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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Time Travel > British TV > Doctor Who: Image Of The Fendahl (1977/BBC DVD)

Doctor Who: Image Of The Fendahl (1977/BBC DVD)

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



Combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and horror, Image of the Fendahl stands out as one of the finest stories of Tom Baker's exalted run on one of the BBC's oldest and longest running series.  Officially counted as Story no. 94 in the Doctor's mythos, author Chris Boucher weaves an intricate web of plot and character to set up the events of the episodes.  Like many Who stories of this era, Fendahl takes its sweet old time to get going, as each character and setting is painstakingly revealed.  This slow development counts as both a strength and a weakness of the tale.  It's sometimes slow pace can make it tough for casual viewers to get into the story, but once this hurdle is overcome, the payoff is indeed great.

In taking the care he does, Boucher invests the audience in the life and fate of each character.
 The story opens with some dark experiments at the Fetch Priory, set in what was then contemporary (1977), rural western England.  Drawn to the time anomaly these experiments are causing, the Doctor and his companion, Leela (Louise Jameson), arrive to investigate just things begin to go south for all involved.  Through many twists and turns the Doctor and Leela must face a horror from the Time Lords' distant past, and in doing so are forced to make some very difficult decisions for themselves and the human research team caught up in the terror.

In spite of its sometimes campy visual effects, Image of the Fendahl manages to be one of the most frightening stories of this or any Who era.
 It's great candidate for Halloween viewing, and shows Tom Baker at the height of his powers.

BBC Video does not skimp on the extras, and this disc includes commentaries with Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and other cast members.
 Also included is the documentary "After Image", which covers the making of these episodes and features interviews with Louise Jameson and other cast members, along with some key members of the creative crew.

Fans of Doctor Who and Baker's wonderful run on the show will not be disappointed by Image of the Fendahl.



-   Scott Pyle


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