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Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Louise Jameson
  • Directors: George Spenton-Foster
  • Format: Full Screen, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: 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: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Sept. 1 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B001QCWQ5S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,394 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl (DVD)

Tom Baker's Doctor encounters a monstrous creature that feeds on life itself in the chilling Image of the Fendahl, one of the more horrific story arcs from the venerable BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who. The Doctor and companion Leela (Louise Jameson) respond to time experiments on an ancient skull in modern-day England; the artifact belongs to the Fendahl, an extraterrestrial fiend with plans of world destruction. Though the Fendahl's sluglike acolytes leave something to be desired in the effects, the overall tone of the story is rich with mounting dread from the stars, which owes a nod to Nigel Kneale's Quatermass saga; the image of the idol-like Fendahl core is among the most indelible of the Baker era.

The Image of the Fendahl disc features the usual assortment of enjoyable extras that Doctor Who fans have come to expect from their hero's adventures on DVD. Baker and Jameson are joined on a jovial audio commentary by costars Wanda Ventham (the ill-fated Thea Ransome) and Edward Arthur (sturdy scientist Adam Colby). A 26-minute making-of featurette, "After Image," covers the departure of story editor Robert Holmes and the production team's struggles to work with the outdoor locations (Stargroves, owned at the time by Mick Jagger). There's also 11 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, as well as the by-now standard BBC 1 trailer for the story, text-only information track, production gallery, and Radio Times listings in PDF format for your PC or Mac; Easter Egg hunters will find an amusing clip on the Special Features menu of Jameson discussing a woeful-looking Leela doll. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on April 15 2004
Format: VHS Tape
One review here states that Tom Baker's Golden Age ran for about four years. The Golden Age as some fans call it was that produced by Philip Hinchcliffe and it started with Ark in Space, Baker's second story in a seaosn which was also cut short, (there was only Ark, the two part Sontaran Experiment and Genesis of the Daleks to get excited about before the terrible Revenge of the Cybermen and ran until the end of Baker's third season. Deadly Assassin was about mid way through his third season. While it contained classics like Genesis, Pyramids of Mars, Deadly Assassin, Robots of Death and the Talons of Weng Chiang, it also suffered from some dross. Either side of Pyramids of Mars were major dissapointments, Planet of Evil and Android Invasion. Then there was the boring Masque of Mandragora and the terrible Hand of Fear and Face of Evil.
This story comes in Baker's fourth season, when the Golden Age was over and a new producer was at the helm. It's actually more entertaining than some of those dreary Golden Age stories, it is a Hell of a lot more fun than Mandragora or the silly Brain of Morbius. The Quatermass and the Pit rip-off plot about the origins of man is well used and there are amusing characters. But while the humor is good, it seems to detract from the suspense. The whole thing has a cool, gothic look and great atmosphere and overall, I like it better than some of the Golden Age stuff, which is overrated in my view.
It's quite memorable and I enjoy rewatching it, which says something and I really like things like the old lady who says to her Grandson, while helping battle the forces of evil, "There's gonna come a day when I'll be too old for this sorta thing!
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Format: VHS Tape
Of all the characters in this story, the only one I felt sympathy for was the doomed Thea Ransome (Wanda Ventham.) An intelligent woman who is used by arcane powers to serve as the host for some malignant alien being. She falls into trances, the first unseen, the second broken by her "friend" Adam Colby. When Thea collapses in front of Adam and the Doctor and is bathed in a halo with a bizarre vision of embryonic aliens, the Doctor recommends that her brain be X-rayed. While he is dismissed as crazy by Fendleman and carried off, Adam dosen't say a bloody word. HOW could he not report a spectacle so bizarre to his colleagues? Dare anyone suggest it slipped his mind? "You must think my head zips up the back," he exclaims not long after. Well Adam, if the shoe fits...
It's made abundantly clear that Thea is the focal point for the entire unfolding drama, but the other characters fail to notice that fact. It's clearly not due to ignorance, it's likely due to stupidity (or bad writing.) The Doctor bumbles about after breaking free and makes no attempt to track down Thea. Fendleman and Adam rabbit on about mutation and pentagrams - in front of our hapless heroine - and not ONCE does Adam say to Fendleman: "Y'know I saw this shimmering halo around Thea and some freaky Lovecraftian beasties crawling around her! Maybe we should stop the experiments!" Rather, he blurts out the Doctor's recommendation about X-Rays without mentioning the extraordinary reason WHY. Thea, perhaps tiring of her colleague's roundabout blather and lack of concern for her peculiar condition, ups and leaves. It never occurs to Adam to keep an eye on his tormented friend.
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Format: VHS Tape
The story starts out with the examination of a skull found in the volcanic sediment in Kenya. Thea Ransome's potassium-argon test shows the volcanic sediment to be 12 million years old, but Dr. Adam Colby cannot accept the evolutionary implication of the skull: "What I don't accept is that Eustace here got himself buried under a volcano at least eight millions years before he could have possibly existed." The two and Maximilien Stael are colleagues of Dr. Fendelman, a scientific genius who made it big in electronics and who is using a sonic time scanner on the skull. His discoveries could fundamentally affect how man views himelf.
Their experiments with the scanner plays havoc with the TARDIS, which is drawn to the grounds near Fetch Priory, where the team is based. The Doctor and Leela not only become involved with the happenings there, including a mysterious death, but with Jack Tyler and his elderly grandmother, who has precognitive powers. She and many of the villagers of Fetchborough believe in the old ways of superstition and magic. Logic has no place in her life but more human nature. "When most people believe what's said, that make it true." Jack says "Most people believed the earth was flat when it were round." She counters with, "Ah, but they behaved as if it were flat," emphasizing the word "behaved".
What Dr. Fendelman is unwittingly tampering with involves a creature from the Doctor's own mythology that began when a planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded. Unless the Doctor can stop them from messing with dangerous things, the population of Earth will go down from 4 billion people to 1 person.
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