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Doctor Who the Daemons
Reviewed by
Chris Tyler
on
Doctor Who the Daemons Review. The Daemons is a cast and fan favorite, and with good reason. A solid sci-fi story combined with a classic English Village setting, the Dark arts and the Master. What more do you want?
Rating:
3.5

Feature 8.0
Video 3.0
Audio 5.0
Special Features 6.0
Total 7.0

Distributor: BBC
Running Time: TBA
Reviewer: Chris Tyler
Classification
: PG

7.0


Doctor Who and the Daemons

Itís pretty rare for Doctor Who to deal with Black Magic or the occult, yet it was so ubiquitous in 70ís horror and sci-fi that the trope sponge that was classic Doctor Who was bound to soak it up at some stage.

The Doctor and Jo head to a little village of Devilís End where an archeologist is opening a Bronze Age burial mound known as Devilís Hump (I can hear you sniggering up the back you know). After a mysterious murder (actually itís really mysterious since in the story itís never explained); they encounter the local White Witch Mrs Hawthorn who is deadest against the calling up of dark arts but the Doctor assures us that there is no such thing. Meanwhile in a really subversive move it turns out that the local Vicar is in fact the Master who has to have something to do with his spare time. It turns out what he does with his spare time is study Black Magic so he can call down spirits, make statues come alive and summon up the Devil. The Doctor keeps assuring us that itís just science; taking the whole ďany sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from MagicĒ thing about as far as it will go. When the barrow is opened there is a tremendous explosion that freezes everything. When the boys at UNIT see this they rush down to Devilís End except the Brigadier who is out for a ďNight at the Opera,Ē which I choose to believe is code for him attending a Queen concert. When the Village is encased in a force field and people start being murdered things look desperate.  Donít worry, Iím sure the Doctor will think of something, once heís been unfrozen.

The Daemons is a cast and fan favorite, and with good reason. A solid sci-fi story combined with a classic English Village setting, the Dark arts and the Master. What more do you want?

Video: Ok, this has been through the ringer make no mistake.  There were no surviving copies of the Daemons in color except for episode 3 and what there was, was a black and white film copy that had been copied overseas and a color beatamax version that had been videotaped in the late 70ís. To get the color master we have today these were combined back in the 90ís for the video version. Great! Imagine what we could do now with our advanced technology! Well youíll have to keep on imagining because this looks like it hasnít been touched.  It looks terrible. What might have been passable on a CRT off video in the 90ís now looks so blocky I had to be sure that I wasnít watching the Lego version.  And thatís with a really good up scaling Blu-ray player. A real shame that there wasnít more done to it as this is a really well respected story.  Look at all the love that was poured into ďTomb of the CybermenĒ and deservedly so, and how well that turned out, but why doesnít this get the love?

Audio: Audio is fine a little grainy at times but fine

Special Features: The Devil Rides Out. Surviving cast and crew talk about the making of this story.
Remembering Barry Letts.  A comprehensive look at the life and work of the late Barry Letts, with a particularly moving tribute from Terrance Dicks.
Location Film.  A silent look at the location filming done for the episode.
Colourisation Test. The original colourisation test version of episode 1 from 1992.
Tomorrowís World. A segment from an episode about the restoration of this episode from 1992.
Where is Return to Devils End the documentary that accompanied the VHS release?






 
 



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