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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:  146 minutes (six part story), audio commentary, making of fetaurette, outtakes, photo gallery, PDF materials, production notes track, coming soon trailer
VIDEO:  1.33:1 (Full Frame)
AUDIO:  English 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital
Subtitles:  English

STUDIO:  BBC/ 2 entertain/ BBC Worldwide/ Warner Bros Home Video
RELEASE DATE:  11-8-2011

The Time Lords send the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) against their will to Uxarieus, a Earth colony world in the 25th century.   The Time Lords want the Doctor to stop the Master (Roger Delgado) from gaining control of a Doomsday Weapon.   Also, The Doctor and Jo find themselves in the middle of the struggle between the colonists and IMC (a mining company who will go to any lengths to get the world for the valuable minerals).   

COLONY IN SPACE marks the first time that the Third Doctor is in an off world adventure since the previous stories only show him in exile on Earth.    The Time Lords will use the Doctor as an unwilling agent in other stories (THE MUTANTS, THE CURSE OF PELADON).    The (optional) Production Notes subtitles point out that COLONY IN SPACE is basically a Western In Space.      It paralleled the Western films that the BBC would air after each episode of this story.   Also the script is written by Malcolm Hulke who brings in his own political agenda with being anti-big business and always in support of the underdog (who fight against the company).    Malcolm Hulke's stories always have several things going on with several characters being developed in addition to ideas keep being thrown at you.   It is one of my favorite 3rd Doctor stories that take place in the Earth Empire's future (right behind the classic FRONTIER IN SPACE which was also written by Malcolm Hulke).   Delgado and Pertwee play well off each other with a rivalry and respect for each other at the same time.   

Audio commentary is moderated by Toby Hadoke and features actors Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Bernard Kay (Caldwell), Morris Perry (Dent), director Micael Briant, script editor Terrance Dicks, and assistant floor manager (turned director) Graeme Harper.

The optional Production Notes track reveals that Morgan was originally supposed to be played by a woman (which an actress was cast for the role), but the BBC got cold feet in seeing a woman doing such evil things.

IMC NEEDS YOU! is a 25 minute making-of featurette that features interviews with cast and crew as they remember how the serial came together, the difficulties of shooting in a quarry in February (when it was cold and sometimes even muddy), how it has stood up.
FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR (13 minutes) shows some outtakes (mostly without audio and from 16mm footage shot on location) and some of these outtakes even look better than the actual location scenes in the story itself.
Rounding out the extras are a six minute photo gallery, a trailer for INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS and THE ANDROID INVASION), and PDF materials (Radio Times listings) accessible via DVD-ROM on any computer.

FINAL ANALYSIS:   DOCTOR WHO- COLONY IN SPACE is one of my favorites of the Third Doctor out of the 8th season.   It manages to blend the Space Western and continued battle of wills between The Doctor and the Master quite well.   The outtakes are one of the highlights among the extras.  I can't wait until the BBC release all Season 8 stories to DVD.

this DVD review is (c)11-15-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com