- Actors: Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury
- Format: Box set, Black & White, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered
- Language: 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: 3
- Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
- Release Date: Nov. 3 2009
- Run Time: 14 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- ASIN: B002IW62FU
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,378 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Doctor Who: The War Games
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Doctor Who: The War Games (DVD)
Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Second Doctor comes to an end with this epic 10-part Doctor Who serial from 1969, which finds him at crossed swords with both a diabolical race of aliens and his own race, the Time Lords. The Doctor's problems begin when he and companions Jamie (Frazier Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) materialize on a planet where soldiers from Earth's past have been brought to fight in a battle of supremacy in order to build a super fighting force for aliens with galactic conquest in mind. In order to stop their plan, the Doctor is forced to call on the Time Lords for help--and in doing so, he must face both trial for stealing the TARDIS and possible regeneration. Historically significant in the history of Doctor Who as the final appearance of Troughton in the role, as well as for the first episode to mention the Time Lords by name and the concept of the Doctor's regeneration, The War Games is distinguished by the quality of its clever scripting (by Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke), which changed the direction of the series for the entirety of Jon Pertwee's term as the Third Doctor and part of Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor story arc.
The DVD presentation of The War Games celebrates the importance of the serial in Who history with a three-disc set that covers nearly every aspect of its production and the Doctor's place in pop culture during the time of its broadcast. Chief among the extras is a commentary track featuring Hines, Padbury, Dicks, and costars Philip Madoc, Jane Sherwin, and Graham Weston; all are featured, along with a host of additional performances and crew, in both the 36-minute "War Zone" featurette, which discusses the making of the serial and Troughton's departure, and "Shades of Grey," which examines the effect of monochrome television on early episodes such as this one. "Talking About Regeneration" discusses the Doctor's changing appearance through talks with Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, among others, while "On Target--Malcolm Hulke" kicks off a series on coauthor Hulke's imaginative Doctor Who novelizations. There's also another installment of "Stripped for Action," which covers the Doctor's adventures in comic form, as well as interviews with composer Dudley Simpson and makeup artist Sylvia James, return visits to the serial's exterior locations, and the usual subtitle production notes, promotional trailers, Radio Times PDF, and gallery of photos. Only "Devious," an amateur film made by fans, fails to live up to the quality of the other material. The Easter Egg-curious will also find treasures on all three discs, including behind-the-scenes audio, a test reel of special effects animation, and an amusing rendition of the Doctor's plea before the Time Lords as enacted by cheeky sock puppets. --Paul Gaita
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The episode starts out as usual with the Doctor & company (Jamie & Zoe) finding themselves in the middle of World War I. What seems the normal confusion turns into puzzlement as they find themselves bouncing from WW I to The US Civil War to Ancient Rome.
Over the ten parts the focus shifts as if it were several different episodes, first on the humans caught in the games, then to the aliens supervising the games, then to the human resistance, and finally to the Time Lords and the Doctors attempt to escape from his past. Each part is pulled off and tied together well. The plotting and performances are first rate.
In the end the villians get their cumuppance but so does the Doctor leading to his exile and forced regeneration into his successor Jon Pertwee and several years of UNIT episodes.
We get to see all the different sides of Troughton from this one. If you had never seen him as the Doctor (As I hadden't at the time) you get a great sense of all you had missed. Troughton like all the doctors brought much to the role and did so in the worst of circumstances since he had to sell the idea of "regeneration". If he had failed Dr. Who would have just been another short lived science fiction series instead of the classic sci-fi phenom that still sells tapes 30 years later.
If you have no other Troughton in your collection this is the one to have.
Now if only we could find Power of the Daleks...
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Most recent customer reviews
I sat down to re-watch this classic Troughton
finale; it had been at least 10 years since I
had seen it and I had fond...Read more