Serial: DDD Episode Nos. 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, and 278. Title: Inferno Special Edition
A top security drilling project is attempting the first penetration of the Earth's crust,
and the Doctor is worried about signs of danger predicting catastrophe, not the least
of which is a green substance drawn up by the pipes that causes those who touch it
to mutate into primordial creatures. After his warnings are ignored, the Doctor
attempts to leave using the TARDIS console, only to find himself transported to a
parallel world where the drilling is still going on, but under a governmental
dictatorship that is even more deaf to the screams of rage from the Earth's deep Inferno...
This is the last story to feature Caroline John as Liz Shaw (who left off-screen between seasons).
starring Jon Pertwee as Doctor Who, Caroline John as Liz Shaw, Nicholas Courtney as
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and John Levene as Sergeant Benton.
Written by Don Houghton, Produced by Barry Letts, Directed by Douglas Camfield.
This story was originally released on DVD in 2006. It was felt the picture quality of the
episodes on that release was not up to par with the others in the range, and this edition
remedies that. The restoration was redone using a different technique to before, and the
result is a considerable improvement.
Other features that are new to this edition and were not present on the 2006 edition are
listed in italics below.
A 2-disc set.
On Disc 1:
- All 7 episodes of this serial. The episodes are 25 minutes each.
- Episode selection and scene selection menus, and optional subtitles for the hearing impaired.
- Commentary track with actors Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier) and John Levene
(Sergeant Benton), producer/director Barry Letts, and script editor Terrance Dicks.
- Information Text subtitles option. This plays pop-up production trivia throughout the story.
These notes have been re-researched and rewritten for this release.
- 1 Easter Egg. Highlight the blank area that follows to learn what it is and how to reach it:
- From the Episode Selection menu, go to Episode 7 and press play. As the episode begins to
run, press rewind. The program will rewind 30 seconds further back than the opening titles.
When it’s done rewinding, either let your player go forward by itself again, or you may
need to press play once it’s at the start. (This depends on how your player was programmed
by its manufacturer.) Anyway, this 30-second extra bit is the opening countdown
chalkboard slate from the leader on the master tape of Episode 7.
On Disc 2:
- “Can You Hear the Earth Scream?” A new 35-minute making-of-Inferno documentary
featuring interviews with actors Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier), Caroline John
(Liz Shaw), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), producer/director Barry Letts,
script editor Terrance Dicks, and stuntmen Ian Fairbairn, Derek Ware, and
Alan Chuntz (the latter in an archival segment).
- Hadoke Versus HAVOC. A 28-minute featurette where Toby Hadoke reunites four surviving
members of the original HAVOC stunt team (Derek Ware, Roy Scammell, Derek Martin,
and Stuart Fell) and gives them one last mission: to teach him how to do a high fall.
- Doctor Forever! Lost in the Dark Dimension. A 27-minute featurette where the interview
subjects recount the various attempts (real and imagined) at the series’ return during
the void period between 1990 and 2003. Features Doctor Who Magazine editors
Tom Spilsbury, John Freeman, and Gary Russell, actor David Burton who at one time
was claiming he was the new Doctor, writer Adrian Rigelsford and director Graeme
Harper who both worked on a prospective 30th anniversary special called “Lost in the
Dark Dimension,” Stephen Cole of BBC Worldwide, and new series Executive Producer
Russell T. Davies.
- “The UNIT Family –Part One” A new 36-minute featurette about the family of characters
that surrounded the Doctor during his exile to Earth by the Time Lords.
This is “Part One” and spotlights the late Second Doctor and early
Third Doctor eras. (Future parts of this appeared on other DVD releases.)
Features interviews with actors Nicholas Courtney, Caroline John, and John Levene,
stuntman Derek Ware, script editor Terrance Dicks, producer Barry Letts, and
script editor/producer Derrick Sherwin.
- Visual Effects Promo Film. A 6-minute film made in 1970 by the BBC Visual Effects
Department to tout their capabilities to the industry at-large. It includes many shots
made for the 1970 season of Doctor Who including for Inferno.
- Deleted Scene. This presents a scene from episode 5 of the story where the Doctor,
the Brigade Leader, and Section Leader Shaw listen to a radio news report of earth
tremors all over England. This was removed from the program before its original BBC
broadcast because the news reader’s voice was so obviously Jon Pertwee’s own voice.
The scene survived intact in the North American tapes that were sold for overseas
broadcast, and it is presented here. (This scene was left in the body of the program
when this story was released on VHS. Here it’s been moved to a Deleted Scene option,
as it should be.)
- Pertwee Years Intro. This presents the first 3 minutes of the VHS tape The Pertwee Years
that came out in the early 90s and features Jon Pertwee introducing his era,
the tape in general, and episode 7 of Inferno.
- Photo Gallery. This plays a 7-minute reel of behind-the-scenes photo stills.
- Doctor Who Annual 1971. Pop this DVD into a PC or laptop, and you can have a look at
the entire 76-page 1971 Doctor Who Annual using Acrobat Reader. (Annuals are
short story and artwork collections that were sold in the year listed on the cover.)
- Radio Times Billings. Similarly, the TV listings billings from the Radio Times magazine
are presented here as a pdf file for Acrobat Reader.
- Coming Soon. A 1-minute trailer for the DVD of The Mind of Evil.
- Subtitles option for the hearing impaired.
- 2 more Easter Eggs. Highlight the blank area here to see what it is and how to reach it:
- Egg 1: On the main menu, page 1, arrow down to the “Next” button, then press your
left arrow. A green “Doctor Who” logo will appear on the left-hand side of the screen.
Click this and you will see the complete opening titles for this story, including the
special molten lava footage, clean of captions.
- Egg 2: In the special features menu, highlight the Pertwee Years Intro selection and
press the left arrow to highlight another “Doctor Who” logo. Select this and you will
see more from the interview with Richard Burton from the Doctor Forever! Featurette.