Home : Archive : TSV 41-50 : TSV 41 : Review


Video review by Stuart Brown

The final of Season Seven and a classic in almost every way. The acting was of a high standard from each of the regulars. Olaf Pooley (Professor Stahlman) was convincing - both in the normal and parallel world. His utmost arrogance and foolishness seem to be characteristic of all Doctor Who megalomaniacs. Private Wyatt's fall from the top of the tower was also convincing. I liked the gradual transformation of the humans into Primords - the finished result looked realistic.

The whole plot was logical and it was good to see the Doctor's first attempt to travel in time fail due to the 'barrier' which in turn fuels his desire to break through. It's a pity that it is Caroline John (Liz Shaw)'s last story as she was a good character and was definitely under-used during the season.

The alternative world made things a lot more interesting - in particular the eye patch and scar suited Nicholas Courtney well. The handling of the alternative world was another excellent aspect instead of everyone being the antithesis of their other selves on the normal world (which would be too predictable) they are essentially the same characters but with slight differences - which all add up to give the new character a completely different flavour. The actual effect of the Doctor travelling to the parallel world left a lot to be desired but the sound effect was good.

A very good story but perhaps a little too long-winded - the Doctor could have travelled to the alternative world an episode earlier.

Video review by Stuart Cosstick

For anyone considering buying a Doctor Who video in the near future, let me recommend Inferno. From the first season of the Pertwee era this seven-part story has aged remarkably well; especially when you remember that it's nearly 25 years old.

The Primords aren't as terrifying now as they may have been back in 1970, but the incidental music and camera work is effective and the acting by the leading players is excellent.

Jon Pertwee is in his element dashing around in Bessie, fighting on rooftops and desperately attempting to operate the TARDIS console. But the real stars of Inferno are Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier/Brigade Leader), and Caroline John (Liz Shaw). Both give strong performances which makes the story more adult. Although the Pertwee era seems to be remembered for the Doctor/Jo Grant combination, Liz's character was more mature and in my opinion more believable. I think it's a shame that she was the Doctor's assistant for so few stories.

This is, for me, one of the best Doctor Who stories on video.

This item appeared in TSV 41 (October 1994).

Index nodes: Inferno