Doctor Who: Colony In Space – DVD Review

Miners’ strike

Release Date: 3 October 2011
1971 | PG | 146 minutes | £20.42
2 Entertain
Michael Bryant
Cast: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Roger Delgado

Watching this Third Doctor story makes you realise what Outcasts would have been like if it’d been made in the early ’70s. An unremittingly brown six episodes’ worth of beardy colonists trying to prevent Evil Corp™ miners from evicting them, while the indigenous aliens do mysterious stuff in the background, it’s certainly languid enough.

It has ambition, to be sure. The first Jon Pertwee story not set on Earth, it’s a kind of cash-strapped Avatar, with the same lofty, conservationist message (business bad, lentils good, leave aliens alone). It also has Roger Delgado’s Master, which is always a good thing. Sadly it’s also slow, visually uninspired and full of facial hair.


Standard issue stuff for Who DVDs these days, though the main Making Of documentary benefits from an amusing cartoon recruitment drive intro (“Do you have a moustache? Do you look good in a helmet?”). Aside from the expected talking heads who turn up here and on the commentary (Katy ”Manic” Manning, Terrance “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before” Dicks, the director, a few of the lead guest stars), a more surprising (but canny) choice is Graeme Harper, who was a mere floor manager back then; he’s since directed both classic and new Who, and his inclusion allows for some interesting comparisons. Aside from that you get a few not very exciting bits of trimmed location footage, text commentary, a photo gallery, trailers and Radio Times PDFs.

Dave Golder