DVD Review: Doctor Who - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

First published in What's On by

THIS four-part story was the final one in the twenty-sixth season and features Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor at his quirky best.

Whilst (prophetically) practising his juggling skills in the TARDIS, the Doctor and Ace (Sophie Aldred) notice a small satellite materialising inside the ship.

It’s an advert for The Psychic Circus, otherwise known as The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

Once renowned throughout the star systems, the circus is now permanently based on the planet Segonax.

Deciding to see the show – much to Ace’s chagrin as she doesn’t like clowns – the pair travel to the circus.

There they team up with famed galactic explorer Captain Cook (T P McKenna – Callan) and his companion Mags, played by comedienne Jessica Martin.

The circus is rather sinister, with creepy clowns and an over the top, rapping Ringmaster – plus an audience of just three.

The story takes a bit of watching as it does seem a little strange at first, but by the middle of episode two, things are coming together.

The circus is deadly, and the acts – picked from the unwary visitors – have to entertain…. Or die.

This is the final Seventh Doctor story to be released on DVD and McCoy is at his best – showing off some of the skills he utilised in his stage act.

The Making Of documentary amongst the extras tells us that this story nearly became another Shada as the studios they were filming in were found to have asbestos in them.

The solution was very apt as they ended up building their studio in a giant tent.

Anneke Wills talks us through the newspapers of the time and there is a spoof of the Doctor from a Victoria Wood show with Jim Broadbent as our favourite Time Lord.

BBCDVD3481.

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