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Doctor Who: Carnival of Monsters (Story 66)
Doctor Who Carnival of Monsters
Story 66
Actors: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Ian Marter
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
NR     2003     1hr 38min

The Doctor has promised Jo a holiday on Metebelis 3, but the TARDIS materializes not on the famous blue planet, but in the cargo hold of the SS Bernice, sailing to India in 1926. Despite all appearances, the Doctor insists...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Ian Marter
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Drama, Science Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Studio: BBC Video / Warner Bros.
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 07/01/2003
Original Release Date: 09/29/1975
Theatrical Release Date: 09/29/1975
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 17
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A welcome resurrection
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Another two adventures featuring the intrepid Time Lord are released on DVD, again showcasing different eras from the long running BBC adventure series. "Carnival of Monsters" dates from 1973 and the tenth season of the show, with the companion release "Resurrection of the Daleks" hailing from season twenty-one broadcast in 1984. As with all the previous DVD releases of Doctor Who, the archive material has been painstakingly restored, with spectacular results. Each of the two stories looks as impressive as when the adventures were first broadcast all those years ago. In addition to the restoration, a number of very interesting extras has been added to both releases which are almost worth the price of the discs alone.Starting with the earlier adventure, starring Jon Pertwee as the third incarnation The Doctor, there are a lot of goodies included along with the four-part adventure. The story itself marked something of a watershed in the Pertwee era, since it was the first to feature the Doctor traveling freely in time and space since the black and white Troughton era which ended in 1969. The intervening seasons had become somewhat tedious with endless earth bound adventures, albeit with occasional escapes for the Doctor, so it was refreshing to have the Doctor once more freely roaming the universe. "Carnival of Monsters" was the first story to be recorded for season ten, actually being completed as part of the production block for season nine in 1972. It was held over and transmitted second in the tenth anniversary season. It was also the second Pertwee story to be directed by the show's producer, Barry Letts. Letts provides a genuinely interesting commentary along with the other star of the show, Katy Manning, the actress who played the enormously popular Jo Grant. Although a fairly one-dimensional character, Manning certainly brought a great deal of energy and warmth to her portrayal of Grant, and that enthusiasm hasn't been lost in the thirty plus years since the story was made. Manning and Letts are clearly delighted to be reunited again for this DVD, and their commentary is entertaining, informative and indeed delightful. There are also on screen captions to fill in the gaps in their memories. This release differs from the earlier VHS release considerably. The four episodes have been re-mastered from the original broadcast tapes. All the additional footage and indeed edits from the VHS release have been included as extras rather than in the body of the programme. There is also a fascinating, but short, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the programme, plus an abandoned reworking of the theme tune, some model work, a photo gallery, the trailer from a 1981 TV repeat and an Easter egg to find.The story itself is witty and refreshing, being penned by the programmes most prolific and popular writer, Robert Holmes, and acted well by the assembled cast. Sadly, I would say the production is let down by some gaudy design and costuming, particularly the scenes on the alien planet, but that was often the case with the Pertwee stories. The sister release, "Resurrection of the Daleks" is quite different and much darker in tone and appearance. Heralding the return of the Doctor's oldest and most popular enemies after a five year absence from the show, this story is from the end of Peter Davison's rather brief reign as the fifth incarnation of the Time Lord and indeed marks the end of an era as it includes the departure of the long running companion Tegan Jovanka, played by Janet Fielding.One of the things I was dreading for this release was the commentary featuring Davison, Fielding and director Matthew Robinson. Davison has not exactly been enthralling with the earlier releases he has contributed to, and as most hard-core fans of the show know, Fielding has been extremely critical of the show; particularly it's portrayal of female characters in the years since she relinquished her role. However, I am delighted to report that their commentary is wonderful! Definitely the highlight of the release. Obviously Fielding has rediscovered her sense of humor, and doesn't even seem to mind when Davison and Robinson make endless sexist remarks about her costume and legs! Although it's a bit mean, their sending up of fellow actor Mark Strickson (Turlough) is genuinely funny. Robinson is actually the weak link in the commentary team, since unfortunately he is almost impossible to silence, and constantly talks over the other two. But it's a minor quibble.Another surprise is the inclusion of BOTH John Nathan-Turner; the shows much-maligned long running producer, and his script editor Eric Saward who also penned the script. The two fell out while producing the ill-fated twenty-third season of the show resulting in Saward stalking out of the programme mid-way through production and a great deal of public mud-slinging. Although they are not actually seen together, they've both filmed new sequences with Director Robinson at the locations used for the filming of the story. The on-screen production notes are a little tedious on this release, and there are also two features from the BBC's "Breakfast Time" which actually have precious little to do with the story itself. But they're fun to see again. It's a taught story, with a stellar guest cast, although like most of the Davison era, it's all a little too complex, and doesn't stand up to a great deal of scrutiny. Some of the plot holes are pretty large, but it still works as a very entertaining piece. The episodes are included as produced, in four 25-minute episodes, even though they were actually transmitted as two 45-minute episodes at the time, thanks to the BBC's coverage of the 1984 Winter Olympics.They're both great releases, and a welcome addition to the growing Doctor Who DVD library. I'd recommend both discs even if you're not a die-hard fan of the show."
