THE FIVE DOCTORS - "I am being diminished, whittled away piece by piece. A man is the sum of his memories you know, a Time Lord even more so." Someone is taking the Doctor's past selves out of time and space, placing in a ... more »vast wilderness - a battle arena with a sinister tower at its center. As the various incarnations of the Doctor join forces, they learn they are in the Death Zone on their home world of Gallifrey, fighting Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti - and a devious Time Lord Traitor who is using the Doctor and his companions to discover the ancient secrets of Rassilon, the first and most powerful ruler of Gallifrey.The Five Doctors was originally broadcast to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of Doctor Who in 1983. This new version of the story features extended scenes, previously unseen sequences, new visual effects and a stereo soundtrack. Not intended as a replacement for the original edition of the story, this is an alternative version which uses state-of-the-art technology to embellish and enlarge one of the greatest Doctor Who adventures ever.
THE KING'S DEMONS - "We sing in praise of total war; against the Saracen we abhor" It is thirteenth century England, and King John is visiting the castle stronghold of Sir Ranulf Fitzwilliam. Ranulf's personal fortune has dwindled away, freely donated to Kin John to help fund the Crusade. While staying with Ranulf, the King's greed is criticized by the baron's head-strong son, Hugh. As a result, Hugh is challenged to a duel by the monarch's enigmatic French Knight-at-Arms, Sir Giles Estram, a duel the young Englishman has little hope of surviving.When the TARDIS materializes and disturbs the joust, the Doctor's party are proclaimed friendly demons by the King, who seems strangely interested in their "blue engine." Before long the Doctor becomes embroiled in court politics, and he realizes that there is far more to the situation than a simple battle of honor between nobles.DVD Features:
Sarah Hadley | Murfreesboro, Tennessee USA | 02/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 20th anniversary special is corny, essentially plotless and designed to cram in as many Doctors, companions and monsters as possible within 90 minutes. Still, you've got to hand it to them - they did a bang-up job for a show with a forever-fluctuating cast list (most notably our old buddy Tom Baker, who turned the project down before filming and got replaced by some old footage). "The Five Doctors" is a fun romp down memory lane, and as such happens to be one of the very best ways to bring new fans into the show (hey, it worked for me).So why did we exactly need a "special edition"? No, the visual effects aren't especially great, but they never were on "Doctor Who." The additional scenes, while interesting, are mostly pointless additions that add nothing to the plot. Probably the best changes in the Special Edition are a slight rearrangement of events (which makes the story flow a little better) and some improved lightning effects. Not enough to justify a "Special Edition," for sure.It's worth recognizing, though, that the original version of "The Five Doctors" will probably be released one day, and in the meantime, this really isn't a bad disc (certainly not the worst of the Region 1 line, by a long shot). Possibly where it disappoints the most is in the video department. The picture suffers from a lot of grain (especially in the outdoor sequences); while a significant step above the video, it pales in comparison to other '80s-era Who stories on DVD. The 5.1 soundtrack, on the other hand, is quite nice indeed.Admittedly the "Who's Who" biographies are a bit sparing, but the half-hour of isolated musical score is a great inclusion. Without a doubt, though, the best extra on the disc is the commentary with Peter Davison and Terrance Dicks, which was recorded especially for the Region 1 release. It remains one of the two or three best commentaries for the "Who" DVDs yet. Davison and Dicks make a great team, both taking a jovial attitude towards proceedings. Since this disc's release, Peter Davison has proven himself an invaluable commentator on other stories; I would very much like to hear from Terrance Dicks again.The story is a great way to get new fans into your favorite series, and the commentary alone makes the disc worth a seasoned fan's purchase."
A Who-ite's dream.
Kurt A. Johnson | North-Central Illinois, USA | 03/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One by one, the earlier four incarnations of the Doctor are being plucked out of the space-time continuum, and placed into the dreaded Death Zone. Originally used by the Time Lords for organizing gladiatorial matches between various races, Rassilon closed the Death Zone, and forbade the use of the Time Scoop. So, who is doing this, and more importantly, why? It's up to the Doctor (all of them) to figure it out.
