My favourite classic episode of the original Dr Who series. No, really (!)
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Some Doctor Who fans have had to wait years for their favourite story to appear on DVD. Some are still waiting ("Death to the Daleks" hint, hint). Personally, I've been waiting since the first release of The Five Doctors back in 1999 for "Paradise Towers" to find its way to DVD - twelve whole years of my life. This fact will probably come as a surprise to most fans of the series as this story inparticular and Seventh Doctor stories in general never come out near the top of the annual survey in 'Doctor Who Monthly' magazine. Growing up in the 1980s though, Sylvester McCoy was very much "my" doctor, and I quite liked him. I can't say the same about Bonnie Langford, but I always remembered that godawful blue-and-white polka dot outfit she wore in this story, and it was fun to see her menaced by two sweet canibilistic old ladies armed with a toasting fork!!
That's not that there aren't problems with elements of the show. The casting of the teenage Kangs are too old, whilst the caretakers are too young (if they never went off to fight in this war they by definition should be older and/or unfit but are mostly 'stock' guard types). The character of Pex has also been cast somewhat at odds with the writers original intentions - envisioned as a proper musclebound Sylvester Stallone type and not the somewhat average build of Howard Cooke. And then of course there's the 'cleaners' who aren't very menacing at all, while no-one seems to have restrained Richard Briers as the 'Chief Caretaker' who bases his performance somewhere between a South American Dictator and Adolf Hitler, but much nearer the latter than the former. He doesn't just chew the scenery, he swallows it whole!!
The only disappointing thing for me with this release is that there is no Slyv & Bonnie material among the extra features - neither of them show up for the commentary or any of the interviews. Maybe in Bonnie's case that is not too much of a surprise (I think she has pretty much disassociated herself from the show these days) but the absence of Sylvester McCoy is disappointing.
I really loved this episode when it was originally shown in 1987 and I still love it today. I know I'm in the minority in rating this episode so highly, but I just can't help myself! 10/10