Friday, 28 December 2012

Doctor Who: The King's Demons DVD Review

Written By Terence Dudley
Directed By Tony Virgo

Genre
Science Fiction, Historical

Cast

Peter Davison as The Doctor
Isla Blair as Isabella
Janet Fielding as Tegan
Mark Strickson as Turlough
Anthony Ainley as The Master
Gerald Flood as King John
Frank Windsor as Ranulf
Christopher Villiers as Hugh
Michael J. Jackson as Sir Geoffery de Lacey
Peter Burroughs as Jester



Synopsis

England, March 1215. King John is visiting the castle of Sir Ranulph Fitzwilliam. The arrival of the TARDIS disturbs a medieval joust, but the Doctor and his companions are proclaimed to be friendly demons by the King, who seems strangely interested in their "blue engine." It soon becomes clear that neither King John or his Champion, Sir Gilles Estram, are who they pretend to be. One of the Doctor's oldest and deadliest enemies threatens the future of democracy on Earth, and he must be stopped!

Special Features
  • Commentary by Peter Davison (The Doctor), Isla Blair (Isabella) and Script Editor Eric Saward
  • Bonus Commentary For Part One by Tony Virgo
  • Kamelion: Metal Man - A Short History of the Doctor's Robotic Companion With Peter Davison (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Eric Saward and Co-Creator Chris Padmore
  • Magna Carta - Investigating the Magna Carta and its Relevance Through History To Our Lives Today
  • Isolated Score - The Option To Watch the Story With the Music Soundtrack Only
  • Radio Times Billings

Review

Peter Davison as The Doctor has always been a bit hit and miss for me.  He suffered from the same problem as the current incarnation of the Doctor, played by Matt Smith, suffers.  A good actor and portrayal of the character but the stories aren't really up to the normally high standard.

Here that isn't the case, although this two part story is a bit of a weird one.  Firstly, The Master's plan to sully the reputation of the king and thus preventing the creation of the Magna Carta.  On one hand, the plan isn't up to the normal universe threatening plan that the Master is normally known for but on the other hand, the prevention of the creation of the Magna Carta would still be a big thing due to it's creation being a catalyst for the formation of democracy in England.  The idea of the Master having a robot, named Kamelion, that can change in to anybody it wants to was a fascinating idea on paper yet it's execution didn't quite work but for this story, that addition added an extra layer to the story itself.

The cast do a great job with the dialogue here and really add an air of excitement to the story.  They also make good use of the historical settings and the culture clash between the people there and the Doctor along with his companions.

The special features, while not as numerous as other Doctor Who collections, are pretty interesting and really give a good quality inside look at the making of the two part story.  The best of these is a look at the robot used to create Kamelion.  I loved the fact that it wasn't a sugar coated look at the idea, instead it was an honest, sometimes brutally so, look at how an idea can look fantastic on paper but be found lacking in execution.

While not the best Doctor Who story of Davison's career as the Doctor, neither is it the worse.  It's a fun Doctor Who tale with a historical setting that is a good way to spend an hour.  Worth picking up for the fan's amongst us.

Story 3/5
Picture 4/5
Sound 4/5
Special Features 3/5
Overall 14/20

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