Dr. Who: Colony in Space
The Time Lords discover that the Master has stolen their secret file on the Doomsday Weapon and decide to send the Doctor and Jo on to retrieve it for them. The Doctor finds himself on an alien planet in the middle of a territorial dispute between peaceful colonists and the Interplanetary Mining Corporation. Watch out for Roy from Eastenders.
Somewhat mistitled, the "Colony in Space" of this John Pertwee adventure is actually on the barren colony world Uxarieus. A group of settlers are struggling to make crops grow when an Interplanetary Mining Corporation team led by Morris Perry, effective as an official with the mind of a Nazi bureaucrat, arrives to claim the planet. Despite the sometimes-laughable production values and a few gaping holes in the plot, Malcolm Hulke's script contains enough intrigue and incident to keep the whole thing moving briskly for six episodes. "Colony in Space" was significant for being the Third Doctor's first adventure away from Earth, fitting into the eighth season after "The Claws of Axos." Though less celebrated than "The Demons," this is an entertaining adventure and a reminder of just how much Doctor Who reflected the radical politics of 1970s British sci-fi. --Gary S. Dalkin
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They meet a group of colonists, headed by Robert Ashe, who are having such horrible luck, that "unless things improve drastically, [their] colony is in grave danger of starving to death." Since their arrival a year ago, they planted subsistence crops in order to reclaim worn out soil, but the crops shoot up, wither, and then die. They also live in an uneasy truce with the local race of Primitives, whom they give food, not helping their dwindling food supply. Not only that, but two colonists are killed by giant lizards. The Doctor and Jo promptly give their help as usual.
As if they didn't have enough troubles, a detachment from Interplanetary Mining Corporation, headed by the cold-hearted Captain Dent, arrive and claim mineral rights, in conflict with Ashe's claim that Uxarius was classified for colonization. An Adjudicator is sent for, however, they normally favour IMC in disputes. The hot-headed Winton, Ashe's deputy, favours an attack on IMC to drive them out, in contrast to the more diplomatically-minded Ashe. On the side of the IMC, there's the mineralogist Caldwell, who begins to question some of IMC's methods of getting their bottom line. The Adjudicator does come, and guess who it is?
Things heat up between the colonists and IMC, whose role in the colonists suffering may be connected.Read more ›
Spoilers follow. This Jon Pertwee story is not remembered for much beyond it being the first Third Doctor story where the character leaves Earth. As a change of pace, 'Colony In Space' may have been refreshing when it first aired, but in comparison to other Doctor Who stories (most of them set on other worlds), there is not too much in this padded 6-parter that stands out. The plot involving scheming mining officers and the bland colonists is insufficient to fill out over 2 hours of story, but a few actors, particularly those playing the chief miners, gamely put their all into their limited roles. The plot gets more interesting once the ever-reliable Roger Delgado again shows up as the Master (posing as an Adjudicator), but only slightly. The final storyline about the struggle to control an ancient doomsday weapon is cliched but necessary to give this story an extra bit of kick. Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning and Delgado are as delightful as usual and obviously the foremost reasons to purchase this video, one of the last Pertwees not yet released commercially. For all the roundabout storytelling with characters escaping from capture only to wind up imprisoned again to kill time, and the campy aliens and robots, fans of this show and these actors will probably enjoying seeing 'Colony In Space' again for the first time in a long while.
Most recent customer reviews
Very slow paced and silly episode from the third doctor of the old series. Fans onlyPublished 20 months ago by Amazon567432
The Colony is Space is definitely a classic John Pertwee Dr. Who. If you are a big fan
of John Pertwee, this is a must for your collection. I thought the video was okay. Read more
The Doctor gets a reprieve from his exile on Earth, only to do the bidding of the Time Lords. Landing on a planet with Jo Grant, the Doctor gets involved with some colonist close... Read morePublished on April 1 2003 by Huntsmæñus
Whether you agree or disagree with the overall story being good or bad, this is still a good way to get your Jon Pertwee/Katy Manning fix. Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2003
This story is typical of most 6-parters in Dr. Who, strong through the first 3 episodes but then dragged out as if it were really intended to be a four part story but they had to... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2003 by A. Daniel Patten III
Jo Grant (the Doctor's assistant) is taken on a trip in the TARDIS for the first time (in a wonderful sequence that encourages the viewer feel her excitement). Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2003 by C. C. Cotham
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