“Special Edition” means very little anymore when it comes to DVD. This is unfortunate because when BBC Home Entertainment uses Special Edition to a classic Doctor Who release it really means special. This version of Story 54 – Inferno features an absolutely pristine and perfectly restored print. Inferno looks like it was just made. Special features are also plentiful. This 7 episode story which originally aired in 1970 is quite good once you get to the third episode. This Doctor Who is a solid acquisition for any fan of the series, casual or serious.
Inferno is a season 7 story. Story 54 has Jon Pertwee in his fourth adventure as the Doctor who is still stranded on earth and trying to fix the TARDIS. He is in an oil facility where Professor Stahlman (wonderfully played by Olaf Pooley) is drilling to the center of the earth to get an unlimited power source. This dislodges a green goo that transforms you into a hairy zombie if you come in contact with it. The professor sabotages the computer so he can continue drilling and things go badly
Meanwhile, a power surge while the Doctor is working on the TARDIS sends him to a parallel universe that is a few hours ahead and where everybody is the same but living under a totalitarian regime. The Doctor also tries to get that universe's Stahlman to stop drilling before its too late.
The show has the usual early series flaws but less so. It is low budget but it does not show too much (aside from the 5 and 10 store fangs the creature version of Benton wears). The supporting cast is quite good though the supporting zombie-apes are awful. The fight scenes are pretty lame and Pertwee's version of the Vulcan death grip is a hoaky pokey.
Special features for Doctor Who Inferno Special Edition include audio commentary track and interesting Production Notes as alternate subtitles on DVD 1. DVD 2 has Can You Hear the Earth Scream, a 35-minute making of; Hadoke versus Havoc where some guy trains with some stunt people. The fifth and last installment of Doctor Forever which looks at the years between the two versions of the series (27 minutes); The UNIT Family (35 minutes) which looks at what the Doctor did in the years where the series was always set on earth. Also included are a promo film, a deleted scene, a photo gallery, and an intro to The Pertwee Years.