John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch, a pair of actor-writers whom script editor Christopher Bidmead hired after seeing some of their satirical work on the London stage. A thoughtful remembrance of Jacqueline Hill reveals, among other things, the crucial role she played in the early career of Sean Connery. A brief documentary chronicles Scene Sync, a new technology used for the first time in the making of "Meglos," which allowed the movement of cameras when taping with color separation overlay, or CSO, a technique that allowed actors to walk among models and miniature sets.
Certainly, it has a couple interesting points: using the new synch-camera technology of the time to advantage, and seeing Jacqueline Hill again (she was one of the first's Doctor's first set of companions!). But beyond that, it's a mess. Bland storyline compounded with poorly contrived plot elements: an apparent meaningless introduction of an earthling host(?), replete with traditional three piece suit and spectacles (and listed in the credits as merely "Earthling"), rather bland and contrived set of space pirates, replete with a moronic, Doctor's coat obsessed first mate, rather bland and contrived set of people living under the surface for bland and contrived reasons, and a just bizarre, unpleasant looking villain that acts in a bland and contrived fashion... and it's personal struggle with it's host(?) "earthling" just makes me frown.
There are no real inspired performances from anyone in this serial, not even from our heroes, Tom Baker or Lalla Ward. Once you get past the eye candy settings, everything about this serial is just bland and contrived.
As Amazon (who I love) has not given us the info for this Doctor Who DVD release here is the info from (The Know All, and See All of Doctor Who DVD's in the USA) Steve Manfred website:
Doctor Who: Meglos: starring Tom Baker as Doctor Who, Romana as Lalla Ward, and John Leeson as the Voice of K9.
All 4 episodes of the story, digitally remastered and restored.
Graphical menus, episode and scene selection features, and subtitles for the hearing impaired.
Optional commentary track by actors Lalla Ward and Christopher Owen (Earthling), co-writer John Flanagan, and incidental musicians Paddy Kingsland and Peter Howell.
Information Text subtitles option. Displays pop-up production trivia throughout the story.
"Meglos Men" An 18-minute featurette where writers John Flanagan and and Andrew McCullough tell us about the writing of the story, with a little visit also to script editor Christopher H. Bidmead
"The Scene Sync Story" An 11-minute featurette about a pioneering bluescreen special effects technique that saw service in this story.
"Jacqueline Hill - A Life In Pictures" A 13-minute featurette about the life of Jacqueline Hill, who played original companion Barbara Wright in the first two seasons in 1963-65 and returned in this story to guest star as Lexa. Featuring interviews with actors William Russell (Ian Chesterton) and Ann Davies (Jenny in The Dalek Invasion of Earth and Hill's best friend), Producer Verity Lambert, and Hill's widower Alvin Rakoff.
"Entropy Explained" A 5-minute featurette presentation from a physicist who tries to explain the concept of entropy in layman's terms.
Photo Gallery: 4 minutes of still photos taken during production of the story.
PDF Files: Place this disc into your computer and you'll have access to PDF files containing the original 1980 Radio Times TV listings for this story.
Isolated Music option: Selecting this will play the story with only the music soundtrack playing.
Coming Soon trailer for the forthcoming story The Mutants.
1 Easter Egg.
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Just be careful of the region.