Let's face it, the resurrection of the series in 2005 and the flood of excellent, well produced stories since then has not been kind to the likes of "Black Orchid". Where once we would have rushed to celebrate this story as a somewhat charming "experimental" historical adventure, we no longer need to defend it so mechanically. Instead it's an ill-conceived,under written, poorly realised cliched pastiche of twenties English country house thrillers which were doing the rounds in TV-land back in the early eighties masquerading - literally - as a Doctor Who story. Or perhaps this is its towering genius, while all the leads shed their regular outfits and identities the show takes on new clothes and by doing so moves beyond the established confines of the series and - metaphorically speaking that is - liberates itself from the tried and true formula that has served it so well and instead frolicks in the turgid wetlands of by-the-numbers TV that - with laughter track applied - would have been a terrible, unbelievable episode of "You Rang M'lord".
The real gems on this DVD release are the extras, the audio commentaries of the series regulars - thankfully - pull no punches at all. The special feaures, especially the "Now and Then" location piece, have been crafted with more care than the show warrants. Unintentionally hilarious is the "restoration" feature which, like a bad dream, replays so often some dire scenes from "Orchid" to demonstrate some technical insights and restoration wizardry that you wished they hadn't bothered.
Buy this because you have to, not because it's any good.