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July 3rd, 2012 142 comments

The Ambassadors of Death DVD

The Ambassadors of Death DVD

Due for release on 01 October 2012.

the-ambassadors-of-death-vhOriginal VHS cover and information

When all communication is lost from Mars Probe 7 shortly after jt leaves. Mars and begins its trip back to Earth, a second craft is launched to investigate. As’ Recovery 7 docks in space, it ,too. loses all communication The Doctor and UNIT are given the task of investigating the mystery, as Recovery 7 returns to Earth.

It appears that no one can be trusted, as the space capsule is hijacked from its UNIT convoy With, military precision. What has happened to the missing astronauts? Could this be a secret-invasion from Mars, -or is the enemy much closer to home?

As the Doctor plans a daring space mission of his own, his assistant Liz Shaw goes missing. Who is working against UNIT in order to bring mankind into conflict with an alien race…? .

A few cost-saving measures were used on ‘Ambassadors’. The space:suits worn by the aliens incorporated helmets left over from the 1969 Hammer film ‘Moon Zero Two’. To further save costs on the building of the set of ‘Recovery 7’, it was agreed to share the expense with another BBC series, ‘Doomwatch’. The ‘Doomwatch’ crew filmed their material in the capsule interior first (tilled ‘Sunfire One’ for their purposes), whilst the ‘Doctor Who’ team were Mill in rehearsals.

The ‘Doomwatch’ episode featuring this set ‘Re Entry Forbidden’ – was screened on BBC! OTI Monday 16th March 1970, some five days prior to episode 1 of ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ transmission.

Director Michael Ferguson had firs! worked on ‘Doctor Who’ as a floor assistant on The Dale-Its’ (1963). As a director, he was responsible for ‘The War Machines’ (1966), ‘The Seeds of Death’ (1969) and ‘The Claws of Axos’ (1971). Working as floor assistant on this story was John Nathan Turner, who would go on to produce ‘Doctor Who’ from 1979 – 89.

The day that part 4 of this story was screened on BBCT – Saturday Illh April was also the day that the ill-fated Apollo 13 moonlanding mission launched in America. In the days that followed, the whole world was gripped as NASA tried everything in its power to return the three marooned astronauts safely to Earth.

Their successful return on 17th April the day before part 5 was screened was the cause of worldwide celabration. Eerily, life imitated art, as that week the Doctor was on his own quest to rescue some stranded astronauts.

This story’ was originally broadcast on BBC 1 between 21stMarch -2nd May 1970.

Categorised under: Doctor Who DVDs, DVD


  • TheClassicsAreAce

    October 16th, 2016 - 2:24pm

    Severely underrated story! BBC and 2Entertain did a great job on the restoration

  • Calum Gillan

    November 11th, 2012 - 1:14am

    I was able to get this, vengeance on varos special edition and planet of giants at WHSmiths

  • Doctor Who DVD Collector

    October 5th, 2012 - 5:10pm

    this has to have terrible colourisation quality must say

    • gordon

      October 6th, 2012 - 9:54am

      They did a great job. Its a miracle we got it in colour at all. Colour recovery can only really do so much especially on the limited budget they are on

    • MasterKasterborous

      October 6th, 2012 - 11:49am

      Compare it to the VHS release and you wouldn’t be saying that! It’s not going to be perfect as a majority of the colour comes from an off-air recording in America with chroma dot recovery used as well. I saw episode 4 at ReCon and I don’t belive it is ‘terrible’.

    • Mr Zarbi

      November 1st, 2012 - 8:03am

      I have to say it’s not good but they have done a good job.

    • Gordon

      November 1st, 2012 - 9:43am

      Expect mind of evil eps 2 to 6 to be similar quality

    • Mr Zarbi

      November 2nd, 2012 - 6:57pm

      Watching the other episodes they are realy good.

    • Anonymous

      May 10th, 2013 - 2:47pm

      i agree mind of evil and ambassadors colourisation is as good as we r going 2 get them i’m afraid

  • MasterKasterborous

    September 30th, 2012 - 7:02pm

    Saw episode 4 of this today in it’s full glory. Looks marvellous and will be a real treat to get on DVD. Also Reign episode 4’s animation is brilliant and I can’t wait to see episode 5 when it’s released on DVD. Lot’s to look forward to! Also Dan Hall has said that Galaxy 4: Episode 3 is being released in the Summer of 2013 and that there will be around 4 new Special Editions next year.

