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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Time Travel > British TV > Doctor Who: The Key To Time Special Edition (1978 1979/BBC DVD Set)

Doctor Who: The Key To Time Special Edition (1978 1979/BBC DVD Set)

C+     Sound: C+     Extras: A     Episodes: A



Perhaps one of the most compelling and sought after series of stories in the history of the BBC's most senior science fiction series, The Key to Time features Tom Baker as the Doctor and Mary Tamm as the ravishing Romana. This seven-disc boxed set covers story numbers 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, and 103, originally aired from September 2, 1978 to February 24, 1979.

The development in the chemistry between Baker's Doctor and Tamm's Romana (also a Time Lord) ranges from adversarial at the onset to one of mutual, if grudging, respect at story's end. Fan favorite robotic companion K-9 also features in some of the episodes, making for a nice "three-man" team of adventurers.
Broken into six segments, the search for the Key to Time is the perfect story device, sending the Doctor and company scattering across time and space to the most exotic of locales. In the process they face off against an array of truly deadly and bizarre villains.

As one might expect from a box of this size, the package is loaded with a bevy of extras, inclduing audio commentaries with Baker, Tamm, and others, and a series of "Making of" featurettes.
A number of deleted and extended scenes are also included. The 1.33 X 1 analog PAL video once again looks good on this NTSC DVD and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono are both also fine for their age. The BBC is doing their best to make these shows look good, especially since the low-def shows are not sharp enough to be HD.

The Key to Time features a number of twists and turns and wonderful "reveal" at the end which sets up a new "super" villain who rivals the Doctor's arch-nemesis, the Master, for sheer cleverness and evil.
This gorgeous re-release of this most critical story arc will please Doctor Who fans of all types, and with so many Tom Baker fans regarding him as the quintissential Doctor, it is sure to be one of BBC's most sought after boxed sets.


- Scott Pyle


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