Terror of the Zygons
 

No. 9 of 135 in the BBC classic series videos series
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Starring: Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Ian Marter & Nicholas Courtney
By:Robert Banks Stewart
Rating:   8.8  (98 votes)  Vote here
Review:  The Ultimate Weapon...  Read more (5 in total)
Editions:  Australia Australia (edited VHS) | UK UK (edited VHS) | US US (edited VHS) | UK UK (Laserdisc) | UK UK (unedited VHS) | Australia Australia (unedited VHS) | US US (unedited VHS)

Cover image for Terror of the Zygons
Edition: Australia Australia (edited VHS)
Released:  April 1987
Publisher:  BBC Video
Format: 1 x VHS PAL
Owned:
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Note:  Movie format. One of only 4 videos which were released in Australia before any other countries (and hence have a different cover to the UK & US releases) — the others are: The Time Warrior, The Ark In Space and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

Cover blurb:
In this thrilling adventure the Doctor (Tom Baker) finds himself defending Earth from invasion by shape-changing aliens!

Arriving in Scotland at the request of his old friend the Brigadier, the Doctor discovers that the mysterious force which has destroyed three oil rigs has left giant teeth marks on the wreckage. The mystery deepens as the trail leads to the shores of Loch Ness...

Part-cyborg, part-organic creature the Monster of legend exists! It is the murderous tool of the Zygons; alien creatures intent on taking possession of the planet.

The Doctor and his companions must find a way to defeat the Zygons and their deadly Loch Ness Monster but the Zygons have terrifying powers to assume human shape and the Doctor finds that his friends and allies are not always what they seem...

Cover image for Terror of the Zygons
Edition: UK UK (edited VHS)
Released:  November 1988
Publisher:  BBC Video
Format: 1 x VHS PAL
Owned:
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Note:  Movie format. Yes, the cover really does say "Lock Ness"!

Cover blurb:
In this thrilling adventure the Doctor (Tom Baker) defends Earth from invasion by horrific transforming aliens.

Arriving in Scotland at the request of the Brigadier, the Doctor discovers that the mysterious force which has destroyed three oil rigs has left giant teeth marks on the wreckage.

The mystery deepens leading them to the shores of Lock Ness [sic] where they find that the legendary monster really does exist. Part-Cyborg, part organic, the terrible creature is the murderous tool of the Zygons, aliens intent on overpowering the planet.

The Doctor and his companions must find a way to defeat the deadly Loch Ness Monster and its controllers, but the Zygons have the terrifying power to change shape and the Doctor is in grave danger when he finds that his friends and allies are not always what they seem...

Cover image for Terror of the Zygons
Edition: US US (edited VHS)
Released:  April 1991
Publisher:  BBC Video
Format: 1 x VHS NTSC
Owned:
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Note:  Movie format.

Cover blurb:
Doctor Who is Pitted Against the Legendary Loch Ness Monster

In this thrilling adventure, Doctor Who defends planet Earth from an invasion by an evil group of grotesque aliens.

A call from the Brigadier sends Doctor Who to Scotland where three oil rigs have been destroyed by a mysterious force. On closer inspection, the Doctor discovers giant teeth marks on the wreckage. As the mystery deepens, Doctor Who finds himself in Loch Ness where he discovers that the legendary monster really does exist. To make matters worse, the terrible creature is under the murderous control of the Zygons.

The Doctor must find a way to destroy the deadly Loch Ness Monster and the evil Zygons. But it won't be easy. The Zygons have the terrifying power to change shape... and suddenly the Doctor can't tell the difference between his friends and his enemies!

Cover image for Terror of the Zygons
Edition: UK UK (Laserdisc)
Released:  December 1997
Publisher:  Encore
Format: 1 x Laserdisc
Owned:
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Note:  Last of seven Doctor Who stories released in laserdisc format during the 80s and 90s.

