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Doctor Who: The Seeds Of Doom DVD Review

“The Seeds Of Doom” is one of the best Tom Baker era episodes.

The plot: After a group of scientists discover some rare seed pods in Antarctica, the Doctor and Sarah Jane are sent to investigate them. Once a crazed botanist (Harrison Chase) learns of these pods, he sends two of his thugs to obtain them for his collection. All hell breaks loose when the plants turn out to be alien killer space weeds (Krynoids) that infects people and controls all plant life. It’s up to the Doctor and company to make sure the Krynoids don’t destroy mankind. However, they will have to get through Harrison Chase who wants the Krynoids to take over the world.

A story about killer plants and plant possessed people may sound silly on paper, but the episode never comes off as silly. Instead, it plays like a cross between “The Thing” and “The Ruins” (even though the episode was released before both films). It’s a dark, nasty, intense, peril filled episode for the most part. Yes, there are comedic moments involving the Doctor, the useless Amelia Ducat character, and the over-the-top Bond esque villain Harrison Chase, but virtually every Who episode has moments of humor. After all, this is the Tom Baker era.

On the subject of Baker, he is at his best here. Whether he is tussling with Chase’s minions or cracking a joke, Baker shows why he is (and probably always will be) one of the best Doctors. 

Despite this being a stellar episode, I should note that the episode runs an unecessary 6 parts. Had this been a 4 parter, it would have easily been a classic. As is, the first 3 parts and the last part are a fast paced adventure while parts 4 and 5 slow the episode down a tad.

Summary: “The Seeds Of Doom” ranks alongside “The Ark In Space” and “Genesis Of The Daleks” as one of the best 4th Doctor era episodes. Recommended. 

Video/Audio:

The fullscreen picture quality is not one of the better transfers I have seen. I noticed lines on the left side of the screen, bleeding colors, and blurred motions on several instances. I’ve seen worse transfers, but I’ve also seen much better.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio track is as flat as a pancake unfortunately. It does the job, but don’t expect anything resembling a Dolby Digital 5.1 track here.

Extras:
* “Doctor Who” series 5 and “Meglos” trailers, info text, isolated score, 2 DVD-Rom extras (Radio Times Listings and Douglas Camfield’s Paper Edit), photo gallery, and trail and continuity.
* Commentary by Tom Baker, John Challis, Kenneth Gilbert, Philip Hinchcliffe, Michael McStay, Joggs Camfield, Robert Banks Stewart, and Roger Murray Leach. Not all of these guests appear at once. They show up in separate parts. There’s some great banter between Tom Baker and the other commentators here. Expect lots of behind-the-scenes information, set experiences, auditions, etc.
* “Stripped For Action: The Fourth Doctor”- A featurette about the 4th Doctor comic books. This has been a great series of extras.
* “Now And Then”- A look at the filming locations of “The Seeds Of Doom” at the time the episodes were shot and in modern day.
* “PodShock”- A making of featurette that contains interviews with the crew members, the script, plants, and so on.
* “So What Do You Do Exactly?- Graeme Harper discusses his various job roles on set.

* “Playing In The Green Cathedral”- Geoffrey Burgon discusses the episode’s score.

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September 1, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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