DVD REVIEW: Classic Doctor Who New Release
Classic "Visitation" Storyline Back In Print...
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While it seems like there couldn’t be more Doctor Who for all the fans out there to consume, BBC continues to crank out classic storylines alongside the new stuff that’s on TV now. These great presentations are bringing the classic episodes to whole new generations of fans while offering the longtime viewers a chance to re-live the early days of British science fiction on TV. This month’s classic release features The Visitation with the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) from 1982.
The Visitation takes place in England (go figure) in the year 1666. While the main issue for the locals is the Great Plague, another much more insidious threat has latched onto the Earth... revealed to be Terileptils (alien fish-like people) and their android! Taking control of villagers and plotting even bigger shenanigans, the Terileptils use advanced enslavement and weapons technology as well as their artificial lifeform helper who frightens innocents as the Grim Reaper itself. It’s up to the Doctor and his companions, Adric, Nyssa, and fan favorite Tegan, to stop the threat while maintaining the temporal security of the Earth.
Another solid example of a classic Who storyline with impressive effects on a shoestring budget, Visitation features all sorts of innovative tricks. Most of all here are the historical locations and set dressings, costumes, and of course the aliens. While they might not be as scary to a modern audience as they were in the early 80s, the Terileptils are pretty impressive monsters with detailed anatomy and interesting textures. The android is pretty fun too, both in his normal appearance and the Reaper disguise. A “later” classic, The Visitation is in full color. It’s remastered (as far as these things go for older TV shows), and as a BBC “Special Edition” comes with a slew of extras. On deck is audio commentary (main actors and director), the “Grim Tales” documentary on filming locations, “The Television Centre of the Universe” behind the scenes of BBC Television Centre, “Doctor Forever: The Apocalypse Element” doc about Doctor Who audio programs, extra footage, more docu-features, production notes, PDF sales sheets, photo galleries, trailers, and more!
As with all of the “classic” releases, The Visitation is a great blast from the past for longtime fans and a piece of history for newer viewers. With all of its 80s British TV charm and cool aliens this is a solid classic storyline and one you’ll need in your collection. The Visitation is available now wherever DVDs are sold.
Review by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of BBC Home Entertainment