Tuesday 27 March 2012

491 The Stones of Blood Part Four

EPISODE: The Stones of Blood Part Four
TRANSMITTED: 18 November 1978
WRITER: David Fisher
DIRECTOR: Darrol Blake
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Key to Time Box Set (Ribos Operation/Pirate Planet/Stones of Blood/Androids of Tara/Power of Kroll/The Armageddon Factor)

The Megara intervene saving the Doctor and put him on trial, with the Doctor conducting his own defence. During the trial he coerces them to scan the mind of Vivian Fay proving that she is Cessair of Diplos, the criminal they have been hunting. They are all transported back to the stone circle, where the Doctor seizes Cessair's pendant, the source of her powers. The Megara transform her into stone before the Doctor uses the pendant, actually the third segment, to return them to their ship in Hyper Space. Bidding farewell to the Professor the Doctor, Romana & K-9 return to the Tardis to transform the segment into it's natural form and attempt to combine it with the first two.....

Some nice fun and games this episode, especially where The Doctor pulls the Judges wig from his pocket but it's not a touch on the previous ones. In fact the whole story is a bit of a game of two halves with lots of Gothic horror in the first half and a sterile space ship in the second. For me, at least, the first half is the superior of the two.

Stones of Blood was novelised in Terrance Dicks and published in March 1980. Target books are at present being turned into audiobooks but Stones of Blood, uniquely, uses a new adaptation for it's audiobook release penned by original author David Fisher in preference to the original novelization.

Stones of Blood was released on video in May 1995 on the same day as the Androids of Tara to form the second pair of stories from the Key to Time season released, with The Ribos Operation & The Pirate Planet coming out the previous month and Power of Kroll & Armageddon Factor the next. The Key To Time season was a set of releases which came with a specially designed spine picture that ran over all six title. While there has never been a video boxset release of the Key To Time, it's only ever been available as a boxset on DVD. In October 2002 all six Key To Time stories were released in Region 1 with minimal extras & restoration to help satisfy the American demand for Tom Baker stories. The Key to Time was then released as a special edition, numbered & limited to 15,000 with brand new extras in Region 2 on the 24th September 2007, which sold out very quickly with this set commanding a premium price on eBay for quite some time. The Key to Time Box Set was reissued in a non limited edition in November 2009 and can now be had for a very reasonable price.

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