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Doctor Who: Carnival Of Monsters and The Three Doctors Special Edition DVD Reviews


The 3 Doctors make “The Three Doctors” worth a watch.

“Carnival Of Monsters” is a well written and imaginative episode.

The Three Doctors:

The story of “The Three Doctors” is, quite frankly, silly stuff. In order to bring back the first two Doctors, writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin really had to dig deep in order to come up with a story that would find reason for the Timelords to have three Doctors would work together. The result? A sloppy story involving energy globs, jello esque monsters, an anti-matter blackhole, a quarry (naturally), transportation to another universe, U.N.I.T., the villainous Omega out for revenge, and the Doctor fighting the “dark side” of Omega’s mind (don’t ask). How this all plays together is up for the viewer to see.

Let’s be real here, this episode is strictly for the fans and not for those seeking a great story. Anyone wanting to see William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee on screen together will be thrilled to see their interactions here. And why shouldn’t they be excited? It’s the true highlight of this episode. Granted, Hartnell’s role is limited and is only seen through a video screen due to his health issues at the time, but that doesn’t detract from the captivating scenes the three Doctors have together.

Other pluses here include scenes with Jo Grant, the Brigadier, U.N.I.T., Bessie, and yes, even the Timelords themselves. Timelord appearances were fairly rare in the first 3 seasons so it’s interesting to see the costumes and set designs for Gallifrey at this point in the show. It’s a real departure from what you see down the line in the series which makes it an even greater curiosity.

Summary: Check it out just for the scenes with the 3 Doctors.


The episode, which is presented in fullscreen, looks a bit iffy during certain exterior shots, but the interior scenes generally look clean (especially for an early 70’s era episode).

The Dolby Digital Mono audio track is certainly impressive for a Mono track.

* BBC1 and “Five Faces Of Doctor Who” trails, 40th anniversary promo, info text, Radio Times Lstings, photo gallery and trailers for “Doctor Who” series 6 and “The Face Of Evil.”
* “BSB Highlights”- Interviews with Terrance Dicks, Nicholas Courtney, David Martin, Bob Baker, Jon Pertwee, and John Nathan-Turner. Conversations include the “The Three Doctors,” K-9, and Pertwee’s experiences.
* “Blue Peter 5/11/73”- Jon Pertwee shows up on the show with a Whomobile.
* “Pebble Mill At One”- Interviews with visual effects artist Bernard Wilkie and actor Patrick Troughton.
* Commentary by Nicholas Courtney, Katy Manning and Barry Letts. A solid track with lots of Courtney and Manning set stories.
* “Girls, Girls, Girls- 1970’s”- A featurette/interview with three “Doctor Who” actresses/companions Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), and Louise Jameson (Leela).
* “Was Doctor Who Rubbish?”- Fans defend the complaints about classic Who.
* “Happy Birthday To Who”- A making of “The Three Doctors” complete with cast/crew interviews, discussions about the script rewrite, casting, set stories, etc.

Carnival Of Monsters:

“Carnival Of Monsters” begins with the third Doctor and Jo Grant arriving on a cargo ship in what appears to be the 1920’s. They soon discover something is not right when monsters begin terrorizing the crew and that the crew themselves are repeating their actions and words in a continuous loop. Shortly thereafter, it is revealed that the Doctor has landed inside a showman’s miniscope (which is essentially a peepshow in a box featuring miniaturized monsters and beings). The showman and his assistant are showing off his miniscope to an alien tribunal on the planet Inter Minor (where trouble is also brewing).

I don’t often say this, but “Carnival Of Monsters” is definitely a top tier classic era episode. It’s different from the usual fare which makes it a refreshing change of pace from the usual colony stories. Add to the fact that ‘Monsters’ has an exciting, unique, and imaginative script by Robert Holmes and it should come as no surprise that you are in for a real treat.

Aside from the script, it’s the performances that really make this episode stand-out. Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning give their usual superb performances here, but it’s the guest roles by Vorg (Leslie Dwyer) and Shirna (Cheryl Hall) that are really memorable. In many cases, guest characters tend to be forgettable and undeveloped, but that’s not the case here. Vorg and Shirna are definite scene stealers and they liven up an already entertaining adventure.

I should also note that fans should be on the lookout for Ian Marter who once again reprises his role as Harry Sullivan here.

Summary: If you dig classic Who, you need to see “Carnival Of Monsters.”


The video quality couldn’t be better for a classic era episode. Once again, this is another special edition done right.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio track is perfectly fine.

* “Doctor Who” series 6, “Nightmare Of Eden,” and “Five Faces Of Doctor Who” trailers, info text, photo gallery, Radio Times Listings,
* “Director’s Amended Ending”- A slightly altered ending.
* “Visual Effects Models”- Test shots of the monster and spaceship f/x work.
* “Behind The Scenes”- A collection of random set and studio footage.
* “Episode Two- Early Edit”- A longer version of episode 2 that will appeal to hardcore Whovians.
* “CSO Demo”- Blue screen test footage demonstration.
* “Tardis Cam No. 2”- CGI TARDIS animation shots.
* Commentary 1 by Katy Manning and Barry Letts. The two have great conversations about masks, wobbling props, characters, F/X, etc.
* Commentary 2 by Peter Halliday, Toby Hadoke, Cheryl Hall, Jenny McCracken, Peter Halliday, and Brian Hodgson. Expect chats about casting, careers, sound, location shooting,
* “Mary Celeste”- A featurette about the disappearance of ships.
* “On Target With Ian Marter”- A nice tribute to Ian Marter’s acting and writing career.
* “Destroy All Monsters!”- A making of with the usual interviews, discussions about the script, set mementos, visual effects, the sets, etc. This is much more interesting (and entertaining) than the usual making of.
* “The A-Z Of Gadgets And Gizmos”- An alphabetical gadget/gizmo guide for the Whoniverse.


April 22, 2012 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , , , ,

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