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Mythed opportunities

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2010-06 SFX p108.jpg

  • Publication: SFX
  • Date: June 2010
  • Author: Dave Golder
  • Page: 108
  • Language: English


1972-1980 12 339 mins £49.99 OUT NOW!

Directors Paul Bernard, Norman Stewart, Kenny McBain

Cast: Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Katy Manning, Louise Jameson, Lalla Ward

★★☆☆☆1/2 Extras: ★★★★☆

Considering the low regard in which these three myth-related stories are held by fans, they could well have called this box set Dregs. But while none are classics, rewatching them suggests that their reputations are not entirely deserved.

Atlantis tale "The Time Monster" may be plodding, repetitive and hampered by a monster that's some bloke dangling from a wire flapping his arms and some very dodgy science, but it does features the Jon Pertwee/UNIT family at its glorious height. "Underworld" (a Tom Baker take on The Odyssey) is infamous for using CSO models to place the actors inside caves, but this early experiment in virtual sets is not the disaster popular opinion would have you believe. The story itself, though, is dour and colourless.

Not something you could accuse "The Horns Of Nimon" of being. Here we get the Minotaur myth reimagined as a pantomime. It truly is a load of bull, but rates highly on the "so bad it's good" scale. And the costumes are magnificent - one bloke's wearing what looks like the Sydney Opera house.

Extras: The jewel in the crown is a documentary on the symbiotic relationship between Who and Blue Peter - witty, interview-packed and informative. "Nimon" also has a chat with writer Anthony Read and a scene rescored by Peter Howell - an experiment by the incoming producer to see if electronic music would work. Twenty minutes of studio footage from "Underworld" are surprisingly interesting; the accompanying Making Of reveals that Tom Baker even directed one scene! "Time Monster" has a frothy documentary on the science behind the story (which doubles up as a decent Making Of) and a short restoration piece. All three stories have commentaries. "Time Monster"'s oddly swaps with each episode - some have comedian Toby Hadoke chatting with producer Barry Letts, guest star Susan Penhaligon and the production assistant; a clearly unprepared John "Benton" Levine bumbles through two episodes; and a group of new series scribes (Phil Ford, Joe Lidster, James Moran) fill in entertainingly for one. Tom Baker is great value for money on "Underworld", asking co-commentator Louise Jameson, "Were we getting along at this point?"; Bob Baker also contributes. Lalla Ward, Janet Ellis, Anthony Read and a loveably barmy Graham Crowden take over for "Nimon". Then there's all the usual text commentary, photo gallery and PDF gubbins. Great stuff.

The Burmese cat that appears briefly in "The Time Monster" was sacked alter it scratched Ingrid Pitt.

Caption: Tom couldn't decide whether to propose or not.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Golder, Dave (June 2010). Mythed opportunities. SFX p. 108.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Golder, Dave. "Mythed opportunities." SFX [add city] June 2010, 108. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Golder, Dave. "Mythed opportunities." SFX, edition, sec., June 2010
  • Turabian: Golder, Dave. "Mythed opportunities." SFX, June 2010, section, 108 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Mythed opportunities | url= | work=SFX | pages=108 | date=June 2010 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Mythed opportunities | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024}}</ref>