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December 22nd, 2012 194 comments

Doctor Who – The Aztecs Special Edition DVD

dvd-the-aztecs-specedDoctor Who – The Aztecs Special Edition DVD

Released in 2013

The TARDIS arrives in fifteenth century Mexico inside the tomb of one-time Aztec High Priest Yetaxa. The travellers become cut off from the ship when they explore the temple outside and the tomb door closes behind them. Barbara is proclaimed by the High Priest of Knowledge, Autloc, as Yetaxa’s divine reincarnation. However, she incurs the enmity of the High Priest of Sacrifice, Tlotoxl, when – against the Doctor’s advice – she attempts to use her new-found authority to put an end to the Aztec practice of human sacrifice.

Events reach a climax on the Day of Darkness – the time of a solar eclipse. Ian’s unwilling conflict with the Aztecs’ ‘chosen warrior’, Ixta, ends in a fight in which the latter falls to his death from the temple roof. The Doctor manages to reopen the tomb door using a wheel-and-pulley that he has carved (the Aztecs not having mastered the use of the wheel) and the travellers make good their escape.

Disc 1

4 x 25 mins approx monochrome episodes with mono audio. Optional Arabic soundtrack for episode four only.

Commentary – stereo. With actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, producer Verity Lambert OBE.

Remembering The Aztecs – Actors John Ringham, Ian Cullen and Walter Randall recall the production of the story and of television production in the sixties in general.

Designing The Aztecs – Designer Barry Newbery talks about his work on the story, illustrated with many never-before-seen production drawings and photographs from his personal collection.

Cortez and Monezuma – An extract from a 1970 Blue Peter, introduced by Valerie Singleton on location in Mexico, giving historical background to the Aztec belief in human sacrifice.

Restoring The Aztecs – A short featurette demonstrating the restoration and videoisation effects used for the release. With subtitles.

Making Cocoa – An animated guide to making cocoa the Aztec way, voiced in character by John Ringham as Tlotoxl and Walter Randall as Tonila, with both characters animated and presented in South Park style.

TARDIS-Cam no.3 – The third of BBCi’s TARDIS-Cam shots.

Photo Gallery – production, design and publicity photos from the story

Easter Egg – An animated BBC Enterprises logo recovered from the end of one of the prints sold overseas.

Intro Sequences – The umbrella story title The Aztecs does not appear on any of the episodes, so for (outdated now) BBFC compliance a caption card with the title has been provided. To add interest, six versions have been provided, each with a different voiceover, in character, from three of the actors involved in the production. The intention is that the disc will randomly select one of these six sequences and play it out at the appropriate point.

PDF Material – Radio Times listings in Adobe PDF format for viewing on PC or Mac

Programme subtitles.

Disc 2

Galaxy 4 (dur. 64’ 43”) – a shortened reconstruction of the missing story Galaxy 4, using off-screen stills, audio recordings and animation plus the recently recovered complete episode three to tell the story.

Chronicle – The Realms of Gold – John Julius Norwich’s superlative 1969 retelling of the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the Aztecs, which also features music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop .

Dr. Forever! – Celestial Toyroom – the first of a new five-part series introduced by Ayesha Antoine looks at Doctor Who toys. With original series producer Verity Lambert, new series creator Russell T Davies, writers Mark Gatiss, Rob Shearman, Paul Cornell and Joseph Lidster, BBC Worldwide product licensing executive Richard Hollis, product approval executive Dave Turbitt and ex- range editor Steve Cole, AudioGO commissioning editor Michael Stevens, Character Options’ Alasdair Dewar, DWM’s toy reviewer Jim Sangster and last, but by no means least, Doctor Who’s very own Winston Churchill, actor Ian McNiece.

It’s a Square World – the very first Doctor Who skit (as far as we can ascertain), with Clive Dunn in full First Doctor costume as a scientist demonstrating his new space rocket to Michael Bentine, resulting in Television Centre being launched into space! Features cameo appearances by Patrick Moore and Albert Steptoe.

