The TARDIS lands on Earth close to the Nine Travellers, an ancient stone circle. Professor Amelia Rumford and her associate Vivien Fay, who are studying the stones, explain that whenever the circle has been surveyed, the n... more »umber of stones has changed. Also interested in the circle are a group of druids-dedicated followers of the Cailleach, the Celtic goddess of war, death and magic-who are prepared to perform human sacrifice to satisfy her demands for blood. The Doctor soon learns that there is more to the Nine Travellers, the Cailleach, and the druids than meets the eye. How can the stones apparently move around the countryside? Why has the area around the circle always been owned by a woman? After Romana discovers the true identity of the evil Cailleach, the Doctor finds that he must travel into hyperspace to solve the mystery of the Nine Travellers and save his companion from the blood-hungry alien life-forms known as the Ogri. DVD Features:
Jason A. Miller | New York, New York USA | 12/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I was 12, watching the Tom Baker era of "Doctor Who" for the first time, "The Stones of Blood" has been one of my favorite stories. It was the combination, I think, of the Earth locale (particularly the echoes of Stonehenge) which dominate the first two parts of the story, and the literal-minded justice machines, the Megara, which dominate the final two. I won't say that the Megara influenced my choice of career in any way, any more than the barrister's wig that Baker wears while on trial, but ....."Stones of Blood" is indeed the only Earth-bound story in the year-long Key To Time arc. It benefits from well-developed chemistry between the three lead actors (Tom Baker, Mary Tamm's Romana, and the robotic K9), and a terrific guest spot by the 75 year-old Beatrix Lehmann, as the eccentric archaeologist Professor Amelia Rumford. For a story which is about... well, an alien immortal and erstwhile Celtic goddess who's moonlighting on Earth as a research assistant, and her private army of killer styrofoam rocks, and the for-laughs computerized prosecutors who have been tracking her down for 4,000 years (while locked in a small room which can only be opened on penalty of death) ... for all that, the script is very funny, detailed and believable. As with most 1970s era "Doctor Who", there's a mix of outright comedy and horrific violence, and it all hangs together well, even on repeated viewings. Well, that is, once you've learned to ignore the wobbly styrofoam boulders and the barely-concealed PAs who push them.The DVD release of "Stones of Blood" is the least elaborate disc yet released for the "Doctor Who" market. Oh, it's got the same pretty animated menus and format as previous discs, but... there's very little else on it. The text commentary is terrific, revealing as it does much of behind-the-scenes info about David Fisher's script (which, unusually for DW, had three major female roles) and the material that didn't make it to screen (a cake celebrating the Doctor's 751st birthday).The audio commentary is recorded by Tamm, and one-time-only "Who" director Darrol Blake, whose claim to fame is that he once shared an apartment with Ridley Scott. Blake's voice is distinctly grating, but he has eerily precise recall -- noticing a tall patch of grass in the midst of an open field, he spontaneously shouts, "That's where we hid the boards!". Tamm's recall is excellent as well, although most the stories they tell are also located in the (quieter) text commentary. Tamm shows herself to be more of a ham(m) than she ever was in her year on DW, affecting all sorts of English accents and calling Blake "Darling" every few scenes.If you can bother scrolling all the way through the photo gallery, there are two really neat stills of Tom Baker clowning around with the eponymous styrofoam boulders. Good luck getting there, though!"
Outer space? No, more from inner time.
