Quick Blu-ray Review – ‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

And I’d like to pay tribute to a ‘Doctor Who’ writer who has contributed to the classic TV show significantly – Philip Martin. Sadly, we lost Philip Martin in December 2020. He wrote two enjoyable TV stories such as ‘Vengeance on Varos’ and the ‘Mindwarp’ segment of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’. 🙂

Philip also wrote stories that have become Big Finish audios and novelizations such as ‘Mission to Magnus’ and ‘Antidote to Oblivion’. He also wrote an episode of the short-lived ‘Star Cops’ TV series in 1987. Most significantly, he’s well-known for creating the villainous ‘Doctor Who’ character of Sil.

For my birthday this year, I had a Blu-ray copy of a spin-off video drama called ‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’, which was released in November 2019. Written by Philip Martin, the drama was also produced and directed by Keith Barnfather of Reeltime Pictures, which I’ve come across before.

Reeltime Pictures also produces the ‘Myth Makers’ interviews of various ‘Doctor Who’ stars, which I’ve enjoyed in the various ‘Doctors’ compilation DVDs last year and earlier this year. It was fun to watch this ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off video drama, featuring Sil as played by the amazing Nabil Shaban. 🙂

The story is divided into four episodes, which is unusual as most Reeltime and BBV drama productions I’ve seen have been mostly feature-length film productions. It was nice to see an original drama set in the ‘Doctor Who’ universe and to see a story featuring Sil without the Doctor. 🙂

Sil is a slimy, slug-like creature from the planet Thoros Beta, who is pretty vile and scummy in his business deals. In the drama, Sil finds himself confined in a cold detention cell on the Earth’s moon, as he’s accused for drug offences on Earth and could face a death sentence if he’s found guilty here.

There is a lot to take in with this story and I did feel there wasn’t enough action like there was in certain BBV productions I’ve seen. Most of the scenes featured in this story are mostly people talking. This is due to it being a trial for Sil’s character and I wish the story was a little more dynamic.

I’m also not sure what happened in terms of the climax as Sil seemed to win by the end. The story concluded on an open-ended note, meaning that a potential sequel is waiting. I know a novelization has been published for this drama and perhaps I would need to check it out to uncover more details.

Despite these issues, it was fun to watch Nabil Shaban in his Sil glory. Amazing he’s still able to wear that Sil make-up after all these years, especially since he’s previously played Sil in the Big Finish audios. Nabil also continues to do the incredible laugh of Sil’s that he does so well during the drama.

The story also features Christopher Ryan playing Lord Kiv, who now inhabits the body of Adam Carter and acts as Sil’s attorney in the trial. It was unusual to see Lord Kiv played by the original actor from the ‘Mindwarp’ segment of ‘Trial’ and to appear more human than he usually did back then. 😀

Sophie Aldred (well-known for playing Ace in ‘Doctor Who’) guest stars as Mistress Na, a character who was in the Big Finish audio ‘Antidote to Oblivion’, although she was played by Mandy Weston in that. It was amazing to see Sophie in prosthetic make-up for a change and play a different character.

There’s also Janet Henfrey (who’s been in ‘The Curse of Fenric’ and ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’) as the Adjudicator during Sil’s trial. And there’s Sakuntala Ramanee (who was in ‘Survival’) as Erica Larnier, who is the prosecutor at Sil’s trial and she despises him for what he did to her own son Piers.

The cast also includes Jim Conway as Guard Monk, John Michael Rooke as Guard Peterson, and Jay Ramanee-Murphy as Piers Larnier, Erica Larnier’s son. Incidentally, Sakuntala Ramanee and Jay Ramanee-Murphy are real-life mother and son in the drama, which was very fascinating to discover.

‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’ has been an enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off drama by Philip Martin, starring Nabil Shaban as Sil. I’m glad I’ve seen it. It’s not the most action-packed of dramas, but hopefully I’ll be able to appreciate it more with future viewings and when I review it in full detail.

By the way, in November 2019, the Labour leader at the time – Jeremy Corbyn – was given a Blu-ray copy of ‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’ during his visit to the National Mining Museum in Scotland.

That image is so surreal! 😀

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


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