"Roll up, roll up and see the monster show!"
J. J. Dangermond | Portland, OR USA | 07/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The 2nd story from the 10th season is probably one of the best of the Pertwee years. It combines a series of monsters, both up-front and cameo, with both seriousness and tongue-in-cheek insight. Dr. Who and Jo land on what the Doctor believes is Metabelis-3, the famed blue planet. Jo, however, believes that they are on a ship in the Indian Ocean in 1926, based on evidence of a newspaper and the ship's cargohold. Unfortunately, they are both wrong. The TARDIS has landed in a Mini-Scope, which is being viewed both by the government officials and visitors (two show people who have brought the Mini-Scope) to Inter-Minor. The Mini-Scope contains such specimans as Ogrons, Cybermen, the people on the ship, and the dreaded Drashigs. I won't go on and spoil the story, but honestly the ending of Part 2 is probably the best cliffhanger of the Pertwee (and perhaps others) years.The DVD picture is much sharper than the video, and comes with fun extras such as watching Vorg warming up for the camera ("Roll up, roll up and see the Monster show"), alternative electronic credits, a 1981 BBC promo for THE FIVE FACES OF DR WHO, and others."
Everybody loves a Carnival.
Glenn Eues | Berwick, LA. | 07/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is easily one of Jon Pertwee's best episodes. An important episode in terms of his Doctor. Having his exile lifted, he resumes his temporal wanderings, with his favorite companion, Jo Grant faithfuly by his side. It's a bit ironic his first "voyage" post exile, lands him inside a cosmic sideshow! Another noteworthy event is the introduction of the dreaded Drashigs, the "nasty beasties" of the story. Years later, Pertwee would recolect that they were one of his favorite monsters. The last important note is the appearance of Ian Marter who plays first officer on board the ship the TARDIS "lands" on inside the "side show do-hickey". Fans will recognize Marter who goes on to play Harry Sullivan during Tom Baker's 1st season."
Underrated Pertwee adventure gets new life on DVD
Cliff Shelton | Norcross, GA United States | 08/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"After getting several classic Doctor Who episodes on DVD, the time has come to revisit the Pertwee era, and for this outing, we're treated to 'Carnival of Monsters.'Often regarded as a curiosity between the fan-favorite stories 'The Three Doctors' and 'Frontier In Space,' this story actually has a lot going for it, and is given the full treatment on this new DVD release.The story has been carefully restored and remastered, and, as a first, is finally presented in the way it was originally broadcast. The previous videotape version had some curiosities about it, namely the early edit of episode two, which featured some additional, non-broadcast material and a different arrangement of the traditional theme music. Additionally, when the story was repeated in 1981, the director, Barry Letts, requested a reedit of part 4 and got it - so the original hasn't been seen for ages! Don't let that put you off though; it's been polished and shined and I can only guess that it's never looked as good!All the material from that early edit of episode 2 has been preserved here in the form of extras: you get a title sequence using the aborted 'Delaware' theme, deleted scenes, and also a presentation of the edited ending. That's not all though, as there's a great commentary from actress Katy Manning (Jo) and Director/Producer Barry Letts. Katy is obviously having a great time watching it and provides lots of humor, while Barry reveals quite a lot of behind-the-scenes info. There's also the now-standard pop-up production notes (one of my favorite parts of the whole line), a Who's Who section for information on the actors, a fascinating actual look at the shooting of the story from 1972, test footage of the visual effects, a photo even more. This disc is packed to the gills, and contains everything you'd like to have, and some things you probably didn't even know about.All in all, it will make a great addition to your growing Doctor Who DVD library. If you hadn't thought about this one before, the fantastic extras more than make the difference, as they reveal some rare behind-the-scenes info, and a chance to see the story as it was originally intended."