Welcome to the News & Reviews section here at Doctor Who Online! This is where you will find all the latest Doctor Who related news and reviews split up into easy to use sections - each section is colour coded for your convenience. The latest items can be found at the top, and older items follow down the page.

Archived news and reviews can be accessed by clicking on the relevant area on the News / Reviews Key panels to the right.

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21 July 2011

Forbidden Planet have teamed up with Character Options for another Exclusive Doctor Who Toy.

The Leela 'Face of Evil' Action Figure features the charactr from her Classic Series debut in The Face of Evil.

The TARDIS arrives on a planet where a savage tribe called the Sevateem worship a god called Xoanon. The Fourth Doctor discovers that Xoanon is in fact a spaceship computer that he tried to repair at some point in his past and inadvertently drove mad by giving it a multiple personality.

It is tended to by another tribe of humanoids, the ascetic Tesh. These are the descendants of the ship's original technicians, while the Sevateem are the descendants of the original survey team. The Doctor, with the help of a Sevateem girl called Leela, manages to gain access to the ship and wipe the additional personalities from the computer, leaving it sane and in proper control once more. 

Leela, deciding that she no longer wants to stay on her own planet, pushes her way on board the TARDIS. The Doctor has gained another companion.

+  The Leela 'Face of Evil' Action Figure is released on 12th August 2011, priced £16.99.

+  Preorder this product from Forbidden Planet!

[Source: Forbidden Planet]

<mce:script

19 July 2011

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Doctor Who Actor, Derek Crewe.

Derek was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Synge in the 4th Doctor adventure; The Sun Makers.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Derek's family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

16 July 2011

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Robert Holmes

RRP: £20.42

Release Date: 1st August 2011

Reviewed By: Dale Who for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 16th July 2011

The Doctor (Tom Baker) lands the ever unreliable TARDIS on Pluto, a dwarf planet on the outermost reaches of our solar system, where he finds it isn't the cold, barren, lifeless rock he was expecting. Someone's been very busy; Pluto now has a breathable atmosphere, it's warm and very humid, and has six suns. It also has an overly efficient taxation system, oppressed work units who live underground, and public executions. Can the Time Lord, Leela (Louise Jameson), and a small robot dog free the people and bring down the sinister Collector and his Internal Retinue? This single disc release from the BBC and 2|Entertain will let you find out... all praise the Company!

The Sun Makers is an enjoyably daft romp; a satire on taxation and bureaucracy. Two characters steal the show from start to finish; Leela, as played by fan favourite Louise Jameson, and Henry Woolf's delightfully odious and fiscally-obsessed Collector. Leela has all the best heroic lines - including a beautifully withering put-down of the less than brave rebels - and The Collector has all the best villainous lines, backed up with a characterisation that's hard not to warm to. It's all small fry by Whoniverse standards, and isn't an especially memorable story for plot reasons, but it's diverting and fun. The K-9 prop is so noisy it's untrue, the TARDIS door doesn't want to lock, and The Doctor no longer knows what a jelly baby looks like.

Annoyingly, the DVD is let down by a lack of decent extras, with only a few things holding the interest for any length of time; mostly because the rest of the extras are very, very short.

Commentary - This time, the commentary boasts both main cast members sitting in as both Tom Baker and Louise Jameson join Michael Keating and The Sun Makers director Pennant Roberts to talk about the story, the production and life during and after Doctor Who. Tom is always great fun to listen to, and teamed up with Louise again, the commentary provided is both entertaining and informative.

Running From The Tax Man - Louise Jameson is one of those people you instantly adore. She's very gentle and calm, witty and warm. She's also honest - but in a nice way that doesn't tread on people's toes. She's easily the best reason to watch this retrospective of The Sun Makers, and she reveals why this story above any other is her particular favourite. Also in the mini-documentary discussing the story are Michael Keating, (best known as "Vila" from "Blake's 7"), director Pennant Roberts, and an astronomer and a historian have been drafted in as well, partially to explain about Pluto and it's new status as a dwarf planet rather than a planet. It's an odd extra as it seems to repeat the same information several times, especially when it comes to the astronomy parts; but it's entertaining enough for that.

Outtakes - Citizen Cordo's gun fails to go off twice...No, really, that's it. Hardly an interesting or justifiable extra in itself, but would have been better used hidden away as an Easter Egg on the DVD, perhaps.

Trailer - The original BBC1 trailer for The Sun Makers.  Again, nothing else, just the one trailer.

