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The TARDIS lands on Earth close to the Nine Travellers, an ancient stone circle. Professor Amelia Rumford and her associate Vivien Fay, who are studying the stones, explain that whenever the circle has been surveyed, the number of stones has changed. Also interested in the circle are a group of druids-dedicated followers of the Cailleach, the Celtic goddess of war, death and magic-who are prepared to perform human sacrifice to satisfy her demands for blood. The Doctor soon learns that there is more to the Nine Travellers, the Cailleach, and the druids than meets the eye. How can the stones apparently move around the countryside? Why has the area around the circle always been owned by a woman? After Romana discovers the true identity of the evil Cailleach, the Doctor finds that he must travel into hyperspace to solve the mystery of the Nine Travellers and save his companion from the blood-hungry alien life-forms known as the Ogri.
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The Stones of Blood is the third part in the "Key to Time" story arc that comprised the 16th season of the BBC's long-running Doctor Who series, but it also marks the program's 15th anniversary and the Time Lord's 100th adventure. And as befitting such an occasion, the four-part serial is solid science fiction entertainment with a heavy dose of mystery and supernatural suspense. The Doctor (Tom Baker) and his Time Lady assistant Romana (Mary Tamm) arrive in modern-day Cornwall in pursuit of the third piece to the Key to Time, and encounter a druid cult conducting blood sacrifices to a Celtic goddess at an ancient stone circle known as the Nine Travellers. The circle and the goddess are not what they seem, and the Doctor must travel into hyperspace to rescue Romana from an insidious alien force. Baker and Tamm's charismatic performances and atmospheric direction (which makes fine use of the Oxfordshire locations) by Darrol Blake (helming his first Who episode) help to make this serial a satisfying one for fans of the series and the Baker episodes in particular. --Paul GaitaAdditional Features:
Tom Baker does not participate in the audio commentary track for The Stones of Blood, as he does on The Ribos Operation, The Androids of Tara, and The Power of Kroll DVDs. But despite his absence, Mary Tamm and Darrol Blake still provide a charming and informative commentary, which touches on the famous "birthday party" scene, which was created by Tamm, Blake, and Baker on the set as a means of celebrating the serial's landmark status. Unfortunately, the scene was nixed by the producers for being self-indulgent, and hastily replaced by some expository dialogue. The additional text-only information track, itself a wealth of production information and trivia, also expounds on this lost scene. The full-frame mono presentation provides a fine showcase for Blake's OB (Outside Broadcast) photography and is supplemented by a "Who's Who" biography page, as well as individual scene and episode access menus. --Paul Gaita
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