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Doctor Who: Day Of The Daleks- Special Edition and Doctor Who: Frontios DVD Reviews

 

“Day Of The Daleks” is a slow paced adventure, but it ends with a bang.

“Frontios” is one of the worst 5th Doctor era episodes.

Day Of The Daleks:

The plot: The Doctor, Jo, and the Brigadier and U.N.I.T. discover that group of guerillas from the distant future are attempting to assassinate a peace conference delegate (Sir Reginald) who is trying to stop WWIII from happening. In their timeline, however, Sir Reginald is responsible for the war. Upon further investigation, the Doctor leans more about the guerillas timeline and finds that the Daleks are involved. Who is really responsible for the war? How do the Daleks and Ogrons play into the storyline? Are the guerillas effecting their own timeline? All is revealed in the end.   

Despite three parts of sluggish build-up and an excessive amount of exposition, the action-packed fourth part more than makes up for the story’s problems. I’m not joking around when I say everything happens in the fourth part. To say it’s eventful is an understatement. Whovians can expect to see shootouts between the guerillas, Ogrons, Daleks, and U.N.I.T., an interesting plot twist, and an intense race against time plot to stop an explosion. Add in some great moments with Jon Pertwee karate chopping, drinking wine, eating Gorgonzola cheese, and telling it like it is, and you’ve got yourself a solid serial.

Note: Viewers have the option of watching the televised version of “Day Of The Daleks” or a new special edition version that contains new f/x, new scenes, and new Dalek voiceover work by Nicholas Briggs. The new f/x are neat, but the most welcome addition is Briggs voicing the Daleks.

Video/Audio:

Aside from some noticeable flickering at the bottom of the screen, this is an otherwise solid transfer. The episode is presented in fullscreen.

The Dolby Digital Mono track is sufficient. Viewers may notice that the new sound f/x in the special edition sound a lot sharper than the rest of the audio.

Extras:
* Radio Times Listings, photo gallery, “Doctor Who” series 5 trailer, a “Day Of The Daleks: Special Edition” teaser, info text, and a “Colony In Space” trailer.
* “The Cheating Memory”- A little extra about memory. Not sure why this was included.
* “The U.N.I.T Dating Conundrum”- A feature about the U.N.I.T. story timelines.
* “Now And Then”- A look at some of the shooting locations when the episode was filmed and in modern day.

* “The U.N.I.T Family Part 2”- A featurette about U.N.I.T characters.
* “The Making of Day of the Daleks Special Edition”- A look at the new changes in the SE.
* A “Blue Peter” “Doctor Who” segment and a “Nationwide” segment about a Dalek visiting a school.

* “A View From The Gallery”- Barry Letts and Mike Catherwood talk about the vision mixing (and the studio). 
* “Blasting The Past”- A 30 minute standard making of featurette.

* A rather bland commentary by Anna Barry, Jimmy Winston, Barry Letts, Terrance Dicks and Mike Catherwood.

Frontios:

“Frontios” begins with a gravitational pull that brings the TARDIS to Frontios. While there, the Doctor, Turlough, and Tegan encounter a colony of the last surviving humans who are at war with an unseen enemy underground. Who are these unseen enemies? Will the humans trust the Doctor to help them? Will you even want to tune in to find out (read on)?

“Frontios” is one of the few classic “Doctor Who” episodes with few redeeming qualities. The sets and props are lousy, the script is filled with idiotic characters (whose actions are even more idiotic), the pacing is deathly slow, the human characters are cliched and typically untrustworthy, the aliens don’t appear until 45 minutes into the episode, and the episode has more scenes of tunnel wandering than I can begin to describe. About the only positive things I can say here is that there are several unintentionally funny moments and an entertaining performance by an over-the-top, foaming at the mouth Mark Strickson (Turlough). Not exactly high praise, but it’s better than nothing…

Video/Audio:

The fullscreen picture quality is decent here as is the Dolby Digital Mono track. They aren’t going to blow you away, but they are satisfactory.

 Extras:
* “Doctor Who- Series 5,” “The Gunfughters,” and “The Awakening” trailers, photo gallery, info text, Radio Times Listings, and an isolated score.
* 15 1/2 minutes of deleted and extended scenes.
* “Driven To Distraction”- A making of documentary that mainly explores the script, behind the scenes information, real life parallels, production design, etc. Interviews with Eric Saward, Christopher H. Bidmead, Mark Strickson, Peter Davison, and others are included.
* Commentary by Peter Davison, Jeff Rawle, John Gillett, Eric Saward, and Dick Mills. A surprisingly dull commentary. Usually Davison manages to make commentaries interesting, but not this time.

September 18, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , , ,

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