Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy

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Deal Score0


Product Description
Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 11/03/2009 Rating: Nr… More >>

Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy

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  1. For those whose memories of Dr. Who are cheap, often laughable special effects, even for the post-Star Wars age of the 1980’s, the Restoration Team has solved that by giving you the option to watch each of the episodes with modern CGI effects. The results are stunning–especially in “Terminus” and “Enlightenment”; the latter receives a much deserved full makeover. All three stories are engaging and the cheap looking f/x no longer detract from the great writing and acting. Most seem to laud “Mawdryn Undead” as the best, due in part to the inventive time displacement conceit and the return of the Brigadier. “Enlightment” is by far the best of the three, though. Not only does it boast an imaginative story (a race in space on sailing boats), but it carries a mysterious (if not brooding) atmosphere the others lack, largely because the music is spot-on and the excellent sets and costumes are not severely over-lit (as Peter Davison notes repeatedly in the commentary).
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Yes finally!!!!!! i am so happy this wonderful trillogy is finally on DVD! Now other’s I wish for on DVD: Kinda, Snakedance, The king’s demon’s, Frontios, and Planet of fire.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. The Doctor encounters his latest companion Turlugh. What he doesn’t know is he is the latest pawn of the Black Guardian. The Black Guardian wants the Doctor gone at any cost. Along the way the Doctor encounters an old friend, says goodbye to another and has the chance to win enlightenment.

    Now that part is out of the way this is one of the best special feature loaded set to date. Each episode has the standard commentary by the actors and producers, behind the scenes of the episodes footage from various shows related to that episode. Oneof my favorites is new cgi effects. This was the one set of Peter Davidson stories that needed them the most. Also an additonal disc with a better cut of enlightenment along with new cgi that makes the episode so much better. So for Doctor Who fans this is a must have.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. In a way, it’s a bit of an overstatement to call the three stories included in this set a trilogy, for each is very distinct in both style and substance. Thankfully so, since variety is the spice of life. Linking the three ever so loosely though is the introduction of Turlough and his Faustian bargain with the Black Guardian, a cosmic being with a grudge against the Doctor. In a way, saddling the Doctor with a “rubbish” companion (well before Adam in 2005’s “Dalek” & “The Long Game”) is an inventively risky idea, and having a thoroughly unpleasant and devious character among the Tardis crew adds a suspenseful twist to the stories on the one hand, while on the other it often devolves into Turlough repetitively stepping not quite but almost out of earshot and hissing into a glowing crystal for instructions from his erstwhile Mephistopheles. Be that as it may, something beyond the bounds of the tried and true is laudably being attempted here. The trilogy as a whole also happens to transpire roughly during the middle of Peter Davison’s tenure as the Fifth Doctor, a moment when his approach to the character seems to have become comfortably established while still retaining some of its initial freshness. On that score, then, these three stories amply demonstrate in both their significant strengths and minor pitfalls a good deal of what “Doctor Who” was capable of in 1983.

    “Mawdryn Undead” is a particularly strong story that unusually makes the most of the potential for time paradox in the show’s premise and even more unusually features an antagonist whose ambition is not to conquer nor destroy but to die. The reappearance of the Brigadier along with other references to the show’s history are rather skillfully woven into the plot, although the resolution is a bit of a let-down, taking place not through the Doctor’s own cleverness nor even the bravery of his companions past and present but limply through a credulity-straining coincidence. Likewise straining one’s credulity in “Terminus” is the idea that a load of starship fuel could set off a chain reaction destroying not just a planet, a solar system, or even a galaxy, but the entire universe (!). One can’t help but suspect that the writer’s concept of cosmology and its scale is a bit uninformed. That said, the story deftly balances the grim imagery of drudgery and disease with resonant mythological motifs while confronting the contradictions between the profit motive and medical care in a way that coincidentally seems unusually relevant more than two decades later. Finally, “Enlightenment” is the real gem of this trilogy. There is something indescribably eerie about it. And yet it’s also just an incredibly well-written science fiction tale juxtaposing impeccable expertise in historical detail with an utterly surreal context. The tone can pitch dramatically in range from hauntingly mysterious, boisterously campy, firmly moralistic, and strangely romantic–and yet the tale as a whole, while marred a bit here and there by some overacting, holds together wonderfully and verges on the profound without losing its sense of fun and adventure.

    Come to think of it, then, on a deeper level certain rather weighty themes do in fact run through these three stories after all: temptation and redemption, death and regeneration, time and eternity, order and chaos, not to mention the unsuitability of dead birds as headgear.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. Anyone missing the easter eggs from Terminus?

    They’re not where they are supposed to be according to […]


    Go to the first page of the ‘Special Features’ menu.

    Click on the hidden Doctor Who logo to the left of ‘Audio Options’.


    Go to the second page of the ‘Special Features’ menu.

    Click on the hidden Doctor Who logo to the left of ‘Menu.),

    and I’ve tried everywhere else on the disc, to no avail…
    Rating: 5 / 5

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