5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! I am suprised.
I got this with the key to time dvd set, knowing I would get it on dvd I had only bought some key to time stories on vhs. Ofcouse I went with the Douglas Adams stuff first, but now I am shocked, I think this is a good script. Even the name "Stones of Blood" thru me off, I thought it would be your basic on earth monster story. Not so, we in end up in hyperspace with cool...
Published on Dec 31 2003 by MasterOfWho
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy and silly, even for Doctor Who
One of the joys of Doctor Who or, at least, one of the things you come to overlook being a Doctor Who fan, is the cheesy specials effects. It's also easy to overlook holes in the plot and weak science when the story is good and involving. Unfortunately, this episode is not a particularly good or involving one, especially when viewed between the second and fourth...
Published on Oct 8 2003 by J. Fuchs
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! I am suprised.,
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy and silly, even for Doctor Who,
This episode offers the Doctor Who explanation of Stonehenge. Without giving anything away, the adventure begins with the Doctor and Romana searching for the third segment of the Key to Time. (Don't worry if you're not watching this as part of the overall Key to Time series -- the search for the key is really just an excuse to lead the Doctor and Romana into a series of different adventures and environments. The overall view isn't necessary to watch this series). They stumble onto a group of Goddess worshipers and an unsuspected secret which, of course, leads them into jeopardy.
The only episode of the four that make up this series that really crackles is the last one, where the goddess is revealed for what she really is and the Doctor ends up once again in serious jeopardy. The three episodes leading up to it are pretty monotonous, not really disclosing anything interesting about stone circles or goddess worship, and containing the one of the cheesiest looking and silliest "monsters" in all of Whodom. Although I did love the older woman who plays the archaeologist who helps out the Doctor and Romana. The British have never been stuck on pretty, young things, and Mary Tamm (who plays Romana) is, in any event, pretty enough and young enough to carry that aspect on her own, and can act to boot. Also, in this series, the doctor's sarcastic wit seems somewhat out of place, and the broader implications of the story just aren't as interesting as those in the other episodes of the Key to Time Series, where the fate of entire worlds depends on the Doctor's actions.
In short, this is really one to watch as part of the Key to Time season, or if you're really into Stonehenge and Goddess Worship. Or if you've already seen all the really good episodes and are ready to start on the second tier
4.0 out of 5 stars "A great lawyer you turned out to be!",
"Stones of Blood" is indeed the only Earth-bound story in the year-long Key To Time arc. It benefits from well-developed chemistry between the three lead actors (Tom Baker, Mary Tamm's Romana, and the robotic K9), and a terrific guest spot by the 75 year-old Beatrix Lehmann, as the eccentric archaeologist Professor Amelia Rumford. For a story which is about... well, an alien immortal and erstwhile Celtic goddess who's moonlighting on Earth as a research assistant, and her private army of killer styrofoam rocks, and the for-laughs computerized prosecutors who have been tracking her down for 4,000 years (while locked in a small room which can only be opened on penalty of death) ... for all that, the script is very funny, detailed and believable. As with most 1970s era "Doctor Who", there's a mix of outright comedy and horrific violence, and it all hangs together well, even on repeated viewings. Well, that is, once you've learned to ignore the wobbly styrofoam boulders and the barely-concealed PAs who push them.
The DVD release of "Stones of Blood" is the least elaborate disc yet released for the "Doctor Who" market. Oh, it's got the same pretty animated menus and format as previous discs, but... there's very little else on it. The text commentary is terrific, revealing as it does much of behind-the-scenes info about David Fisher's script (which, unusually for DW, had three major female roles) and the material that didn't make it to screen (a cake celebrating the Doctor's 751st birthday).
The audio commentary is recorded by Tamm, and one-time-only "Who" director Darrol Blake, whose claim to fame is that he once shared an apartment with Ridley Scott. Blake's voice is distinctly grating, but he has eerily precise recall -- noticing a tall patch of grass in the midst of an open field, he spontaneously shouts, "That's where we hid the boards!". Tamm's recall is excellent as well, although most the stories they tell are also located in the (quieter) text commentary. Tamm shows herself to be more of a ham(m) than she ever was in her year on DW, affecting all sorts of English accents and calling Blake "Darling" every few scenes.
