Doctor Who Frontios DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 7.0
Audio 6.0
Special Features 6.0
Total 8.0
Distributor: BBC
Running Time:
Classification:
PG
Reviewer: Chris Tyler

8.0


Doctor Who Frontios

Iíve never been a fan of the Peter Davidson era of Doctor Who.  Now I know that it has its fans and thatís fine, but for me it was plagued by poor production values, terrible scripting, some bad acting, strange and cheaper than usual monsters and worst of all, that awful dramatic synthesizer.  

I am however developing a new appreciation for Peter Davison and his Doctor via these DVD releases and the way Iím doing it is by watching them backwards.  You see if you do that, you get the best stories first and then when youíre invested you can stomach some of the weaker ones. You begin with the Caves of Androzani, which is brilliant, then Planet of Fire which is pretty good.  The only problem with watching Resurrection of the Daleks backwards is that it introduces this character ďTeganĒ whoís really annoying.  And then you get to Frontios...

The Doctor and his companions Tegan and Turlough are hovering above the planet Frontios when something goes wrong with the Tardis.  They land on the planet and *shock* the Tardis is destroyed!  But not to worry thereís a nice juicy mystery to be solved; why do the inhabitants of Frontios think ďThe earth is hungryĒ?

Set in the far future, one of the last remaining pockets of humanity is desperately trying to eke out a living on the unconvincing blue screen tundras where itís hard to get anything to grow in the Styrofoam soil.  They live in a militaristic society and fed propaganda about how good life is. Those that arenít in the military are not valued. They are being bombarded by meteorites moved into position from above by a mysterious force, who  *Spoilers!* turn out to be giant bugs ...wait...no Iíve checked. I didnít watch Starship Troopers by mistake.

Despite the limitation of the sets, this is an engaging story with a surprising amount of humour.  The moment where the Doctor tries to convince the Gravis that Tegan is an android that he got cheap because ďThe walk isnít right and that accent....Ē is priceless. This and the following stories of Davidsonís final season show a promise that makes us sad that he had decided to leave, he really grew into the Doctor here.

Video: 

The video quality is commensurate with a restored program that was originally broadcast in the early 1980ís, so not great but fine for what it is and quite watchable.

Audio:

The Audio quality is fine, just stereo but you can hear all the dialogue and unfortunately the music quite well.

Special Features: 

Thereís a fairly comprehensive making of which details the struggle to bring this story from Christopher H Bidmeadís mind to the screen. All the major players are interviewed, Bidmead, Strickson and Davidson. But strangely no Janet Fielding. Itís very interesting and gives you a good idea of just how different an idea can become from the page to the screen and just how short something can fall from expectations when faced with a BBC budget.  A commentary, deleted scenes, production photos and PDF materials rounds out an interesting but fairly standard package.






 
 



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