The Dæmons of Devil’s End is a collection of pieces, long overdue on DVD release. The first disc is The White Which of Devil’s End, a collection of tales for the character of Olive Hawthorne, as seen in the 1971 Doctor Who and the Dæmons. Damaris Hayman (now 88) returns to the role of the defender of Devil’s End in a collection of six short stories scattered across her lifetime, only occasionally intersecting the events of the TV story. Originally scheduled to have been released as a single disc, the stories are finally available. In form, the stories are presented by Olive reminiscing in her armchair, and odd scenes are shown with a small number of actors in various settings in the village of Aldbourne where the TV story was filmed. As a means of telling the stories, they may well have worked better as audio dramas, but that is missing the point of this set entirely. This is a celebration of the creation and setting of one of the most memorable classic Doctor Who stories of all time.
Disc 2 is the first DVD release of a classic documentary Return to Devil’s End, complete with Nicholas Courtney introduction. It was filmed in and around Aldbourne in 1992 and has Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), John Levene (Sgt Benton) and director Chrisopher Barry telling how the TV show was created. It is hosted by Nick Briggs and also includes sections from various villagers and archive photos.
Discs 1 and 2 have various bonus features, and disc 3 is a set of videos of various conventions held in Aldbourne over the years. It’s nostalgic and compelling viewing.
The Dæmons of Devil’s End may not appeal to all fans of the show, but for anyone who still holds the Jon Pertwee story in fond regard, it is an essential purchase.
THE DÆMONS OF DEVIL’S END / DIRECTOR: KEITH BARNFATHER, ANASTASIA STYLIANOU / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: DAMARIS HAYMAN, RAVEN DANE, JON PERTWEE, NICHOLAS COURTNEY/ RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW