Today Only: "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" The Complete Series for $67.99 For one day only: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer is at a one day special price. Offer valid on October 9, 2015, applies only to purchases of products sold by Amazon.ca, and does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the Amazon.ca site. Learn more
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of the best of DavisonMarch 31 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the best Davison stories from his mostly great final season (except for the stinker Warriors of the Deep). This is a nifty little story (only 2 episodes) in which a small English village, under the guise of an historical reenactment and the psychic influence of a malevolent alien, is forced to recreate the violence of the 17th century English Civil War. Good performances all around and a pretty creepy alien. It's nice to see a lot of scenes in darkness and more subdued lighting unlike a lot of the blindingly overlit sets of the time. Highly recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Extras for Doctor Who: The Awakening DVDJune 25 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
- Commentary with actor Michael Owen Morris and script editor Eric Saward, moderated by Toby Hadoke. - Return To Little Hodcombe - Director Michael Owen, actors Janet Fielding and Keith Jayne and script editor Eric Saward return to the three villages that played host to the locations for `The Awakening', and along with locals they reminisce about a memorable shoot... - Making The Malus - visual effects designer Tony Harding and modelmaker Richard Gregory are reunited with the Malus prop they built for the story. Current owner Paul Burrows is on hand to describe the reality of living with a giant stone monster on the lounge wall... - Now & Then - the latest in the ongoing series visits the villages of Martin, Shapwick and Tarrant Monkton to compare the locations used in the story with how they appear today. - From The Cutting Room Floor - extended and deleted scenes from a timecoded VHS of the original edit and unedited film sequences, plus location action from the film rushes. - The Golden Egg Awards - the inadvertent destruction of a prop lychgate by a horse was the winner of The Late Late Breakfast Show's Golden Egg Award. Peter Davison is on hand to collect the trophy from host Noel Edmonds. - Photo gallery - production, design and publicity photos from the story. - Isolated music - option to view the story with the isolated music score. - Coming Soon - a trailer for a forthcoming DVD release. - Radio Times listings in Adobe PDF format. - Programme subtitles. - Subtitle Production Notes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not a classic, but funJuly 27 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This isn't a perfect story by any means -- it combines some of the flaws of the new series (overly hurried plot) and old (laughable special effects). Still, underneath those surface flaws there's a crackling good story. The Doctor and his companions return to 20th century Britain so that Tegan can visit a relative. There they find that a local bigwig is turning a harmless village festival, a reenactment of an English Civil War battle, into something altogether more sinister. The Doctor and his companions have to figure out why, and put a stop to it, but to do so they must defeat the very people they're trying to save. Plenty of room for drama there.
In many ways this story foreshadows what Doctor Who would become in the 21st century. The short duration of the story, modern setting, and family links would all become hallmarks of the new series. (Admittedly the contemporary settings, while not part of the show's original concept, had been a feature of Doctor Who since the mid-60s).
If the story had just had a bit more room to breathe and grow it could have been a classic. If the 80s production team had recognized the limits of their budget and focused on special effects with a timeless quality (largely by hiding things as much as possible and letting audience imagination do the work instead of relying on computer graphics which would not age gracefully) that would have helped too. As it was, we're still left with a fun hour of fairly straightforward adventure, and the flaws are forgivable. After all, if you can't stand weak special effects, why are you watching Doctor Who in the first place?
Fun fluffOct. 4 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Season 21 episode set between Doctor Who: Warriors of the Deep, Story 131 and Doctor Who: Frontios - Episode 133, starring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor with Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough (Mark Strickson).
For the first-time viewer, the setup of the Doctor Who series is basic enough: the Doctor is an alien who adventures in time and space in his TARDIS, usually with a human companion or two. You may feel a little lost with The Awakening if you're not familiar with the series, but there are no specific continuity issues to get caught out by.