A Whole Scene Going – an excerpt from a recently recovered edition of the sixties music and arts programme, featuring an interview with director Gordon Flemyng and a behind the scenes look at filming of his movie Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 AD.

Coming Soon – a trailer for a forthcoming DVD release.

Radio Times Listings in Adobe PDF format.

Programme subtitles.

Categorised under: Doctor Who DVDs, DVD


  • The Greater Intelligence

    April 6th, 2013 - 3:40am

    Just got a copy from mt local library and have to say, did not like Disc 1. The special features were dull and felt like an actual history lesson (and not the fun Doctor Who ones). Disc 2 is completely different! ‘It’s A Square World’ was hilarious and worth the DVD itself, but everyone knows what the real prize was. ‘Galaxy 4’ is one of my favorite stories and this was better than I ever dreamed. I actually believed the animated Chumblies were real until about half way into it. I was surprised how much of ‘Four Hundred Dawns’ survived. Amazing

  • Radburn

    March 16th, 2013 - 9:02am

    Just sat down & watched it & it really is a Special Edition. The Chronicle – Realms Of Gold Documentary is pretty interesting on the Maya & having seen the Toy feature I really want the Flood figure & the Light-Up Eyes Sutekh! The Galaxy 4 Recon is quite good & the Daleks – Invasion Earth scenes were pretty cool too! The cherry on the top was The Ice Warriors Trailer – All top who!

  • WFK DVD Collector 13

    March 10th, 2013 - 9:52am

    Just ordered my copy! 🙂

  • drjakeyoung

    February 6th, 2013 - 7:09pm

    if you go onto amazon, click on the Ark in space SE, and go to checkout on the order, why does it say “estimated delivery date-8th April 2013?!?
    someone please answer!

    • booboo

      February 6th, 2013 - 7:11pm

      they have changed it, they often do but we cant keep up to date with everything

    • drjakeyoung

      February 6th, 2013 - 7:15pm

      wait…WHAT! THAT MAKES NO SENSE! The trailer for ark in space was on the reign of terror! But that means that the next release is this! Why did they move it back!!! All the extra’s were ready weren’t they!!!

    • drjakeyoung

      February 6th, 2013 - 9:32pm

      actually i think it might be something to do with the DVD release of the ice warriors

  • drjakeyoung

    February 3rd, 2013 - 7:27pm

    what is the region 2 glitch with the complete second series?

  • drjakeyoung

    February 3rd, 2013 - 2:34pm

    what is the special feature “intro sequences” about? I don’t understand that one.

    • celestial toymaker

      February 4th, 2013 - 5:16pm

      its different people introducing at the start of each episode i think

  • Doom Dalek

    February 2nd, 2013 - 10:17am

    They should put Galaxy 4 on a Dvd od it’s own

    • gordon

      February 2nd, 2013 - 10:48am

      The problem is its only a cutdown reconstruction of the story. Its only 65 minutes long and we are lucky to even get the reconstructed parts of 1 2 and 4. Based upon comments animation isnt affordable for 3 and putting it out on its own would result in would result in a 13 quid price tag and wouldnt . Its good value for money placed in

  • prof horner

    January 31st, 2013 - 7:02pm

    David Bradley is playing William Hartnell not the first Doctor.

    • gordon

      February 2nd, 2013 - 10:49am

      which is the same person

    • MasterKasterborous

      February 2nd, 2013 - 11:14pm

      Not really. He’s playing William Hartnell playing The First Doctor.


    January 31st, 2013 - 9:57am

    Can i ask what fans make of the casting of david bradley as william hartnell in the upcoming special. Inspired or miscast? Like richard hurndall in the five doctors,very good actor,but will he beable to get bills traits and quirks over well enough. On the plus side he should keep the potter contingent happy. theres only one william hartnell

    • booboo

      January 31st, 2013 - 10:02am

      Will have to wait until i see it, however i think he will do a brilliant job


      January 31st, 2013 - 10:05am

      I,m sure he will. I can,t think of anybody else who bears any similarity or who might beable to play him.

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