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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Around The Planet in 6 Episodes
It is quite difficult to write an adequate review for this particular adventure, considering that it is a wonderful adventure, but the TARDIS crew are constantly moving from one place to another within the confines of these 6 episodes. But it is definitely a very ambitious quest type of adventure, with the Doctor and company being blackmailed into helping Arbitan...
Published on Jan. 17 2003 by Robert Torres

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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun
The concept of this story is pretty huge (even for Doctor Who). The quest concept is exciting and fun, but the 5-in-1 storyline suffers from very little development of the 5 in exchange for the overall story of the 1. Still great fun from the innocent family Hartnell era. The Doctor and his companions then were unwilling adventurers and in this particular story, the...
Published on Dec 24 2002


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful precursor to future Who stories, Jan. 17 2003
By 
Daniel J. Hamlow (Narita, Japan) - See all my reviews
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Landing on the planet Marinus, with acid seas, and a glassy beach, the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan, are forced by Arbitan, the sole inhabitant nearby, to go on a mission to hunt down four keys that will help him redress the power of good on the planet. The Conscience of Marinus was a machine built to "eliminate evil from all men. Robbery, fear, hate, violence was unknown." Then came Yartek and his Voords, who overcame conditioning and are out to take over the Conscience.
Using travel dials, wrist teleporters, they go to where the four microcircuit keys are, first to the luxurious city of Morphoton, "sensuous, decadent, but pleasant" with kind hospitable people. Yet is all this luxury real?
Accompanied by Sabetha, Arbitan's daughter, and Altos, her love interest, the Doctor has the brilliant idea of splitting up. He goes to the civilized city of Millennius, while Ian and Barbara search a place where the vegetation is very dense and "when the whispering stars, it's death." Altos and Sabetha land on an icy area where they encounter a trapper Vasor, who isn't all he seems. On Millennius, Ian is falsely accused of murder and the Doctor becomes Sherlock Holmes in order to save Ian. A city where one is guilty before proven innocent cannot be all that civilized.
Ian shines the best in this story, as he comes out as reliable, trustworthy, and brave. One of his best hours. The interplay between Barbara and Susan remains. Susan trusts Barbara to tell her what she heard in the forest in the same way she tells her of the hand that touched on in the petrified forest in The Daleks. Barbara's her usual reassuring self here.
George Coulouris (Arbitan) is best known as the man who takes Kane from his parents in Citizen Kane and as the doctor in Murder On The Orient Express. Fiona Walker (Kala) would reappear in Who's 25th anniversary story, Silver Nemesis as Lady Peinforte.
The ultimate theme of this story is given in Doctor's final piece of advice to Sabetha: "I don't believe that man was meant to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws, but they cannot be made to preserve justice. Only human beings can do that."
William Hartnell did not appear in Episodes 3 and 4 so he could take his holiday, yet he was credited for both episodes per his contract. A similar thing would also happen to Jacqueline Wright in The Web Planet a season later.
The Keys Of Marinus is interesting in that many concepts of the show later found its way to future Who stories. For example, the search for the four keys was expanded in the six Key To Time stories of 1978-79. The concept of the Conscience as a machine that bars evil, plus the five microkeys with a permutations of numbers and symbols was revisited in The Keeper Of Traken. An acid pool is also encountered in The Web Planet. Vegetation tha attacks appeared in The Seeds Of Doom. And it was written by the Chief Dalek himself, Terry Nation. Thank goodness this Hartnell story survived the BBC purge, because it's well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Around The Planet in 6 Episodes, Jan. 17 2003
By 
Robert Torres "Bobby Shaddoe" (New Port Richey, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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It is quite difficult to write an adequate review for this particular adventure, considering that it is a wonderful adventure, but the TARDIS crew are constantly moving from one place to another within the confines of these 6 episodes. But it is definitely a very ambitious quest type of adventure, with the Doctor and company being blackmailed into helping Arbitan retrieve the four micro circuit keys that would reactivate the Conscience of Marinus, in order to stop a group of alien terrorists, the Voords, from subjegating the planetary populace with the machine. Their first stop takes them to Morphiton, a place where people seem to be the most friendly and content in the universe. But it is soon revealed to be a charade, as it is clear that strange disembodied brains have subjegated the people into slavery. But soon they are defeated, retrieve the key and are joined up with Altoss and Sabetha, a young couple that were on the same quest, but came under the influence of the powerful brain creatures. Their travels take them to a living jungle, and to an artic landscape, then to the city of Millenius, where their laws are that a person is guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around. And soon Ian is framed for a crime of murder and theft, in which the good Doctor comes to his aid to solve the mystery, in true detective like style. I like this particular portion as it displays a brief courtroom drama type scenario, which is always a good thing. Finally, their adventure brings them back to the island, where they find Arbitan dead, and the Voords in charge. But they soon trick the creatures into destroying the machine that would have allowed them to conquer Marinus, just before the Doctor and company travel on to their next adventure. I definitely recommend this to any and all Dr. Who fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great concept., May 5 2002
By 
Junglies (Morrisville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
I enjoy writing these reviews as I am able to look back to when I originally saw these stories as a child in England when they were broadcast the first time. Looking at them now with the constant reminders of the advances in technology on and off the screen it is easy to forget how revolutionary this series was at the time.
This story was one of my particular favourites. Originally broadcast in April 1964 this was the second story to be set on an alien world. The show's creators clearly wanted to pack in as much science fiction as they possibly could and this is particularly true of this six part adventure.
When the Tardis materialises on a beach it does not take too long for the intrepid travellers to discover that the sea is made of corrosive acid and the sand is made of glass. The Voords are reminiscent of Eygptian jackals and alas it is the aliens who are the bad guys. Marinus has an overall concept which is then sub-divided into four sub-plots.
In the first, the Doctor and his companions arrive at a part of the planet where it seems that every whim or desire can be fulfilled. The truth, however, is much different, and they discover that the brains of alien creatures have outgrown the need for physical bodies but still require physical activity to be done by brainwashed Marinian slaves.
The second segment of the show drew on the notion of sentient plant life while the third was sited in ice-caves. The fourth involves the trial of Ian for a murder he did not commit and where the Doctor is his advocate. Finally the story comes full circle as they return with new friends to the start of the journey to discover that things are not as they seem.
In a sense, the story does not work as the sub-plots are not that substantial. In another sense, this story is the mould that is followed much later in the 'Key to Time' stories where it is handled much more adroitly. The 'Keys of Marinus' does contain some good ideas and certainly kept the young audience glued to the set throughout the six week run.
This really was a great concept at the time and I know that I had a great time watching it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining First Doctor Story, July 7 2001
By 
Alan D. Patten III "A. Daniel Patten, III" (Taylors (Greenville), SC United States) - See all my reviews
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When I was a senior in high school, my parents tried to ban me from watching Dr. Who, which at the time one of my local PBS stations was showing the B&W episodes at 11:00 PM Monday-Thursday-one episode per night in addition to their saturday afternoon broadcasts and the saturday night ones on my other local PBS network. Not to be outdone tho, I snuck an old portable B & W TV into an attic room and watched most of the old episodes. I found "The Keys of Marinus" to be a much more entertaining story than I expected or remembered. The Acting was good for the most part, and except for some rather bad models in the begining, the effects and costumes were very good. You can definatly see the hand of writer Terry Nation in this one (true Brit- Sci-Fi fans should notice the travel dials are very similar to the transport devices used in Terry Nation's later creation "Blakes 7"). I'm looking forward to my next purchses, which will bring me even closer to finally catching up on my collection.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, Dec 24 2002
By A Customer
The concept of this story is pretty huge (even for Doctor Who). The quest concept is exciting and fun, but the 5-in-1 storyline suffers from very little development of the 5 in exchange for the overall story of the 1. Still great fun from the innocent family Hartnell era. The Doctor and his companions then were unwilling adventurers and in this particular story, the Doctor himself is absent in two full episodes. I must say I do get frustrated at this early episodes in that I find myself becoming very anbnoyed with the supporting cast... "No you idiot, look out behind you!" or "Now they'll never get back to the TARDIS." WHere in the later episodes, the doctor is a willing adventurer, in these early stories there is always a major plot device keeping them from just packing up and heading back to the TARDIS. And this one keeps your head spinning. I'd recommend the 1970's as the best Doctor Who, but a fan is no fan without the Hartnell era fully represented.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Vintage tv, Feb. 17 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus (DVD)
The story is built around the quest to reinstate a mind-control machine that makes everyone on the planet live peacefully. We then see our group of travellers go to:
1) a society with misapplied mind-control, then
2) a land where wildness and aggression from nature is ending all civilization, to
3) a lawless frozen wasteland where individual brutes are allowed to run wild,
and finally to
4) an overly regulated society with uniforms reminiscent of Nazi Germany with a very low crime or disturbance rate because of harsh penalties and strict control.

