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Doctor Who: Planet of Evil (Story 81)

William Hartnell , Patrick Troughton , David Maloney    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Doctor Who: Planet of Evil (Story 81) + Doctor Who: The Brain of Morbius + Doctor Who: The Hand of Fear
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.47

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Doctor Who: Planet of Evil (Story 81).

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4.0 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nature prunes dumb scientists. Nov. 6 2003
Format:VHS Tape
There was a trilogy of Tom Baker stories during the shows "Golden Age" which bid homage to the classics of Gothic horror fiction -- "The Brain of Morbius" (Frankenstein); "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Dracula); and, of course, "Planet of Evil" which was essentially Dr. Jekkyl & Mr. Hyde in space. This episode is inferior to "Talons" (what isn't?) and not as much fun as "Morbius" but it is still a good outing, concentrating far less on humor and camp and more on the classic elements of Gothic horror -- tampering with forbidden knowledge, the internal struggle of good vs. evil, and the mounting terror of a group which is trapped in a haunted house (so to speak) and being picked off one by one. Like "Talons" which also mixed in homages to Phantom of the Opera and the real-life Jack the Ripper killings, this story also borrows heavily from "Forbidden Planet" in its choice of a semi-invisible monster projected, more or less, from it's victims own minds. There are also less-than-subtle moral messages about colonialism and gross exploitation of the environment, which is always humorous when you consider the Brits spent 300 years doing just that to our little planet. I guess Orwell was right when he said that hypocrisy is THE English vice (then again, he also said, "The Americans always have to go you one better on any type of beastliness" so you can read it either way).
The story is your basic 'trapped in a haunted house with a mysterious killer' bit, but the overlapping plot elements and homages prevent it from falling into parody.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The boundary between matter and anti-matter Sept. 21 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The year--37,166. The place: Zeta Minor, at the fringes of the known universe. The surviving members of a Morestran survey team are being killed off by an invisible force in a way that resembles "a rapid form of freeze drying." Dr. Sorenson is on the verge of a scientific discovery that could save the Morestran civilization--their sun is dying. Baldwin, a member of the expedition, manages to activate an SOS as he is being attacked. Guess who answers the SOS? A certain jelly-baby loving Time Lord and his assistant.
Also en route to Zeta Minor is a military expedition headed by the young and inexperienced Controller, Salamar. The Doctor and Sarah are captured by Salamar's troops and accused of murdering seven members of Sorenson's expedition. They escape, only to encounter the cause of the deaths at the cliffhanger to Episode 1. Speaking of cliffhangers, the one ending Episode 2 is effective, as the Doctor is seen falling into the black pit, seemingly doomed.
All the great lines are by the Doctor, but this one covers the overall concept of colonial thinking and Sorenson's mission: "Here on Zeta Minor is the boundary between existence as you know it and the other universe which you don't understand. You call it 'nothing' a word term to cover ignorance, and centuries ago, scientists invented another name for it: anti-matter. And you, by coming here, have crossed that boundary into that other Universe to plunder it." Sorensen, however, puts it another wayL "Full scale exploitation of this planet will provide us with perpetual energy in whatever way we need it." The main point being that Sorenson cannot take any minerals of that planet with him. In the meantime, Sorenson's men are being killed off one by one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated, solidly good Who July 23 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"Planet of Evil" is one of those routinely underrated great stories of Doctor Who, somehow having been overwhelmed by the adventures surrounding it. Really, it's quite a good story: basically, it's the DW version of the film "Forbidden Planet", with some nice Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde material thrown in towards the end.
Tom Baker and Lis Sladen are on their usual par (beginning a long run of popular stories with the Doctor and Sarah travelling together, without Harry), and David Maloney once again provides solid direction. The guest stars again stand out - most notably Frederick Jaeger - and there's nothing much to fault! Even the effects are pretty good for the time, although at times they are still rather negligible.
If you've tried the more well-known Tom Baker adventures from the period, such as "Genesis of the Daleks" or "Pyramids of Mars", give this one a whirl - you might enjoy it!
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