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Doctor Who: The Mutants - Episode 63

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Feb. 8 2011
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0049S1NXW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,304 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Doctor Who: The Mutants (Story 63)

Amazon.ca

Jon Pertwee's Doctor is sent by the Time Lords to deliver a mysterious sealed container to an unknown recipient. So begins "The Mutants," the penultimate adventure in the ninth series of Doctor Who (1972), a run that also included "The Sea Devils" and "The Day of the Daleks." The Doctor and Jo (Katy Manning), find themselves on a space station belonging to Earth's crumbling 30th-century empire, while below the planet Solos is on the verge of independence, a situation the corrupt Marshal (Paul Whitsun-Jones) is at pains to avert. What follows is a tale of opposing factions, assassination, genetic mutations, and running around in caves. The story concerns the aftermath of empire, a topic very relevant in the Britain of 1972, and the devastating environmental effects of industrial development (though with the ecology movement then gathering force, the following year's "The Green Death" addressed similar topics far more effectively).

There are plenty of elements packed into "The Mutants," yet the story feels padded and, the mutant costumes apart, is not helped by weak production values. Though far from a classic, this is still an entertaining Doctor Who adventure with Geoffrey Palmer in a small supporting role and a startling homage to the Monty Python "It's" man. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the Third Doctor's best episodes!
It is an action-packed 6-parter from Pertwee's golden period.
An empire is in decay and a world is left ravaged by the evils of colonialism. The Doctor goes against the ruthless Marshal of the planet Solos and works to uncover the mystery behind the monstrous mutation of the Solonian people. The Marshall rules Solos from his orbiting Skybase and will stop at nothing to prevent the weary Earth Empire from retracting and granting Solos its independence.
Those who liked Colony in Space and Frontier in Space will enjoy this epic Doctor Who socio-political thriller.
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Format: VHS Tape
Upon seeing the old bearded man running towards the screen through the mist and bushes at the onset of the story, no, it isn't the "It's..." man from Monty Python's first season. Rather, it's a mutant native of Solos, derogatorily called "Mutts" by the Marshal of Solos.
The appearance of a small sphere resembling a cross between a basketball and a coconut is a three-line whip from the Time Lords to the Doctor, a task that's an emergency. The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Jo to a Skybase hovering over Solos in the 30th century Earth Empire. "Once [Earth] sacked the solar system, they moved on to pastures new. Solos is one of them, one of the last [to gain independence]. Did you ever read Gibbons' Decline and Fall?... Empires rise and empires fall."
They instantly fall in trouble. The Marshal, the blustering, stout colonial ruler of Solos with piggish eyes and expression, is stunned to hear that Earth is finally giving Solos its independence. "We can't afford an empire anymore. Earth is exhausted, finished, politically, economically, and biologically," says the Administrator (Geoffrey Palmer). In a panic, the Marshal has the Administrator murdered, then imposes martial law to continue his reign over Solos, which has been exploited for its thaesium. Ky, leader of the more radical natives, is not only framed for the murder, but the sphere is intended for him.
The Doctor, Jo, and Ky are befriended by two of the Marshal's guards, Stubbs and Cotton, who learn of the Marshal's plot and see Solos as a "stinking rotting hole" that should've been given independence years ago. The planet is grey, but that's nothing compared to the Doctor's description of 30th century Earth, "land and sea alike, all grey.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Très bon service et produit.
Merci,
Gabriel Daniel
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Format: VHS Tape
After its reboot in 1970 with "Spearhead from Space", "Doctor Who" -- with Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks at the helm -- settled into a very successful Earth-bound formula, mixing together James Bond, a post-colonial social conscience, and bona-fide alien races that weren't monsters. A year later, with a permanent arch-nemesis in the form of the Master, "Doctor Who" could be relied on for one great story after another, every four to six weeks. "The Mutants", however, is without UNIT, and without Roger Delgado's Master, and thus is regrettably one of the weaker entries in Jon Pertwee's tenure as the Doctor.
It didn't have to be that way. "The Mutants" was directed by Christopher Barry, and the incidental music was composed by Tristram Cary. This team worked an another "Doctor Who" story also once known as "The Mutants" -- "The Daleks" -- in 1963, and that was the story which put DW on the map. This time, though, their work is less successful. Barry's direction takes a wrong turn as the story stops short for literally minutes at a time, with location footage and CSO blue-screen sequences that do nothing but put the audience the sleep. The music, so eerily discordant in "The Daleks", here does little more than annoy.
