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Doctor Who: Nightmare of Eden [Import]

6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison
  • Writers: Sydney Newman
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: May 4 1999
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000AOAV
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Product Description

"Interfere? Of course we should interfere! Always do what you're best at!" declares the Doctor at the beginning of Nightmare of Eden, a four-episode story from the classic British science fiction series Doctor Who. In no time at all, the Doctor is masquerading as an intergalactic insurance agent, seeking to separate two spaceships that merged interdimensionally, and investigating the smuggling of the most dangerous drug in the universe--and that's leaving out the alien monsters roaming around. Nightmare of Eden is a particularly jam-packed story from the Tom Baker era, considered by many to be the best of the early Doctors; with his mop of curly hair, his bulging eyes, and his toothy grin, Baker's Doctor was wildly capricious and charismatic as he jaunted around time and space, applying his fierce intelligence and staunch moral sense to all sorts of thorny situations. In Nightmare of Eden, the Doctor is accompanied by the second incarnation of Romana (Lalla Ward), a Time Lady, and the robot dog K-9, who is loved and hated in equal measure. Nightmare of Eden has even more cheesy special effects than usual (the spacecraft are particularly unconvincing), but the zippy plot, good dialogue, and solid performances--including some startling moments that mix humor and horror, potentially giving younger viewers unsettling dreams--keep the show engaging. Among the extras are a featurette about the fractious making of these episodes (loaded with caustic comments from technicians); reminiscences from the writer, Bob Baker (who later went on to write for Wallace & Gromit); an interview with Lalla Ward; and strange but enjoyable conversation by three people whose relationship to Doctor Who is never explained, but who cheerfully discuss Nightmare of Eden in engrossing detail. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Miller on Feb. 29 2004
Format: VHS Tape
One day, they will make a TV-movie about the October 2003 Staten Island Ferry disaster, and that movie will be atrocious. Right before the ferry is about to crash, some actor, who's already seen "Nightmare of Eden", will utter the line, "Oh no!". That's what actor David Daker did right before his character's starship collided with a space freighter. It is not, on its face, a proud moment, or a good beginning for a story.
"Nightmare" tops several "Worst of" lists in the "Doctor Who" pantheon. Worst costumes, certainly. There's not a single character in this piece who's dressed sensibly. Starting at the top, Romana appears to be dressed in a gray maternity gown. With red trim. Most of the starship crew is dressed in leather: the ship's crewmen are wearing red sleeveless vests with glitter added. And white pancake makeup, to boot. The two federal agents whose comic banter takes over the second half of the story, are dressed like the biker from the Village People. Tryst's team wears white T-shirts under black vests, so the only thing missing, cleary, is the rhinestone studding. Daker's black jumpsuit has spandex sleeves. I won't even get into what the starship passengers are wearing. I fly coach three times a month and they just don't issue that at the departure gate.
The special effects are bad. The opening shot is of a styrofoam spaceship wobbling its way across the stars. There's a lot of experimental computer imaging in this 1979 epic, but explosions happen before the gun blasts which cause them, and after Della is shot in the neck, she famously falls to the floor clutching her midriff.
So why, then, is "Nightmare of Eden" so entertaining? At what point does "bad" become "good"?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow on Jan. 23 2004
Format: VHS Tape
"First a collision, then a dead navigator, and now a monster's roaming about my ship. Well, it's totally inexplicable." So says Rigg, captain of the passenger liner Empress, to the Doctor.
What happened? A freak accident takes place within orbit of planet Azure. The Empress nearly collides with a small ship, the Hecate, while in lightspeed and materializes around the smaller ship so that they have fused together. The nose of the Hecate is sticking into the Empress, blocking the larger ship's access to the power room and passenger deck. The blurred overlap areas, or matter interfaces between the ships, however, are unstable.
Into this situation comes the Doctor, Romana, and K9. The Doctor offers to help separate the ships, something to which both Rigg and Dymond, pilot of the Hecate on a survey contract job, are amenable to. All that has to be done is to recreate the circumstances of the accident: "excite the molecules, full thrust, then full reverse." However, Rigg's navigator Secker, who got them into this accident, is on vraxoin, a highly addictive drug that "induces a warm complacency and total apathy until it wears off that is, and soon you're dead." In fact the Doctor's seen entire planets destroyed by this drug. Secker's then attacked and killed by something clawed. The questions are, who provided Secker with the vraxoin, and what killed Secker? After all, vraxoin can be detected by the Empress's scanning device, and the Empress's route is the milk run from Station 9 to Azure, nowhere else, with no stops inbetween. And who is the mystery man who knocks out the Doctor, then tries to evade him later?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Illumination on May 14 2002
Format: VHS Tape
There are two Tom Baker eras - one is very dark, sophisticated and Gothic, the other is mostly rather tacky, childish and spoof-like. Unfortunately 'Nightmare of Eden' falls into the latter category. The idea behind it is sound enough, with interesting concepts such as two spaceships emerging from light-speed at the same point in space, as well as the grown-up theme of drug-smuggling. The problem lies in the story's execution. For a start, the central villain is just too comical to take seriously. Then there are the cartoon-like scenes in which the Doctor leads the Mandrels away, and later emerges from a mauling with his clothes in tatters but not a scratch on him. In fact the whole thing feels too much like a live cartoon. If you want a Dr Who story from the campier Tom Baker seasons you'd be better off with the far superior 'Sun Makers' or 'City of Death'.
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