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< Attack of the Cybermen
The Mark of the Rani >

Vengeance On Varos

Rating Votes
10
11%
10
9
20%
19
8
42%
40
7
18%
17
6
6%
6
5
1%
1
4
2%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.0
Votes
95
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 12/5/17 2:33 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Excellent casting and a glorious classic tier villain make this one of Colin’s few great stories.
Sil is a evil sucker and has one of the creepiest laughs I ever darn heard!

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 11/20/16 7:48 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Philip Martin really is a treat, packing this story to the rafters with meta-fiction, world-building and some genuinely engaging questions for the more sober viewer to chew on - whilst letting the rest of the audience tuck into an entertaining, if somewhat morbid story.

Well lit; slowly paced; diverse cast; focus upon world-building. Varos' strengths are well circulated - so I'd prefer to focus on what for me holds it back from a 9 or 10 / 10.

Vengeance is far from perfect. A bizarre complaint, but in some respects I don't think it's violent enough. Effects not quite cutting the mustard leave the acid bath and transmogrify scenes a little bereft of shock - and since its shot in a very orthodox 'show all' fashion, little is left to the imagination. As such, whilst other stories can show far less, in far less gruesome scenarios, the body horror can shock and impact to a greater extent.

There's also a pretty big issue of botched resolutions scattered throughout. The transmogrify concept is built up in truly horrendous fashion, with a great sense of dread. Whilst the effects are poorly handled, the potential is strong - before simply reversing the cellular mutation and having Peri and Areta leave utterly unharmed. Compare this to Seeds of Doom, where the dramatic focus on the impact of total cellular change is treated sympathetically; or to Creed of the Kromon, where Martin delivers a 'no turning back' gut-punch with long run emotional impact upon K'rizz - both far greater ways to make the most of a great idea.

One hanging scene, again horrible in build up and excellent in execution and world building - is left sucked of tension by some bland direction (revealing straight away the slack rope) and punchy pace (without cutting to provide the illusion of the Doctor being off screen for a protracted length!).

Finally, of course, the resolution itself. After a great hour plus of building a well crafted world with a sense of real stakes, one online memo effectively has the whole plot resolved without any proactive decisions on the part of the Doctor. In hindsight, if the Doctor were not to have appeared, one prisoner aside, nothing would have actually changed with regards to the resolution of the piece!

Despite these three complaints, VOV is still a real treat - almost that superb first episode of Armageddon Factor extrapolated for a whole story. Well worth adding to any collection.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
4
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
4
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: YorickReview Date: 2/7/16 12:14 pm
0 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Far from the best of Doctor Who but not the worst either.

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/15/15 11:19 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story is one of the best dystopian Doctor Who stories (in the same league as the Sun Makers) as it features the Doctor and Peri landing on a former prison colony that's still run by the descendants of its former guards and the government stays in power through corruption and by selling torture as entertainment.

It's a great cautionary tale that ages well because it was so far ahead of its time, before the start of the age of reality shows and right at the beginning of the rise of trashy American shows that made people's misery fodder. It's bleak and unlike in other stories, the cheap sets actually serve the story and to establish the poverty of the planet, and the hopeless of the situation.

The story had some great performances Martin Jarvis is such a great performer as the Governor, giving a performance that makes his sympathetic but not entirely moral. His scene where he speaks to the guard before Episode 2 is one of the more powerful guest performances in Doctor Who.

The Doctor's role in this is controversial. The moments in the TARDIS establish that despite his bluster, this Doctor is flawed particularly when it comes to basic TARDIS stuff, but in this story, the Sixth Doctor establishes he isn't someone you mess around with. The Doctor shoots weapons, sets up deadly booby traps, and delivers James Bondesque quips when two guards stumble into a vat of acid. He's resourceful, courageous, and resolute. While he does use violence, it's never gratuitous or unjustified, but it is decisive.

While I love the performance, I can understand why so many people got upset, as this really isn't family viewing in the mold of prior seasons, and the Doctor is so changed from say the the Fourth Doctor who forbid Leela from killing even in self-defense. Though, compared to some actions in the new series, I think this isn't all that shocking considering events like the 11th Doctor leaving a space pirate to die when he could have saved him because the pirate was an evil man.

In addition, there are some moments of tenderness and caring as the Doctor rescues Peri that shows complexity to this Doctor's character.

I said this is in the same league as the Sun Makers in terms of dystopia and it's a pretty even match. The Sun Makers had a better companion and better locations. This has a better guest villain in Sil, as well as a more realistic scenario, plus a couple of other great guest performances.

In the end, this is a fantastic episode that showcases the strengths of the Sixth Doctor.