The story's heart is in the right place, as comedy writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin play it straight. Their story is set in the 30th century, in the decline of Earth's empire. Solos, a struggling colony, has made no advances in 500 years, and its population is still segregated, banned from Skybase but for the use of separate transfer portals. Jon Pertwee's Doctor was always at his best when indignant, and here he has a pretty hammy villain to point his finger and lecture at.
There are no monsters in this story -- no alien monsters, anyway.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa77ce924) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77e74bc) out of 5 stars Very underrated 6-parter, on the evils of empires Oct. 31 2003
By Daniel J. Hamlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Upon seeing the old bearded man running towards the screen through the mist and bushes at the onset of the story, no, it isn't the "It's..." man from Monty Python's first season. Rather, it's a mutant native of Solos, derogatorily called "Mutts" by the Marshal of Solos.
The appearance of a small sphere resembling a cross between a basketball and a coconut is a three-line whip from the Time Lords to the Doctor, a task that's an emergency. The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Jo to a Skybase hovering over Solos in the 30th century Earth Empire. "Once [Earth] sacked the solar system, they moved on to pastures new. Solos is one of them, one of the last [to gain independence]. Did you ever read Gibbons' Decline and Fall?... Empires rise and empires fall."
They instantly fall in trouble. The Marshal, the blustering, stout colonial ruler of Solos with piggish eyes and expression, is stunned to hear that Earth is finally giving Solos its independence. "We can't afford an empire anymore. Earth is exhausted, finished, politically, economically, and biologically," says the Administrator (Geoffrey Palmer). In a panic, the Marshal has the Administrator murdered, then imposes martial law to continue his reign over Solos, which has been exploited for its thaesium. Ky, leader of the more radical natives, is not only framed for the murder, but the sphere is intended for him.
The Doctor, Jo, and Ky are befriended by two of the Marshal's guards, Stubbs and Cotton, who learn of the Marshal's plot and see Solos as a "stinking rotting hole" that should've been given independence years ago. The planet is grey, but that's nothing compared to the Doctor's description of 30th century Earth, "land and sea alike, all grey. Grey cities linked by grey highways across grey deserts. Slag, ash, and clinker. The fruits of technology." Hmm, sounds like 20th century Earth to me.
But the Marshal also has a dream to turn Solos's atmosphere into one breathable for humans and to heck with the Solonians. Experiments by his scientist Jaeger has caused pollutions that have caused the mutations among Solonians. At least, that's the ostensible explanation. "Genocide as a side effect? You ought to write a paper on that, professor," the Doctor angrily tells Jaeger. As for the mutants, they resemble giant, grey, large-eyed armoured insectoids.
Paul Whitsun-Jones pulls in a strong performance as the sadistic Marshal, accused by the Doctor as being responsible for "one of the most brutal and callous series of crimes against a defenseless people it's been my misfortune to encounter." Indeed, the Marshal ranks as one of the most heinous villains in Doctor Who's history. When told he is quite mad by the Doctor, he replies calmly, "Only if I lose." And George Pravda (Jaeger) would later play Castellan Spandrell in The Who story The Deadly Assassin.
There are three elements in this story comparable to The Empire Strikes Back. One, the navy blue uniforms and helmets of the guards are similar to that of the Bespin Guards. Two, the Skybase and Cloud City float above their respective planets. Three, John Hollis, who plays Dr. Sondegaard here, also played Lando Calrissian's bald android assistant, Lobot. And speaking of Star Wars, Garrick Hagon (Ky) played Biggs Darklighter, Luke's best friend from Tatooine who ends up being toast in the Death Star battle.
Also, this was the story Saladin Chamcha watches in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, only it was mistakenly called The Mutilasians.
Despite being criticized for its overlength and bad performances, this allegory on the fall of the British Empire and apartheid is thematic of British guilt in the 70's for exploiting native peoples, and a striking Pertwee story, well worth its six episodes. John Hollis, Rick James-no, not the Superfreak, (Cotton), and Christopher Coll (Stubbs) lend credible support. The mutants are effectively realized, with the Doctor and the lovable Jo still a great team.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77e78c4) out of 5 stars Un-people Doing Un-things Un-together Nov. 24 2011
By Nancy A. Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is an enjoyable story from the middle of the Pertwee era. While it is not highly regarded by many fans, I have always liked this story. The story basics are the Doctor receives an odd object, and tells Jo that it is an important message that must be delivered. Jo follows the Doctor into the TARDIS and they end up on an Earth Sky Base orbiting the planet Solos quite far in the future. The Earth Empire is declining - they can no longer afford to keep far-flung colonies such as Solos going, so control of Solos is being returned to native populations. Mucking things up are warring factions among the native populations, apparent mutations among the native population, the murder of an Earth government official, members of the Earth force that don't want to give up control of Solos, and atmospheric experiments to make the atmosphere breathable by humans.

