Doctor Who: The Green Death Special Edition
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Doctor Who: The Green Death (Story 69) Special Edition
Featuring the third incarnation of the Doctor--Jon Pertwee's patriarchal renaissance man--The Green Death is a solid addition to the Doctor Who canon. Originally broadcast in May 1973, it may now have dated a little, with its vegetarian hippies and "boyo" Welshmen, but it has all the elements of classic Who, the Doctor encountering green-glowing dead bodies, a shadowy mastermind, a global conspiracy, brainwashing, a megalomaniacal supercomputer and, of course, giant maggots.
This story, the final sequence of Pertwee's penultimate season, reached the TV ratings Top 10 and, fittingly, met high production standards. The environmental message, while facilitating Who's ongoing individual-freedom motif, also proved prophetic in its warnings of globalization and pollution. The special effects, though admittedly dated now, were good for their time and budget--the stop-motion photography of the maggots and the front-axial projection used for the pulsating green skin are particularly effective. The well-crafted script manages to combine monsters, punch-ups, and cliffhanger endings with cerebral concepts, human drama, and erudite references to Beethoven and Oscar Wilde--the single tear of the reformed villain as he destroys his paymaster is just one of the subtle touches distinguishing this work. The Green Death's six filler-free episodes belong to the Golden Age of Doctor Who, and their denouement is one of the most poignant in the series' long history. --Paul Eisinger --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.See all Product Description
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Soon, two more deaths follow, and Jo and the Doctor discover the cause down the mine--a green petrochemical slime that causes death on contact. Worse, the slime has irradiated maggots to two feet in length who also kill on contact.
The Brigadier, and the Doctor (after a perilous but successful expedition at M3) work against Global Chemicals and the director, Jocelyn Stevens. However, in Episode 1, Stevens is seen talking to (himself?), as if he's under control by someone else.
Professor Jones reminds Jo of a younger version of the Doctor. He believes in using alternative energy sources, such as solar power, movements of the wind, tides, and rivers. No waste means no pollution. Stewart Bevan, then Katy Manning's beau, is a most welcome guest performer as the progressive but ecologically conscious Jones.
This is Jo's show all the way. She did well as the Doctor's assistant, but here, she's more than just a pretty face. Her concern and compassion whenever the Doctor is near death is shown to its best when she hears of the death of Bert, a "funny little Welshman" she only met for a few hours down the mine, but whom she felt was very special. Jones' comforting words to her are magic here.Read more ›
Feeling like a cross between a Quatermass film and the old William Hartnel episode "The War Machines", The Green Death is an enjoyable romp from the Pertwee "exile" period. The wriggling green maggots are (fondly?) remembered by all children who watched the original transmission back in the '70's, the cast ham it up beautifully and the story ends on a sad note as Jo elects to leave the Doctor for a young scientist. While the scipt is very good and moves along at a decent pace, the effects are unfortunatly typical for the time period - the CSO (green-screen) effects in the mine are awful and the flying insect is laughable, however the maggot infested slag-heaps and the attacking maggots are done very well.
A gripping, nicely topical (even today) plot whizz along and the cast all give 100%. It's also rather poignant at the end too, which is unexpected from 70s sci-fi.
One weekday, after hearing about this show called Dr. Who from school mates, I got to see the first episode of the Green Death and was hooked on Dr. Who until returning to the states.
Naturally, my return to the states actually meant an end to me seeing Dr. Who until going to college in which local public TV stations ran the 3,4, & 5 doctor shows on Friday nights.
The Green Death, features the overtones of the misuse of the environment. A chemical company secretly pumps its waste into their end of a mine shaft. Overtime the miners start to discover strange green slime and a few go missing in the event.
UNIT is called in, and Dr. Who takes the lead into seeking out the missing miners and the apparent green death. His discovery reveals that maggot-like creatures have mutated via the chemical waste and now nature is taking its due back.
Seeing this again on VHS, not only sparked the memory of seeing this first the first time, its brings the Doctor back into my family's enjoyment of such a timeless series!
I only wish that the BBC would consider to release Dr. Who on the DVD format in the US if only to preserve this series for future generations. The American fans brought Star Trek back from the dead, we can support the Doctor just as well!!!
Most recent customer reviews
It was a good job of remastering this story. We say farewell to Joe Grant in this story and you can't help but feel sad for the Doctor.Published on March 18 2014 by E. A. Schattschneider
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