A nice collection of features appear on this disc; nothing
outside-the-box but still far from a total let-down although Tom's absence hangs
like a mournful cloud over the entire production. Having said that, let's not
forget that this was voted the most popular Who story ever and so I have to wonder
why the Beeb let this go as a basically bog-standard DOCTOR WHO release.
Gothic is an engaging if short making-of featurette but worthwhile because
it includes nearly all the key players involved in the production of the story.
Nearly all, as said. It would have been rather nice to have had Tom's perspective
on his far-from-friction-free relationship with Paddy.
other important feature is Serial Thriller, an overview of the
Hinchcliffe era. I enjoyed this because although everyone is diplomatic there
is nevertheless an honest feel about the piece that transcends puffery. My favourite
observations came from Hinchcliffe: he feels that the "plausibility" of
the stories rested with the actors and that actors with a light entertainment
background should not be cast as the Doctor.
commentary is a charmer, Sheard's enthusiasm in particular coming across very
well (Russell's commentary is intercut with the others, note). I ran this with
the Info Text feature as well and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that
they compliment each other: for instance, as the story ends, listen and watch
as Hinchcliffe comments on the splendid 'model' of Stargrove (as the text points
out that it was a theee foot high enlarged photograph).
and Then (narrated by Sheard) is a short short but well done, intercutting
contemporary shots of Stargrove with episode highlights from the same camera
angle; elementary stuff, of course, but still worthwhile.
Deleted Scenes are pretty ho-hum and include the full version of the
rocket-going-boom; and, as Hinchcliffe observes elsewhere, you really cannot
real surprise is Oh Mummy, a comedy short which features Gabriel
Woolf as Sutekh, post-PYRAMIDS. I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise
in light-hearted silliness but suspect that many fans will just wince their way
theough it. There are some great-if-daft Beano-style gags on offer here. He has
a pet rabbit called Neil; or, possibly, Kneel. And I actually laughed out loud
at the concept of Sutekh in panto (he only performed for one night because he "shredded
the mind of Widow Twanky").