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Doctor Who: The Green Death Special Edition

Jon Pertwee , Katy Manning , Michael E. Briant    Unrated   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 43.98
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Doctor Who: The Green Death Special Edition + Doctor Who: The  Claws of Axos + Doctor Who: The Mutants - Episode 63
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Featuring the third incarnation of the Doctor--Jon Pertwee's patriarchal renaissance man--The Green Death is a solid addition to the Doctor Who canon. Originally broadcast in May 1973, it may now have dated a little, with its vegetarian hippies and "boyo" Welshmen, but it has all the elements of classic Who, the Doctor encountering green-glowing dead bodies, a shadowy mastermind, a global conspiracy, brainwashing, a megalomaniacal supercomputer and, of course, giant maggots.

This story, the final sequence of Pertwee's penultimate season, reached the TV ratings Top 10 and, fittingly, met high production standards. The environmental message, while facilitating Who's ongoing individual-freedom motif, also proved prophetic in its warnings of globalization and pollution. The special effects, though admittedly dated now, were good for their time and budget--the stop-motion photography of the maggots and the front-axial projection used for the pulsating green skin are particularly effective. The well-crafted script manages to combine monsters, punch-ups, and cliffhanger endings with cerebral concepts, human drama, and erudite references to Beethoven and Oscar Wilde--the single tear of the reformed villain as he destroys his paymaster is just one of the subtle touches distinguishing this work. The Green Death's six filler-free episodes belong to the Golden Age of Doctor Who, and their denouement is one of the most poignant in the series' long history. --Paul Eisinger

Special Features

Audio Commentary: Audio commentary by actor Katy Manning, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks Interviews: Interviews with visual effects designer Colon Mapson, writer Robert Sloman, actor Stewart Bevan (Clifford Jones) Other: Global Conspiracy! mockumentary

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jo's finest hour! Aug. 10 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Global Chemicals have a process that results in 25% more petrol from crude. While that may mean "more money, more jobs" it also means "more muck, more devastation, more death," as well as a doubling in atmospheric pollution. When a miner is found dead in the mine in Llanfairfach, South Wales, covered by a green phosphorescent glow akin to putrefaction, UNIT is alerted. The Doctor, however, wants to go to Metebelis Three to get one of their blue sapphires and Jo wants to help Nobel Prize-winning ecologist Professor Jones and his hippie group of scientists against Global Chemicals.
Soon, two more deaths follow, and Jo and the Doctor discover the cause down the mine--a green petrochemical slime that causes death on contact. Worse, the slime has irradiated maggots to two feet in length who also kill on contact.
The Brigadier, and the Doctor (after a perilous but successful expedition at M3) work against Global Chemicals and the director, Jocelyn Stevens. However, in Episode 1, Stevens is seen talking to (himself?), as if he's under control by someone else.
Professor Jones reminds Jo of a younger version of the Doctor. He believes in using alternative energy sources, such as solar power, movements of the wind, tides, and rivers. No waste means no pollution. Stewart Bevan, then Katy Manning's beau, is a most welcome guest performer as the progressive but ecologically conscious Jones.
This is Jo's show all the way. She did well as the Doctor's assistant, but here, she's more than just a pretty face. Her concern and compassion whenever the Doctor is near death is shown to its best when she hears of the death of Bert, a "funny little Welshman" she only met for a few hours down the mine, but whom she felt was very special. Jones' comforting words to her are magic here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JON PERTWEE AT HIS BEST July 16 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Story: Jo Grant, the Doctor's assistant, decides to help a group of environmentalists in their protests against Global Chemicals who are attempting to use a new, more productive technique to refine oil in an old Welsh mining town. This presents a conflict of interests when her boss, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, anounces that he has been tasked in protecting Global from the eco-terrorists by providing security. The doctor gets involved when an miner, sent to perform rountine checks on the abandon mine, collapses and dies while he skin turns bright green. Global Chemicals are unsurprisingly revealed to be the villans and have been dumping their highly toxic waste into the abandoned mine to save costs. The waste has mutated maggots into glowing green killers which have to be stopped before they turn into flies and infect the world! If this isn't enough, Global is actually run by a meglomanic computer with the ability to control minds of humans and is intent on taking over the world. Can the Doctor stop the mad computer? Can the Doctor find a cure for the infected Jo Grant? Can the Doctor kill the maggots and save the Earth? What do you think!!!???
Feeling like a cross between a Quatermass film and the old William Hartnel episode "The War Machines", The Green Death is an enjoyable romp from the Pertwee "exile" period. The wriggling green maggots are (fondly?) remembered by all children who watched the original transmission back in the '70's, the cast ham it up beautifully and the story ends on a sad note as Jo elects to leave the Doctor for a young scientist. While the scipt is very good and moves along at a decent pace, the effects are unfortunatly typical for the time period - the CSO (green-screen) effects in the mine are awful and the flying insect is laughable, however the maggot infested slag-heaps and the attacking maggots are done very well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An American in London first view of Dr. Who! Dec 7 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Okay I grew up on the original Star Treks and one day my family went to live in England for 3 years. I was going on 9 at the time.
One weekday, after hearing about this show called Dr. Who from school mates, I got to see the first episode of the Green Death and was hooked on Dr. Who until returning to the states.
Naturally, my return to the states actually meant an end to me seeing Dr. Who until going to college in which local public TV stations ran the 3,4, & 5 doctor shows on Friday nights.
The Green Death, features the overtones of the misuse of the environment. A chemical company secretly pumps its waste into their end of a mine shaft. Overtime the miners start to discover strange green slime and a few go missing in the event.
UNIT is called in, and Dr. Who takes the lead into seeking out the missing miners and the apparent green death. His discovery reveals that maggot-like creatures have mutated via the chemical waste and now nature is taking its due back.
Seeing this again on VHS, not only sparked the memory of seeing this first the first time, its brings the Doctor back into my family's enjoyment of such a timeless series!
I only wish that the BBC would consider to release Dr. Who on the DVD format in the US if only to preserve this series for future generations. The American fans brought Star Trek back from the dead, we can support the Doctor just as well!!!
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