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17 October 2011

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Malcolm Hulke

RRP: £20.42

Release Date: 3rd October 2011

Reviewed By: Dale Who for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 17th October 2011

The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) manages to get the TARDIS working... almost, and he and his companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning) arrive on the planet Uxarieus in the middle of a feud between a band of Colonists and a division of the Interplanetary Mining Corporation. En route to sort out the dispute is an Adjudicator from Earth, who may not be all he seems either. Can The Doctor overcome killer robots, giant lizards, primitive tribesmen, prune headed priests and Gail from Coronation Street, save the day and get Miss Grant safely back to Earth, or will an old adversary win the day?  You can find out on this new single disc DVD release from BBC DVD / 2|Entertain, out now.  With all six episodes looking sharp and sounding great and some entertaining and fun extras to compliment the story, it's time to step inside the TARDIS for her first flight of the Pertwee era...

Commentary - It's a very busy commentary this time round as Toby Hadoke guides his six guests through the story. Katy Manning (Jo), Bernard Kay (Caldwell), and Morris Perry (Captain Dent and no relation to Arthur Dent) join up with script editor Terrance Dicks, director Michael Briant and assistant floor manager Graeme Harper to relive their memories of the adventure.  Vey enertaining, and Katy is always very entertaining to listen to.

From The Cutting Room Floor - Annotated edits and trims from the filming of the story; location filming and model filming trims are used.  You do get the idea of just how appalling some of the conditions on locations actually were.  Mud, anyone?  There's almost thirteen mintes of trims and edits and shots, and it does tend to drag on somewhat, unless you're a real fan of these things.

IMC Needs You! - As an extra, this deserves prizes for keeping you entertained and giggling at the behind the scenes view. From seas of clay in freezing temperatures, via very unusual TARDIS landings and a spectacular and funny animation inviting you to grow a moustache. Most of the same crew as in the commentary are here on-screen giving life to the trials and tribulations of IMC robots and the problems of getting them through an average doorway...

By far the funniest revelation from director Michael Briant is why the TARDIS behaves so oddly when she materialises; an effect that has sparked many a fan debate over the decades. Was the landing due to the Time Lords controlling the TARDIS, or because of the shaky rebuilt dematerialisation circuit the Doctor's put together? Nope. To find out what it is... you'll have to watch.

A very light, fun, and well handled twenty five minute look back at Colony In Space, and it tackles the problems of the shoot without crossing over into regret or bitterness. Great stuff. And kust when you think it can't get any better, Briant re-appears on screen to talk about realising the diminutive alien hidden inside the wall, and the poor actor trying to give a performance with his neck almost breaking...

Photo Gallery - A selection of stills in colour and black and white, featuring the story's production, design and some well known publicity shots set to some background music/atmospheres, and the noise of that battered old blue box arriving.  Some very interesting pictures in there, no mater how much you know about the serial!

Coming Soon Trailer - Dinosaurs! Styggron! More dinosaurs! Dopplegangers and replica pubs! Two Doctors, one amazing assistant (tip of the hat to the glorious, and much much missed Lis Sladen), an irreplaceable and also greatly missed Brigadier (another hat tip to the wonderful Nicholas Courtney) and UNIT soldiers. Lots of UNIT soldiers. But then this is... The UNIT Box Set. Out in January! Oh, and there's dinosaurs. Did I mention there's dinosaurs? And UNIT soldiers.

With the usual production notes filling you in on trivia and factoids via their onscreen subtitles, subtitles for anyone who many want or need them, and the Radio Times listings for the story presented in PDF format for those on computers to peruse, Colony is a slightly long, but very rewarding story with a wealth of great performances, and the ever watchable Roger Delgado as the first incarnation of The Master. The characters are well rounded, and The Doctor, Jo, and a TARDIS exterior that had definitely seen better days have a blast. Well worth buying.

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