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Doctor Who: The War Games (3 Discs) (Dr. Who)

Released on 06 July 2009

Featuring: Patrick Troughton, Wendy Padbury & Frazer Hines

Format: DVD | Rating: PG

4.0 out of 5 (18 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The War Games is one of the most significant stories in the history of Doctor Who. It presented its writers, Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke, with a unique set of challenges. For the first time, the Doctor was apparently involved in a significant historical event within living memory, namely the First World War. This serious and sensitive subject was treated with characteristic intelligence by the two scriptwriters. The War Games stands out as a powerful and mature anti-war story, its sympathies resting firmly with the common soldier, regardless of nationality.

Of course, this wasn't the only issue Dicks and Hulke had to deal with. Production problems meant the serial had to last ten episodes. This was a long stretch even by the more leisurely-paced standards of sixties television. Moreover, the story needed to end with a lead-in to Doctor Who's new, earth-bound format of the early seventies. Their solution - the capture, trail and exile of the Doctor - brought to an end the first phase of the Doctor Who saga. For the time being at least, the Doctor's travelling days were over...


  • Commentary by Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Philip Madoc, Jane Sherwin, Graham Weston, Terrance Dicks and Derrick Sherwin
  • War Zone: Documentary on the Making Of War Games
  • Shades Of Grey: Documentary Examining the Artistic Limitations - and Advantages - of Monochrome
  • Now And Then: Locations Of The War Games, Forty Years On
  • The Doctor's Composer: A Unique Insight into Doctor Who's Composer Dudley Simpson
  • Sylvia James - In Conversation: Make-Up Designer Sylvia James Discusses Her Work On Patrick Troughton's Doctor Who Stories
  • Talking About Regeneration: Documentary Exploring The Issues Surrounding Regeneration
  • Time Zones: The Facts Behind The Fiction - Historians Discuss the Reality Behind the Various Conflicts Featured in The War Games
  • Stripped For Action - The Second Doctor: Feature on the Doctor's Comic Strip Adventures, Focusing on the Second Doctor
  • On Target - Malcolm Hulke: Feature on the Target Range of Books
  • Devious: Amateur Doctor Who Film That Answers What Exactly Happened to the Doctor Between The War Games and Spearhead From Space
  • Photo Gallery
  • PDF Material
  • Production Subtitles: Want To Know More? These Subtitles Give You All the Behind-the-Scenes Information on The War Games
  • Exclusive Trailer for a Forthcoming Doctor Who DVD Release

customer Reviews

 Average rating (18 reviews)

 If only I had a time machine

| | See all dickiep's reviews (137)

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This looks like good value and the quality is bound to be a lot better than my old video version. (look at the doctor who restoration team web site for extras and how they cleaned this story up). Overall this is a bit long as it was extened as the third yeti story fell on the way side. However as there are so few complete Troughton stories around then its still a must buy. I always dream if I had a time machine I'd go back load all the Troughton missing episodes in the back of my car and bring them back. The BBC and everyone else was so short sited back then on what the future held with video recorders. Sadly Fury from the deep, Web of Fear,Power of the daleks and other classsics will never be seen, i think most fans including me would all most die to have those back in the library.

 Epic Troughton swansong is a real DVD gem!

| | See all HumanLeaguefan's reviews (218)

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At roughly four hours long this black and white ten part epic will probably test the resolve of even the most dedicated cult television fan, but trust me, its well worth it! Although it's rare that I find the time to watch "The War Games" in its entirety I always find it an immensely satisfying and enjoyable experience due to an intriguing dramatically engaging central premise, memorable acting performances, pleasing location filming and hauntingly effective incidental music score. Commendable as ever our three series leads all gain moments to shine during this story. I love Troughton's bluster with a prison governor, Padbury's spirited resolve to rescue the Doctor (end of episode one) and the swaggering resistance leader Hines temporarily adopts during the eighth episode. Credit is also due to Philip Madoc as the ruthless dispassionate War Lord, James Bree as the nasal inflected emotionless Security Chief and Edward Brayshaw as the impassioned unscrupulous War Chief. I'd also single out for praise Jane Sherwin (Lady Jennifer), David Saville (Lieutenant Carstairs) and Michael Napier-Brown (as the 'over-the-top' Mexican bandit Arturo Villar). There's also a nice little visual touch where the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to remove the screw from German Von Weich's service revolver. The sheer scope of a myriad of war zones being used during this epic tale is bewildering, especially if you don't have a grasp of military history. Thankfully there is a 15 min 'Time Zones - The Truth Behind The War Games' feature which may be able to help clarify things. Locations are an important element of this story and it's great to see a 9 ½ min 'Now And Then' feature just watch out for the Romans and 'dam Yankies'! A pivotal point in the series history is covered in the making of feature, approx 36 mins under the appropriate title of 'War Zone - End of An Era'. Good to hear amongst the other extras on offer that we are 'Talking about Regeneration' (24 mins) whilst the approx 12 min 'Devious', being an amateur fan appreciation film guest starring Jon Pertwee, filling in between this story and 'Spearhead From Space' should be interesting stuff. I'm sure this will be a marvellous DVD title and is well worth nabbing a copy!

 Goodbye to the TARDIS Trio

| | See all classictellyviewer's reviews (20)

Top 100 DVD Reviewer

I agree with other reviewers,10 episodes is a long haul but the three regulars The Doctor(Patrick Troughton)Jamie(Frazer Hines)and Zoe(Wendy Padbury)keep our interest with their great on screen chemistry,and a great script by Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks,not to mention great direction by David Maloney.
I just love the last episode,The Doctor tells the Time Lords off,the sad farewell of Jamie and Zoe,only allowed to remember their first adventure,meaning Jamie will forget Victoria(Deborah Watling)and Zoe.
Be great to own this on DVD!

 Can't Wait!!

| | See all TimeMeddler's reviews (7)

One of my favourite stories ever. The first few episodes are some of the best in Doctor Who history, even though the 'court marshall' scene puts me in mind of the 'speckled Jim court marshall' scene in Blackadder 4! Stephen Fry must have seen this cos he sounds just like the General. haha! Also look out for Mr Meeker from Rentaghost.

 Must buy

| | See all scottyies's reviews (12)

I have this story on VHS but the quality of sound/picture is very poor but since that release a better copy has been found and this is the basis of this DVD release.Along with the clean-up work it should be a vast improvement.

I agree with the other reviewer that the story is probably at bit stretched and this is why I gave it 4* rather than 5.Pat Troughton was one of my favorite Docs and unfortunately there are very few complete stories with him in and the ones that do exist are not truly representative of his tenure as the Doctor. Absolute classics Llike The Web of Fear - Evil of the Daleks and power of the Daleks were destroyed by the BBC...shame on them.

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ActorsPatrick Troughton, Wendy Padbury, Frazer Hines, Edward Brayshaw, Philip Madoc, James Bree, Bernard Horsfall, Trevor Martin, Clyde Pollitt, Jane Sherwin, David Savile, Noel Coleman, Hubert Rees, Esmond Webb, Terence Bayler & Brian Forster
DirectorDavid Maloney
CertificatePG
Year1966-1969
LanguagesEnglish
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.