The TARDIS materialises in 13th Century England during a joust held in the presence of King John. The King welcomes the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough as his 'demons', but his actions toward the family of his host Ranulf fitz William are decidedly hostile.
DVD EXTRAS (Released as KAMELION TALES boxset)
THE KING'S DEMONS
- Commentary with Peter Davison and Isla Blair , who played Isabella, as well as former script editor Eric Saward .
- Second commentary with the story's Director Tony Virgo . Part One only
- Kamelion - Metal Man : Looking at the history of the short lived companion
- Magna Carta: Exploring the great charter.
COMMENT - SPOILERS AHEAD
DOCTOR WHO - THE KING'S DEMONS is a two-part oddity that, like that yeast-laden spreadable, you'll either love (as I do) or loathe. It is 1983, the second Davison season of stories and a fans were looking forward to the Dalek-fest finale. Unfortunately, with a BBC Industrial Strike, that story (RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS) was abandoned and Terrence Dudley's Magna Carta themed story would be the season's thrilling conclusion.
Thrilling conclusion? Not quite but it was not a "turkey" as this latest DVD release demonstrates. The DVD draws together a range of consolidation comments from cast, crew and external contributors that prove satisfying for the viewer.
The DVD COMMENTARY TEAM consists of, for both episodes, Peter Davison, Isla Blair and script editor Eric Saward, and a separate commentary for episode one if director Tony Virgo.
Peter Davison: And Isla cannot remember anything about THE KING ' S DEMONS so it ' s going to be an interesting hour.
Peter Davison on the set of DOCTOR WHO - THE KING'S DEMONS: A lavish set, and a quite extraordinary performance by Gerald Flood.
Eric Saward: It was an expensive set. I don ' t think that we had built it.
Peter Davison: We nicked it.
On the genesis of DOCTOR WHO - THE KING'S DEMONS, Eric Saward: Where did the story come from? It started because of Kamelion.
(Then he recalls the beginnings of the robotic character that duplicates his discussion from the documentary, KAMELION - METAL MAN).
We were told that it could, would might walk.
On seeing Sir Giles Estram, Peter Davison: Is it just me or is Tony Ainley very recognisable? His accent is MONTY PYTHON French.
Isla Blair: The ginger eyebrows fooled you!
On gaining the part of Isabelle, Isla Blair: I got on very acquainted with both the Director (Tony Virgo) and the Producer (John Nathan-Turner).
Eric Saward: Not that acquainted with that Producer!
On a accepting the role of the Doctor, Peter Davison: I had to give up a YORKSHIRE BEER commercial. Very lucrative and a five-year contract but the BBC told me to stop it as it wasn't a good role model for DOCTOR WHO.
On the historical inaccuracy of Dudley's storyline, Eric Saward he states that the torture device known as an "iron maiden" (the Master's TARDIS) were not an invention before the 18th century.
On the sword fight sequence opposite Antony Ainley, Peter Davison: He was very nervous about the fight. He was afraid that he would chop my head off.
On Dudley's script, Peter Davison: I'm being very upbeat even though the script was written by Terrence Dudley.
Eric Saward: But very well edited by me.
Peter Davison: I don' t think he was happy with the science fiction elements.
Eric Saward: He was bit a rude.
On the death scene with Sir Geoffrey, Isla Blair: Instead of crying, there is a smirk.
Peter Davison: In one take, even the corpse started laughing too.
On the styling of the 1983 Police Box prop, Peter Davison: I like out TARDIS; battered and weathered.
Eric Saward: The current one lights up and does somersaults.
Episode One commentary option from Director, Tony Virgo.
"An awesome one to do. I love the historical ones, and for this we used TC1 studio at BBC TV Centre."
"It was totally ambitious. A gem that really tested you but the studio sessions were tense."
He notes that the location film cameraman, Remi Adefarasin, played a key role in managing the filming time schedules and the deteriorating weather conditions over the three-day Sussex-based shoot.
"Peter (Davison) is a brilliant actor. A joy!"
KAMELION - METAL MAN is a brief overview of how the Kamelion character (and the physical mannequin) was virtually destined to be a disaster from the day the " sales brochure " landed on John Nathan-Turner ' s desk. Disparaging contributions from Saward, Davison and DOCTOR WHO - PLANET OF FIRE ' s Nicola Bryant were accurate yet fond for a possible expectation.
MAGNA CARTA is one of the earnest documentary futurities that 2|entertain would like to think that we (the discerning viewer) would find interesting, enlightening and entertained. Surprisingly, it does and is. Balanced and informative.
The additional EXTRAS are the usual fare: Photo gallery (minus any " location shoot " images), an isolated score of Jonathan Gibbs for the DOCTOR WHO aficionados amongst us, a less than enticing COMING SOON preview of Troughton's THE DOMINATORS.
Whilst this single-disc release is light on DVD EXTRAS, DOCTOR WHO - THE KING'S DEMONS is a prime example of the expertise with which the BBC drew (and continues to do so) together its best resources: a dramatic music score, atmospheric location filming, superb set-design and a wonderful performance from Gerald Flood.