BBC / 95 Minutes / 1982 / Unrated / Street Date: May 14, 2013
The setup of this 1982 Doctor Who adventure involves a trip…through time. When we first see our fair Doctor (Peter Davison) and his posse (Nyssa, Adric, and Tegan), they are in mid-17th century London. But what thrills about The Visitation on this special edition DVD is that this voyage is no retro tale of historical fiction – this is, after all, the world of Doctor Who, and that means that it doesn’t take long here for the alien cyborgs to show up.
As it happens, there are aliens here who have a bad habit of harassing local townsfolk while wearing get-ups that make them look surprisingly like the Grim Reaper – the faithful think the end is near, and these baddie E.T.s enjoy having a bit of fun with their new earthling pals. Of course, without hesitation, the Doctor and his team find themselves at the epicenter of this issue, trying to figure out a way to appease their intergalactic enemies without sending the locals into a terror.
Even better than other Who editions that have hit the market in the last year or so, The Visitation is both a cult-adored treat and an absolute gem as a DVD edition. In fact, these special edition Who titles are perhaps standard-def’s last great offerings: there are more bonuses here than can be imagined. To venture down the rabbit-hole of The Visitation here is not only a chance to enjoy some delicious early-80s BBC sci-fi, but to have that programming supplemented with hours of additional material that sheds light on every aspect of its background. It’s a great way to nerd out for a few hours, that’s for sure.