Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol DVD Review
“The Happiness Patrol” is one of the most bizarre “Doctor Who” episodes.
The plot: The Doctor and Ace arrive on a colony on the planet Terra Alpha where sadness is not allowed. A gun toting militia patrols the area to make sure there are no Killjoys (sad people) around. If Killjoys are found, they are killed. Can the Doctor shake things up and start a revolution against this totalitarian regime or will things stay the same?
Despite having a rather serious sounding political concept, “The Happiness Patrol” is one of the most off-the-wall and surrealistic episodes in Who history. If I had to describe it, I’d say that this is what “Doctor Who” would look like if Tim Burton had directed an episode.
Among the most bizarre moments in ‘Patrol’ are a Kandy Man robot who kills people with sweets, the Doctor singing “As Time Goes By,” bearded sewer rat esque creatures, a go kart, a pink TARDIS, and Fifi the dog beast.
Now, I’m not saying all of these weird additions and subplots are off-putting. In fact, it is the episode’s odd atmosphere that makes it such an entertaining ride. It may be short and silly, but it’s full of originality and short on filler.
Summary: “The Happiness Patrol” should bring Whovians happiness.
The episode, which is presented in fullscreen, looks medicore at best. Ghosting, blurry images, and faded colors are noticeable here and there. Thankfully, some of the brighter scenes look fairly sharp.
On the plus side, the Dolby Digital Mono audio track is crisp and clean.
* “Doctor Who” series 6 and “Death To The Daleks” trailers, info text, photo gallery, Radio Times Listings and isolated score.
* “When Worlds Collide”- A look at the politics of “Doctor Who” stories throughout the course of the series.
* 23 minutes of deleted/extended scenes.
* “Happiness Will Prevail”- The standard making of complete with interviews, discussions about the script, the cast, the sets, etc.
* Commentary by Toby Hadoke, Sophie Aldred, Graeme Curry, Andrew Cartmel, Dominic Glynn and Chris Clough. While disappointing not to hear McCoy on this track, there are lots of in-depth discussions of the music score, politics, the cast, the Fifi puppet, etc.
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