    • Blake

      October 1st, 2012 - 11:23am

      I live in New Zealand and we have different season times to u. What are the summer months over there?


      October 1st, 2012 - 9:51pm

      So-at least 4 reissues. Hope one is ghostlight.The picture quality on eps.1 and 2 are abysmal. I,d also like The green death,The mind robber,The aztecs,The liesure hive,Horror of fang rock,visitation,The two doctors and Curse of fenric please.

    • MasterKasterborous

      October 2nd, 2012 - 7:21pm

      Blake: Summer here is June/July/August time.
      THE ERGON: We know that Inferno is having a special edition release. I’m not sure that The Two Doctors needs a special edition release but I agree with The Aztecs, the quality could be improved as restoration techniques have advanced a lot since 2002!


      October 2nd, 2012 - 10:13pm

      I just think that most of the releases pre-2005 could be updated,picture wise and with new special features,’The two doctors’ a case in point. Ghostlight is the one i wish they could do some work on.Picture quality poor by todays standards.


      October 2nd, 2012 - 10:21pm

      Reign of terror is bill at his most fun and mischievous especially the scenes with the jailor.very amusing. As ian says to barbara ‘I don,t know how he does it sometimes’.Referring to getting barbara and susan out of jail,without the jailor realising it.

    • Blake

      October 2nd, 2012 - 10:33pm

      Thanks, so we Expect galaxy 4 episode 3 around June/July/August then

    • James

      October 3rd, 2012 - 6:03am

      I hope for DVD Releases from 2003 and 2002 to be the Special Editions
      I find the majority of 2004 to be satisfactory in terms of quality and special features having said that the 3 l’d like to be is
      – The Ark in Space
      – The Aztecs
      – The Dalek Invasion of Earth
      Also Brilliant release Ambassadors, awaiting the Claws of Axos Special!

    • Blake

      October 3rd, 2012 - 7:57am

      I would probably choose for the three SE are
      The dalek invasion of earth
      The ark in space
      Two doctors
      Although i think they actually be the Aztecs, ark in space and dalek invasion

    • gordon

      October 6th, 2012 - 9:46am

      Personally i think the other 3 SEs are going to be ark in space, aztecs and visitation

    • MasterKasterborous

      October 6th, 2012 - 11:52am

      A lot of people are requesting a special edition of The Dalek Invasion Of Earth and I can’t really see why it’s needed. The quality is of a good standard and the special features are very good also. So why do many want this SE?

    • Blake

      October 7th, 2012 - 12:59am

      I suppose the visitation would be alright for a SE.
      I want a new SE of Dalek Invasion Of Earth because here in NZ we get this 40th anniversary logo on that DVD and it just dosent match up with the rest of the collection

  • James

    September 24th, 2012 - 2:14pm

    Little over 9 days wait for Australia can’t wait, liking the fact that two jon pertwee stories are coming within little over a month after each other, but l can’t wait to finally finish Jon Pertwee with the Mind of Evil and Inferno Special Edition.

    Am wondering though whether in the future Special Edition releases will come about just because of age from the original release or plainly for a better cover artwork…

  • gordon

    September 10th, 2012 - 11:58am

    Just seen the trailer for this. Excellent

  • Andrew Shaw

    September 2nd, 2012 - 6:37pm

    I want to see this again as I have it on Video but only watched it once and want to complete my DVD set anyway but as with The Invasion they should release some of the ones which have most episodes I like someone mentioned before think definately The Ice Warriors,Moonbase,Faceles Ones,Maybe The Crusade,Tenth Planet,Reign of Terror,Underwater menace, I think thats all the ones with a few full episodes, would love to see others but that would be impossible unless they were almost full animation.

