Search - Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin (Story 88) on DVD

Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin (Story 88)
Doctor Who The Deadly Assassin
Story 88
Actor: Tom Baker
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
NR     2009     1hr 34min

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 09/01/2009 Run time: 95 minutes Rating: Nr


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Movie Details

Actor: Tom Baker
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/01/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Doctor Who at its most controversial
Nathan Redmond | Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | 05/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What can be said about The Deadly Assassin? It's great. It's full of mystery and intrigue, action and suspense, and Tom Baker fortunately not having a companion to upstage him. I daren't talk about the story further; rather, I shall discuss both the DVD and the controversy the story created during transmission.

Ever hear of Mary Whitehouse? I suspect most Americans don't know her, but since this is a British show and she didn't really like it, I feel the need to talk about her. She was an ultra-conservative bint who complained from the 1960's through the 1990's about how so-called "depravity" in BBC programmes (that is, sex, violence and profanity) was culturally retarding the UK. Strangely, she never seemed to complain about anything on ITV (the other major UK broadcaster at the time); I guess it's because they aren't funded by the government, and therefore don't matter. Pink Floyd ripped on her in their album Animals in 1977 (and in America, Tipper Gore hilariously misinterpreted the line "Hey you, Whitehouse" from the album as anti-American).

She started to get her knickers in a twist about Doctor Who in the early 1970's (probably not long after Terror of the Autons was broadcast), but most people didn't listen to her. But then, after part three of this serial was broadcast, she unleashed a vicious attack. She was not very happy about the cliffhanger, where the Doctor's head is held underwater in a memorable freeze-frame shot. The BBC apologized and removed the shot from the master tape.

However, recordings made during the original broadcast exist with the original ending intact, and have been used to restore the ending for the DVD. Speaking of, the DVD includes an audio commentary featuring Tom Baker, Bernard Horsfall and producer Philip Hinchcliffe, along with three documentaries concerning the production of the story, the influence that "The Manchurian Candidate" had on the episode, and the most frightening moments in Doctor Who respectively. Whitehouse (who died in 2001) is featured in the former documentary; it should be a real hoot to hear her attack the show, like that footage of Michael Grade in The Trial of a Time Lord's special features.

All in all, a great episode wrapped up in a nice DVD package. Recommended."
Once Upon a Time Lord...
Eric J. Draves | Chicago, IL United States | 06/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Every once in a while a TV show decides to put out something different and special, perhaps for better ratings or to stir up the stagnant continuity. In many ways, this is Doctor Who's big moment, smack dab inbetween the two most memorable companions of the Fourth Doctor, and running during the show's midpoint, the 13th anniversary.

Many things make this story stand out from the others-- the Doctor has no companion; the journey to his homeworld for the first time since "The War Games"; the colorful High Council costumes; the unusual method by which the Doctor gets out of his death sentence; a decrepit and decaying foe from the past...

But even with these things, what will strike today's viewers the most is that this story contains the first ever mention of a virtual world called THE MATRIX, some 20+ years before it was shamelessly ripped off for a movie.

I wasn't bothered by the controversial "drowning" incident as much as by the unresolved plot holes that dot the story like singularities. I won't bother the reader with excruciating details, but they'll be easy enough to find. However, this story shines on its own just for being different and is a real treasure.

This is where Tom Baker gets his wish-- to appear in a story with no companions-- and as a result he is surrounded by them the rest of his scarfbearing days. He also gets to narrate, which he doesn't do again until "Shada".

