Doctor Who Unit Files (Doctor Who U.N.I.T. Files) DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Doctor Who Unit Files DVD
Reviewed by
Chris Tyler
on
Doctor Who Unit Files DVD Review Much like Earth Stories, the Unit Files slams two stories together one of which is firmly set in the Third Doctor’s golden age of Unit stories and thus earning the title.
Rating:
3.0

Feature 6.0
Video 5.0
Audio 5.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 6.0
Distributor: BBC
Running Time: 192 Minutes
Reviewer: Chris Tyler
Classification
: PG

6.0


Doctor Who Unit Files

Well 2Entertian have done it again.  Much like Earth Stories, the Unit Files slams two stories together one of which is firmly set in the Third Doctor’s golden age of Unit stories and thus earning the title. The other is a Forth Doctor story and doesn’t even have the Brigadier in it; so how about we call it Almost Unit Files, or Stories that feature Unit but you might be disappointed in?

This set starts out with “Invasion of the Dinosaurs.”  If ever there was a need for new special effects…

Let’s be honest, where this story is letdown and what most people can’t see past is…..the Dinosaurs. Worse even than I remember them being.

It’s...well the only word is laughable. Doctor Who has often suffered from a plethora of doggy special effects over the years, even the new series isn’t entirely immune to it…but this…well just look at them!

Ok in many ways this story gets a bad rap.  The story itself, whilst convoluted is fairly good.  It features some very cool Sci-fi tropes such as; a mysteriously deserted London, a group of people who think they’re on an interstellar voyage even though they’re not , the bringing of creatures from the past to the future, scientists who are sick of the world we live in and want to bring back a “Golden Age” by living in the time of the Dinosaurs. It’s not the best Third Doctor story but it’s better than Terra Nova by a long shot; being genuinely fun and funny and even at six episodes doesn’t feel too long (Which isn’t something Terra Nova can boast).

The second story in the set is “The Android Invasion”.

Written by Terry Nation in his first non Dalek story since the earliest days of Doctor Who this is another story whose plot is that is thin on sense but manages to be a ripping yarn anyway.

Ok so there are these aliens and they want to conquer the Earth because that’s what aliens do. So they build a near exact replica of an Earth village; so it can’t be Real-estate they’re after.  They build androids and they make a virus that will wipe out humanity because a significant trait of these aliens is their proclivity for convoluted plans. These androids are exact replicas of real humans.  These arrive in pods and take over the lives of the corresponding human because it’s important to these aliens that their plan resembles Invasion of the Body Snatchers as closely as possible. Anyway, The Doctor and Sarah land on this fake Earth and they bask in the creepy atmosphere that this setup creates, till everything gets a bit silly.

And  where it gets silly is the eye patch moment.  Guy Kreyford who is they aliens stooge thinks that the aliens have patched him back together after an accident, but they couldn’t find one of his eyes. Towards the end of the episode the Doctor tells him that there was no accident and they did nothing for him, this leads to Guy going to the nearest mirror and taking off his eye patch to reveal…duh duh duh!....a perfectly good eye under his patch. This of course means that he has not looked under the patch for the last two years, since the aliens captured him.

This is but one plot hole in the story that is entirely composed of plot holes and coincidences. But is entertaining none the less.

Video:

Invasion of the Dinosaurs first episode doesn’t exist in colour. But 2Entertian have done something that means that they can extract a color signal from a non-colour source, something about croma dots existing in once colored black and white material. And it works…sort of.  It’s not great but it is color in places and given what they had to work with it’s pretty impressive. Other than a ropey first episode, which does give you the option to view in black and white, it looks fine.  

The Android invasion looks ok, but have 2Entertain stopped restoring mid 70’s Doctor Who?

Audio:

Audio on both series is fine with little to recommend and nothing to disparage.

Special Features:

Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Production Notes – There’s some notes, they seem to be about the production.

Power, People and Puppetry - A half hour look back at the production of the story with a surly presenter who obviously isn’t a big fan of this story, Doctor who or the art or presenting. Still it is informative and like a lot of these features does paint a good picture of what was going on with Doctor Who and indeed Britain at the time of production.

Doctor Who Stories: Elisabeth Sladen: Part One – This seems to be taken from The story of Doctor Who (2003), this is pretty good, Liz Sladen talking about her time on who, telling stories. Her Australian Accent is worth the price of admission alone.

Now And Then – It used to look like this, now it looks like this….woohoo.

John Levene Commentary – John Levene played Sgt Benton and seems to have gone a bit mad since. Which makes for very interesting commentary.

Billy Smart's Circus – A very short shot of Jon Pertwee arriving at a circus in the Whomobile.  

The Android Invasion

Life After Who: Philip Hinchcliffe – I’m a great fan of Phillip Henchcliff but mostly his tenure as Doctor Who’s producer which I think was the greatest era of the program. Unfortunately this documentary picks up just as I lose interest.

Weetabix Advert An advertisement from the 70’s for what is the British version of Weetbix featuring a Dalek and a Doctor Who tie in.

The Village That Came To Life – A total yawnfest that has so little to say it goes back to the pub where the story took place and asks the children who were around at the time what they remember, they don’t remember much.

Photo Gallery – If the last feature got your blood pumping then you need to see this one.






 
 



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