Cover blurb:
Shape-changing aliens with strange organic technology, a massive, invulnerable, cyborg creature which inhabits the waters of Loch Ness, and a final terrifying climax in which the entire human race is threatened with destruction all combine to make Terror of the Zygons one of the most tense and thrilling adventures from the golden age of Doctor Who.

When the Doctor (played by Tom Baker) and his travelling companions, Sarah and Harry (Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter), arrive in Scotland at the request of his old friend the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney), they find an uneasy truce in place between the locals and the employees of a major oil company. Three of the company's offshore oil rigs have recently vanished under mysterious circumstances, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives.

Asked to investigate, the Doctor soon encounters the sinister local clan leader, the Duke of Forgill, and quickly realises that the forces which destroyed the oil rigs, and which now threaten the lives of his companions, are not of this Earth...

The amorphous Zygon creatures were a masterpiece of design by series regulars James Acheson (costume) and John Friedlander (special effects/make-up). Their work combined seamlessly to create disturbingly foetal alien entities which are truly convincing in combination with the marvellously organic spaceship sets. The Zygon creatures were originally intended to be semi-translucent, with glowing bulbs hidden within the heavy costumes, but the effect was almost unnoticeable under the bright studio lights.

The story's studio recordings took place on 7/8 and 22/23 April 1975, with most of the scenes grouped by location, rather than story order, for easier assembly in the editing room. Previously, most Doctor Who stories were taped in their final transmission sequence, with pre-filmed 'telecine' inserts interspersed between the studio elements.

Although Terror of the Zygons was originally scheduled to be screened at the end of Tom Baker's first year in the role (broadcast during 1974/75) it was eventually postponed to form the opening story in a strong competition-bashing line-up for Autumn 1975, which became one of the series' strongest and best-loved eras.

Cover image for Terror of the Zygons
Edition: UK UK (unedited VHS)
Released:  August 1999
Publisher:  BBC Video
Format: 1 x VHS PAL
Owned:
Buy:
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Used:  £3.00
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Note:  Unedited episodic format.

Cover blurb:
When the Doctor, Sarah and Harry arrive in Scotland, having received an urgent request for assistance from the Brigadier, they discover that the mysterious force which has destroyed three oil rigs has left giant teeth marks on the wreckage.

The mystery deepens leading them to the shores of Loch Ness where they find that the legendary monster really does exist — and it's the murderous tool of the Zygons, aliens intent on overpowering the planet. The Doctor and his companions must find a way to defeat the deadly Loch Ness Monster and its controllers, but the Zygons have the terrifying power to change shape and the Doctor is in grave danger when he finds that his friends and allies are not always what they seem...

This action-packed and atmospheric adventure was originally transmitted 30 August - 20 September 1975. Includes special bonus footage — Tom Baker on Disney Time, originally broadcast 25 August 1975.

Cover image for Terror of the Zygons
Edition: Australia Australia (unedited VHS)
Released:  January 2000
Publisher:  BBC Video
Format: 1 x VHS PAL
Owned:
Buy:eBay

Cover blurb:
Same as UK edition, except for the last couple of sentences, which read:

This action-packed and atmospheric adventure is from the 1970's.

Includes special bonus footage — Tom Baker on Disney Time, originally broadcast 25 August 1975 in the UK.

Cover image for Terror of the Zygons
Edition: US US (unedited VHS)
Released:  May 2000
Publisher:  BBC Video
Format: 1 x VHS NTSC
Owned:
Buy:
Order from Amazon.com
New: $75.55
Order from Amazon.ca
New: CDN$ 260.20
eBay

Cover blurb:
Doctor Who, Sarah and Harry are beckoned to Earth by the Brigadier to investigate recent attacks on oil rigs by a vicious creature that leaves giant teeth marks on the wreckage it creates. The doctor [sic] and his colleagues find a link between these attacks and the Loch Ness monster, which really does exist — and is the murderous tool of the evil alien Zygons. The Trick [sic] is to determine which of their apparent allies are good, and which are shapeshifting Zygons intent on overpowering the planet!


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