Doctor Who the Trial of a Time Lord DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.3
Video 7.5
Audio 7.5
Total 8.0
Distributor: Roadshow
Classification: PG
Reviewer:
Nicholas Shannon

8.0


Doctor Who the Trial of a Time Lord

This classic Doctor Who story finally arrives on DVD in this impressive 4-disc box set and features the following episodes "The Mysterious Planet", "Mind Warp", "Terror of the Vervoids" and "The Ultimate Foe" which is truly a Doctor Who epic. The key issue behind these episodes, hence the title is the actions of the Doctor and how it effects the universe which means our curly haired hero is on trial by his collegues.

During The Mysterious Planet, the Doctor’s TARDIS is pulled into his home planet of Gallifrey in which the Doctor is forced to stand trial to the High Council. The elders argue that no Time Lord can ever interfere with outside species and the events of their fixed time frames. Using the Matrix, the Valeyard presents two particularly damning exploits of the Doctor, all in hopes that the High Council will find him guilty and as a result, effectively end his life.

The Mysterious Planet is your classic Doctor Who story where the Doctor's meddling with events and eventually getting wrapped up in the middle of them is forced to save the planet from complete destruction. The unfortunate aspect here is that from a moral and philosophical standpoint, there is very little being brought to the table. Once again the Doctor Who can do no harm. 

In Mindwarp, the second piece of the Valeyard’s evidence, in which the Doctor’s old worm-like nemesis Sil (Nabil Shaban) is working with a team of scientists to ensure that his master Kiv (Christopher Ryan) gets his brain transferred into the body of another.

Unfortunately as Kiv’s current brain is expanding against his skull at an alarming rate, something that will result in an instant fatality if not handled properly. After failing to convert a brain on the now-renegade King Yrcanos (Brian Blessed, scenery sticking out between his teeth as per usual), the Doctor gets his brain forcibly altered against his will so that he now has no choice but to help Sil and Kiv work out the kinks of the mind-transference machine. Definitely one of the better episodes from this collection and some brilliant BBC special effects of the time.

Next is, The Terror of the Vervoids, in which we are introduced to the Doctor's new perky companion Mel (Bonnie Langford). She has no backstory to speak of, but her cute figure and can-do spirit show that she doesn’t deviate from the “companion formula” too much. Aboard a seemingly-innocent passenger flight through space, a small group of scientists are working on some devious experiments involving plant life on the lower levels of the ship. Once passengers begin dying in unexpected ways, the Doctor and Mel begin investigating these strange occurrences, resulting in the discovery of the scientist’s new creations  the anthropomorphic Vervoid race.

Lastly, there is The Ultimate Foe, one of the best season-ending climaxes in Who history. It is here that much is revealed, including why the trial is being held in the first place, who is behind this inquisition, and in one of its juiciest caveats who the Valeyard really is. Old friends are brought back, the Doctor enters the reality-bending world of the Matrix, and the Doctor confronts, in essence, the darker aspects of his own self, in the end even discovering what really happened to Peri at the end of Mindwarp.

Definitely another classic Doctor Who box set for fans of the original and even though the series may be comedic at times, is still a brilliant British science fiction series of a character that continues to grow and become entwined in society, very satisfying.






 
 



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