Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

The Ark on DVD

I realised to my delight that I had not yet opened, let alone watched, a DVD of The Ark bought some time ago, and spent some time over the weekend remedying the situation. As the First Doctor space opera stories go, this is one of the few successful ones without Daleks; and I've always appreciated it as Dodo's first proper appearance. The DVD is solid rather than brilliant, though the story behind the insanely complex camera work is told very well, and I had not appreciated just how short the time between filming and broadcast was; though the claim that Dodo's miniskirt seen at the end was the first ever shown on the BBC seems rather bold. The extras include a lovely reminiscence of the Riverside studio where the story was made, with Peter Purves and the director Michael Imison (who was told he was to be sacked literally as he went into the gallery to supervise filming of the final episode), and a rather silly pieceon why the Monoids never took off (which at least gets Jacueline Rayner a moment as a talking head).

And there's also a short documentary on the influence of H.G. Wells on Doctor Who, which seems at first an odd inclusion, though the argument is in the end very convincingly made that The Ark is one of the most Wellsian stories in the Whovian canon. This features a lot of Matthew Sweet, who has written some of the more literary Big Finish audios, and also Kim Newman, Graham Sleight and a mysterious figure credited as Dr A Keen, who looks like someone I vaguely remember from the Belfast arts faculty computer facilities in the early 1990s; I wonder what he is doing now?
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