Because of where the three episodes, that comprise the two stories on this DVD release, are placed in the second series run, it is a little unfortunate that they have ended up on the same disc! Perhaps there is truth in the old adage “opposites attract”. What we have here, in the two-part black hole tale, is not only the best story of the second series but the best of both last year’s and the most recent combined, coupled with, in “Love & Monsters”, not only the worst story of the second series but also the worst of both series together. A marriage made in heaven then!
And BBC THREE have also managed to pull off the same remarkable feat, over the Bank Holiday weekend, with their recent season of repeats. On Sunday night they ran the opening episode of the two-parter, “The Impossible Planet”, concluding the story, with “The Satan Pit”, the following evening as part of a double bill with the previously disclosed offending episode! What a shame their schedules didn’t allow a better combination. Or maybe it was a ruse to get us to watch Marc Warren battling Peter Kay all over again. If it was, it didn’t work. This viewer’s viewing terminated at 8:10pm precisely. Though, I have nothing against the Electric Light Orchestra! And even Elton wrote some good songs, back in the early Seventies, before giving up rock ‘n’ roll for showbiz!!
Many “Doctor Who” fans are no doubt waiting for the box set of the second series but, putting that to one side, I would be more inclined to buy this release if it only contained the first two episodes. It’s such an odd pairing of stories that here I am actually asking for less for my money! Imagine buying a box set containing both “The Caves of Androzani” and “The Twin Dilemma”!! If I watch “Love & Monsters”, especially after “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit”, I end up feeling depressed over the state my favourite show is in after 43 years but if I switch off at the end of the two-parter I leave the experience on a high.
With this in mind, there’s no point in the Abzorbaloff episode being on the disc. I long for incompleteness! Well, at least in this instance. I have in mind a scene missing from the original omnibus video release of that other story featuring Gabriel Woolf, “Pyramids of Mars”, to do with getting in and out the Priory, which made little sense until the repeats on BBC2, early 1994, when something illogical suddenly became completely clear! A DVD without “Love & Monsters” would still be the length of many classic releases, such as the aforementioned Sutekh story, and I, for one, would be happier if this artistically Ood coupling went their separate ways!