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< The Sun Makers
The Invasion of Time >

Underworld

Rating Votes
10
0%
0
9
4%
2
8
4%
2
7
6%
3
6
13%
6
5
31%
15
4
38%
18
3
4%
2
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
5.1
Votes
48
Director:
Writer:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
2
Effects Rating:
2
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TheBigChurroReview Date: 3/15/18 1:22 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Starting on a positive note; I really enjoyed episode 1. Concepts of Time Lords being gods and gifting other species regenerative abilities is really interesting. However that's where this story falls downhill. Beyond Episode 1, the story can;t hold my attention, which of course is down to the CSO. It looks dreadful, so dreadful that I lost nearly all interest that I can't recall what happens in the last 2 parts. If only it looked nicer and the plot improved a bit, we would have an alright story.
But alas, it is not the worst story of the Tom Baker era, this story's predecessor, The Sun Makers is in my opinion an inferior story.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
3
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 8/25/16 11:57 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

I was reading the In-Vision for this recently and the technical explanation for the chromakey being blurry and patchy was interesting, to me at least. 2" VT had an industry limit of 5 generations and the amount of layering for an individual scene could be as many as 14 generations. A nice reflection of the state the Minyans found themselves in with their genetic fatigue. The technical audacity for such a large amount of CSO on an unprecedented scale should not go without recognition. Unfortunately, having financial limitations drive production decisions on such a scale means that this is as interesting as an accountant's spreadsheet.

Several interesting ideas just get dropped. The unnecessary insertion of Time Lord references and technology and the pacifier device, for instance. The effect the latter has on Leela is interesting. Is her sulky attitude a hangover of the effects wearing off or does she genuinely feel she has been made to look a bit of a fool? The two characters with robotic heads have always confused me. I thought because this was so deathly dull that I had simply had a lapse of concentration every time I have ever watched this! Still wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.

The characters are cardboard cut-outs (which puts them on a level just above the CSO caves, in my opinion). The characterisation is awful and it's badly written. I have never been a fan of Bob and Dave's style but this is unusually lacklustre somehow. The flat packed characters leave no real room for a psychoanalytical analysis. I mean, Herrick clearly represents the ID, Jackson the Ego and Orfe the superego, but so what? They just don't do anything. I suppose it does espouse Marxist ideals in a way. Proles rising up against their oppressors, or something....

No - I am sorry - try as hard as I can to see the bright side this is terrible on every level. The CSO limited the visual palette the could be used removing bright colours and shades of colours. But the costumes are awful anyway as the headgear reduces people to disembodied voices. The mad computer is another example of this and it deprives the viewer of a certain connection to the onscreen events.

I'll stop now... but I could go on...and on....

Actually, there was one positive thing I meant to say but completely forgot. I do like the switcharoo resolution. It shows the Doctor using his guile to outwit his opponents in a really cheeky way. Especially when he tries to tell them they are in fact the grenades just as they take them off him thinking that they are the race banks. But apart from that this is mostly awful. Apart from the spaceship sets. I like them too, of course.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
3
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
4
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 8/4/16 8:54 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Despite being below average, I'd still refrain from outright decrying Underworld as the single worst Tom Baker story. For me, the plot (despite lazy homage...) was interesting, engaging and provided enough to keep things moving. To an extent this a mirror image of the later Steven Moffat era - there the issue is with all but the scripts knocking the ball out of the park, here the script is the weakest offender!

The CSO work is deserving of its infamy, far below any duff (but forgivable in an age of experimentation) scene of the early Letts era. Following some great CSO work almost half a decade earlier in Planet of the Spiders, it's not forgivable. Due to the cost-cutting, many scenes are repetitious and the direction, in facilitating the CSO, is staggeringly flat. Quite frankly, most Hartnell stories can give Underworld a run for its money, with more vigour and pace in direction.

With flat direction and irritating CSO, as well as no quirky influence from Robert Holmes, performances falter too. Managing to wrestle such a dull performance from Tom Baker, more than any other factor, drags underworld down. Despite that, there's still some fab model work and great sci-fi concepts, surprisingly hard for the Williams era. Certainly don't pick this over any of the greats, but it really isn't to be avoided like the plague.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
3
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
4
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
3
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/6/15 9:53 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I often find lowly ranked and regarded Doctor Who stories that are underrated and not as bad as their reputation is. Unfortunately, such is not the case with this story. Usually a bad Doctor Who story can be redeemed by good elements like a great performance from the leads, a fun guest cast, or an interesting villain. This has got nothing. The leads are okay, but the story is horribly paced with the first two parts being dull beyond belief. The story appeared to be picking up in Part 3 with some elements that seemed similar to the prior story (the Sun Makers) but the Fourth Part was filled with illogical plot devices, horrible acting, and just nothing clever at all. As such, there's nothing really to suggest this play as worth watching by anyone other than Doctor Who completists.