Doctor Who: the Sun Makers
Doctor Who is bad it can be interminable, but when all the ingredients
work you can well understand why people are happily shelling out $30 for
an episode of a program more than thirty years old. And The Sunmakers
has great ingredients.
Doctor and Leela land on Pluto which turns out to a habitable Megropolis
run by ďThe CompanyĒ warmed by Nine Suns. They meet Cordo one of the
drones on Pluto who has been taxed so much that he wants to jump off the
roof; the Doctor decides something is wrong and decides to take a look
around. In the process they meet Gather Hade, the tax man of this
bureaucracy, a small rebellion of huddled masses yearning to be free and
The Collector; the alien who runs the entire operation. There are the
usual mistaken identities (everyone thinks the Doctor is an Ajak, he
doesnít know what that is but goes along with it anyway.) There is the
Doctor fighting for an enslaved humanity which is of course a recurring
theme in Doctor Who, lots of running up and down corridors and who
doesnít like a good public steaming?
by legendary Doctor Who writer Robert Holmes (think of any great
original series episode and Iíll give you a donut if it wasnít written
by Robert Holmes). Tom Baker probably at the height of his powers and
let me tell you that is something to behold. Itís far from perfect, as
with almost any Doctor Who, the lack of budget is sometimes painfully
obvious. For example, ďPlutoĒ looks like...well like the roof of an
English building and most of the other sets arenít much better. But itís
got it where it counts; great ideas, great acting and itís actually
funny. Not necessarily laugh out loud funny but you certainly donít
find yourself wincing at the attempts at comedy that you find in other
episodes that I could mention.
Video: Looks pretty good considering its age, you can easily make
out the fact that most of the sets are made out of photographic blow ups
of AMD computer chips.
Audio: Mix is good but no one is going to get excited about stereo
Special Features: Making of ďRunning from the Tax manĒ, commentary
and a feature about Australian Doctor Who composer Duddley Simpson who
wrote much of the music for Doctor Who from the early 70ís to the early
80ís fairly interesting but much more about the man than the music.