That`s a whole lotta social analysis in five little episodes.
I enjoyed this series and the campy vintage feel.
I think one reviewer said the `character of Susan is either hysterical, or on the verge of hysteria for most of the story`. I disagree. I thought the characters of Barbara and Susan both were stronger than in the few earlier Dr.Who`s.
The extra documentary on the sets (very short in length) was really funny. I loved watching the poor set designer explain the compromises made to stay on budget.
My only criticism is that you only get 5 x 25 minute episodes for the price, which seems expensive. Then again, I`m likely placing an order for more vintage Who so I guess they can find people to pay the amount :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, Dec 13 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus (DVD)
Another piece of the puzzle for collectors. Interesting to see the origin of characters that feature in later episodes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A time travelling mess!, Dec 6 2000
By 
John S. Drew "drewshi" (Brewster, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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The Keys of Marinus is a good example of what can go wrong with a new series. Doctor Who was in its infancy, it's first year to be exact. The Keys of Marinus dealt with a series of stories within the story. The Doctor and his companions arrive on Marinus and find they can only leave if they help the keeper of a powerful artifact recover a number of keys that can activate it. The problem is the keys are scattered throughout the planet. The four are given travel watches that transport them to each of the keys locations and thus adventure ensues. The problem is the adventures are boring for the most part. Keys of Marinus us only for the diehard fan.
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Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus
Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus by Various (DVD - 2010)
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