DVD 100 mins
Parental Guidance
Doctor Who - The Visitation [1963] - The Visitation
BBC Home Video (29/09/1975)
In Collection

Seen It:
USA  /  English

Peter Davison
Janet Fielding
Sarah Sutton
Matthew Waterhouse

Director Peter Moffatt
Producer John Nathan-Turner
Writer Eric Saward

Doctor Who: The Visitation is a routine adventure from the show's 19th season, beginning with Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor trying to return air hostess Tegan (Janet Fielding) to Heathrow Airport but materialising the TARDIS just as the Plague is ravaging 17th-century England. Three stranded Terileptils (humanoid-reptilian-fish hybrids in laughable costumes) are planning to wipe out humanity, while the local population have accepted the invader's puzzlingly camp robot for the Grim Reaper incarnate. There's much running around, being imprisoned and escaping again, but little substance in the story bar a return to the original series concept of tying the plot to elements of real history. Trying to find something for all the companions to do stretches the material thin, with the best entertainment coming from Michael Robbins' memorable turn as Richard Mace, an out-of-work actor turned charmingly genial highwayman. The "surprise" ending is predictable, Matthew Waterhouse's Adric as earnestly tiresome as ever and Tegan still tediously grumpy. Sarah Sutton as Nyssa is left too long building a sonic weapon which can vibrate a robot to pieces but doesn't harm the TARDIS or herself, yet Davison goes a long way to redeeming the tale with a charismatic intensity the yarn just doesn't deserve.

On the DVD: Doctor Who: The Visitation is presented in the original 4:3 aspect ratio with a good if variable picture. There are numerous unavoidable light trails on the video-shot studio material and some visual distortion on a few scenes. The mono sound is good and extends to an optional isolated presentation of Paddy Kingsland's musical score, a feature complemented by a new 16-minute interview with the composer by fellow Who musician, Mark Ayres. Of greater general interest is a 26-minute reminiscence by director Peter Moffatt covering all the six Doctor Who adventures he helmed. There is a good feature on Eric Saward and on the writing of the show, five minutes of extraordinarily dull Film Trims, detailed Information Text and an automated photo gallery. There are subtitles for both the episodes and a commentary that finds Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Peter Moffatt, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse having great fun bantering their way through the four episodes, a feature that proves far more enjoyable than the serial itself. --Gary S Dalkin

Edition Details
Barcode 5014503132927
Region 2
Release Date 19/01/2004
Packaging Keep Case
Screen Ratio 1.33:1
Subtitles English
Audio Tracks English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Layers Single Side, Single Layer
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Personal Details
Links Amazon UK
DVD Empire

Audio Commentary by the actors Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse and Peter Moffatt
Directing Who- Interview with Peter Moffatt
Writing a Final Visitation- Interview with Eric Saward on his debut Doctor Who script
Scoring The Visitation- Interview with composer Paddy Kingsland
Film Trims- Untransmitted shots and dialogue
Music-only Option
Production note option
Photo Gallery