If you can bother scrolling all the way through the photo gallery, there are two really neat stills of Tom Baker clowning around with the eponymous styrofoam boulders. Good luck getting there, though!
3.0 out of 5 stars It's all the rage in Trenton, New Jersey!,
The first thing that many reviews and commentators mention is how wonderful Beatrix Lehmann is as Professor Rumford. Well, I'm not going to break with convention here. She is indeed absolutely fantastic. She has an excellent rapport with Tom Baker, and she plays well off of Mary Tamm's slightly aloof but naive Romana. In fact, by the time we get to episode four, she even has great chemistry with the K9 prop. A wonderful actress, a great performance, and I couldn't help but wish that the Doctor had ditched Romana and finished the quest for the Key To Time with the slightly batty, but quick-witted elderly professor. It would have made THE ARMAGEDDON FACTOR much more interesting anyway.
The story marches forward at a relatively fast pace. Perhaps a little too quickly, as there are several plot elements that are dropped, never to be addressed again. We begin the adventure with a story about modern-day druids practicing blood sacrifices to their weird god, but by the time we reach the ending, this has been completely discarded in favor of Tom Baker fooling around in a barrister's wig. All of the effective atmosphere, gloom and mystery are lost as soon as the action switches to the over-lit spacecraft, and it's only Tom Baker's tomfoolery with two glittery alien-props that give the conclusion any redemption.
By the end, there are a few too many questions that were never properly addressed. Why was the Cessair of Diplos going around impersonating Celtic gods? What were her followers doing? Why did she have followers? How did her followers know of the Doctor's impending presence and why would they care? Why was an alien with a fully functioning hyperspace craft and the powers of the Key To Time segment just sitting around on Earth for four thousand years? Each of these unanswered questions (and the many others that the story provides) could be explained away given a sufficiently wily and creative mind, but the story simply doesn't address them, and I found that to be mildly annoying. Unexplained motivations never sit well with me, and I just couldn't figure out what on Earth the Cessair of Diplos was doing. Doctor Who doesn't always have the most thoughtful or realistic villains, but they usually at least have a plan of some sort, even if it is just an insane desire the rule the universe. But here the villain is causing havoc for no good reason that I could see. She was bad merely because the script required her to be bad.
Still, there is a lot to like about THE STONES OF BLOOD. The opening episode is sufficiently gloomy. Despite their obvious limitations, the eponymous Stones actually manage to be genuinely creepy as they stalk their way noisily through the English countryside. There's a lot of fun to be had watching the Doctor uncover the mystery, even if it doesn't make much sense. Viewers won't soon forget the Doctor's assurances that electronic dogs like K9 are all the rage in Trenton, New Jersey. Those little sparkles of humor shine like the electronic effects of the alien Megara. Mystery and suspense hold up the first half of the story, and their absence in the second half are just barely replaced with the bizarre humor of the Graham Williams era.
From the creative side of the direction there were several small things that I enjoyed. There's a particularly noteworthy sequence that occurs early on in the adventure concerning the Doctor's initial encounter with the Cailleach. The sequence is quite underplayed. Tom Baker is merely walking across a room in an almost casual manner. The shots leading up to this moment have been fairly run-of-the-mill close-ups of people talking intermixed with views around the room. But suddenly the camera switches to a shot of the Cailleach herself in all her feathered glory. There's no dramatic music, no build-up, and it works as a very surprising scene because the viewer simply isn't expecting to see this. If you've let yourself be drawn into the scene as it was unfolding, it's quite a shock to see something completely unexpected like that. It surprises me every time. Little touches like this really help the overall adventure.
The commentary track, consisting of Mary Tamm and director Darrol Blake is well worth listening to. The pair discuss the location, the casting, and a host of interesting topics. It's intriguing to hear the story from the director's point of view, and I really like listening to his approach to directing Doctor Who. The production notes are again quite good and highlight a lot of the changes that went into the script between David Fisher's pen and its life in front of the camera.
