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Doctor Who (1982) - The Visitation

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Doctor Who (1982) - The Visitation

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Parental Guidance Recommended

Parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers.

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3.6 out of 5 stars Based on 5 Customer Ratings

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"In the running for most boring Doctor Who story ever"
2 stars"

I would call this a snoozefest, but the jangly electronic incidental music so beloved of the Doctor Who production team in the 1980s is loud enough to prevent you dozing off. The theme music also seems extraordinarily loud on this DVD compared with the volume of the actual story.

The Visitation has a couple of minor awesome moments for the female companions (and for Adric too, I suppose), but the scene is basically stolen by the local tag-along character. Which is a problem, given that the show at this point is already over-burdened with companions (Tegan, Adric, and Nyssa). Acting is unremarkable from all the regulars here, though they deserve some slack since it's early in Davision's and Fielding's tenure as well as having been shot out of sequence in the season lineup.

The script is weak, basically one of those where random unfriendlies randomly capture and imprison random combinations of our heroes every time the plot–what little there is of it–starts to flag, whereupon we have to sit through the obligatory moping and escape attempts. Cut down to a two-parter, it might have worked, but four? There's not enough story to hold up four episodes' worth of actors running around.

You may be irritated by the constant use of the word “android” for a robot that does not remotely resemble a human being and wasn't built by people who resemble human beings.

The bad guy (whose rubber alien costume is MUCH more convincing than his motivations) flipflops between seeming entirely reasonable and sympathetic and coming across as a complete raving loony–and that clearly isn't what's intended. It's a problem.

Also, the great big historical twist? Put it this way: dialogue repeatedly avoids telling us the exact year–the Doctor will say that a comet isn't due for years, or that they've arrived about three hundred years before they meant to, or that it's the seventeenth century, but he never mentions the actual year even though he normally would–and that really kinda gives the game away.

All in all, boring. No humour or wordplay or awesomely convincing fight scenes or scary monsters or thought-provoking moral issues or anything, really, that I'd consider entertaining. Doctor Who was supposed to be a show for all the family, but there really isn't much to hold an adult's attention here. The only truly sublime moment I had watching this DVD was realising that it wasn't a six-parter! I wasn't impressed with the special feature offerings and couldn't face watching it again to listen to the commentary (which is ordinarily a highlight for me).

For completists only, I'd say. You can spend $30 much more happily elsewhere in the Doctor Who DVD back catalog. In fact, you could pretty much pick one at random and it'd be more satisfying. I'd happily watch The Twin Dilemma or the TV movie over this, and that's saying something.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
"A Who classic deserving a look...if a little light on extras!"
4 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

An early Davison story but with the hallmarks of his era. Notable for the loss of the sonic screwdriver & the dip into history with the Great Fire of London. The extras are a little thin but there are some interesting documentaries about the stories inception. A worthwhile purchase.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


The Doctor (Peter Davison) attempts to take Tegan back to Heathrow Airport but the TARDIS arrives in the 17th Century instead of the 20th. The time travellers discover that a space capsule has crash-landed nearby and that its alien occupants, three Terileptil prison escapees, intend to wipe out all indigenous life on Earth by releasing rats infected with an enhanced strain of the great plague. Special Features: Extended / deleted scenes. Featurette about the work of the director of this and several other Doctor Who stories. Interview with the story's writer, Eric Saward. Mark Ayres interviews composer Paddy Kingsland about his music for the story. Picture Gallery, Easter Egg Production Notes.
Re-released on
March 13th, 2008
Movie Format
DVD Region
  • Region 4
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.33 : 1
Length (Minutes)
Supported Audio
  • Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
Original Release Year
Box Dimensions (mm)
Product ID

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