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Reviews for Mannequin Mania

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I know before I see...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 8 May 2011
Rating:   9

When I was a lot younger I didnt really use to like Spearhead From Space all that much. But I dont know why, as now I really like it a lot. It has great autons for a start, far more lumpy and frightening than those stupid new series efforts! I was about as scared of them as a scab! These two Jon Pertwee tales are both excellent though.

Spearhead From Space boasts some great characters, one would expect no less from Rob Holmes. I love the characters of the Seeleys particularly. The banter between these two older characters is highly amusing. And Jon Pertwee finds his feet immediately, although its not til part three that he really makes a huge contribution to the story, for being in the Ashbridge Cottage Hospital. But those scenes where he meets the Brigadier with his new regenrated face are rather comic and good too. Hugh Burden is excellent as the soulless and ruthless nestene Channing, and John Woodnutt is a great foil as the taken over Hibbert. I really like these interesting characters. Caroline John also makes a marked impression as new companion Liz Shaw. I love the immediate connection she makes with Jon Pertwee. I am really sad she was only in the series for a single season, even more sad that she wasnt given a real goodbye. And theres no need to go on about how good Nick Courtney is. He's a great character, part of the Third Doctor perfect mix. The fight scene in episode four is particularly well done and shot, being highly suspenseful indeed. What I also think adds to the effect of this story is that its entirely shot on film. It gives it a firm uniqueness amidst every other Doctor Who around it.

Terror of the Autons though is my favourite of these two stories. one for its introduction of the great Roger Delgado as the Master and Katy Manning as brilliant reliable and clothheaded Jo Grant. These two make a brilliant entry into the series, Katy being charmingly dim but loyal, and Roger being suitably chilling and suave all at the same time. And the fact that far more plasti things come to life make this all the more fulfilling adventure in my opinion. The troll doll is particularly well realised, and looks truly ugly and unfriendly. And I mustnt forget the other great guy who makes his debut here, Richard Franklin as Mike Yates. I liked his character, as he seemed to be given a bit more depth than the other officers of UNIT. Although John Levene is always dependable and again is used well in this story. The Master's savage killing of the technician at the climax of this story just highlights how evil a character he is. Things all come to a great crescendo. Maybe the ending is just a little quick, but for me this is no problem. I think its highly believable that the Master would have been so blinded by the power he could gain to forget that the Nestenes wouldnt see him as being any different from any human. Its a brilliant script point to me. So I love these two stories. (Yeah, I know Ive written this before the DVDS out, but I know all the extras too will be great I know.

The best monsters in the best 2 stories!

By:Huw Davies, Taunton, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 1 June 2011
Rating:   10

The Autons have always been my favourite monsters. In my opinion they take the most rudimentary and normal object as a mannequin and turn it into a terrifyingly sinister weapon. Here are there two classic series appearances, one a 'Special Edition' re-release of an early DVD, the other a brand new release.
'Spearhead from Space' is the SE release here. The main thing you notice about it is its stunning appearance - the film already gives it a super quality, and the brilliant restoration just adds to it. The story is reasonably simple but dazzlingly effective - Episode 4's Auton massacre on Tottenham Court Rd is one of Who's most redolent images.
'Terror of the Autons' has become one of my favourite stories since I watched it. It takes all the concepts of 'Spearhead from Space' and turns them up to 11 - where SfS had dummies coming to life, TotA has the same dummies but they can talk, and are armed with new weapons: the 'Nestene Autojets' (plastic daffodils to you and me). Where SfS had the sinister villain Channing, TotA gives us the DW legend that is the Master, played by Roger Delgado.
The whole set is wonderful. Take DW's best monsters in 2 of DW's best stories, plus the best restoration of stories to date, and you get a simply stellar boxset! Bravo, 2|entertain

Where it all began

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 6 July 2011
Rating:   10

As I've said before, Jon Pertwee was my Doctor and this has both his beginnings.
His actual debut & the start of his battles with the Master.
Spearhead starts the 3rd Doctor in great style. The Autons are great monsters and its lovely to see the Brigadier back, even in a horrible uniform.
The Special edition DVD is light years ahead of the original release in terms of its restoration and features Down To Earth, a look at the making of this story and how it saved the programme.
The restoration work on Terror of the Autons is staggering compared to the VHS copy. It is a joy to see it presented so well.
Life on Earth is a really good making of Documentary.
All in all very highly recommended.

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