This movie is a "Who-ite's" dream. Four of the five Doctors are present, with Richard Hurndall performing very well as the formidable first Doctor. Many companions appear, including Turlough, Tegan, Susan (the Doctor's Granddaughter), Sarah Jane, the Brigadier, Mike Yates, Liz Shaw, Jamie, Zoe, and K-9. Plus, of course, the Master (played by Anthony Ainley). It is a shame that Tom Baker refused to be involved in this production, but he is reasonably represented by scenes taken from the never-completed episode Shada.
I recommend this movie absolutely to any fan of Doctor Who."
It wasn't quite the same without Tom Baker
Kurt A. Johnson | 12/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 5 Doctors is living proof of why actors and studios need to coordinate their schedules to make sure that imporant characters are included in a storyline. Over all, the 5 Doctors was a good, solid story - not outstanding, not superb, but fun to watch. I admit, I loved the beginning with the black obelisk "doing its thing" (I hate divulging plots) and the Death Zone was a wonderful idea. However, to do everyone justice, this probably should have been, at minimum, a 5-parter (but then, the BBC hasn't done one of those since the Pertwee days and didn't seem interested in making an exception for something as momentous as the 20th Anniversary of Doctor Who - I digress).It wasn't the same without Tom Baker. I mean, just imagine, how would Baker have interacted with Pertwee? Or, just for the sake of argument, would Baker and Peter Davison had the same chemistry as did Pertwee/Troughton? Ah, what it could have been.One good thing, however, was to see Pertwee finally have his episode with the Cybermen. It was a shame that he never had one during his tenure in the early 70s and it was good to finally see that tragedy remedied.Overall, good fun, good reunion, and despite what other people might say, the ending was not completely lame . . . well, perhaps just a little lame.One last thing, the person who decided to insert the clip with William Hartnell at the very beginning should be commended. His introduction (excerpted, I believe, from the Dalek Invasion of Earth) set the proper tone for the 20th Anniversary show and paid great homage to the who who started it all. Hope you enjoy."
Easy as Pi
Michael J. Williams | Bend, OR | 02/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful story to launch the Doctor Who DVD line. The updated "Special Edition" of "The Five Doctors" (produced in 1995 with extended scenes, scenes never broadcast in the original transmission, and updated special effects) deserves to be on DVD and this is a fine presentation. The story itself is classic Doctor Who. It is a showcase for the series's 20th Anniversary. It features the First Doctor and Susan, the Second Doctor and the Brigadier, the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, the Fourth Doctor and Romana II (sort of), the Fifth Doctor with Tegan and Turlough, plus Jamie and Zoe, Mike Yates and Liz Shaw, a Dalek, a Yeti, a squad of Cybermen, a Raston Warrior Robot, Bessie, K-9, Time Lords and The Master. The story is kind of silly, but with all of these characters and monsters thrown in, who really cares about the story?The DVD itself offers the 90-minute story, the sound mixed in Dolby 5.1, 33 minutes of isolated music score, and if you live in North America, an absolutely hilarious and extremely entertaining commentary track featuring Peter Davison and Terrence Dicks. I rate this 4 stars because there is a lack of extra features, compared to subsequent Doctor Who DVD releases and, well, The Five Doctors will never be considered the best of the best of Doctor Who, but still a highly recommended treat for the digitally obsessed Doctor Who fan.Also, this will be a great introduction to the series to non-fans."
Bruce Aguilar | Hollywood, CA | 10/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a Doctor Who fan, you can't be without this DVD. To my knowledge, it's the only time 5 Doctor's appear in the same episode. If you're new to the series, this is a great introduction as you'll meet the aforementioned 5 Doctor's, a few of their assistants and get a solid foundation to explore the Doctor's further adventures. It's not the strongest story in the series, but it's endlessly entertaining to see the Doctors relate to each other.The audio commentary is at turns insightful and funny but I seemed to detect an undercurent of resentment that was quite suprising to me. Picture and sound is the best I've seen for a Doctor Who release. The 33minute soundtrack is a nice diversion, but I must admit to not listening to it all. One complaint I have is the omission of a booklet with chapter stops. I know you can find this information from the menu screen, but it's useful to have chapter stops in a booklet or on the back of the packaging for easy refrence when watching the episode.Once again The Five Doctors is essential for historical as well as foundational reasons and this DVD is the best presentation it's ever recieved. Five Doctors = five times the fun!"