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 01/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 100th story of Doctor Who and the third part in the Key To Time sextet is The Stones Of Blood, which is also the only story in that canon to take place on Earth. Makes sense--why should more than one of the Key segments be on Earth?The Doctor and Romana journey to contemporary Earth (1978) and encounter Professor Amelia Rumford and her assistant/neighbor Vivien Fay, who are researching a Gorsedd (stone circle) named the Nine Travellers, whose number has mysteriously changed from six or seven over the centuries. The Doctor investigates a nearby British Institute of Druidic Studies run by the unpleasant Dr. De Vries and is nearly sacrificed to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Fortunately, he is saved by Rumford. However, in returning to the Institute, he finds DeFries and his assistant Martha killed and the place in a shambles. Both have been attacked by a colossal silicon-based creature, an Ogri.The Doctor realizes that something is really amiss when he discovers paintings of certain woman painted over the ages in the Institute's basement. They are all of Vivien Fay! However, Vivien captures Romana and whisks her off to a spaceship existing in a hyperspatial dimension.Beatrix Lehmann makes Professor Amelia Rumford quite an adorable and tenacious character. In the scene when she and the Doctor and pursued by an Ogri, she pulls out a truncheon and says that in the name of science, it's their duty to try and capture it. The Doctor simply pulls her away. Rumford's tenacity is further demonstrated when Vivien explains that while giving a lecture in NYC, Rumford carried the truncheon with her for fear of being mugged, and was arrested for carrying an offensive weapon (!) She also takes the Doctor's obvious alien origins in stride: "Are you from outer space?" Doctor: "I'm more from what you inner time." Rumford: "Ahh." She makes a wonderful partner and foil, as she is paired at various times with the Doctor, Romana, and K9.Great dialogue: the Doctor has a bit of fun of the Druids at De Vries' expense, saying that John Aubrey invented them as a joke, and later, when he is about to be sacrificed, he rattles on about the knife at his throat: "I hope that knife's been sterilized. ...You can catch all sorts of things from a dirty knife." And when Rumford tells the Doctor that it's impossible for silicon-based creatures to exist, he tells her, "Maybe it doesn't know that."Mary Tamm's fashionable yet again, wearing salmon-coloured blouse, slacks, heels, and cap, and later, in a long red dress.The first two episodes work well as a light horror-mystery, but the subsequent plot of the alien spaceship hovering over the stone circle, the Megara, and the Doctor's trial causes the story to go awry. The Doctor pulling out a cake from a fridge celebrating the show's 100th story, as Tom Baker once suggested, would have improved the story a lot more. Naturally, that idea was nixed."
"I can't read the script..."
Huntsmęńus | New Orleans, La | 01/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Doctor, Romana and K-9 land on Earth, in hopes of finding the Third Segment to the Key of Time. During their visit in the english countryside, they encounter Druids, ravens & crows, moving stones, and a spaceship in hyperspace. I've always found that "The Stones of Blood" was very underrated. Hailed for the Hammeresque-quality of the first two episodes, and panned for the second half of the story being too boring on the hyperspace vessel. David Fisher's debut in Who is great! Tom Baker is at the height of his powers. The Doctor and Romanna's relationship with Emelia Rumford is wonderful. Her amazement and acceptance of the situation she is in, and her performance as well, help give the story a little believability. Vivien Fay, also is a great OTT character(not as great as another one of Fisher's creation, Lady Adrasta in "The Creature From the Pit") "O-Greeeee" she says repeatedly. And the Megara, well, if you didn't like the last two episodes, don't read anymore, the megara(let's start again) are very hilarious dealing the Doctor's death sentence,"No matter! None can escape the Megara!" And as for the Ogri, well, at least they're original. And Mary Tamm proves that she might be the worst screamer in the entire series. Love the location footage!"
A wonderful classic Who...
Huntsmęńus | 09/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What slugs? Where? There were lots of crows... Hmm, and glitzy justice machines, and killer standing stones that just won't stand still :) And a mad old lady professor, and Romana clumping around in hilarious heels. This is a good one, and probably my favorite key to time episode. Totally gothic, totally brit and totally weird. Yes, it is silly, but that's the fun of Doctor Who. Well worth the price. Did I mention the usual great performance by Tom Baker, our hero?"
"Does your Cailleach ride a bicycle?"
Brian May | Australia | 03/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This adventure, the third in the Key to Time saga, is a wonderfully dark, creepy horror tale full of sprawling moors, druids, Celtic goddesses and ravens, which then changes into a sci-fi/courtroom drama. It has wonderful incidental music and audio effects, especially the unsettling but atmospheric sound we hear whenever the Key to Time or the third segment are referred to. From the very beginning the story generates a sense of unease and terror, especially so after the brevity of the previous adventure ("The Pirate Planet"). There is interesting direction and camerawork (the soft focus scenes on the moors, for example) and the Cailleach has always terrified me - watching the scene when she is alone in the circle at night always sends a chill up my spine. "The Stones of Blood" is full of other memorable moments. The campers in episode three, the stones lumbering through the bushes (although the matador moment at the cliff edge is a bit silly) - and Beatrix Lehmann's delightful performance as Professor Rumford. When the story switches to the hyperspace vessel, it loses its horror tones, which I find a little disappointing, but nevertheless essential to the plot. This is the very first Doctor Who story I saw as a whole, way back in 1980, so I suppose it holds a special place in my heart. Watching it reinforces both nostalgic memories and the fact that it's a superbly written, directed and acted adventure."