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Reviews for Carnival of Monsters

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Pertwee rules the universe

By:Adrian Sherlock, Melbourne, Australia
Date:Friday 26 July 2002
Rating:   7

It's been a while since I last saw this story on TV, but it was always good fun to watch. The story is unusual in that itis divided into two sections.The scenes with the Doctor and Jo arriving on a ship in what seems to be Earth's past and finding the crew trapped in a time loop (see Groundhog Day) is very effective and very Twilight Zone-ish. Robert Holmes scripts well as usual and Harry himself, Ian Marter, makes an early appearance.The final moments with the ship's occupants realising that their trip seems to have taken forever and the old boy finally finishing his book and strangely haunting and touching, shades of the Bermuda Triangle mystery and the Marie Celeste. The other half of the story lets the whole thing down. The Pertwee era had spent three years firmly fixed to the ground. Dr.Who became a kind of 70s X-Files or an ongoing Quatermass serial with an unearthly hero, but season ten inspired Barry Letts to go plunging back into time and space with tacky, embarrassing results that lowered the tone of one of the best eras of the entire Dr.Who series. The scenes on the alien planet of Inter Minor are silly, cheap, obviously studio bound and filled with bad CSO work. The scenesin which the Doctor and Jo escape through the workings of the mini scope are similar to the Lost In Space episode Trip Through the Robot and inspire the viewer's imagination. All in all, it's about 50 to 60 percent of an all time classic and rest sucks like a vacuum cleaner. But all in all, the good outweighs the bad and Pertwee is still one of the absolute best Doctors. I'd say this DVD is well worth the price. But please...can we have some of the others now...seasons seven and eight for instance! The WHOLE seasons I mean,not just Spearhead from Space. Why Ambassadors of Death didn't make it to DVD recently is beyond me! What a story. But I digress! Long live Pertwee, long live Dr.Who!

Carnival of Monsters is smashing!!

By:mike lyon, Woodstock, Illinois, USA
Date:Monday 18 August 2003
Rating:   8

One of the best Who stories ever. a classic script by robert holmes reminds us how much fun the Doctor Who format can be. I can't believe the Ressurection DVD got a better score, it is by no way a better story ,perhaps the extras are better.If Carnival looks and sounds this good i can't wait for Talons/Weng chiang and Curse of Fenric!

Carnival of brilliance from Mr. Holmes

By:Huw Davies, Taunton, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 6 April 2008
Rating:   7

Although I thought it boring the first time I watched it a couple of years ago, I have definitely grown to like it and it is probably one of Robert Holmes' finest contribution to the show.

A brilliant story...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Saturday 9 October 2010
Rating:   10

Carnival of Monsters has it all:

a: Bob Holmes typical well rounded and wonderful characters. These range from the devious and psychotic Kalik to the more refined Pletrac, the dippy Orum and all the characters on board the SS Bernice.

b: an excellent central monster. The Drashigs are one of the finest monsters of Jon's time in the show. They dont look like puppets at all, which is a credit to the puppets creators. They are shot brilliantly on film, and look massive. One of the better uses of CSO in the series.

c; the duo of Vorg and Shirna too are just so delightful and comedic. I love these sorts of characters. Comedy is a vital part of Doctor Who. Things that are too serious often fail to be memorable, except for unpleasant reasons. But here we have this renowned double act that lights up the Inter Minor scenes.

The fact that the whole thing is set nearly all inside a scope is fascinating and original. This is one of Bob's strongest stories for the series. He kept on going from strength to strength and only staggered slightly twice. Not bad in about 20 stories.

Jon and Katy are so good together too, they are a double act themselves. Jo is often bumbling but fiercely brave and loyal to the Doctor, well up until the Green Death anyway, and always strongly performed by Katy. Even the weaker plaiseosaurus and lack of cloudy skies some scenes outside the door of the saloon cant stop me from giving this story a ten. Its definitely a classic story with a mountain of stuff going for it.

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