- Actors: Tom Baker, Graham Crowden, Lalla Ward
- Format: NTSC
- 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:
- Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
- Release Date: July 6 2010
- Run Time: 100 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00272NJ6Q
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,330 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Doctor Who: The Horns of Nimon - Episode 108
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Doctor Who: The Horns of Nimon (DVD)
In "The Horns of Nimon," the declining Skonnon Empire's quest for the technology to launch a second galactic empire rests upon tributes from the people of the planet Aneth. The fourth doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lalla Ward), encounter a starship full of such young people, including Janet (Blue Peter) Ellis, on their way to be sacrificed to the bull-like alien Nimon. While Romana becomes trapped in the Nimon's ever-changing labyrinth, the doctor struggles to repair the Tardis and finds that someone, or something, is engineering an artificial black hole.
Doctor Who had previously explored the Cretan legend of the Minotaur in "The Time Monster" (1972), and here pays homage to the story without attempting to incorporate it into the Who mythos. Tom Baker is in good form and script editor Douglas Adams keeps the story tight without allowing the humor to take over. The best performance comes from Lalla Ward, fully at home as Romana and a commanding presence in her own right. The set and costume design are notable except for the Nimon itself, which is rather laughable. This story is an entertaining if ultimately unexceptional adventure for the good Doctor. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The leader of Skonnos, Soldeed, is eagerly awaiting the delivery of the youths, as it is the last payment to the Nimon, who have promised the Skonnons technology that will give rise to the second Skonnon Empire. "He speaks of Skonnos rising from its own ashes with wings of fire!" proclaims Soldeed. Indeed, Soldeed fawns and scrapes before the black, red-eyed bull-like Nimon, who seem to have read some Egyptian hieroglyphs for their loin cloths. He isn't bothered that all the Nimon want are youths to be sacrificed. "I play the Nimon on a long string," he says, and regarding an exchange of favours, "if there is an imbalance, make sure it's in your favour." However, Soldeed doesn't realize the full extent of the Nimon's plans, nor what the Great Journey Of Life" is about.
Tom Baker has two funny lines at the expense of the despicable pistol-wielding co-pilot of the battlecruiser. "Have you noticed how people's intellectual curiosity declines sharply the moment they start waving guns?" And when the co-pilot won't allow the Doctor to go to the hold to help with some engine trouble, he says, "Why don't you give me the gun and then I can keep an eye on myself so I don't get into funny business?" When the Nimon tell the Doctor, "Later, you will be tortured, questioned, and killed." the Doctor replies, "Well, I hope you get it in the right order." And I was very bemused when the Doctor tells Soldeed that somebody is "digging a black hole on your doorstep."
Lalla Ward (Romana) has a stylish red overcoat and spends most of her time with the Anethans, playing a Doctor-ish role to them, but does so straight.
However, this is the second time Greek mythology has been tweaked. Think of Seth of the Anethans confronting the Nimon in the Power Complex. Now, think of Theseus of the Athenians confronting the Minotaur in the labryinth. And if trying to correlate Soldeed with Daedalus is a stretch, spell Soldeed's name backwards. Kind of, sort of, yeah? And the Doctor's remembering to have Seth's ship painted white for the welcome party given by his father is a reference to Theseus forgetting to change the sails of his ships from black to white, which had tragic consequences for Aegeus, or as the Doctor says in memory of his involvement with Theseus, "a whole of hoohah."
Graham Crowden is best known as Tom in the Waiting For God TV series, and his OTT portrayal of Soldeed is akin to his future WFG role. He does look funny in the heavy brown beard and pop eyes, and that plummy voice of his may be a bit much. However, his singsong calling of "Lord Nimon" is a bit of pop culture kitsch.
Due to the industrial strike that took place during Shada, The Horns Of Nimon was the last completed story of Season 17, which meant the end of two things. One was the end of Graham Williams as producer for the show and Douglas Adams as script editor, which meant no more silly jokes and lines, such as the loud bangs and silly noises the TARDIS console makes in Episode 3. The other was the blue time tunnel opening titles that had made its debut from the last Jon Pertwee season (1974). Not exactly a great story to end the season, but not bad either.
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Released in the UK as a Myths & Legends set including the Time Monster and Underworld both Greek myth heavy stories, "Horns" is the story of an advance culture taking advantage of a lesser one, but in turn they themselves are being set up by an even more advance and aggressive culture. The Doctor happens upon a broken down Skonnan ship mid journey delivering ` Tribute' of young sacrifices and radioactive hymetusite crystals, both of which they are obtaining from the nearby planet Aneth to the Nimon, a higher being on their world, unknowingly delivering their own world to his race of galactic parasites. The UPSHOT: The bull-headed Nimon send a lone representative to an unsuspecting world, offering aid in order to gaining the trust of its inhabitants, before arriving in force to pillage its resources. The Doctor and Romana stumble upon a world which has already fallen to the Nimon linked to Skonnos by a space tunnel through which the Nimons cross from one planet to the next, fueled by the very hymetusite taken from Aneth. Like the Minotaur of legend (which the Doctor claims to have been involved) the Nimon's power complex is labyrinthine with the maze shifting and changing shape. Naturally, this is where the finale takes place, w/K9 stacking the deck.
Even as a kid the noise of the handful extras stomping around the metal grating of the Skonnan Complex served only to call attention the spare numbers. But then again here the Skonnan culture is intended to be an old ailing empire desperate to reclaim old glory...so a handful of soldier stomping around the Complex is just what they'd have. But it is hard to excuse the look of the Nimons or that the race is represented by three skinny limbed, enormous headed, platform shoed monsters (even after the invasion begins.)
On the plus side and the final reason you should get this DVD.... Soldeed! The apparent leader of the misguided Skonnan Empire is played soooo amazingly over-the-top by Graham Crowden. Every line drips of the stage.... "Lord Niiimon! It is I....SOLDEED!" and he actually calls Roman "a hussy!" But gems like "my dreams of conquest" and ".....you are all doomed" are simply genius !!! Crowden gives what is, in my humble opinion "the best death scene ever in DW history!"
Some Nimon Drinking Games:
... the co-pilot calls the Aneth sacrifices "weakling scum!"
...someone pulls out a sonic screwdriver ( Romana ever has her own in this one, which the Doctor promptly pilfers ).
...Hymetusite is seen or mentioned
The Doctor says...."What could possible go wrong?"
....SOLDEED says "Lord NIMON" his own name or "Meddlesome hussy ."
...someone says "IN THE NAME OF THE 2ND SKONNAN EMPIRE" and "THE GREAT JOURNEY OF LIFE."
...we see a NIMON.
...the Doctor covers K9's mouth (this doesn't happen enough in this season)
...the Nimon assures us that "the Program will continue!"
... SETH's girlfriend Teka, tells us what he's gonna do to the Nimon, yikes!