I'm not entirely sure why this episode was choosen to be the first Colin Baker DVD. Me, I woulda picked Doctor Who - The Mark of the Rani (Episode 140) or even "The Twin Delima", though only cause that was his first episode. "Trial of a Timelord", fun though it was, would have been a bit much for everyone first time out, I think.
The story is an ok one, more relevant now, perhaps, than it was when it was first aired. The character of Sil is always fun to see, and the other roles were well done as well. There was just a little something missing, and I don't quite know what.
As for the extras on the DVD, well... they could have been better. I was a little disapointed in compairison to the other Doctor Who DVDs I own. The behind the scenes section was a joke, as were the outtakes (hint to the BBC: Pick ones that are funny). The text commentary, normally very informative and verbose, was surprisingly sparse on this episode.
On the plus side, the audio commentary is nicely done, and the trailers are fun to see. And the expanded/deleted scenes were really interesting. Overall this, as mentioned, isn't the best DVD (which would be Doctor Who - The Aztecs, or the worst (which would be Doctor Who - The Five Doctors (Episode 130)), and is worth the time and money.
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C R Swanson (CRSwanson)
I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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One of the most popular of Colin (the sixth Doctor) Baker's adventures, "Vengeance on Varos" finds the Doctor and Peri (Nicola Bryant) involved with rebels on a1984-like planet, Varos, where televised torture is used to support and enforce the ruling regime. When first broadcast, the episode aroused condemnation over the violence shown--particularly two men falling into a vat of acid--as well as the implied horror and moral corruption. However, these complaints missed the satiric subtext of a world in which reality-TV suffering pacifies the masses while big business exploits them. While there is too much running about in corridors, the surreal terrors of the Punishment Dome make for goodDoctor Who, and the adventure develops ideas from both "The Sun Makers" (1977) and "The Caves of Androzani" (1984) with considerable low-budget aplomb. Filled with bizarre touches, such as Peri's transformation into a bird creature, the show also marked Jason Connery's TV debut as a rebel leader.--Gary S. Dalkin