Mel wants to go swimming so the Doctor takes her to a tower block called Paradise Towers where there is reputed to be a fantastic pool. When they arrive they discover that the place is far from being the superb leisure resort they had expected - it is run-down and dilapidated. The hallways are roamed by gangs of young girls known as Kangs; the apartments are inhabited by cannibalistic old ladies the Rezzies; and the building is managed by a group of dictatorial caretakers presided over by the Chief Caretaker...
The Mysterious Planet: The TARDIS is drawn to a space station where the Doctor is subjected to a Time Lord inquiry into his behaviour presided over by an Inquisitor. The prosecuting counsel the Valeyard presents the first piece of his evidence which consists of a recording played back on a screen linked to the Matrix. It concerns a visit by the Doctor and Peri to the desolate planet Ravolox which turns out to be a future Earth shifted light-years through space. The court watches as the pair get caught up in a conflict between the surface-dwelling Tribe of the Free led by Queen Katryca and the planet's other inhabitants a group of subterranean technocrats and their robotic ruler Drathro. Mindwarp: The Valeyard's second segment of evidence relates to the planet Thoros-Beta. Here the Doctor and Peri meet their old adversary Sil and others of his Mentor race whose leader Kiv is awaiting an operation from a scientist named Crozier to transplant his brain into another body. They also form an uneasy alliance with a kidnapped Krontep warrior King Yrcanos and encounter a group of resistance fighters. Terror Of The Vervoids: The distraught Doctor gives the court his evidence for the defence. He chooses an incident from his own future in which he and his companion Mel arrive on the space liner Hyperion III in response to a distress call. The Ultimate Foe: With the evidence complete the Doctor learns that the Master has gained illicit access to the Matrix in his TARDIS.
Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric is one of the best of Sylvester McCoys Seventh Doctor adventures, a complex tale set around a naval installation on the North Yorkshire coast during WWII. The busy plot involves a Russian commando unit, a code-breaking computer, opening gambits in the Cold War, ancient Norse inscriptions concerning even more ancient evil, a new twist on vampirism, chess, global pollution and a creature from the end of human history. Key to all this is the theme of faith and a time paradox centred on Ace (Sophie Aldred), which ultimately turns out to be the resolution to mysteries that have haunted the Doctors companion all her life (they were first touched upon in 1987's Dragonfire, also written by Ian Briggs). The show was shot entirely on location and has above average production values, generating tension and exciting set-pieces even when the plot threatens to get lost in its own tangles. Nicholas Parsons complements McCoy and Aldred by turning in a strong performance as the local minister and the tale pays homage to such horrors as Plague of the Zombies (1966), Night of the Living Dead (1968), and John Carpenters The Fog (1980) and Prince of Darkness (1987) with aplomb. Sadly there would only be one more story, the disappointing Survival (1989), before the BBC put the Doctor into suspended animation. On the DVD: Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric is presented in two versions on a truly remarkable two-disc set. Disc 1 contains the four original 25-minute episodes exactly as originally broadcast with stereo sound. Disc 2 offers a completely updated version of the Special Edition originally released on video in 1991. This 103-minute version is supervised by composer Mark Ayres and follows director Nicholas Malletts original cut. The episodes are edited like a feature film and incorporate approximately 10 minutes of extra story material. The picture has been regraded and the sound remixed into full Dolby Digital 5.1 by Mark Ayres using the original stereo sound elements and his music files. The result is a massive improvement over the original series' episodes. Disc 1 also includes an informative commentary with McCoy, Aldred and Parsons and an isolated score. There is the usual information text, scored photo gallery and subtitles for the episodes and the commentary. "Modelling the Dead" shows Sue Moore and Stephen Mansfield making the Haemovore masks; "Claws and Effect" shows the BBC Special Effects unit on location; also included are 20 minutes of highlights from the 1990 Nebula 90 SF convention with Aldred, Ayres, Briggs, Tomek Bork, Joann Kenny, Mansfield and Moore, while "Take Two" is a four-minute piece on the story presented by Phillip Schofield. Disc 2 also features "Shattering the Chains" (an excellent analysis of the show by writer Ian Briggs), "Recutting the Runes" (a fascinating interview with Mark Ayres on preparing the Special Edition) and a good interview with costume designer Ken Trew. --Gary S Dalkin
The Bill went from strength to strength in 1988 when it was restructured into the half-hour format that stormed to the top of the ITV ratings and has remained a Top 10 UK drama ever since. Starring such fan favourites as Sgt. Cryer (Eric Richard) W.P.C. Ackland (Trudie Goodwin) Det. Sgt. Ted Roach (Tony Scannell) and Christopher Ellison as the irascible D.I. Burnside this two-disc set contains the first 13 episodes of the half-hour series. Episodes Comprise: 1. Light Duties 2. The Three Wise Monkeys 3. Good Will Visit 4. Home Sweet Home 5. All in Good Faith 6. Just Call Me Guv''-nor 7. Caught Red Handed 8. Homes and Gardens 9. Country Cousin 10. Alarms and Embarrassments 11. Stealing Cars and Nursery Rhymes 12. Hold Fire 13. Bad Faith
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