Brighton's not all it might be for a holiday, especially
out of season, so Romana persuades the Doctor to visit Argolis,
home of the Leisure Hive, the ultimate resort destination.
Unfortunately, the planet's inhabitants are sterile [the result
of a war with the Foamasi] and its tourist industry, its sole
means of support, is dying too. The outlook is bleak...
To make matters worse, Pangol, the youngest and most volatile
Argolin, was actually created by the technology at the heart
of the Argolis leisure complex, the Tachyon Recreation Generator,
and he intends to use the machine to create an army of replicas
that can take on the Foamasi one last time, wiping them out
to Pangol and his mother Mena, leader of the Hive, the Foamasi
have made an offer for the complex to its Earth agent Brock.
When the news breaks that the greatest enemy of Argolis, the
race that reduced the planet to a wasted husk, is in the bidding
for its livelihood Pangol steps up his plans...
Leisure Hive marked the dawn of a new era for Doctor
Who with incoming producer John Nathan Turner committed
to radical change. Out went the previous seasons' silliness
- a good move - and in came a commitment to intelligent drama
and high production values - also good. Unfortunately, The
Leisure Hive arrived on our screens as something rather
dull and slow. Despite some very short running times, each
episode feels like it lasts an eternity as beige characters
walk around beige sets in beige costumes speaking beige dialogue.
Even the excellent directing from Lovett Bickford can't rescue
a script that lends a whole new meaning to the term 'dull
as ditch water'.
On the plus side, this disc is chock full of excellent extras.
The 5.1 audio mix is better than many modern movies, the A
New Beginning feature tells the story behind the production
so well you almost start to want to re-watch it, and the Synthesising
Starfields mini documentary, about the show's new opening
credits, is also highly informative.
there's the problem. The extras are more interesting than
the main feature which makes giving an overall score to the
release quite difficult. The extras clearly merit 10 out of
10, The Leisure Hive episodes, however, don't even
come close which rather undermines the disc's reason to exist.
it could be worse - the next Doctor Who DVD release
is Ghost Light.
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