Doctor Who: “Vengeance on Varos” Peri and Sil by Character Options

A little while ago, when I looked at the “Claws of Axos” set, I commented that getting figures of the Ainley and Delgado Masters meant that classic companions couldn’t be far behind… and here we go. While those releases made me confident we’d see a classic companion at some point this year, I won’t sit here and tell you that I had any inkling the first would be Peri. Not that getting Peri is a bad thing, I just thought it odd that CO chose to base the first classic companion set on this particular episode. In a lot of ways “Vengeance on Varos”represented everything that critics said was wrong with Doctor Who in the mid 80s. The episode featured institutionalized torture, horrible medical experiments, and loads of gratuitous violence. But hey it also had Sean Connery’s son, so it wasn’t all bad.

The figures come in a window box very similar in size and design to the aforementioned “Claws of Axos” set. The figures are held in a tray with twist-ties and have a nice diorama backdrop that you can keep to display the figures in. The back panel has a nice blurb recounting the story of the episode. The package is very collector friendly too, should you decide to play around with them and then return them to the box for display purposes. The art and style is a mix between the blue deco introduced with Series 5 packaging and the older logo introduced with Series 1 back in 2005. Overall, it’s a nice compact little presentation that’s very pleasing on the eye and yet unassuming enough that it only just hints at the unending flood of classic companion figures that I hope are headed our way over the course of this year. Ok, so maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at the figures.

I’m going to start with Sil because I’m just as excited to get him as I am Peri. At a time when Doctor Who was still plagued by a lot of unconvincing rubber suit monsters, Sil was an amazingly convincing looking alien and a damn memorable character to boot. Hailing from the planet Thoros Beta, he’s sort of part humanoid and part slug. The sculpt that CO devised for Sil is right up there with some of their best work, and that’s saying a lot, as they captured his appearance perfectly right down to his insane stare and his tongue flicking out between his teeth. It’s just marvelous. On the downside, CO opted to make him just one big marvelously sculpted hunk of plastic with zero articulation. At first this disappointed me, but the more I think of it, the more I realize that there was really no way to keep him in scale with the 5″ figures and give him any useful articulation. Besides, at least he’s removable from his tank.

The tank is a nice piece on its own. It’s hollow, but completely enclosed and has various control panels sculpted into the sides. The liquid seen in the front of the tank is just a glossy sticker, which looks ok, although there are a few minor wrinkles in mine, and I’m afraid it might start peeling off over time. There’s also a small discrepency as the top of the fluid level is sculpted much higher than where the surface appears on the sticker. I’m really nit picking here, though, as the overall presentation is fine and Sil looks great sitting on it. Wow. I have a Sil figure. I can still hardly believe it. Then again, it’s still hard to believe I have an army of Cybermen, Daleks, and any number of other classic Who monsters and figures loading down my shelves. Man, it’s a great time to be a Doctor Who fan!

And then there’s the lovely Perpugilliam Brown. Say what you will about the reign of the Sixth Doctor, but I enjoyed it. And besides Colin Baker’s deliciously bombastic performance, a good part of that enjoyment came from his interplay with Nicola Bryant as Peri. I wasn’t a big fan of her fake American accent, but I sure as hell loved everything else about her. Obviously, the figure is modeled after her appearance in“Vengeance on Varos” wearing a low cut and very tight top with shorts, which apart from it being blue is pretty much what she wore in every episode, so CO should have a field day releasing repaints of this figure. Yeah, I would have preferred “Planet of Fire” bikini-clad “…could be platinum!” Peri, but then again I just got my Kiss-o-Gram Amy so I should probably quit while I’m ahead. Anyway, the sculpt is extremely well done and the likeness is definitely there, even if she does have a bit of a vacant stare.

It probably goes without saying that I’m absolutely thrilled to have this set. Besides getting two more outstanding classic Who figures, it’s also what this milestone release represents that gets me excited. The classic companion figures are here and more will no doubt be coming. I’m sure that CO will run into some snags here and there securing rights, and I’m also sure that some classic companions may remain off limits, but the floodgates are opened, and I can’t wait to see what pours through next. Leela? Lethbridge-Stewart? Romana I and II? Oh, it’s going to be a good year.

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