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DVD Review

DVD cover

Doctor Who
The Fourth Doctor Time Capsule


Starring: Tom Baker
Distributor: BBC DVD
RRP: £59.99
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 29 July 2013

It’s Doctor Who’s fiftieth year and so stuff has started to be produced in celebration. The Fourth Doctor Time Capsule is a collection highlighting Tom Baker's Doctor, with a renovated copy of Terror of the Zygons and it’s a wonderful restoration job the team have produced. To tempt you further the story comes with a newly commissioned interview with Tom Baker.

Called back to investigate missing oil rigs, the Doctor soon discovers that these are not random events. Eventually the Doctor discovers that the Zygons, whose ship has crashed on Earth, have decided to use their control over a cyborg sea monster to take the Earth for themselves...

Terror of the Zygons was the first story in the show's thirteenth season. Originally running between 30 August and 20 September 1975, the four part story was written by Robert Banks Stewart and directed by Douglas Camfield. The companions were Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter).

The show is held in high regard among certain sections of the fan community, so much so that the Zygons are to be resurrected for the show's fiftieth anniversary. There is much to commend the story, the writing is intelligent, the model of the Zygons ship is believable and the Zygons themselves are well realised villains, except for their cyborg, which is really quite pants - about as realistic as the real Loch Ness monster. Were it not for the monster, this story would still be viable for transmission today. Add to that, this is a UNIT story so we have the delight of watching Nicholas Courtney strutting around as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

The disc comes with audio options for either the original mono track or a newly created 5.1, both with optional subtitles. As mentioned before the restoration on this story is superb, helped by the amount of outdoor film stock.

There are no extras on the first disc, although the menu is completely different to the normal Who discs. Disc two holds the interview with Tom Baker (25 min, 58 sec), about the same length as a normal Who extra. Tom is, as normal, a delight to listen to. Full of anecdotes and what sounds like made up stories, but the interview is a little odd. Filmed in what looks to be a country house, or pub, Tom sits in front of an open fire recounting his time on the show. The odd thing is that they have edited the interviewer out, so we can only surmise what he had been asked, by the replies he gives, but it does give it a very cut up feeling.

Now I only got a couple of check discs, ya boo sucks. The final box set supposedly includes a post regenerative action figure, a sonic screwdriver an audio version of Genesis of the Daleks, the novel Tomb of Valdemar by Simon Messingham, art cards of the fourth Doctor's companions and a letter from Tom Baker himself. It might be the letter ‘W’ for all I know - who can tell? Sounds good, but as I didn’t get this I can’t really comment on whether any of this stuff is actually worth having.

Is it worth buying? Only you can decide. The story, I suspect, will turn up again with its own set of extras, though probably not the interview. As a collection, the set is limited to only 5,000 so will probably become a low level collectable if you don’t open the box. So it comes down to do you want to hear Tom that much, as well as own the other physical extras. It’s a nice set but only you can decide whether it’s worth the best part of sixty pounds. The set gets a lower mark as it is based purely on the two discs sent.


Charles Packer

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