Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Time Travel > British TV > Doctor Who: The Creature From The Pit (Story 106/BBC DVD)

Doctor Who: The Creature From The Pit (Story 106/BBC DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: A-     Episodes: B



Tom Baker delivers more wacky thrills as Doctor Who in Story no. 106’s “The Creature from the Pit.”  Originally aired in late 1979, these episodes came at the back half of Baker’s epic, seven year run on the show.  A distress beacon emanating from the lush world of Chloris brings the Doctor, Romana (Lalla Ward), and K-9 Mk. II (David Brierly) to investigate, and the almost immediately run afoul of the forces of the local ruler, Lady Adrasta (Myra Frances). 


Shortly after, the Doctor hurls himself into a sacrificial pit which houses a creature that slays any who cross the haughty ruler.  From there, viewers are treated to one of the most visually bizarre and unintentionally hilarious creatures in all of Doctor Who lore, the Tythonian.  This massive beast looks like a rolling ball of flesh with a probing proboscis that resembles a giant penis.  There’s really no other way to put it.  The creature appears to be a giant fleshy ball with a prehensile penis on the end.  An entire segment of the extras on this disc discusses the uproar created by the “beast’s” appearance.  Several members of the production crew found themselves in hot water during shooting and after the episodes aired. 


The creature is unintentionally comical and strange, but it does not ruin the episodes, or the performances of the excellent cast, who had a fairly interesting script to work with.  By comparison to other Who monsters, the Tythonian cannot touch the Myrka from Warriors of the Deep, a Peter Davison tale that was to come later on in the Who’s storied history.  “Creature from the Pit” also benefits from otherwise excellent production values, including solid costumes and a lot of great K-9 action.  Fans of the Doctor’s robotic canine companion should note that Mr. Brierly’s voice talents do not match those of original K-9 actor John Leeson, who was not around for this season’s worth of stories.  Brierly is adequate, but Leeson’s tinny tones really help define the lovable character.


In spite of its production issues, “The Creature from the Pit” delivers the kind of zany fun that made so many kids of the 1970’s fall in love with the show.  Mr. Baker is so comfortable in the role by this time that he seems to frolic through scenes with a manic intensity that plays wonderfully against foils like the charlatan astrologer, Orandon, ably played by Geoffrey Bayldon.  This disc represents vintage Who, and if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief with regard to the creature itself, it will deliver plenty of thrills!



-   Scott Pyle


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com