This was done in the middle of Pertwee's 5-year stay in the role, and it shows. John Pertwee is very comfortable and commanding in the role. The relationship between Jo Grant and the Doctor has grown to become one of affection, trust and respect. The costume and set design were quite striking. Terrance Dicks as script editor, and Barry Letts as producer had really come in to their own by this time and had formed an excellent pool of talent to pull from. Christopher Barry returns as director and does a nice job keeping the pacing going. James Acheson designs the costumes on Doctor Who for the first time and hits a home run with the "Mutt" costumes. Bob Baker and Dave Martin have created a fascinating world for the Doctor to visit. There are some nice performances from the guest cast: Garrick Hagon as Ky a leader of the native Solonians; Paul Whitsun-Jones as the Marshall, a bombastic over-the-top and possibly insane officer in charge of the Sky Base; Christopher Coll as Stubbs a sympathetic officer on the Sky Base, and John Hollis as Sondergaard an Earth scientist who has been hiding out on Solos after having a disagreement with the Marshall.

What has always made this story stand out for me is the idea of a planet whose orbit is so long that the seasons each last approximately 500 Earth-years, and the species living on the planet have adapted by using metamorphosis to change for the season. I like the fact that the native population had no understanding of this process, similar to the caterpillar having no understanding of its becoming a butterfly. The issues being covered in this story are colonialism, and ecology, perhaps not terribly subtly, but I don't think that makes the ideas outdated.

The extras on the DVD are quite good. The usual making of documentary was quite fun, and the interview with James Acheson on his career designing costumes for Doctor Who was wonderful. I enjoyed the documentary about black actors in Doctor Who, or should I say the dearth of black actors in classic Doctor Who, but I don't think Noel Clarke was the best choice for narrator, I found his delivery to be on the dull side. The 1 minute extra from Blue Peter was odd, had nothing to do with this story, and probably would have been better as an Easter Egg. The production notes option of watching the story was interesting, and gives a glimpse of all the concepts that the authors had to cut out of the story.

Now to the commentary option-there is a large cast of characters on the commentary track, but they are cycled through so you're only dealing with 3 to 4 at a time. Of course when you have such strong personalities as Terrance Dicks and Katy Manning, they are going to dominate the conversation. There were some lively discussions, and there was a nice chemistry between Katy and Garrick Hagon on the commentary track, and there was an interesting dynamic between Terrence Dicks and Bob Baker. Unfortunately, director Christopher Barry isn't allowed to give as many comments as I would have liked, and sound supervisor Brian Hodgson and designer Jeremy Bear were rather overpowered by the rest as well. I must say however, after hearing Katy Manning highjack the commentary track to interview Brian Hodgson, I would like to recommend that 2 Entertain have her host an extra feature on sound and sound effects on Doctor Who. It was very obvious that she had a lot of knowledge, interest and respect for the work that Brian and his fellow sound artists did on the show and I think she'd be a great host for such an extra.

While not a perfect story, I think that Bob Baker and Dave Martin have created an interesting and rich world for the Doctor to visit. It keeps the pace going pretty steadily for all 6 episodes, and it gave the Doctor a chance to get away from 20th Century Earth. Go ahead get yourself some snacks, sit down in a comfy seat and be prepared for an interesting visit to Solos. Its.....
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77e793c) out of 5 stars "MUUUTT!!!!!!!" Aug. 19 2003
By Cole Kekelis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the Third Doctor's best episodes!
It is an action-packed 6-parter from Pertwee's golden period.
An empire is in decay and a world is left ravaged by the evils of colonialism. The Doctor goes against the ruthless Marshal of the planet Solos and works to uncover the mystery behind the monstrous mutation of the Solonian people. The Marshall rules Solos from his orbiting Skybase and will stop at nothing to prevent the weary Earth Empire from retracting and granting Solos its independence.
Those who liked Colony in Space and Frontier in Space will enjoy this epic Doctor Who socio-political thriller.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77e7ccc) out of 5 stars Why is this not listed as a Special Edition? April 10 2014
By Jim Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This really seems like it should be a Special Edition. The added special features are over the top for a regular release and There are two Disks to accommodate all the material.

Again I will skip the plotline as everyone else mentions it.

6 Episodes on Two Disks and Special Features
Special Features on Disk 1
Audio Options; Meaning there is a Commentary
Info Text; Again I think this is the best Special Feature. You can learn so much interesting Trivia
Coming Soon
There Are Also Subtitles if you need them.

Special Features on Disk 2
Mutt Mad
Race Against time
Dressing Doctor Who
Blue Peter
Photo Gallery
PDF Materials
Subtitles
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77e7cfc) out of 5 stars Fantastic SCI-FI at its Best!! July 12 2007
By John Kane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Great episode! The actor that plays the Marshal does a fantastic job. AT least I hope he was acting, he was very convincing as a meglomaniac. A rather long 6 part story that never lags. The production levels were fairly high for this episode condsidering when it was made. Jo was a good companion that woeked well with Jon Pertwee's Doctor.

All in all, great acting all throughout with excellent sound effects and an interesting plot.


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