The Doctor's Composer: Part Two - The second and final part of the series on one of Doctor Who's most prolific composers, the fantastic Dudley Simpson. This segment concentrates on his Doctor Who work from the seventies with the man himself talking us through much of his work and utilising many examples of his famous compositions through a wealth of clips. It's a delight to watch, as you try and figure out which music came from what story. A nice piece, with a genuine affection for one of Doctor Who's often unsung but most deserving behind the scenes heroes. This brilliant featurette gives a warm nostalgic glow and it's hard not to be drawn down memory lane for an enjoyably exciting jaunt.

Coming Soon Trailer - This one will blow your socks off. The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and his assistant Jo Grant (Katy Manning) team up with UNIT to help save a peace conference being hosted by Sir Reginald Styles. However, those tinpot terrors The Daleks have other ideas... With new Dalek voices, and a wealth of new special effects and CGI, the Day of the Daleks Special Edition is out in September.

With the usual Photo Gallery of production and publicity stills, the Radio Times Listings in PDF format, and Subtitles available for those who might need them, and the usual information text on hand with trivia and viewing figures, The Sun Makers is a worthy enough story, rather badly supported by the extras available on the disc, and it all feels a bit empty as a result.

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+  Want to rent The Sun Makers before you buy? Or even better watch online? head over to our friends at http://www.lovefilm.com and do either, also sign up today and receive a 2 week free trial, what are you waiting for!

16 July 2011

Character Options have released details and an image for the Cyberman Conversion Chamber Mini Set by Character Building.

Cold, emotionless figures, encased in steel suits, their original insanity stripped away and replaced by machinery and computers. No sense of hot or cold, fear or pride, love or hate. The Cybermen just exist to convert everyone to their way.

Highly detailed Cyberman construction playset featuring swivelling cyber-conversion machine arm and moveable conversion bed with restraining arms. Set includes one Space Captain and one Cyberman micro-figure. For ages 5 years and over.

+  The Cyberman Conversion Chamber Mini Set is released on 12th August 2011, priced £19.99.

+  Preorder this product from Forbidden Planet!

[Source: Character Options]

<mce:script

16 July 2011

Character Options have released details and an image for the Dalek Factory Mini Set by Character Building.

The Daleks are building their armies ready to return to Earth to battle the Doctor and reign supreme!

Highly detailed Dalek construction playset featuring swivelling Dalek factory machine arm, moveable conveyor belt, control panels and rejected parts bin! Set includes one Dalek Drone and one Dalek Scientist micro-figure. For ages 6 years and over.

+  The Dalek Factory Mini Set is released on 12th August 2011, priced £29.99.

+  Preorder this product from Forbidden Planet!

[Source: Character Options]

<mce:script

13 July 2011

The BBC have launched a brand new Doctor Who video on demand service via Facebook.

The service, which currently offers 9 stories from both the Classic Series and the New Series, uses the Facebook credits system as currency, and charges 15 Facebook credits (£0.94) per story.

Titles currently available:

An Unearthly Child

The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Time Warrior

City of Death

Earthshock

Attack of the Cybermen

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

The End of the World

Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

+  Click Here to check out Doctor Who VOD service on Facebook.

+  Like Doctor Who Online on Facebook.

[Source: BBC]

13 July 2011

BBC Worldwide have published their Annual Review for 2011 which highlights Doctor Who as one of the 'most valuable' brands, largely responsible for the corporations commercial success.

The report showed pre-tax profits rose 59pc to £201.2m, or £188m following disposals, on revenues up 7.8pc to £1.16bn.

The Doctor Who franchise saw revenues climb 49pc, following significant growth in the US. It is now sold to more than 50 territories. Doctor Who was also the number-three TV series purchased globally on iTunes in 2010/11.

BBC's Worldwide's top five power brands include Top Gear, Doctor Who, Lonely Planet, Dancing with the Stars and BBC Earth. Headline sales from these brands were £308.1m, a rise of 12.6pc year-on-year.

The corporation also notes in the report how it has embraced the online social avenues. John Smith, the chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said Worldwide will increasingly use Facebook to both market and sell its content and events.

Doctor Who episodes will be available for Facebook users in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and episodes will be available to view for 48 hours.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

12 July 2011

To celebrate the launch of our new Bublaa social network bubble, DWO are offering our visitors a chance to win the Doctor Who Series 6: Volume 1 DVD Box-set simply by following us!

