One more classic Doctor Who DVD before Saturday’s shiny new episode. This one’s been on my pile of things to watch for quite a while, and I have to admit it took me a while to motivate myself to watch it. I’d listened to the soundtrack some time ago, and at the time it didn’t strike me as one of the more interesting serials.
And well, it wasn’t. Like a lot of stories of the time, it feels slow and over-long, and being a pure historical lacks much of the fun that we’ve generally come to expect. The story involves the Doctor (William Hartnell), Susan (Carole Ann Ford), Ian (William Russell) and Barbara (Jacqueline Hill) finding themselves in France at almost exactly the worst time – 1794, when the revolution has turned in on itself and the guillotine is working overtime. Naturally, there’s danger for the Tardis crew, historical figures (including Napoleon, who wasn’t actually where he appears in the story), and William Hartnell has some costume fun.
But overall, it’s, well, a bit dull. Or maybe that’s me. Two of the six episodes have been recreated in animation, as the originals are still lost.
The only significant extra feature is Don’t Lose Your Head, the traditional look back at the making of the story, which may have borrowed its title from a Carry On movie…
I’d have to describe this one as for completists only.