Serial: 7M Episode Nos. 697, 698, 699, and 700. Title: The Curse of Fenric
The Doctor and Ace arrive at a top secret naval camp in World War Two, where a party of Russian commandos is attempting to steal the British Navy's code-breaking Ultima computer. This is just a part of a greater game, however, a game written on ancient Viking runestones in the local village church. When the machine is used to decrypt them, an army of horrific vampire creatures rises from the sea to set free Fenric, the being that has brought everyone together here at this time for this purpose, including Ace and his old nemesis the Doctor...
starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace. Written by Ian Briggs, Produced by John Nathan-Turner, and Directed by Nicholas Mallett.
Originally transmitted from
2 disc set.
On Disc 1:
- All 4 episodes of the story. The episodes are 25 minutes each, and have been given film restoration treatments. These are the originally
transmitted TV versions of the episodes, as opposed to the versions that were used on the old VHS release where the episodes were all
extended edits. The originally transmitted versions have
never been released on video of any kind before in
- Graphical menus, episode selection features, and scene selection features.
- Commentary track by actors Sylvester McCoy (the Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), and Nicholas Parsons (Rev. Wainwright).
- Production Notes subtitle option.
- “Modelling the Dead” a 5-minute featurette interview from 1991 with Sue Moore and Stephen Mansfield, the specialists who created the
Haemovore masks for this story.
- “Claws and Effect” an 18-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that follows the visual effects crews at work on this story.
- “Title Sequences” This selection plays the opening and closing Sylvester McCoy title sequences in full, without any credits on top of them.
Before playing, you have the option of selecting a new Dolby 5.1 sound mix of the music, or playing the “original stereo” version.
There seems to have been some sort of authoring mistake here, however, as if you select the “original stereo” version you actually get the original
mono version and without the fly-by sound effects we’re used to. This mistake was not present on the Region 2 release. There’s nothing wrong
with the Dolby 5.1 option though.
- Photo Gallery – a 6-minute presentation of still photos taken during the production.
- Isolated Score Option – this plays the full program with only the incidental music playing.
- “Nebula 90” – a 21-minute featurette that plays part of a question-and-answer session from the 1991 “Nebula 90” convention where panel
interviewer Gary Russell chatted on-stage with actors Sophie Aldred (Ace), Joann Kenny (Jean), Tomek Bork (Sorin), writer Ian Briggs,
monster-makers Steve Mansfield and Sue Moore, and incidental music composer Mark Ayres.
- “Take Two” - a 5-minute segment from a BBC show called “Take Two” that went behind-the-scenes on the location recording of this story.
- 1 Easter Egg. Highlight the blan area below to show the invisible text and see what the surprise is.
- Inside the “Special Features” menu, arrow down to “Claws and Effect,” then press the left arrow on your remote. A hidden Doctor Who
logo will appear. Click on this, and you will see the original BBC continuity announcements from the 1989 broadcast of the story.
On Disc 2:
- The Curse of Fenric Special Edition.
This is a new version of the story produced specially for this DVD. It plays as a movie. It features:
- Additional footage throughout the story that was originally cut to bring the episodes down to the correct length for the time slot. The
reinstated footage was done in accordance with the wishes of the story’s director, the late Nicholas Mallett, and supervised by Mark
Ayres, the original music composer on the story and now the BBC Restoration Team’s chief sound guru. The extensions add up in total
to at least 11 minutes. This is an even longer edit than was used on the old extended VHS release. Many scenes also appear in a
different order from the TV and VHS versions.
- Dolby 5.1 Sound remix. The original stereo sound has been augmented and remixed for Dolby 5.1. Mark Ayres has also remixed and
“reorchestrated” the incidental music with current sound technology.
- New CGI effects. All the post-production video effects were regenerated using current CGI tools.
- graphical menu and scene selection feature
- Regraded video. The original Fenric production suffered somewhat from extremely variable weather during the production. Many of
the sequences for this version have been regraded so that they appear lighter or darker, and thus warmer or colder in better
accordance with the needs of the script than the realities of the weather during the shoot.
- “Shattering the Chains” a 25-minute in-depth interview with the story’s writer, Ian Briggs.
- “Recutting the Runes” a 15-minute interview with Special Edition Producer / Music Composer Mark Ayres about the changes made for the
Special Edition and the reasons for them.
- 40th Anniversary Celebration. – a 3 minute “music video” of clips from the entire series set to a reedited version of the theme music as
recorded by dance club music group Orbital.
- “Costume Design” a 17-minute interview with Ken Trew, the costume designer on Fenric (and on many other Doctor Who stories going back
as far as the Jon Pertwee era)
- “Who’s Who” actors biographies, including what work they’ve done in other Doctor Who spinoff projects.
- 1 Easter Egg. Highlight the blank area below to show the invisible text and see what the surprise is.
- Move down to the “Recutting the Runes” selection and then press your left arrow. This will highlight a hidden Doctor Who logo.
Select this logo and you will see a short further interview with Mark Ayres talking specifically about the composing of the music.