    • gordon

      September 3rd, 2012 - 12:51am

      Reign of terror is already officially confirmed. Ice warriors, tenth planet Underwater menace are Very strongly rumoured. Moonbase is rumoured Crusade is a possibility. Only one questionable is faceless ones due to the cost of animation of 4 eps but depending on sales of reign could all change

  • WHOlikes Jelly Babies

    July 25th, 2012 - 12:57pm

    How will this DVD be set out? Will it be like the Silurians with 4 episodes on one disc and 3 on another or like Inferno were there are all seven on one and there are special features on disc 2?

    • gordon

      July 25th, 2012 - 1:11pm

      Id like it to be all 7 on 1 disc but as there is only 45 mins of extras i doubt that will happen as it will make the 2nd disc look bare. Most likely 4 on disc 1 and 3 with extras on disc 2 to space it out properly and to make the episodes less compressed which i do believe was an issue with inferno

    • SPACE 1999

      July 25th, 2012 - 2:30pm

      did it with the daleks so why not???

    • gordon

      July 25th, 2012 - 11:23pm

      The daleks is a black and white story though. The mpeg video for that takes up less space. Mpeg video for colour stories take up more space.Going by inferno It can fit on 1 disc but going by the ammount of complaints the restoration team got the picture quality suffered. Dont think it matters either way they will get complaints if its on 1 disc saying the picture quality suffers and they get complaints if its split.They cant win. I dont mind either way as long as the picture quality is best they can do

    • Gordon

      August 16th, 2012 - 10:46pm

      Restoration team website lists all 7 eps on disc 1. Very suprised to hear that after the complaints they got with inferno about the quality suffering by having 7 colour episodes on 1 disc

  • gordon

    July 25th, 2012 - 9:13am

    DWM #450 lists the special features.

    Commentary with Caroline John, Nicholas Courtney, Peter Halliday, Geoffrey Beevers, Michael Ferguson, Terrance Dicks, Derek Ware, Roy Scammell and Derek Martin. Moderated by Toby Hadoke, recorded Nov 2009.
    Also a making of documentary, Tomorrows Times (with Peter Purves) the original BBC trailer and the usual photo gallery, subtitles etc.

    • Simon B

      July 26th, 2012 - 5:06pm

      Wish they didnt have a moderator on the commentary i prefer just the original cast

    • gordon

      July 27th, 2012 - 9:00am

      Its the cast that request a moderator i believe

    • Simon B

      July 27th, 2012 - 3:52pm

      Really? Thats interesting i wonder why?

      Also too bad the commentary wasnt recorded a few months earlier then we might have had Barry Letts aswell.

  • harold saxon

    July 10th, 2012 - 6:46pm

    never owned the vhs,never seen it,hav the audio version,will be great to see it!

    • LG

      July 11th, 2012 - 7:01pm

      I haven’t seen it also, I have seen a few minuites on the planet of the spiders dvd documentry

    • gordon

      July 25th, 2012 - 9:13am

      Its one of pertwee’s best in my opinion


    July 9th, 2012 - 4:43pm

    At last! Ambassadors on DVD. It will be a good tribute to Caroline John, an excellent and a very talented Actress. R.I.P Caroline you gave us something special.

    • Gordon

      July 10th, 2012 - 10:18am

      Its not a tribute to her. The dvd was completed before her death so Too late for a tribute. Most we are going to get is a little note in the leaflet that she died under her name when it lists what she has done. Hopefully inferno will be a proper tribute to her with documentary

    • gary

      July 20th, 2012 - 10:01am

      Well, at the end of the day, it is a tribute to her!

    • Gordon

      July 20th, 2012 - 11:02pm

      No its not. For the dvd range a tribute is a documentary covering a character/actor. As there is not 1 on this release its not a tribute. You can say this dvd is a tribute but then whats stopping it being every jon pertwee dvd release a tribute to jon pertwee

    • A Walters

      October 1st, 2012 - 3:58pm

      I think they just mean its a tribute because its the first DVD release including Liz Shaw to be released after her death so I suppose fans could dub it a tribute to her.

