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Science Fiction - Doctor Who 86 The Masque of Mandragora - Tom Baker

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Doctor Who 86 The Masque of Mandragora
Tom Baker, Elizabeth Sladen
4 episodes 1 DVD
Season 14, 1976-77
BBC - Warner Home Entertainment 2010

Doctor Who DVD 86 The Masque of Mandragora is a four episode show that opened season fourteen of this classi science fiction series. As such, it had a greater budget. This allowed The Masque of Mandragora to go to Portmeiron, home of The Prisoner. This digitally remastered Doctor Who serial is one of the better ones:  it is not as claustrophobic as the lower budget all studio episodes. This DVD features Sarah Jane and Tom Baker as the Doctor.

In The Masque of Mandragora the TARDIS  is caught in some helix and lands in Renaissance Italy. Unbeknownst to Doctor Who, an evil force aka a red sparkler has hitched a ride. It is out to stop the Renaissance and drive humanity back to the dark ages. This is within a story of political intrigue at an enlightened Italian Duke's court as his uncle the Count and an astrologer named Hieronymous plot to take the throne.

Episode 1 of Doctor Who story 86 sets everything up and ends with the Doctor facing execution and Sarah Jane being a sacrifice to a god. Episode 2 has the Doctor doing a bit of Robin Hood style stunts, goings on in a polystyrene decorated underground, and the Helix giving powers to a character. Part 3 has three parties vying for power and Sarah Jane gets captured again.

Special features on this Doctor Who DVD include Bigger on the Inside: the history of the TARDIS. This look at the design of the doctor's time travel device is the most informative and interesting feature I have yet to see about this series.

Other features include Audio commentary by Tom Baker and others, a Making Of, a Now and Then location featurette, Beneath the Masque, a photo gallery, and production notes available as subtitles while you watch the DVD.

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Doctor Who 61 - The Curse of Peladon - Jon Pertwee:

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