Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Doctor Who - New Beginnings |
The Keeper of Traken / Logopolis / Castrovalva
Actors: Tom Baker, Peter Davison
Genres: Television, Cult Movies
These three stories saw the return of the Doctor's arch-enemy, The Master, as well as the transition from Tom Baker's Doctor to Peter Davison's. The Keeper of Traken: A distress call brings the Doctor (Tom Baker) to the tr... more »
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WHO'S YOUR DADDY?
Thomas E. O'Sullivan | Knoxville, Maryland United States | 06/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you were a fan of DOCTOR WHO back in the 1980's and you lived in Maryland, then MPT was your home of DOCTOR WHO, and your daddy was Tom Baker... always. For years (and years) MPT would air the entire seven season run of Baker from ROBOT to LOGOPOLIS right up until Peter Davidson sat up tied in Baker's famous scarf and then regenerate again tomorrow back in Tom Baker... and it would begin again. For what seemed like forever DOCTOR WHO was just Tom Baker and it frustrated me to no end - leading me to believe that CASTROVALVA was a masterpeice of WHO fiction denied us. But, one day MPT announced that not only had they purchased the Davidson run, but the entire run of DOCTOR WHO as well... and there I was, at the end of LOGOPOLIS, Davidson sitting up tied in Baker's famous scarf and the next day...it was William Hartnell, and it was miles to go until LOGOPOLIS came around again.
Don't get me wrong. Being able to view the DOCTOR WHO from the beginning was pure magic, but in the back of my mind, I was counting down until, finally, at long last... CASTROVALVA began... and once again, here I am and all it takes now is for me to hit PLAY for the show to begin. Times have changed, as to my view of the final two stories of Tom Baker and the first for Peter Davidson, they've changed as well, but not by much.
THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN is a studio bound story high in design and simple in drama. The performances across the board are very good (with only Matthew Waterhouse not ready for prime time), and the story manages at once to be original, yet a copy as well. It doesn't take much to see where all this is heading and while that may sink most shows, here it frees you from having to pay too close attention, and simply enjoy the atmosphere - and TRAKEN has that in spades. From the casual, and comfortable, opening to the renewed battle between the Master and the Doctor, THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN is a solid peice of work. So much so that the Doctor manages to disappear from the story for a long while before you really miss him.
LOGOPOLIS is a stunning mess. There's no two ways about it. It's one of the most original ideas the series has had, and yet, it does almost nothing with it. The story strays, having been burden with not only the weight of continuity issues, the reintroduction of Nyssa, the introduction of Tegan, the battle between the Master and the Doctor and finally, the end of Tom Baker's run on DOCTOR WHO. For a story under constant pressure (I mean, it is the literally the end of the universe we're talking about), it all comes across like a walk in the park. It's simply the silliest armageddon ever.
CASTROVALVA follows on the heels of LOGOPOLIS, taking up the challange thrown down in the previous story in trying to make use of the idea that reality can simply be maintained, created and destroyed through math alone. And it almost works. What nearly kills the story is also one of its greatest strengths, and that's in the performances of the new TARDIS cast starting to work as a unit. Davidson was lucky enough to not have had to make his debut story until he had already made FOUR TO DOOMSDAY which meant he had a better idea and handle on just how this new Doctor was going to be played. It's breathing room he uses to great advantage here - but, it's given too much time, and what's left is not enough for the mystery behind Castrovalva. Davidson is good, but Anthony Ainley is better. The Master's final moments trapped inside Castrovalva are horrific and unsettling, leaving the last moments of the story with the Doctor in the saddle feeling a bit shallow.
As usual 2 ENTERTAIN have gone out of there way to back up these stories with a host of excellent extras. Commentaries across the board are well done and informative. On THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN it's something of a shame that Ainley has so little to say on the topic of the Master and his time on DOCTOR WHO. Someone dropped the ball here by not sitting Ainley down with a professional to mine those memories for future generations. As it is, he's comfortable, happy and delighted to be back among friends. Also, I simply can not priase Janet Fielding enough - whenever she's on a commentary, the tracks shine. She's pure brass, totally adult, and never afriad to speak her mind. For some reason it's the women of DOCTOR WHO that always bring something to the table (and they seem to be the only ones that can make Tom Baker sit up, take notice and be honest) which makes these tracks worthwhile. Text commentary is tight and informative, and worth your time. The MAKING OF... and various documentaries across all three dics are very good (with some repeat from the commentary tracks, but, that's expected now).
All in all, it's pretty much everything you could want spread over three DVD's. Three different, but creative stories, two Doctor's, one Master and a gaggle of companions. Now, I have CASTROVALVA, bring on ROBOT."
A Turning Point
August F. Hutchins | Mt. View, Ca USA | 02/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By the time John Nathan-Turner became producer of Doctor Who, it had been running for the better part of 20 years! He felt that the show was starting to become dull and dated. Thus making significant changes, and lending a brand new lease of life into the series.
This boxset consists of the last of the alterations made to the show; adding familiar characters from the show's past (i.e. the Master) and the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison.
The stories included are: The Keeper Of Traken, by Johnny Bryne; Logopolis, by Christopher Bidmead; and Castrovalva, also by Christopher Bidmead.
The DVD includes Tom Baker discussing his retiring from the part and has Peter Davison remembering his
time as the Doctor.
Also includes a unique commentary session featuring the late Anthony Ainley."
