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Doctor Who: Nightmare of Eden
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Doctor Who: Nightmare of Eden
"Interfere? Of course we should interfere! Always do what you're best at!" declares the Doctor at the beginning of Nightmare of Eden, a four-episode story from the classic British science fiction series Doctor Who. In no time at all, the Doctor is masquerading as an intergalactic insurance agent, seeking to separate two spaceships that merged interdimensionally, and investigating the smuggling of the most dangerous drug in the universe--and that's leaving out the alien monsters roaming around. Nightmare of Eden is a particularly jam-packed story from the Tom Baker era, considered by many to be the best of the early Doctors; with his mop of curly hair, his bulging eyes, and his toothy grin, Baker's Doctor was wildly capricious and charismatic as he jaunted around time and space, applying his fierce intelligence and staunch moral sense to all sorts of thorny situations. In Nightmare of Eden, the Doctor is accompanied by the second incarnation of Romana (Lalla Ward), a Time Lady, and the robot dog K-9, who is loved and hated in equal measure. Nightmare of Eden has even more cheesy special effects than usual (the spacecraft are particularly unconvincing), but the zippy plot, good dialogue, and solid performances--including some startling moments that mix humor and horror, potentially giving younger viewers unsettling dreams--keep the show engaging. Among the extras are a featurette about the fractious making of these episodes (loaded with caustic comments from technicians); reminiscences from the writer, Bob Baker (who later went on to write for Wallace & Gromit); an interview with Lalla Ward; and strange but enjoyable conversation by three people whose relationship to Doctor Who is never explained, but who cheerfully discuss Nightmare of Eden in engrossing detail. --Bret Fetzer
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"Nightmare" tops several "Worst of" lists in the "Doctor Who" pantheon. Worst costumes, certainly. There's not a single character in this piece who's dressed sensibly. Starting at the top, Romana appears to be dressed in a gray maternity gown. With red trim. Most of the starship crew is dressed in leather: the ship's crewmen are wearing red sleeveless vests with glitter added. And white pancake makeup, to boot. The two federal agents whose comic banter takes over the second half of the story, are dressed like the biker from the Village People. Tryst's team wears white T-shirts under black vests, so the only thing missing, cleary, is the rhinestone studding. Daker's black jumpsuit has spandex sleeves. I won't even get into what the starship passengers are wearing. I fly coach three times a month and they just don't issue that at the departure gate.
The special effects are bad. The opening shot is of a styrofoam spaceship wobbling its way across the stars. There's a lot of experimental computer imaging in this 1979 epic, but explosions happen before the gun blasts which cause them, and after Della is shot in the neck, she famously falls to the floor clutching her midriff.
So why, then, is "Nightmare of Eden" so entertaining? At what point does "bad" become "good"?Read more ›
What happened? A freak accident takes place within orbit of planet Azure. The Empress nearly collides with a small ship, the Hecate, while in lightspeed and materializes around the smaller ship so that they have fused together. The nose of the Hecate is sticking into the Empress, blocking the larger ship's access to the power room and passenger deck. The blurred overlap areas, or matter interfaces between the ships, however, are unstable.
Into this situation comes the Doctor, Romana, and K9. The Doctor offers to help separate the ships, something to which both Rigg and Dymond, pilot of the Hecate on a survey contract job, are amenable to. All that has to be done is to recreate the circumstances of the accident: "excite the molecules, full thrust, then full reverse." However, Rigg's navigator Secker, who got them into this accident, is on vraxoin, a highly addictive drug that "induces a warm complacency and total apathy until it wears off that is, and soon you're dead." In fact the Doctor's seen entire planets destroyed by this drug. Secker's then attacked and killed by something clawed. The questions are, who provided Secker with the vraxoin, and what killed Secker? After all, vraxoin can be detected by the Empress's scanning device, and the Empress's route is the milk run from Station 9 to Azure, nowhere else, with no stops inbetween. And who is the mystery man who knocks out the Doctor, then tries to evade him later?Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This Dr Who has about the funniest monsters you'll ever see, sort of giant teddy bears! The story is interesting, about an electric zoo that was supposed to be only a display but... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Len the Sound Guy
It's definitely anti-marijuana propoganda, but at least it didn't drag-on as long as that one season of Torchwood (though both this and Torchwood ere really good).Published 15 months ago by Alexander Smith