I would recommend this story to anyone wanting to know more about the Doctor's homeworld. Of course, no single story contains everything you might need to know, so I would also recommend "The Invasion of Time" as a companion piece."
Time Lord Society 101 on video
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 05/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Through the millennia, the Time Lords of Gallifrey led a life of peace and ordered calm, protected against all threats from lesser civilizations by their great power. But this was to change. Suddenly and terribly, the Time Lords faced the most dangerous crisis in their long history."So begins the only story where the Doctor is without a companion. After seeing the assassination of the president in a precognitive vision, in which he is the assassin, the Doctor lands on Gallifrey and is ordered arrested by Castellan Spandrell. He leaves a note warning them of the assassination, eludes the bumbling Chancellery guards, led by the [fool] Hildred and tries to stop the killing to no avail.The Doctor buys time by invoking Article 17 of the constitution, in which he announces his candidacy for the presidency. He has the Castellan, an open-minded Time Lord who is a "simple seeker of the truth," as an ally. He tells the Doctor: "I believe you are going to be executed for it [the assassination]" His old teacher, the jurist Cardinal Borusa, defends the Doctor's use of Article 17 against Chancellor Goth, who as interim leader, wants the Doctor executed. He says to Goth, "All presidents are faced with difficult decisions. It is by their decisions that they are judged." It's when the shrunken body of the PR announcer's soundman is found in the camera that the Doctor recognizes the Master's trademark method of killing.The latter part of Episode 2 and all of Episode 3 are spent in a dreamland of the Matrix, where the Doctor battles an unknown adversary--the Master's champion. He carries on, saying, "I deny this reality. The reality is a computation matrix." Weird and surreal scenes, such as eyes appearing on a cliff face, a WWI soldier in gas mask, machine guns rattling, and even a Samurai warrior appear.Funny Tom Baker lines: "Extraordinary. The roof's still on. I could have sworn it fell on me." To Hildred: "I confess you're a bigger [fool] than I thought you were." To Spandrell: "Vaporization without representation is against the constitution!"The prelude, spoken by Tom Baker after the opening titles, has another context given the events of 11 September. Other quotes from this story that lend credence to this connection: Borusa: "We live in evil times." and he also says in reaction to Goth's reactive move for a swift trial: "This is a time to reflect, for passions to cool." and "A violent action is causing an opposite and violent reaction." If only these lines were applied...Other elements this story incorporates is the Manchurian Candidate, the JFK assassination, and the investigation of a conspiracy. And then there are term limits. An aging Time Lord remembers a president who served for 900 years, saying: "Now they're chopping and changing every couple of few centuries."This is one of the most important stories in the series' history, as we get a more detailed look at Time Lord society. We learn what the Matrix is, the lifespan of Time Lords, and the three chapter and associated colours of Time Lords. Prydonians may seem devious but as Goth says, "we simply see a little further ahead than most." There are links to past stories, such as the Doctor's trial (The War Games) and acquittal (The Three Doctors).Much of the Doctor's time is spent with Spandrell and Coordinator Engin, who assist him in his quest to exonerate himself. They make a good team. Spandrell is the tough-minded and sarcastic one, while Engin has the personality of a chatty and friendly librarian. The Doctor has the rational and imaginative quality they lack. Both George Pravda (Spandrell) and Eric Chitty (Engin) bring their characters alive, with refreshing personalities.One of the most important stories in the series' history, where we get a bigger view of Time Lord society. Surely Robert Holmes' masterpiece."
Tom Baker's Finest Hour
S. Nyland | Six Feet Of Earth & All That It Contains | 12/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Finally. No more sidekicks or distractions. No silly sub plots about stuff not relevant to the central story. No hysterical damsels to rescue, no ridiculous contraptions to rig, and no ubiquetous Alien Menace or Killer Robot or other sort of threat run amok. Finally, an episode that seems to be more concerned about the character of the Doctor than about using him as a storytelling device. Doctor Who follows the Time Lord's summon back to Gallifrey and finds himself caught up in a complex weave of murder and deception unleashed by The Master, a villain so worthy of The Doctor that Baker even concedes "He's absolutely brilliant - he's almost on my level" ... of mathematics. I actually see a lot of little pokes at the Warren Comission and House Select Comittee on Assasination's probes into the JFK enigma in the opening acts. But the "money melon" section of this adventure is where the Doctor enters the so-called Matrix to do battle with the Master's patsy in a kill or be killed deathmatch worthy of a Walter Hill movie. It is simply one of the best sequences from the history of the Who series, and the various acts of the adventure allow Baker to shine forth as an actor capable of several roles -- action hero, crime sleuth, scientific wizard and, above all, a Man who keeps his sense of humor even when being tortured. This is the adventure that also features my alltime favorite line from the whole series -- "Only in mathematics shall we find truth", and don't miss the shrunken body in the camera with the Kung-Fu grip. A must have for any serious Who fanatic and a great introduction to Baker's character: why not start with the best? Very highly recommended."