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This Tom Baker Doctor Who adventure is cheesy, dorky, and totally fun....
BBC / 96 Minutes / 1975 / Unrated / Street Date: October 8, 2013
This latest Doctor Who DVD release may not exactly be the series’ finest moment, but it certainly scratches the itch. Heady, cheesy, and implicitly interesting, Terror of the Zygons is a solid addition to the pantheon, an adventure filled with curiously evocative science-fiction themes, seriously cheesy special effects, and entertaining boob-tube diversion. If you’ve ever geeked out to the show and haven’t investigated this opening chapter of the show’s thirteenth season, do yourself a favor and jump on in.
Here’s the setup for Terror of the Zygons: Sarah (Elisabeth Sladen), Harry (Ian Marter), and The Doctor (Tom Baker) head back to planet Earth (ah, to be home…) to investigate a series of attacks on oil rigs near Scotland. It turns out that an alien race calling themselves Zygons have landed a spacecraft at the bottom of Loch Ness – that explains Nessie, I guess – and they’ve created a giant robot called Skarasen that is programmed to destroy all humans. Whether it’s this cyborg or the shape-shifting aliens themselves, the human race is in jeopardy here, and it’s up to The Doctor and his pals to solve this problem once and for all.
Super Doctor Who fans will argue that Terror of the Zygons is significant because it showcases the last regular appearances of both Harry (Ian Marter) and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), though both would pop up in later episodes here and there. But speaking as a more fair-weather viewer who doesn’t have an encyclopedic familiarity with the show, I found Terror of the Zygons to be a fantastically enjoyable adventure in its own regard. And it’s difficult to resist a TV-on-DVD compilation like this one that offers both excellent A/V quality and a treasure trove of bonuses. Keep ‘em coming!