'Doctor Who - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy'
(Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Ian Reddington, et al / DVD / NR / 2012 / BBC Video)
Overview: Although Ace hates clowns, the Doctor decides to take his companion to the Psychic Circus on the planet Segonax. There they find a group of scared performers who live in fear of the sinister and creepy Chief Clown. But what is so dangerous about this particular circus, why is there such a small audience and will Ace be able to overcome her fear before it's too late?
DVD Verdict: In truth, back in the '80s, Doctor Who was really being criticized and forgotten, but this story was well ahead of it's time. It's very creative and would be amazing if done today with more money thrown into it. It's amazing that JNT turned out what he did with the budget the BBC gave him. The cast is great and studio problems that nearly cancelled the serial actually helped the realism of the tent scenes. Another great addition to the Doctor Who collection.
The storyline? Well, The Doctor and Ace receive a mysterious advertisement for the Psychic Circus, on the planet Segonax, and decide to check it out. Ace isn't happy about it. She is secretly afraid of clowns (it's called coulrophobia), but the Doctor insists on going.
Well, this is one circus that won't put Ace's fears to rest, that's for sure. Before the Doctor and Ace arrive on the scene, we see a clown jester in white face, with a predator's smile, tracking two circus escapees. One dies, the other, the Bellboy, is taken back to his circus cage.
When Ace and the Doctor arrive at the circus, they realize there is something very weird here. There's only three people in the audience, a father, mother and exceedingly creepy little girl. Well, all three are creepy. The Ringmaster is creepy, the clowns are creepy, especially the Chief Clown, who chased down the escapees.
This is one circus where you will just die to take part. And there's a twist ... but I won't give that away today, have no fear!
With regard some of the special features, the eleven minutes worth of deleted and extended scenes usually involve people walking from one set to another. But this lot does have some good character moments. And some are unfinished so it means they will go from black and white to color at random. Do look out for a scene of the buried robot as it shows it got some dialogue which was cut from the final version!
There is also a one minute long clip of a parody of the show from 'Victoria Wood - Seen On TV' (old UK show) which also plays exactly as you would expect - parodying stupid companions and cheap sets and monsters and the Doctor's costume. There is one good joke in the middle of it, but that's that! Enjoy![HR] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
• Commentary With actors Sophie Aldred (Ace), Jessica Martin (Mags) and Christopher Guard (Bellboy), writer Stephen Wyatt, script editor Andrew Cartmel and composer Mark Ayres. Moderated by Toby Hadoke.
• The Show Must Go On Cast and crew look back on the making of this story.
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Model Effects Unused model effects shots originally intended for the story.
• The Psychic Circus A music video set to a song written by Christopher Guard and featuring vocals by Christopher Guard, Jessica Martin and TP McKenna. Produced by Mark Ayres.
• ‘Remembrance’ Demo Two scenes from Remembrance of the Daleks re-scored by Mark Ayres.
• Tomorrow’s Times – The Seventh Doctor The on-going series looking at the press coverage of Doctor Who reaches the Sylvester McCoy era. Presented by Anneke Wills.
• Victoria Wood Doctor Who sketch from Victoria Wood – As Seen on TV.
• Radio Times listings (DVD-ROM)
• Programme Subtitles
• Production Information Subtitles
• Photo Gallery
• Coming Soon Trailer
• Digitally remastered picture and sound quality