Doctor Who: The Sun Makers DVD Review
“The Sun Makers” is a mixed “Doctor Who” adventure.
In “The Sun Makers,” The Doctor, Leela, and K-9 arrive on Pluto. To no surprise, things look off right away when they discover the planet has artificial suns and no night. Things become more troubling after they discover the planet is ruled by The Company (led by the villainous Collector) who impose major taxes on the planet’s inhabitants and even drug them. The Doctor and company discover that not everyone abides by the rules when they discover rebels living in what is known as the Undercity. Can this current regime be overthrown or will they continue to rule with an iron fist?
“The Sun Makers” is one of those episodes that has much to admire and much to gripe about. On the plus side, the cast knocks it out of the park here. Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), and John Leeson (K-9) have such great chemistry together and they are at the top of their game in the series here. Just observe their banter and playful moments (ie K-9 spelling out walk) to see what I mean. Also noteworthy here is the overall concept of Pluto being run by a business essentially. It proved to be an interesting subject to explore from a thematic and satirical perspective.
As interesting as The Company element is, however, the Robert Holmes script is ultimately pretty standard stuff. For the most part, it’s a sluggish tale that is hampered by weak production values (those basements, walls, and hallways-yikes) and an over-the-top Blofeld/Dr. Evil esque villain (The Collector) who has a helium voice.
Presentation: Fullscreen. How does it look? OK at best. The colors are sometimes blured which can be a bit irritating to watch.
Audio Track: Dolby Digital Mono. How does it sound? The track is flat, but the dialogue is clear enough.
* “Doctor Who” series 5 and “The Sun Makers” trailers, Radio Times Listings, photo gallery, and info text track.
* Less than a minute of outtakes.
* “The Doctor’s Composer Part 2”- The second part of the featurette on famed “Doctor Who” composer Dudley Simpson. This extra primarily covers his work in the 70’s.
* “Running From The Tax Man”- A making of complete with interviews with the cast and crew. Topics covered are the story, the cast, Robert Holmes, etc.
* Commentary by Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Michael Keating (who shows up later) and Pennant Roberts. Expect discussions about the cast, chess, K-9, etc. Tom Baker provides his usual comedic relief here.
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