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Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • 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: Jan. 5 2010
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B002PHVHK8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,094 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Doctor Who: Keys of Marinus, The (DVD)

For all the Whos in Whoville (sorry, wrong "Dr."), this vintage Doctor Who adventure from the venerable British series' inaugural season is a must-own collectible. For the uninitiated, Dr. Who is television's longest-running science fiction series and it has gained a cult following that rivals those of Star Trek and Star Wars. Dr. Who, portrayed here in his first incarnation by William Hartnell, is a Time Lord who travels the cosmos in a spacecraft called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), whose exterior looks like a police call box.

Originally broadcast in 1964, The Keys of Marinus is a six-episode arc that features the doctor's original traveling companions, science teacher Ian Chesterton, history teacher Barbara Wright, and the doctor's granddaughter, Susan, who is given to screaming at the first sign of peril. Hartnell's doctor is a sprightly curmudgeon who relishes adventure and mystery, which he finds after the group lands on Marinus, an island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid. Doctor and company are compelled to retrieve four microcircuits that are the keys to the Conscience of Marinus, a computer that has eliminated evil from the minds of men (except apparently the evil Yartek and his web-suited Voords, who want to seize the machine). Their quest takes them most memorably to "a planet of the most contented people" (beware the brainwashing powers of the "mesmerent"), another world overrun by plants, and finally a city where Chesterton, framed for murder, is considered guilty until proven innocent--by the doctor, of course. As is characteristic of this series, the special effects are a hokey hoot and the actors sometimes step on each others' lines. Hartnell vacationed during production and is absent for two episodes. But this is a surprisingly prophetic cautionary tale: it may be good to heed the doctor's prescient observation that "man was not made to be controlled by machines." If you have yet to make an appointment with the doctor, perhaps the episodes featuring Tom Baker--the fourth and most popular of the doctors--are a more accessible introduction. --Donald Liebenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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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Format: 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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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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