Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Doctor Who Earthshock |
Actors: Peter Davison, Mathew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding
Director: Peter Grimwade
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
The mysterious disappearance of an archaeological team is merely the prelude to a deadlier threat for the Doctor and his companions - the Cybermen want to destroy Earth and will use any means at their disposal. The Doctor'... more »
CLASSIC! Considering who wrote it, this one really is good.
Twiddles42 | MN, USA | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Episode 1 alone is overall terrific. Mysterious caves being guarded for some important reason, Adric bickering, the androids' way of killing people, this is a very taut and exciting episode. There is some rubbish technobabble about the device used to track the people in the caves, but otherwise this episode hangs together extremely well. As for the cliffhanger, it was a jaw-dropper in 1982 and still holds up exceptionally well.Episode 2 isn't quite as tense, but still easily manages to retain excitement and interest despite a silly claim about the TARDIS' capabilities and how the main enemies in this story can see into the future where they go over the Doctor's bio/history record. But that is a small point. The moment leading to the cliffhanger is reasonably excellent as well.Episode 3 is now a full shift away from the wonderful claustrophobia of the caves of the first 1.5 episodes. The freighter's interior is extremely well realized considering the show's budget (or even on a big movie budget, they got everything RIGHT) and provides some great tension for more than one gripping scene. The cliffhanger, despite using a prismatic lens to make one row of enemies look like 3 rows, packs a decent punch as well. I won't mention how kewl it was to see how the Doctor deals with the enemy force about to break into the freighter's bridge... So far, the story is worth all of the praise it gets.Episode 4 is awesome, though the ending is flaky. The ending involves the freighter entering time travel, which seems to be cheaply written in as an afterthought. The reasons behind the ability of the freighter to do this don't cut it and they could have used some flimsy technobabble about the warp engines being the cause instead of the enemy machinery locking the ship's directional control panel. But that's one small point.Episode 4 does end with another big surprise that you, depending on your point of view, will like...The story was augmented with modern computer effects. I prefer the original effects, even if they are different than what was intended to be (for example, a spaceship exploding instead of crashing, though it can be said the spaceship exploded in the planet's atmosphere...).I expect that the video and audio quality will be comparable to the other Dr Who releases (except "The Key to Time", which the UK Restoration Team did not work on). I gather the soundtrack is isolated, which is another BIG plus.One of my big problems with 80s Dr Who is not as much JNT but Saward. Even from his earliest penned story "The Visitation", Saward loves using gore. Indeed, in "The Visitation" he wanted to have the remains of the smouldering murdered family to be shown, but the director had enough guts to show well orchestrated fade-in clips of the empty house's interior that was far more effective... Fortunately, we're still in the 5th Doctor's early run so it's not so pronounced (by Davison's final year, Saward - both as writer and script editor - went out his way to ensure pointless gore was used. But that's another story...) The only real gore in this episode is how the androids kill people (the people turn into a liquified state which is horrific yet doesn't go out of its way to be shock value. In other words, it's appropriate and maturely handled and properly tells us that the androids doing the killing shouldn't be reckoned with... (in later years (Davison's final year and to an extent Colin Baker's first year), the gore was haphazardly thrown in, with any true atmosphere chucked out the window in name of sleazy shock value. Colin's era did match gore with a coherent intent, but the purpose seemed to be excessive, resulting in the gore being just as pointless as in the prior season...)But I digress. This is a WONDERFUL story, worthy of 5 stars and is ideal for showing to any potential fan. Also, the enemy I spoke of is the Cybermen. They were created in 1966 and had been disused since 1974. As the story was made 7 years later, it was deemed that they should be re-introduced with as little fanfare as possible. And it worked. and it worked so well that subsequent viewings don't wear the concept down. For a producer maligned with the stigma that he loved using continuity, the continuity works well in this story as it reminds of previous Cybermen history to whet our appetites (later stories merely use continuity to bury storylines, but Earthshock tells a story and uses references in a way that expands one's interest to become a fan, and doesn't pander to fans (who'd only nitpick any inaccuracies in continuity).The Cybermen were organic creatures who replaced more of their limbs and organs with technology. They're like the Borg, only they'd been around long before the Borg were. And "Earthshock" is possibly the best story they're used in, apart from "The Tomb of the Cybermen". ("Tomb"'s plot is superlative but I don't think it was carried out well, apart from episodes 1 and 4. There are some great performances, but the technobabble is grating, episode 3 is pure pointless padding, and the inclusion of Toberman as an indentured servant of all things is boggling, why couldn't he be an equal? On the other hand, his contributions to the end of that story prove he is the most human of them all... and as "Tomb" had also been released on DVD, it's worthy of pick-up as well.)"