When you throw this disc into the player, just try not to think about it too much. Watch it for the great interactions between Professor Rumford and everyone else. Watch it for the eeriness of the Stones as they chase their victims. Watch it for the funny dialogue that's usually coming from the mouth of Tom Baker. Just don't watch it expecting it to be a tightly plotted adventure, or you'll be disappointed. Turn your critical mindset off and enjoy.
4.0 out of 5 stars A really enjoyable outing for the good Doctor,
The point is that the story flows, it's fun to watch, and despite there being several unanswered questions, you don't worry too much about them. Four stars for Stones of Blood.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Theortical Absurdity!!,
Fey captures Romana and travels to hyperspace, followed by the Dr. who releases the Magara, justice machines that condemn the Dr. to death for releasing them. The trial is humorous and ends up with Fey being recognized as the outlaw that the Magara were after and condemned to perpetual confinement at a Traveller.
A fun episode but it leaves so many questions unanswered.
Who pushed Romana off the cliff? If the circle were built to mark the place of the hyperspace ship and Fey's coming and going, what about the other stone circles? Was Vivian Fey also Morgana leFey of Arthurian legend? Why do the number of Travellers keep changing? What happened to the Magara? Dr. Who just snapped his fingers and they disappeared.
The Key to Time series is an excellent series because it reminds the Time Lords that they are not the supreme powers in the universe.
This episode marks the 100th time that Tom Baker played Dr. Who and everything shows it. The dialogue is witty, the characters are protrayed wonderfully and there is a familiarity about the entire set that makes watching it a pleasure.
4.0 out of 5 stars Outer space? No, more from inner time.,
The Doctor and Romana journey to contemporary Earth (1978) and encounter Professor Amelia Rumford and her assistant/neighbor Vivien Fay, who are researching a Gorsedd (stone circle) named the Nine Travellers, whose number has mysteriously changed from six or seven over the centuries. The Doctor investigates a nearby British Institute of Druidic Studies run by the unpleasant Dr. De Vries and is nearly sacrificed to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Fortunately, he is saved by Rumford. However, in returning to the Institute, he finds DeFries and his assistant Martha killed and the place in a shambles. Both have been attacked by a colossal silicon-based creature, an Ogri.
The Doctor realizes that something is really amiss when he discovers paintings of certain woman painted over the ages in the Institute's basement. They are all of Vivien Fay! However, Vivien captures Romana and whisks her off to a spaceship existing in a hyperspatial dimension.
Beatrix Lehmann makes Professor Amelia Rumford quite an adorable and tenacious character. In the scene when she and the Doctor and pursued by an Ogri, she pulls out a truncheon and says that in the name of science, it's their duty to try and capture it. The Doctor simply pulls her away. Rumford's tenacity is further demonstrated when Vivien explains that while giving a lecture in NYC, Rumford carried the truncheon with her for fear of being mugged, and was arrested for carrying an offensive weapon (!) She also takes the Doctor's obvious alien origins in stride: "Are you from outer space?" Doctor: "I'm more from what you inner time." Rumford: "Ahh." She makes a wonderful partner and foil, as she is paired at various times with the Doctor, Romana, and K9.
Great dialogue: the Doctor has a bit of fun of the Druids at De Vries' expense, saying that John Aubrey invented them as a joke, and later, when he is about to be sacrificed, he rattles on about the knife at his throat: "I hope that knife's been sterilized. ...You can catch all sorts of things from a dirty knife." And when Rumford tells the Doctor that it's impossible for silicon-based creatures to exist, he tells her, "Maybe it doesn't know that."
Mary Tamm's fashionable yet again, wearing salmon-coloured blouse, slacks, heels, and cap, and later, in a long red dress.
The first two episodes work well as a light horror-mystery, but the subsequent plot of the alien spaceship hovering over the stone circle, the Megara, and the Doctor's trial causes the story to go awry. The Doctor pulling out a cake from a fridge celebrating the show's 100th story, as Tom Baker once suggested, would have improved the story a lot more. Naturally, that idea was nixed.
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Dr. Who Ep.100 Stones of Blood by Tom Baker (DVD - 2009)
CDN$ 30.98 CDN$ 27.88