Doctor Who – The Creature from the Pit

Even though we’re currently getting a good dose of shiny new Doctor Who, the programme of issuing DVDs of older stories is continuing, with the latest being this interesting item from October/November 1979. It stars Tom Baker as the Doctor, and was the first to be recorded (but not the first to be shown) with Lalla Ward as Romana and David Brierley as K-9’s new voice.

It’s probably best remembered for having one of the dodgiest monsters ever – a huge green blob, which initially appeared with a large appendage that was considered a wee bit too phallic…

However, it also includes some very convincing bits of jungle, an entertaining villain, Tom Baker on fine form and lots of the usual fun and games. Worth watching if you’ve never seen it, and worth reminding yourself if you have.

Special features are relatively light on this one:

  • Christopher Barry: Director – a nice piece, this. Christopher Barry reminisces about his work on Doctor Who in the village that was the setting for The Daemons, which is long overdue for a DVD release.
  • Team Erato – The visual effects team talk about the, err, challenges they ran into in making Erato (the creature of the title).
  • Animal Magic – a short piece for the long-running chilren’s TV show with the Doctor talking about some of the creatures he’s encountered
  • Extended Scene – these were difficult times, with the BBC under pressure from campaigners who objected to overt violence (and indeed anything else) in the show. As shown, a fight excluded the sight of a knife going into a back. You can now see this without the cut…
  • Production subtitles, bits, bobs

And there you have it. There’s another release due next month.