A GREAT, GREAT regeneration set...you get the Return of the
Kevin J. Loria | New Orleans, LA USA | 03/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For 3 story-arcs of classic Dr. Who, this is a really good price for a set, especially one including Logopolis and Castrovalva (both of which I've been tempted to by on VHS just to see them again). These are part of the iconic Tom Baker's run as the 4th Doctor and the end of his final season in the role. K9 is gone, as is Romana. He wears his plum digs that suit the somber mood of his last 2 stories: The Keeper Of Traken, Logopolis, and Castrovalva.
Disc ONE: The set opens with the Keeper of Traken which reintroduces the Master (absent since a showdown with the Doctor in Deadly Assassin). At the end of his 13th incarnation (12th regeneration) he stays in the shadows (so to speak) for much of the 1st half of this one, but by the end he is literally a new man.
This one introduces Nyssa, eventually to become the new Zoë, brainy-girl on board the TARDIS, while Adric, equally brainy but not really sensible is also on board for all 3 of these (when will they learn that the super-genius kid is an annoying archetype). The plot of this one is shaky but necessary for the reoccurring role the Master is to have in the 5th Doctors run.
Disc TWO: Next is Logopolis. If Keeper of Traken is somber, then Logopolis is literally the wake before the funeral. The Doctor is more visable distressed over leaving Romana in E-space (still waiting for the DVD E-space 3 set). His plans to fix the long broken TARDIS chameleon circuit on Logopolis. Before doing so, he must find a real police call-box to measure, but in doing so inadvertently lands around the "new Master's" TARDIS, which ultimately leads to the death of the Doctor (well mortal wounding anyway). Loads of moody shots, in and out of the TARDIS, lots of quirky labyrinthine scenes with future companion Tegan lost onboard. The new Master is terrifically, theatrically hammy and plays nicely off Baker's manic energy (although substantially drained by his standards, in character the Doctor seems to have stoically accepted his impending death as Baker has stoically accepts his retirement.) He leaves at the top of his game here, a great, great story.
Disc Three: Castrovalva introduces the 5th, and youngest Doctor (at the time I'm not sure about Tennant's age). Peter Davidson, brings the character away from the 4th Doctor's style and borrows heavily from the older Doctors ( in spite of his youth, he plays it more like the stogy old original incarnation played by William Hartnell.) When filming, the shooting order was altered so that, although this is the first of the new Doctor's episodes, it was shot after Four to Doomsday (story 2 of the season). So Davidson knew where his regeneration addled transformation would end up, because he had already filmed as the wholly recuperated Doctor. But the process is a hard one, Castrovalva opens immediately after the Doctor's regeneration, as his companions try to get him to safety, narrowly escaping the Master, or so it seems.
While the Doctor struggles to retain/ regain his wits (see brilliant scenes with the Doctor struggling not to lose his way by unraveling the 4th Doctor's iconic scarf).
The crew falls deeper into the Master's web of traps as the arrive on Castrovalva, appropriately named after the M.C. Escher work. A great start for the new Doctor.
New Beginnings: Drinking Games
Drink whenever you hear the "Cloister Bell" (the ringing of which means emanate danger or drunkenness)
Drink when the MASTER watches / rebukes the Doctor from the gloomy safety of his TARDIS console room.
Drink whenever one actor or character replaces another via regeneration / body snatching / disguise or miscasting.
Drink whenever someone misplaces the Doctor (including himself).
Drink whenever anyone declares: "But, the Doctor's in there!"
Drink when any of the TARDIS crew complains. This is the one that pays off!
Every new begining comes from some other begining's end
C. R. Swanson | Phoenix | 09/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, regeneration. The word means many things depending on the context, but in "Doctor Who" it really only means one thing: one actor quits and another starts.
There's been ten cannonical Doctors (not counting Peter Cushing from The Doctor Who Collection, the Valyard, the Shakala Doctor or the various Doctors present in Doctor Who - The Curse of Fatal Death). They've all had their various strengths. Some we saw for far fewer stories than we would've liked (Colin Baker, Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston leap to mind), while some might feel that certain other ones overstayed their welcome.
Like many people, particularly those of us in America, my introduction to the series came with Tom Baker. There's no doubt that in many ways he was the most charasmatic and accessible of the "classic" Doctors. He is also, to date, the longest lasting of the Doctors, having a seven year run in the TARDIS.
Sadly, all good things must end, and the 4th Doctor's run comes to an end in this DVD series. "Keeper of Traken" sets up the events of "Logopolis" which end with us getting a brand-new Doctor, Peter Davidson. His adventures begin in earnest with "Castrovalva".
Also of note is the fact that the Master, the Doctor's "best enemy", and gone from the scene for quite a while, makes a major return in these episodes, which also introduce Teagan and Nyssa while firming up the character of Adric (speaking of firm... is it just me, or in the scenes where the Master has him in his little web, does Adric seem to be enjoying himself just a little too much? Like as in, "Is that sonic-screwdriver in your pocket or...?" Probably just my imagination. Still, I can dream). Adric was one of the first male TV characters I developed a major crush on in my teen years, along with Wesley Crusher. Still, the less said about both, the better.
The DVDs are well done as always, featuring a great deal of commentary on every episode (tragicaly, we can hear that Anthony Ainley was clearly on his last legs when he did his commentary. He sounds not like he's at Death's door but has, to steal from Pratchett, stepped into the foyer and is admiring the carpet and hat stand). The amount of extras on these DVDs are the sort of thing I wish more TV series would incorporate (I'm looking at YOU, Star Trek DVDs!).
All in all, this is a must-own if you're a fan of the series. Even if you've never watched "Doctor Who" before, but want a good place to start, this will serve your needs."