The TARDIS arrives in Little Hodcombe, an English village currently in the grip of re-enactment fever. Tegan's grandfather has vanished, the lord of the manor is going nuts, people from the 17th century have slipped into the 20th and something very nasty is manifesting in the church. Is the violence of the Civil War about to explode all over again?
The Doctor's glib explanations about what's going on in Little Hodcombe don't make much sense, but that's not really the point. We get costumes, horses, secret passages, folklore, apparitions, chases, escapes, defiance, collapsing buildings, horror and all your prejudices against historical re-enactment troupes confirmed in a mere 50 minutes. The guest characters are surprisingly well drawn and play very well off the Doctor, and though I doubt the ending will surprise you, it should satisfy. The whole cast performs well and the special effects and model work are decent. It's nice to see lots of exterior work, too. Three and a half stars.
No comment on the DVD extras.
(For some reason, my copy of The Awakening was sold in a boxed set with the First Doctor episode Doctor Who: The Gunfighters, the whole being titled as "Earth Tales". I see no reason for this, because the two episodes have absolutely nothing to do with each other.)
Something is rotten in Little Hodcombe...July 19 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Ah, historical war recreations. Here in the States we get them in the form of people who dress up in grey and wander about playing soldier while shouting, "The South shall rise again!" In the United Kingdom, at least as far as this video is concerned, you get them in the form of people who take over small villages, ride around on horseback and intend to burn a woman at the stake.
Frankly, the British version sounds more interesting.
The year is 1984, and the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison), Tegan (Janet Fielding), and Turlough (Mark Strickson, who later became a producer and went on to discover Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin. Seriously!), turn up in the town of Little Hodcombe, arriving smack in the middle of a historical reenactment of a battle that happened during the English Civil War. They are there because Tegan wants to find her grandfather who, it turns out, has gone missing.
The Doctor starts to figure out quickly that things aren't exactly as they seem when he runs into Will Chandler, a boy from 1643 (Keith Jayne). Soon the Doctor discovers that one era is leaking into the other and that the war gamers are being controlled by an evil alien force that's about to make the game more real than anyone expected.
This was an odd story. First off, it's two parts, which wasn't done very often in Doctor Who back in the day and when it was done, you got stories that were pretty good, like "The Sontaran Experiment" and stories that... well, weren't, like "Black Orchid". This story is good, but it's confusing. I never quite understood what the Malus, the previously-mentioned evil alien force, was doing or what its motivations were. It was just sort of there, hanging out behind a crack in the wall.
Speaking of cracks in the wall, one thing I will say about this story is that it very much "felt" like a new series adventure. Switch it around so you have the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory, trim about five minutes and you have something that would fit well with modern Who. Heck, even the notion of going to visit a family member seems almost lifted from the modern stories.
On the other hand, despite the odd story, the acting is especially good, particularly from Jayne and other guest actors like Polly James and Dennis Lill, all of whom are entertaining enough they might serve to distract you from the flaws in the story. Also, as you'd expect from a BBC historical production, the costumes are all top-notch.
2 Entertain have crammed their usual list of special features onto this disc, and those add value far more than the story. You get commentary by the director, Michael Owen Morris, script editor Eric Saward and comedian Toby Hadoke, who I really hope they utilize more in these commentaries. It's a decent commentary, though the absence of Davison is felt keenly. I was reassured to note that even the director wasn't entirely sure what the Malus was doing hanging out behind the wall.
Other extras include "Return to Little Hodcombe," a "making of" feature with the director, Fielding and Jayne, "Making the Malus," about the SFX behind the story, "Now and Then," showing what the locations look like today, some extended and deleted scenes, a photo gallery, an isolated music score, PDF files and something called "The Golden Egg Awards," which was really quite amusing.
Like this month's other DVD release, "The Gunfighters," this one is not really for the casual fans or the people who are entirely new to the series. But if you're even slightly more than a casual fan, you might want to pick it up. In the States it's sold apart from "The Gunfighters" and at only about $11. A decent price for a decent DVD!