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Science Fiction - Doctor Who 76 - Tom Baker - The Ark In Space

Doctor Who 76 - Tom Baker - The Ark In Space

Doctor Who The Ark in Space
Tom Bakker, Elisabeth Sladen
4 Episodes 2 DVD
Originally aired 1975
BBC Video 2013

Doctor Who Story 76 The Ark In Space is the second story featuring the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. It is also one of the better and least hoaky or obviously low budget tales so far in the series. The Ark In Space Special Edition 2 DVD set has the four episodes of the series and some special features on disc 1 while disc 2 has the shows spliced together into 70-minute movie broadcast in 1975 and a few other features.  Very small print in back of this Doctor Who DVD says Story 76 was digitally remastered for picture and sound: it is certainly one of the better looking stories in the original series.

The story is set on a space station in orbit around earth that holds thousands of cryogenically preserved humans (all of them white, even if the Doctor does a bit about “all creeds and colors”). The Doctor's arrival causes the station to wake up and thaw a couple of scientists. It is soon obvious that the pods have picked up a bug named the Wirrn that changes the humans into really big flies creatures. Can the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Harry help stop the Wirrn from overtaking everybody?

This is a very good episode. It also features a very original method to tell the back story of how the Wirrn got on the ship and what happened after.

The trick with the original Doctor Who adventures is not to expect the same kind of production values as the 21st century series and keep in mind this was meant to be a science fiction show for kids.

With Story 76, The Ark In Space, the BBC gave Doctor Who a bit of a better budget. It shows in the better looking space station but it is hard more almost forty years later not to notice the many inventive uses for bubble wrap.

There are 3 Easter Eggs on this release somewhat differently placed than on the 2002 DVD.

Easter Egg 1: Press up at Play All. There will be a Green Doctor Who logo. This gets you a 30-second shot of a production clapperboard used for Part Two of The Ark in Space.

Easter Egg 2:  Let the credits for episode 4 play to the end for a weird message.

Easter Egg 3: Press left Photo Gallery on the Special Features menu. When a green Dr. Who logo appears, press enter. You'll see a funny 16-second spot featuring Tom Baker promoting the Doctor Who Exhibition Blackpool.

Special features for Doctor Who Story 76 The Ark In Space include audio commentary with Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, and a producer. an option to have production notes as subtitles, an excellent thirty-minute Making Of, a few other lesser things, and  the usual PDF radio listings etc materials,

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