Doctor Who: The Greatest Show In The Galaxy DVD Review
“The Greatest Show In the Galaxy” is certainly one of the weirdest “Doctor Who” stories.
Summing up “The Greatest Show In The Galaxy” wouldn’t do the story justice as it’s the type of episode you just have to see to experience and perhaps understand (or not understand). Basically, all you need to know is that the Doctor and Ace are invited to visit the Psychic Circus on the desert planet Segonax. As you can probably figure out, this is not a normal circus and is in fact a deadly trap.
To say ‘Greatest’ is bizarre is a gross understatement. In what other DW episode can you see rap songs, a biker pulling out a burger from his motorcycle, tracking kites, creepy robots, creepy clowns, a deadly talent show, a giant eyeball, a werewolf lady, a killer robot train conductor, and the Gods of Ragnarok? The answer is, of course, none. While all of this weirdness definitely makes for an engaging viewing experience, it also leaves you wondering what in the galaxy you just watched. It’s the type of episode that is neither good or bad episode, it’s just, for lack of a better explanation…”The Greatest Show In The Galaxy.”
When weird things aren’t happening on screen, there’s a lot of formula moments here involving the usual running around and avoiding capture. The greater concern here is the large cast of characters which leaves little room for our heroes (the Doctor and Ace). When Sylvester McCoy is on screen as the seventh Doctor, however, he’s clearly having a blast (especially with his talent show at the end). McCoy definitely carries ‘Galaxy’ as his rather eccentric Doctor is definitely best suited for this equally eccentric adventure.
‘Greatest’ is presented in full screen and it’s far and away one of the best transfers for a classic DW DVD release. Of course, the fact that it’s one of more recent classic episodes probably explains why it looks so good.
As per usual, the Dolby Digital Mono track is flat, but thankfully, this DVD also comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track as well. The 5.1 track is a significant improvement over the Mono track. Just listen to the rap songs and motorbikes to see how much more depth the track is. Personally, I love seeing these 5.1 tracks pop up on discs and I wish there were more.
“The Greatest Show In The Galaxy” Extras:
* “Doctor Who” series 6 and “Planet Of Giants” trailers, isolated score, info text, photo gallery, a brief comedic “Victoria Wood” sketch, Radio Times Listings and visual effects designs and storyboards.
* 11 minutes of deleted and extended scenes.
* “Remembrance Demo”- A Stereo and 5.1 audio sample featuring Mark Ayres re-scoring of “Remembrance Of The Daleks.”
* “The Psychic Circus”- A music video. You have the option of playing Stereo or 5.1 audio tracks.
* “Lost In The Darkness”- A small piece about the Junk Mail robot F/X.
* “The Show Must Go On”- A making of that contains cast and crew interviews as well as discussions about how the story came about, the visual f/x, the sets, etc.
* “Tomorrow’s Times- The Seventh Doctor”- Another “Tomorrow’s Times” that covers the news and critic’s opinions of the 7th Doctor era.
* A loaded commentary featuring Sophie Aldred, Jessica Martin, Christopher Guard, Stephen Wyatt, Andrew Cartmel, Mark Ayres, and moderator Toby Hadoke. While it would have been nice to hear McCoy here, there’s still tons of interesting conversations about everything from music to behind-the-scenes stories.
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