David Murphy | Norman, Oklahoma USA | 12/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The return of the Cybermen after their misuse in Revenge of theCybermen is a moody, exciting adventure that contains moment aftermoment of brilliance. The acting is sound on all levels, with special credit due Peter Davison, whose performance raises the tension level as his realization of the true purpose of certain events adds to the overall mood of the piece. The redesign of the Cybermen was criticized by some, but the see-through mouthpiece adds to the effect of the Cybermen's menace, rather than detracting, by allowing us to see the transformed humanity within the outfit. This is one of the best ones to show to new Doctor Who viewers, as it is accessible to those who've never seen a Cyberman adventure, and has high emotional moments -- especially the ending, which works on every level. One of Davison's best by far, and definitely one of the best Cyber-Adventures. A must-own. Now if only they'd get rid of that ridiculous vunerability to gold, everything would be fine. It works here as a plot point, but nowhere else. Enjoy!"
So, we meet again...Doctor!
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 02/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Earth, 2526. Following an argument with Adric, who's tired of being teased, made fun of, not taken seriously, and who wants to go back to his home planet, the Doctor goes out to a cave full of fossilized dinosaurs in the walls.Meanwhile, soldiers under Lieutenant Scott enter the caves investigating the deaths of seven paleontologists and geologists, led by Professor Kyle, the survivor, who says the expedition was beset by faults and sabotage. However, some troops become casualties of two shadowy and sleek androids whose weapons turn their victims into organic puddles.The Doctor is accused of being the murders of Kyle's colleagues, but then the androids attack. They're defeated, but the Doctor traces their controllers to a freighter, whose captain, the irascible Briggs, is anxious to reach Earth to deliver a cargo of 15,000 silos and get a bonus. But the Doctor and Adric are accused of murdering two crewmembers and sent to the bridge. There, they discover that there have been brief power losses aboard the ship, and later, the controller of the androids. Look at the video cover for the answer.The Cyberleader and the Doctor get into an interesting discussion on the weakness and strengths of emotions, and in my current state, I find myself siding with the CyberLeader.Cyberleader: I see Time Lords have have emotional feelings. Surely a great weakness in one so powerful.
Doctor: Emotions have their uses.
Cyberleader: They restrict and curtail the intellect and logic of the mind.
Doctor: They also enhance life! When did you last have the pleasure of smelling a flower, watching a sunset?
Cyberleader: These things are irrelevant.
Doctor: For some people, small beautiful events is what life is all about.The Cyberleader ruthlessly demonstrates that the Doctor's concern for Tegan is a weakness and that he can bend the Doctor to his will by simply threatening to kill her.Many things succeed in this story, as the scene of Cybermen bursting out of their metal silos, the shot of them marching in unison at the cliffhanger of Episode 3, accompanied by a musical synthesizer march. This redesign of the Cybermen has them in the silver fighter pilot-like outfits, which marks the debut of the contemporary Cybermen, and the portrayal of the CyberLeader and CyberLieutenant by David Banks and Mark Hardy. Another is the way the Doctor immobilizes a Cybermen in a door like a fly caught in amber.Some flaws include the Cybermen's jaws, which are transparent and one can see the actors' mouths moving beneath. Another is a scene in Episode 3, where Scott examines the dead freighter crew. Down below, a woman can be seen reading the script! Also, when Scott is contemplating which of two Cybermen to kill in Episode 3, his targets can be seen talking to each other, using chatty hand gestures. So unlike rational Cybermen!This was the third and last time a companion was killed off in the series history, the first two being Katarina and Sara Kingdom in the no-longer complete Dalek Master Plan (1965). Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) was so upset that he refused to speak to producer John Nathan-Turner for a few weeks. Adric has been considered the worst Doctor Who companion, but that's hardly Waterhouse's fault. It has to be said that Adric's character was poorly written and developed and Waterhouse did his best. Waterhouse does have cameo appearances in two other Peter Davison stories.Despite the flaws and it being a simple action-adventure story, Earthshock works due to the return of the snazzily designed Cybermen and the unexpected death of Adric."
If you liked this epi, get the DVD
Jennifer R. Lewis | USA | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a review of the "Earthshock" episode. Rather, this is a review of the DVD.
This DVD of one of the most memorable episodes of Doctor Who is fantastic. It's worth the purchase price for the special features alone.
The special features include:
- Subtext with "did you know"-style facts about the show
- CGI graphics for the lasers and the crashing into Earth.
- A well-produced documentary about the making of "Earthshock", which included interviews from the cast members (except Janet Fielding) and celeb Doctor Who fans that discussed the process of making this episode and the process of keeping the two major incidents in the show a secret from the public.
- A segment from the BBC show "Did You See?" discussing the Cybermen.
- A funny (in a twisted sort of way) "Episode 5" claymation.
- Commentary from Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, and Matthew Waterhouse that is HILARIOUS (especially Janet Fielding's commentary). Although some of it is informative, the commentary makes it feel like one is watching an episode of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000". As many of the reviewers have already stated, some of the jokes are at Matthew Waterhouse's expense (Janet Fielding's hilarious observation about "hands in pockets" is an example), but he seems to take it in fun.
If that's not enough, there is an Easter Egg on the DVD featuring a segment from a Jamaican (or BBC produced?) comedy show with a parody of dubbing Doctor Who in Jamaican dialect.
Overall, a really good DVD to have for the Doctor Who fan."