To enter, follow these simple steps:

1) Sign up to Bublaa for FREE here.

2) Join the Doctor Who Online bubble here.

3) Reply to the Doctor Who Online DVD contest thread here.

That's it! The winner will be announced on August 1st 2011.

What is Bublaa?

Bublaa is a new type of social network that allows us all to share and collaborate around any community or topic called bubbles. Bubbles can be created and customised to suit our interests and desires.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

7 July 2011

The BBC Press Office have issued a Press Pack for Torchwood: Miracle Day.

The pack kicks off with a 5-minute introduction interview with John Barrowman:

The highly anticipated series of Torchwood – Miracle Day, starring John Barrowman and Eve Myles, starts on Thursday 14 July on BBC One. The new series created by Russell T Davies welcomes Mekhi Phifer, Bill Pullman and Alexa Havins, plus recurring guest stars Arlene Tur and Lauren Ambrose.

One day, nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging – they get hurt and sick – but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight.

With all the extra people, resources are finite. It's said that in four months' time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can't be a natural event – someone's got to be behind it. It's a race against time as CIA. agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy. The answers lie within an old, secret British institute. As Rex keeps asking "What is Torchwood?" he's drawn into a world of adventure, and a threat to change what it means to be human, forever.

+  Interview with Russell T Davies

+  Interview with Julie Gardner

+  Interview with John Barrowman

+  Interview with Eve Myles

+  Interview with Mekhi Phifer

+  Interview with Bill Pullman

+  Interview with Lauren Ambrose

+  Interview with Alexa Havins

+  Interview with Arlene Tur

[Source: BBC Press Office]

6 July 2011

Media Guardian's Edinburgh International Television Festival will be holding a special screening for the next episode of Doctor Who (6.8: Let's Kill Hitler) on Friday 26th August 2011 at The Film House.

The festival website has also included the synopsis for the episode, which doesn't contain any spoilers:

In the desperate search for Melody Pond, the TARDIS crash lands in 1930s Berlin, bringing the Doctor face to face with the greatest war criminal in the Universe. And Hitler. The Doctor must teach his adversaries that time travel has responsibilities - and in so doing, learns a harsh lesson in the cruellest warfare of all.

+  Check Out Media Guardian's Edinburgh International Television Festival website.

[Source: Media Guardian]

5 July 2011

The BBC have uploaded 3 clips for Torchwood: Miracle Day, which we have included below:

Clip 1 - Esther Meets Captain Jack:

Clip 2 - Captain Jack explains Torchwood:

Clip 3 - What future for Oswald Danes:

[Source: BBC]

29 June 2011

The BBC have finally confirmed the aridate for Torchwood: Miracle Day as Thursday 14th July at 9:00pm on BBC One.

The official BBC Torchwood website have also uploaded a short teaser trailer, which we have included below:

[Source: BBC]

23 June 2011

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Stephen Wyatt

RRP: £20.42

Release Date: 18th July 2011

Reviewed By: Dale Who for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 23rd June 2011

Mel, as played by Bonnie Langford, wants to go for a 453 appendix 1 subsection 6 swim. If this were everyday drama, she would, and that would be that. However this is Doctor Who and things rarely go according to any sort of plan the main characters have, in this 1987 story, remastered and released on this single disc DVD from the BBC / 2|Entertain team of Caretakers.

The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) pilots the TARDIS to Paradise Towers - a "remarkable architectural achievment" promising a clean, lovely, comfortable living experience, and with a swimming pool on the roof.  Accordingly, Mel can paddle whilst the Time Lord can have a (512 appendix 2 subsection 9) look around and investigate things. However upon exiting the now materialised time machine they discover a much different world of uncared for spaces, unexplained disappearances, and unfriendly inhabitants in all shapes and sizes… and something truly horrific in the basement.

Paradise Towers is one of those stories that you may remember as being not terribly good; but happily it's not the case at all. Despite a few cases of acting so wooden it puts the section 9/41, subsection 12c props to shame, it's a clever tale of high-rise horror and society meltdown in a confined area. It manages to feel tight and claustrophobic, and the script and wordplay used are first rate. Cleaned up and remastered in a way the Towers never were, this first season McCoy story manages to succeed on many levels - probably due to the Kangs pressing the buttons for all the floors on the alleviator again..

