And, like Androzani, this story often finds itself at the top of “all time” polls.
Similarly, as with my review for the discs from this collection featuring the 1984 Davison epic, I won’t add to the numerous reviews, opinions and thoughts that already exist on this terrific 1977 six~parter. But I will state that, like Androzani, there is a nasty, almost unpleasant tone throughout but, unlike the 80s facsimile, there is levity to lift the licentious mood.
Step up the always alliterating jocular Jago, raising a smile every time he utters, “Oh, corks!” Sublime. Line of the story, however, must go to Tommy B. Upon the suggestion that the gun he is holding may explode, he responds, “Explode? Unthinkable. It was made in Birmingham.” There’s also a nice allusion to Oscar Wilde – a part Baker would later play on stage – in the use of “A hat box?”
Even more shocking was the sight of portraits of both Patrick Troughton and David Tennant in his home. Post~production trickery? A cheeky member of the film crew planting them there without the former Time Lord noticing? Or does Tom Baker actually have pictures of other Doctors in his kitchen? It’s a comprehensive feature with thoroughly enjoyable input from all, and produced beautifully too.
A contemporaneous news feature, from Look East, is worth watching alone for Tommy B’s remark, “To be honest, there’s not much opposition to Doctor Who is there?” Still true to this day. Hinchcliffe entertains again on the featurette Moving On (looking back at the unrealised ideas he had for the next season) and Victoriana and Chinoiserie – a discussion of the literary references that can be found within the story.
Perhaps, like me, you’re thinking “Hhmm, that’s getting a bit close to not being about Doctor Who at all.” Well, set your brains to quizzical for the two docs, Limehouse – A Victorian Chinatown (Dr. Matthew Sweet investigates the area and its history) and Music Hall (a study of the music hall’s history). I have the feeling that some fans may be asking why forty minutes is given over to, what can only be called, “off topic” discussion.
Anyway, Victor Spinetti makes a most surprising, but most welcome, appearance and Dr Sweet (isn’t he a character in Candy Wars?) is, again, an engaging presenter.
There’s an extra disc worth of materials for The Talons of Weng~Chiang, but does it dramatically improve on the original release? A 2~disc production that boasted the wonderful Whose Doctor Who? documentary (also included here, along with all the original extras). That, my friend, is up for debate.
The Revisitations DVD box set is released on Oct 4, read more about the seven~disc set HERE