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Comment: Excellent Condition! DOCTOR WHO: TH ARMAGEDDON FACTOR (Starring Tom Baker) (Edition with great bonus features) DVD & Original Packaging are in Excellent Condition. Bonus features include: "Commentary by actors Mary Tamm, John Woodvine and director Michael Hayes" plus optional "pop up production notes", photo gallery and more. Rare/Out of Print Release by Warner Brothers (USA/Canada Edition, with the same packaging as shown above) We have this in stock (here in Toronto) and ready to ship!
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Doctor Who: The Armageddon Factor [Import]

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 51.83
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison
  • Writers: Sydney Newman
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: BBC / Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000067FPK
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Product Description

The search for the Sixth (and last) Segment of the Key to Time bring the Doctor, Romana and K9 to the planet Atrios, where they encounter a pesky interplanetary war and Princess Astra, who is linked to the sixth segment in some mysterious way.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
In their search to the final segment to the Key To Time, the Doctor and Romana land on war-torn Atrios, which has been fighting a war of attrition against its twin Zeos. As there's variable radiation counts even 140 meters beneath the surface, one can imagine what it's like on the surface. The Doctor jokingly says of the high radiation reading that it might not necessarily be nuclear war, that someone might be holding a huge breakfast party.
Things begin bad, as usual. The Marshall, the military leader conducting the war, mistakes the Doctor and Romana as Zeon spies, yet he does a volte-face and welcomes the Doctor as "the one to head us to victory." However, he's not all he seems. One, he makes his decisions by meditating and mumbling in front of a black reflective surface. Two, he has a tiny black object around his neck. Three, he and Princess Astra, a figurehead in charge of people's morale and comfort, are at odds what with her pacifist stance.
Astra and her lover, the surgeon Merak, are trying to contact Zeos to try to negotiate a peace, but something is jamming their communications. The same jamming that is blocking the navigation system of the Marshall's fleet, perhaps? First Astra, then the TARDIS, and then the Doctor vanishes, kidnapped by sinister masked figures in black robes. On Zeos, he meets his nemesis the Shadow, who's working for the Black Guardian in the same way the Doctor's working for the White Guardian.
The Doctor's condemnation of a war fought by machines is given when he describes the commandant of the Zeon side as a "passionless lump of mineral and circuitry, highly efficient, doing very well, giving Atrios a beating, killing millions without a flicker, just doing it's job, and it's totally invincible.
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Format: DVD
"The Armageddon Factor" is a mostly funny representative of "Doctor Who"s late-1970s over-the-top years. It's the final episode of "Who"'s first experiment with what's now known as the "season-long story arc" -- the search for the Key to Time -- and shows the Doctor and Romana's completion of their task, and final confrontation with the Black Guardian, who it turns out has been opposing their move at every step. It comes from a time when Tom Baker, the Doctor, was reportedly hijacking the show with wacky ideas and random ad-libs.
The episode is pretty funny, if also silly. The plot is a little reminiscent of something you might find in a Douglas Adams' book, with two neighboring planets (the alphabetically opposed Atrios and Zeos) at war, only neither side has ever seen the other... and it turns out that nobody lives on Zeos, anyway. And then you find out that Douglas Adams actually worked on the story, so everything comes full circle.
The DVD was released in North America only, and lacks a lot of the special features you'd find on other "Who" DVDs released worlwide. Other discs in the "Key to Time" box set have a more impressive set of features, but "Armageddon Factor" is basically bare bones. The text commentary is more useful than usual, providing the original story breakdown by episode writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin. It's fun to see how the story was improved by the producers and script editors, although I like the notion that the 6th segment of the Key To Time was the shadow... of a character called The Shadow. Less useful is how the text spends minutes at a time listing the UK film and TV credits of all the guest actors. This is a North America-only release, remember?
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Format: DVD
It's somewhat fitting that THE ARMAGEDDON FACTOR features a time loop in the later episodes, as viewing this serial gave me a similar feeling of being trapped in an impenetrable sequence of technobabble. Watching the same footage over and over. Seeing the same plot twists mentioned time and time again. Observing identical corridor scenes with no ending in sight. My hand kept reaching for the big red button, but like the Marshall's pilot (hey, it's Pat Gorman, kids!) my fingers kept being smacked back before they could end it all. As the end to the Key of Time season, this story comes as a huge disappointment.
Tom Baker tries to save a lot of scenes with his own brand of bizarre humor. He only partially succeeds, and this just leaves the parts of the story that he isn't in with a huge Tom Baker shaped hole. Despite the threat of universal armageddon that the story presents us with, I simply couldn't feel bothered by anything that was going on. The plot concerning two major power blocs locked in a constant state of warfare is an idea that would barely cover three episodes, yet here it's stretched out to double that number. And while padding Doctor Who serials could sometimes result in sparkling dialog, engaging subplots and memorable extra characters, all that's added on here are excess corridor scenes, repeated time loop footage and clichéd villains.
One of the biggest flaws of this story is the real lack of urgency. Despite the huge stakes that the script offers, despite the endless series of countdowns, and despite the momentum of an entire season leading up to this, the story just seems to be hanging around with no serious weight to it. This is driven home by the inclusion of the Drax character, who enters the picture in episode five.
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