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Doctor Who: Terror Of The Zygons DVD Review

Doctor Who- Terror of the Zygons DVD

“Terror of the Zygons” is a memorable Fourth Doctor era episode.

After receiving a message from the Brigadier, the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Harry travel to Scotland in order to investigate the mysterious destruction of several oil rigs. At first, the Doctor thinks very little of this case, but it soon becomes apparent that there is much more going than anyone realizes when Harry is nearly killed. Little by little, the Doctor and company (and the audience) discover that the shapeshifting alien Zygons are using a giant armored cyborg sea beast (the Skarasen) as a weapon in order to take over Earth. Can the Doctor stop the Zygons AND the monstrous Skarasen or will Earth be doomed?

With the Zygons set to make an appearance in the upcoming “The Day of the Doctor,” the recent DVD release of the Zygons first “Doctor Who” appearance in “Terror of the Zygons” comes at a perfect time. While the story is a pretty straight forward “aliens wanting to rule Earth” tale, the Zygons are undoubtedly one of the more interesting foes and easily the best part of this 4 part adventure. The creepy, slimey, sucker skin creatures may sound a little too much like the Ice Warriors, but thanks to some impressive makeup and costume work, the Zygons are one of the most visually unique villains in classic Who history. They also prove to be quite a formidable foe as their plan for world domination is rather epic. It doesn’t hurt that they have the ability to take human form. With all of their appeal, it’s a really shame we haven’t seen them more often in TV episodes. They certainly have real potential to become a fan favorite villain.

While the Zygons may look great on screen, the F/X team can’t seem to pull off the Skarasen. The silly looking beastie looks more like the dinosaurs from the Third Doctor era serial “Invasion of the Dinosaurs” and we all know how those looked. Still, if you can get past the visual look of the creature, the concept of it is still effective.

As for the cast, the entire ensemble cast does a fine job here. As per usual, Tom Baker steals the show as the Doctor. At first, the Doctor seems completely bored by the thought of having to return to work with the Brigadier, but, by the end, he’s gone through a roller coaster ride as he not only SPOILER ALERT (saves the day) END SPOILER ALERT, but sees Harry leaving the TARDIS (although he returns briefly in “The Android Invasion”).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3. How does it look? It’s an all around good transfer.

Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital Mono and a new 5.1 audio track. Purists may prefer the Mono track, but nothing beats hearing Who in a brand spanking new 5.1 mix.

Extras:
* Isolated music score, photo gallery, trailers for “Doctor Who” Series 7 and “The Moonbase,” Part 1, Radio Times Listings,
* Commentary by Philip Hinchcliffe, Robert Banks Stewart, Mark Ayres, George Gallaccio, Dick Mills, and Sylvia James. The group chat about the kilt, the f/x, the cast and so forth. This I not the most exciting commentary track, but it’s still worthwhile if you enjoy hearing behind-the-scenes stories.
* A director’s cut of episode 1 (which features a deleted scene).
* “South Today”- An interview with Tom Baker (in costume) from the set of “Terror of the Zygons.”
* “Merry-Go-Round- The Fuel Fishers”- Elisabeth Sladen hosts this program about oil rigs.
* “Doctor Who Stories- Tom Baker”- Tom Baker chats about his era, the Daleks, cliffhangers, life stories, music, the TARDIS and much more. Thoroughly entertaining.
* “Doctor Who Stories- Elisabeth Sladen”- The late great Elisabeth Sladen discusses filming various episodes, on set chemistry, filming experiences, stunts,  “K-9 And Company,” etc.
* “Remembering Douglas Camfield”- A touching tribute to the late TV director’s life and career.
* “The UNIT Family- Part Three”- The third installment of this UNIT centric series that features cast and crew interviews and discussions about the group and characters.
* “Scotch Mist In Sussex”- Last, but not least is the standard making of featurette. You should know what to expect from these by now.

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November 14, 2013 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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