The special features on this release are well thought out and worthy of a 178 appendix 13 subsection 7 round of applause:

Horror on the High Rise - Mark Ayres takes a look at the making of the story, with contributions from writer Stephen Wyatt, script editor Andrew Cartmel, incidental music composers Keff McCulloch and David Snell, and actors Richard Briers, Catherine Cusack, and Howard Cooke. Clever, insightful and revealing, it shows the story's roots, along with the strengths and weaknesses of the tale.  Entertaining and informative, with some accurate and amusing views on the way some of the actors chose to protray their characters.

Girls! Girls! Girls!: The Eighties - Presented by Doctor Who stalwart Peter Purves, this riotously funny and entertaining featurette has Sophie Aldred, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding discussing the highs and lows, the trials and tribulations, and the ins and outs of being a Doctor Who assistant. Fielding especially is brilliantly funny, her acidic humour never crossing the line into nastiness, but still demonstrating some of the slightly less eviable things the 80s female companions were expected to put up with, from high fabshion disasters to stereotyping after leaving the show. Defintely a winner, and a team that should be assembled again to discuss all things Who.

Deleted and Extended Scenes - From the first edit of the story, some trims and edited sequences that never made the transmitted version of the show; and there are some very good scenes in there too.

Audio Options - Not only does this DVD have the usual available 304 subsection 12 commentary, hosted by Mark Ayres again, with Judy Cornwell, Stephen Wyatt and Dick Mills, it also has something of a rarity - an entire second incidental music score.

The original score by David Snell was vetoed by showrunner John Nathan-Turner back in the day, and Keff McCulloch was commissioned to do a very quick replacement.  Both of these versions are available on the DVD, with Snell's score in particular giving a dark, more menacing feel to the story.  

Continuity - The linking announcements for the BBC1 transmission, together with plugs for some of the Doctor Who VHS tapes avaialbe at the time.  Notable for an announcer getting the name of one story wrong, and for one link cutting off a mere second before being exposed to the "hilarity" that was "Hi-De-Hi".

Casting Sylvester - A very short piece from Clive Doig explaining his working relationshop with Sylvester McCoy and how he helped with Sylvester being chosen to play the seventh incarnation of The Doctor.

Coming Soon Trailer - The Coming Soon section itself has had a 915 appendinx 8 subsection 2 makeover. Gone is the vworping TARDIS, and in it's place is a slick little end sequence after a great trailer for the next release.

The TARDIS arrives on Pluto, to find Citizen Cordo about to take a header off the roof as he can't pay the taxes levied by Gatherer Hade and a small venomous leech called "The Collector".  Can the Fourth Doctor, Leela and K-9 lead a work unit revolution, or has the Time Lord's life expectancy overdrawn? The Sunmakers DVD is out in August.

With the usual Photo Gallery, Radio Times listings, Subtitles for those who may need them and the Production Notes and Info Text giving you facts and trivia along the way, Paradise Towers is an enjoyable Doctor Who story well worth watching again, on pain of a 327 appendix 3 subsection 9 death.

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23 June 2011

BBC Worldwide and Starz have announced the production of an i nteractive app tied to “Torchwood: Miracle Day.”

The app, titled “Torchwood: Web of Lies”, will feature 10, three-minute motion comic narratives providing clues to “Torchwood: Miracle Day.” The app and first motion comic narrative will be available for download on iTunes prior to the premiere of “Torchwood: Miracle Day” - produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, airing this summer in the UK on BBC One and in the U.S. on Starz.  Additional narratives and games will be available for download following each week’s broadcast transmission.

Torchwood: Web of Lies” is an episodic interactive experience for iOS that fuses together motion comic and gameplay elements to tell an original and digitally exclusive Torchwood story.  Players will participate in a parallel storyline to “Torchwood: Miracle Day” that includes lead characters Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper – voiced by John Barrowman and Eve Myles

"Torchwood: Web of Lies" runs alongside weekly premieres of “Torchwood: Miracle Day”, providing fans with a way to engage in the world of Torchwood between episodes.  It reveals a past day in the lives of Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper - a day they’ve both forgotten.  The events of that day fuel a modern day conspiracy-laced treasure hunt, as Holly Mokri, voiced by Eliza Dushku (“Dollhouse,” “Tru Calling,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer& ;rdquo;), labors to uncover the secrets of Miracle Day. Each week a new episode unlocks, allowing players to access another piece of original motion comic narrative and game which ties into and extends plot developments of the show, as well as providing new twists in its own narrative. 

The first narrative and game will be released promotionally and the remaining nine can be purchased inside the app in packs of three, each for 59p.  A special bundle for all 10 narratives and game can be purchased for £1.79.

