"Ambassadors of Death" DVD

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"Ambassadors of Death" DVD

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:58 pm

Got my copy on Saturday and have watched it twice (Sat & Sund evenings) one with commentary & data info across the bottom!

Of course I like it! Anyone who knows my Dr Who tastes knows season 7 is my all time era! The recolourisation was very good- better than that done on "Silurians" Of course Ep 1 has existed in original form and looks "Fantastic" The only error I thought was in episode 6 when the Doctor meets the Earth astronauts in the alien ship in what is a mock-up of the Earth `Waiting Room` (Astronauts think they are in quarantine on Earth) The set is flooded with garish colour changes rather like a early 70s `Top of the Pops` episode! I think they overdid that, but it's a minor glitch!

The one real plot glitch for me was Carrington stating the )Earth) astronauts knew nothing about the `swap` with the aliens. That is utter nonsense and contradicts most of the reason they were sent up; but in a story that had six re-writes with four authors its no big surprise it `messed up` a bit in plotting!

Dudley Simpsons score is, for me, easily his best Dr Who work. The only area of his score that I didn't go mad over was the `Unit` music, especially in episode 1 when they arrive at the warehouse! It was still too much like the `twiddly dee` theme from "The Invasion"

The acting! Just superb! Only the character of Taltalian came over as a stereotype and not too well thought out; but everyone else of main cast were great. Michael Fergusons direction is tremendous especially those fast cutting images when astronaut Peters enters the docking tube; the alien signal and reply; and best by far- the scene where Liz is blocked by the aliens and one takes off his helmet!

The one real `downer` for me was on parts of the Commentary. Terrance Dicks! It's like listening to a stuck record! The same old prejidices, the same old carping about Sherwin & Bryant; the same stuff over why Liz Shaw `had` to go! Then he starts berating "Ambassadors" because it's not "Whoish" He then decides to have a go about "Doomwath" Thankfully, Michael Ferguson starts to stand up to him and not too soon in my view! It's a real relief that Mr Dicks is only on three episodes commentary and after he leaves after episode 5, the commentary really does pick up and you can tell everyone else` mood has improved! Terrance Dicks is rapidly becoming the Bernard Manning/Alf Garnett on these commentaries.

On the `Mutants` he come close to out and out racism, how on Earth did 2 entertainment allow that? (You need to get the Mutants to `experience` that!

Anyhow, back to `Ambassadors` For me- just fantastic! If you want to see a radically different style of `Dr Who` - different even to the rest of the Jon Pertwee years, take a chance; check it out!

alanultron5

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Re: "Ambassadors of Death" DVD

Post by codywillis1 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:21 am

This is out in the next couple of days here. Looking forward to it. Probably the weakest of season 7 - but still better than 99% of the next four seasons so suck that, Uncle Tewwy. Wink

It is a very great shame Sherwin didn't stick around longer (sigh). Another of those great "missed opportunities" of Who (like Colin's early retirement, the ludicrous axing in 1989 after the best season since Tom left, Eccleston being forced out etc). Sad

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Re: "Ambassadors of Death" DVD

Post by alanultron5 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:48 pm

At the time back in 1970 this story really impressed me. It has a sort of `strangeness` about it that the show rarely recaptured. The plot is a bit too complex, but in my view it is just about the most `serious` in tone that the show ever achieved!

Many fans of season 8 called it `Adult` back in 1980s fan circles; but I always demurred from that viewpoint. As an example "Terror of the Autons" with Policemen who are `monsters` and Killer Dolls does not strike me `Adult` A touch sadistic and certainly sickly is my take on that tale and the bulk of season 8.

If any season deserves the sobriquet `adult` I nominate the 7th. I watched all of Ambassadors again last night; superb!

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Re: "Ambassadors of Death" DVD

Post by codywillis1 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:55 am

Oh absolutely. I tried a marathon of all the series about 5 years ago but lost the will to go on during Pertwee. I was really startled by how badly dumbed down season 8 really seemed after 7.

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Re: "Ambassadors of Death" DVD

Post by alanultron5 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:04 am

Watching the show back in 1970, I had so thoroughly enjoyed it that what I did catch of season 8 went and put me off the show for over two years! The eighth season is still almost unwatchable to me even today Cody.

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Re: "Ambassadors of Death" DVD

Post by codywillis1 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:46 pm

Saw The Ambassadors of Death last night on dvd for the first time. First up, not sure about the recolourisation. The quality isn't all that great and I found it quite distracting at times, especially on episode 2 after the normal-colour part 1. That said, Ambassadors is a cracker - a terrific, gritty, gripping SF military conspiracy thriller - amazing that three hours just fly by yet these days even the 45 minute ones seem to drag. They sure don't make 'em like this anymore. The regulars are on great form, and there's some great guest turns from Ronald Allen, John Abineri and William Dysart as the cooly professional mercenary Reegan. There's no denying it - season 7 kicked ARSE. .
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Re: "Ambassadors of Death" DVD

Post by alanultron5 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:17 pm

Yes, the change in colour quality from ep 1 to 2 is a bit disconcerting, but on the whole I think the colour reconstruction is not too bad. Only the `psychedelic` overuse in ep 6 when the Doctor meets the human Astronauts seems `unreal` to me! I watched the `Silurians` which has noticeable `striping` in its colour, so `Ambassadors` not too bad.

Much of Dudley Simpsons score is the best I have ever heard in any Dr Who story. The fast camera cutting scenes in episodes one and six by Michael Ferguson very much add to the enjoyment.

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