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The Leisure Hive

Rating Votes
10
1%
1
9
3%
2
8
9%
7
7
38%
29
6
29%
22
5
14%
11
4
6%
5
3
0%
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2
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Average Rating
6.4
Votes
77
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
4
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 4/29/19 2:40 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

'Leisure Hive' starts off the Fourth Doctor's final season on a strange note but with a lot of fascinating potential behind it. The Doctor and Romana are drawn to a leisure center on an alien planet in the throes of decay after a devastating war. It's this war that prompts the center point of the drama and a scheme by one of the leaders to bring his people back to their former glory that will inevitably lead to conflict and death.

It's certainly a very visually creative story with unique color schemes, gorgeous cinematography particularly at the beginning with the Doctor and team at Brighton beach, and some neat looking alien designs in the Argolin species. The whole setting feels very alien and unfamiliar in general and the hard science that drives the narrative is somewhat interesting if a little difficult to figure out at first. There are also some good themes in the militarization of culture, decline and decay after a war, and the nature of the tourism industry that are handled well enough and most of the cast acquit themselves fine if unremarkably. Lalla Ward does her best given what she's been saddled with but Baker's Doctor looks and sounds exhausted in this one and it's not one of his better performances in general.

But the story's biggest damning faults reside in its script, pacing, and tone. Everything about this story is slow and tedious with no real driving force or tension behind what's going on even with some decently executed cliffhangers between each part. This is one of the dullest stories I've ever seen from this team and this reviewer couldn't tell you half of what went on in this story beyond the bare bones and the obvious. It's an adventure where all the pieces are there for a great story and some of them are even there to see. But the problematic execution in bringing everything together really trips it at the first hurdle and this makes watching it a sloppy slog from the moment the TARDIS lands on Argolis.

Despite everything good about it including some funny lines and well done old man make up on Baker about halfway through, by the time the very rushed climax hits and Baker and Ward leave without so much as a goodbye to everyone else, you feel like you've wasted an hour and a half of your life that you won't get back. It's not the worst story by far or even the worst start to a Doctor Who season and it won't insult your intelligence like many other less than stellar Who stories do. But 'Leisure Hive' is not going to enthrall, entertain, or engage you in the slightest beyond the visual and so it's really not worth the time or the energy. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 9/5/16 4:23 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A terrible shame the Leisure Hive comes together to form such a plodding serial, given its really interesting nature both on screen and behind. There's tonnes of creative direction; very competently handled lighting; some lovely film work on Brighton beach and a novel new rulebook on Doctor Who scores as we move into an electronic synth age, past the days of Dudley Simpson.

The Foamasi whilst a bit forgettable, have a novel twist and unlike the Mandrels, despite being rather naff are kept away from camera long enough for them to deliver some of the creepier scares since season 14. There's some hard science, as well as maturely handled themes of militarisation, imperialism, warfare, decline, decay, tourism - some handled satirically, some dramatically. The satire is funny, the drama is suspenseful.

My criticism is effectively ripped wholesale from various comments made on the DVD documentaries. Despite having more meat on the bone, reigning in some other elements leaves the serial a bit po-faced. With Tom Baker and without production elements available to the show in latter decades, without the 'undergraduate humour' the show feels cold and bereft.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/9/15 9:43 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story kicked off Tom Baker's last season as the Doctor with a truly 1980s theme. The story of a war-torn and dying people establishing a tourism planet actually has some interesting features, and the story builds slowly from a somewhat slow beginning to a smash conclusion with pretty solid cliffhangers for each part. It also has some interesting scenes with the Fourth Doctor aged to an old man.

This story has some very dull moments, most notably a pointless two minute pan of a beach which the Doctor and Romana promptly depart right at the beginning of the serial, and a few other odd shots that served as padding The serial does get better but it's not in the same league as the best Doctor Who stories from the Baker era.