Developed by BBC Worldwide Productions and BBC Worldwide Digital Entertainment and Games, “Torchw ood: Web of Lies” is written by “Torchwood: Miracle Day” writers Jane Espenson and Ryan Scott. The motion comic and app is published by BBC Worldwide, with Double Barrel (“Tron: Legacy,” “Repo Men,” “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”) producing the motion comic and Powerful Robot (“Star Wars,” “Green Lantern,” “Scooby Doo,” “Total Drama”) producing the app.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

16 June 2011

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Donald Cotton & Eric Pringle

RRP: £30.63

Release Date: 20th June 2011

Reviewed By: Dale Who for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 16th June 2011

The Gunfighters

Disc One of the EarthStory double release from the BBC and 2|Entertain is this 1966 adventure, in which the TARDIS materialises in Tombstone, Arizona; so The Doctor can find a dentist.  Unfortunately, the dentist is one Doc Holliday and not far behind him are the Clanton brothers, Wyatt Earp, and Johnny Ringo.  It's time for the gunfight at the OK Corrall...

The Gunfighters is a very difficult story to judge. The series regulars all put in smashing performances - Hartnell in particular having some great moments and lines; his constant renaming of Wyatt Earp to "Mr Werp" is guaranteed to raise a smile, and his reaction to his introduction to the Clanton brothers is simply priceless. The rest of the story is actually fairly enjoyable if a little pedestrian; and boasts some nifty camerawork and ideas, and, for a 1960s television serial, a great set with a great cast inhabiting it. Marred only by the incessant caterwauling of "The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloo n" at every given opportunity. It's a very different view of how historical events played out, with large portions of the show seemingly lifted from a number of Western films, but it's no less enjoyable for that.

As usual, the DVD version has been cleaned up considerably, and the qual ity of the presented material is top rate.  The DVD also has some great extras, although it is sadly lacking a mute function to save you from the constant high pitched wailing of Lynda Baron singing that wretched ballad.

The End of the Line - An honest, truthful and sometimes uncomfortable documentary about the end of William Hartnell's time as the First Doctor.  Fascinating to watch, it's a tale of constantly changing writers and editors, forced cast changes and Bill Hartnell's deteriorating health as ateriosclerosis took a toll.  With contributions from Donald Tosh, Maureen O'Brien, Peter Purves and Anneke Wills, "End of the Line" shows just how much of a complete slog it was getting Doctor Who out every week on an almost impossibly long production run.  

If you're a strong fan of William Hartnell it can be a tad unsettling to listen to the less than glowing remarks made of his irascibilty due to illness, but happily Maureen O'Brien and Peter Purves share the other side of the original Time Lord, a deeply passionate and caring man who was very protective of the show itself.  It also sheds a somewhat harsh, if truthful, light on Vicki and Dodo's departures from Doctor Who and just how much of an impact The Daleks had on the production of the show.

Tomorrow's Times - Mary Tamm adds a great deal of effortless glamour to the First Doctor edition of "Tomorrow's Times", which shows the the brief flirtation the British Press (notably the Daily Mail) had with Daleks and the earlier days of Doctor Who.  Very reminiscent of an episode of Points of View in styling, this fun little extra begins the story - already continued on other DVDs for other eras of the show - of the love-hate relationship between journalists and The Doctor and his trusty TARDIS.

Commentary - Toby Hadoke sits in the captain's chair once more; as Peter Purves, Shane Rimmer, David Graham, Richard Beale, and production assistant at the time Tristan de Vere Cole talk us through The Gunfighters.  Always fascinating to listen to anecdotes and gems from a production made forty five years ago, this entertaining and useful extra on the DVD serves double duty; as switching on the commentary drowns out a great deal of the Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon.

Photo Gallery - An amazing selection of vintage photographs of the set, cast, and production of The Gunfighters.  The photo's have been cleaned up amazingly and there's some glorious views of the whole, from the TARDIS sans lamp to the camera tower erected in the middle of the studio to give some innovative camera angles to the production.  Set to the full length version of The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon.  Brilliant if you know where the mute button is.

Coming Soon Trailer - The death of Caretaker 345/12 Subsection B informs us that the TARDIS will soon be arriving at Paradise Towers, home of the Kangs, the Rezzies, and Pex (who puts the world of Paradise Towers to rights...).  There's something nasty and very hungry in the basement... and on most other floors of the high rise building as well. Can The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Mel (Bonnie Langford) find their way to the swimming pool without being put to a 327 appendix 3 subsection 9 death?

