Doctor Who, Story 80: Terror of the Zygons
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Digitally remastered Doctor Who classic, Terror of the Zygons
The Doctor, Sarah, and Harry return to Earth in response to the Brigadier's summons. UNIT are investigating a series of attacks on North Sea oil rigs and have set up a temporary HQ in the Scottish village of Tullock. The attacks are the work of a huge cyborg, the Skarasen, controlled by a group of aliens called Zygons whose spaceship lies at the bottom of Loch Ness. The Zygons plan to take over the Earth as a substitute for their own planet, which has been devastated by solar flares. They are using their shape-shifting abilities to take on the identities of locals whose inert bodies are held aboard their ship.
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The costuming and ship interiors are really good, especially compared to following story, PLANET OF EVIL, and there is a superb cliffhanger at the end of episode one. Even the production team's successful masking of Sussex as a Scottish moor is an amazing technical accomplishment. On the whole, however, when compared to the two earlier "Best Of" in this first season, THE ARK IN SPACE and GENESIS OF THE DALEKS, this story doesn't quite come up to the same immersive level- by episode three, the tightness of plot starts to lose its tightness (along with the alien baddie's increasingly obtuse behavior). Then there is that horribly ear piercing sound effect used for the radar jamming as well as the alien ship takeoff. Ugh.
So for those not collecting all of the Early Dr. Who adventures, but seeking simply the true classics, I would recommend skipping TERROR OF THE ZYGONS. For the collector, however, it's a treat to see our doughty Harry Sullivan have an evil moment. Heh.
There are 2 disc's containing 4 episodes and of course the Special Features
Directors cut of episode 1; Really awesome if you run it with the info text
Audio Options; Including a commentary
Info Text; Again really awesome with the directors cut
Disc Two: Special Features
Scotch Mist in Sussex
Remembering Douglas Camfield
The UNIT Family - Part Three
Doctor Who Stories - Tom Baker
Doctor Who Stories - Elisabeth Sladen; She talks about all the episodes with Tom Baker
Merry-Go-Round - The Fuel Fishers
The Zygons are iconic monsters, which have of course re-appeared in the 50th Anniversary. This is their only previous appearance, and they are realized pretty well for their time. Less well realized is the larger monster they control. Their ship is pretty interesting, the design did all it could with a very limited budget. The exterior model-shots of the ship are very good though, being shot from miniatures.
There's lots if nice extras on this one, including a unrelated short film "The Fuel Fishers" featuring Elizabeth Sladen visiting off-shore oil platforms and showing how they work. There's plenty of making of discussions and interviews, so it's quite a nice overall two DVD set.