  • Doctor Who DVD Collector

    July 8th, 2012 - 4:27pm

    What DVD’s I think should come out 2012/ 2013:

    Reign of Terror – Jan
    Terror of the Zygons – Feb
    Legacy Boxset – Mar
    Tenth Planet (with galaxy 4) – Apr
    Ice Warriors (with Underwater Menace) – May
    Inferno SE – Jun

    • Gordon

      July 8th, 2012 - 11:17pm

      I actually think legacy box will start the year off on the 7th january. The americans will need a january release in the 2nd tuesday of the month. Also 5 out of the last 6 years we have had box sets to start off. Just feels logical. Then reign on the 28th jan (if the rumours are true). After that i dare not guess as i feel BBC Worldwide have some suprises up their sleaves

    • LG

      July 11th, 2012 - 7:02pm

      Reign of Terror should be out in time for christmas!

    • Anonymous

      July 11th, 2012 - 7:09pm

      They’ve seemngly revealed everything for this year, and there is never a December release.

    • Gordon

      July 11th, 2012 - 7:55pm

      No LG Reign of terror was supposed to be out this year but the rumour is its been shifted to 28 jan to give animation more time to polish it off.Guesswork is that it was originally coming out in the same slot that axos got but delay in the animation ment they have swapped round with the next single release in the schedule. It is very unlikely it will be out nov or dec as we havent a classic release in those months since 2007.

    • A Walters

      October 1st, 2012 - 4:01pm

      I really don’t understand why theres never a December release…it seems like the opportune moment to release DVDs.

  • Gordon

    July 6th, 2012 - 11:12pm

    Suprising news: Knew there was rumours of claws of axos special edition dvd but didnt expect it out this year. Out 22nd october 2012 acording to

  • HarryFLovesDRWHO

    July 5th, 2012 - 11:25pm

    Cannot wait! And we’ve waited ages! Why is it 2 entertain are releasing the brilliant ones last.

  • Doctor Who DVD Collector

    July 5th, 2012 - 7:18pm

    Undissapointing cover, love it. Great cover for a great cover

    • Doctor Who DVD Collector

      July 8th, 2012 - 9:14am

      I mean grreat cover for a great Story

  • Classic Who Is Cool

    July 5th, 2012 - 9:15am

    just a random question about classic doctor who dvds in general, how do you watch the commentary ? cuz its not under special features and i cant find them on the dvds, i know this is a stupid question to ask but can someone tell me were they are or what they are under on the dvd so i can watch them 😀

    • Gordon

      July 5th, 2012 - 10:15am

      It is under audio options which can be found special features normally (sometimes on the 2nd page of special features). You can also switch it on through your remote by pressing the audio button when the main feature is on

    • Classic Who Is Cool

      July 6th, 2012 - 4:20pm

      Thanks i will try this out later 😀

    • Alan Dobbie

      July 10th, 2012 - 11:11am

      I really like listening to the commentaries, though the recent Paddy Russell one was difficult to enjoy, Though sometimes they repeat themselves if watching in order of transmission

  • prof horner

    July 4th, 2012 - 8:45pm

    At last the ambassadors of death. Ilove the spooky cover. but I thought the cover was going to be green.

    • Gordon

      July 5th, 2012 - 10:16am

      I think lee binding was being sarcastic about fans not liking the colours he gives them

  • The Monitor

    July 4th, 2012 - 5:39pm

    Totally over the moon.

    I remember watching this on PBS in America in the early 1980s. (and obviously on pirate VHS and subsequently official VHS).

    I am so glad that a top 5 Doctor Who season will finally be complete and hopefully something of a tribute to the sorely missed Caroline John.

    • Gordon

      July 5th, 2012 - 12:58am

      Too late for a tribute for caroline john to appear on the dvd but inferno is getting a se release in 2013. Hopefully get something on that

    • Doctor Who DVD Collector

      July 10th, 2012 - 7:06am

      What is the point of 2|E releasing a special edition for inferno? It is fine the way it is, it is one of my favourite DVDs and I dont collect special editions because it looks abit weird having the same story twice!

    • Gordon

      July 10th, 2012 - 12:38pm

      The picture quality could be vastly improved due to technical advances in the restoration process since the original dvd release. Picture quality of inferno is poor compared with what they can acheive now. The picture quality of the new version will be much better as they are utilising a combination of film recordings and RSC colour which wasnt available to do on the original release as the technology wasnt available in 2005/6 when the original dvd was restored for dvd. Thats the same reason why axos is getting a rerelease

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