The Gunfighters DVD also has the listings from the Radio Times in PDF format, subtitles available, and the usual production notes are also included.  

A great package and well worth watching for some excellent performances and moments of genuinely funny comedy in a competent and well made Who story; if you can get past the singing.

The Awakening

In the second of the 2|Entertain / BBC two disc DVD release EarthStory, the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough arrive in Little Hodcombe to visit Andrew Verney the local historian - also Tegan's grandfather. However something's affecting the locals and their re-enactment of the local War Games is getting rather too realistic...

The Awakening is a short, punchy story that's a deserved fan favourite in the history of Classic Who. The cast are superb, the locations and sets stunning, and The Malus is one of the most memorable Doctor Who monsters for several reasons; notably because it works so well and it really does look creepy. Everything from the incidental music to the costumes seem to fit together seamlessly, and make a thoroughly enjoyable two part adventure.

Stealing the show are Polly James as Jane, and Keith Jayne as Will Chandler, both of whom work so well in the story. Jane is the single voice of reason before The Doctor arrives, and Will is simply one of the most endearing and innocent supporting characters in Who's long history. And of course, The Awakening does have one of the most iconic monsters on hand in the shape of the Malus - even more remarkable when you consider it was only onscreen for a couple of minutes in total.

The DVD release also has a number of very well thought out and produced extras that seem to exude a warm, happy glow about the story; and as always, sound and vision throughout the DVD are crisp and bright.

Return to Little Hodcombe - A twenty minute look at the area, as Little Hodcombe was a gestalt of three villages, with the director Michael Owen Morris, script editor Eric Saward, and Janet Fielding (Tegan) and Keith Jayne (Will). From the outset of this piece, Morris brings senses of warmth and fondness to proceedings that are hard to ignore. He obviously enjoys his work - both on Doctor Who and his other projects - and it clearly shows.  

There's some fun snippets of locals talking about when Doctor Who came to their village, an event that still seems to be a subject of local pride, and Janet Fielding remembers the cast being quite protective of the new director on his first TV work. Keith Jayne discusses Will Chandler, and Eric Saward chimes in on how the story was re-written and whether Will would have made a good addition to the TARDIS crew. A nice sweet old lady tells us about lame horses on set, and her husband tells us how to spot Doctor Who fans on location...

Making the Malus - A fun look at the giant face in the wall, with designer Tony Harding and model-maker Richard Gregory.  A short piece on how the Malus was conceived and built, with a rare look behind the face to see how the different parts of the monster were controlled.  To finish, there's a short interview with Paul Burrows who bought the Malus at auction and what happens when utilites workmen find giant stone monsters mounted on your living room wall...  Another fun and entertaining short, and again, with some warmth and affection for the subject matter leaving you with a very positive feeling.

Commentary - Toby Hadoke once again chairs the commentary team, this time with director Michael Owen Morris and Eric Saward as their share knowledge and opinions of the serial as an audio option on the DVD. Again, Morris' obvious fondness for his work shows through easily and keeps the mood light.

Now & Then - The three villages used as locations in The Awakening are revisited to find that not a lot has changed. There's still thatched cottages and farm buildings, and there's still a ford across the road, even if it is now somewhat waterless...  clips and photographs are used effectively, and the linking narration fills in any blanks nicely.  

From the Cutting Room Floor - Some extended and deleted scenes from the story, including an appearance by Kamelion. There's also some of the film rushes from the location shoots, and some timecoded VHS sequences that were trimmed.

The Golden Egg Awards - Taken from another BBC1 staple of the time, this excerpt from The Late Late Breakfast Show hosted by Noel Edmonds shows the now infamous outtake featuring a horse, a cart, and a prop lychgate being unexpectedly demolished.  Peter Davison is on hand to collect the trophy from Noel Edmonds.

Isolated Music - The Awakening has some excellent incidental music, and this option of the DVD gives you a chance to view the story with the isolated music score. Well worth a listen if you're a fan of the somewhat under-appreciated composers on Classic Doctor Who.

As usual, the DVD also features a photo gallery of production and publicity shots, the Radio Times listings from the story in PDF format, subtitles for those that may need them, and the Production Notes Info Text available to have onscreen as the story plays out.

The Awakening is a great addition to Classic Doctor Who on DVD, and if you're a fan then the EarthStory DVD set is a must-have for your collection.

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