Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet [Import]
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Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) penned this episode in which the Doctor and Romana seek the second segment of the Key to Time on a parasitic planet.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy scribe Douglas Adams made his scriptwriting debut for Doctor Who with this 16th-season episode, the second in the "Key to Time" story arc, and a delight for fans of the series and Adams's work. Tom Baker's Doctor and companion Romana (Mary Tamm), in pursuit of the second segment of the Key to Time, accidentally land on the planet Zanak, which has been cored out and converted into a ship with which to plunder the mineral resources of other neighboring planets. The Doctor and Romana must outwit the Captain, the planet's half-human, half-metal ruler, in order to retrieve the segment, which is concealed in the shriveled husk of a conquered planet. Adams's wry humor (well delivered by Baker and Tamm) and imaginative flourishes help buoy this episode, though Who aficionados that dislike the series' humorous efforts may not appreciate the serial's overall light tone. Fans of the Hitchhiker series will note several references to elements from that series (Adams was writing a radio adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide at the same time he wrote this episode) woven throughout the script. --Paul GaitaSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
"Pirate Planet" is indeed prototypical Adams -- it's his first DW script and was written contemporaneously with the original Hitchhiker's radio serial. There's a brilliant sci-fi concept at the heart of the story: a hollow planet with the power to materialize around other worlds, and crush the minerals and fuels right out of them. Overlaid on that is Adams' trademark satire. I enjoyed how the planet's villagers (exactly 4 speaking parts) are all ciphers with silly haircuts, while the villain is a full-blown pirate Captain: a cyborg with a mechanical bird on his shoulder, and a "plank" at the top of a mountain, off which his victims must walk. There are black leather-clad guards and earnest yellow-clad telepathic rebels. And then Tom Baker's Doctor shows up to smirk at it all, and trade barbs (alternately funny and profound) with the Captain. The story's powerhouse moments come when the Doctor and the Captain square off, and in the end, the Captain is far more than just a one-dimensional villain.
The DVD edition is a good showcase for the story.Read more ›
Bruce Purchase has the thankless task of playing a villain who actually has a legitimate reason for being a seemingly over-the-top, screaming, raving lunatic. His Pirate Captain plays very well off of Andrew Robertson's Mr. Fibuli, and the two of them make for hilarious viewing no matter what else happens to be going on in the scene. The Captain's dialog is particularly wonderful, and Purchase obviously relishes the task of stomping through the BBC sets screaming such energetic nonsense. "By the left frontal lobe of the Sky Demon", indeed. "Obliterable!"
The balance between drama and comedy becomes a little strained at times, with the story not quite knowing which direction to go. The example that leaps to mind is the Doctor's passionate confrontation with the Pirate Captain as he expresses the absolute horror at the destruction that has been unleashed. And the moment his speech is over, Tom Baker goes straight back to into ham mode. It's been said that surrounding the sudden seriousness with humor (as these sequence did) helps to emphasize the horror that the Doctor feels, but I just don't see it.Read more ›
The Pirate Planet was Adams' first script for Dr. Who and -- if rather underappreciated at the time -- it probably holds up the best. The Doctor (played, in his fourth incarnation, by Tom Baker) and his companion, Romana (played by the very classy and lovely Mary Tamm) -- while searching for the second segment of the all-powerful Key to Time -- run across a hollow planet-turned-spaceship that is ruled by the occasionally buffoonish but thoroughly evil Captian (played by Bruce Purchase who manages to be both hilarious and evil at the same time) who basically spends his time using his hollow planet to plunder the valuable minerals of other, less-hollow planets (of course, these other planets are destroyed in the process but these things happen...Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I love the Tom Baker Dr. Who, but not all episodes are equally good. This series is one of the better ones -- not unexpectedly, since Douglas Adams wrote it. Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by M. C. Crammer
The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy writer, Douglass Adams, wrote this, the 2nd story in the "Key to Time" adventures. Read morePublished on June 4 2003 by Kindle Customer
I must admit that I gave up on "The Hitchiker's Guide ..." after about 20 pages and hated the TV series (though the BBC radio special has its moments), which looked... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2001 by S. Nyland
The second story of the Key To Time series, The Pirate Planet, is a winner just like its predecessor, The Ribos Operation. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2001 by Daniel J. Hamlow
THE PIRATE PLANET starring Tom Baker, Mary Tamm and Bruce Purchase is a classic story. The real actor in this adventure that made a classic, was actor Bruce Purchase who did a... Read morePublished on July 10 2001 by DanrWilliamson
Someone said this was the end of Tom's classic stories, I think it was the beginning(after Ribos). These are not only the funniest Dr. Who's ever but the most intriguing. Read morePublished on June 27 2001 by Black Cat de La Bear
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