Archive for the ‘ DVD or Blu-Ray ’ Category

500 Days To Go – The Krotons

Golden Anniversary Countdown: 500 days to go

I am marking the 500 days to go milestone with a viewing of this week’s classic DVD release, The Krotons (28th Dec ’68 to 18th Jan ’69). I kicked off yesterday evening with a look at the “Second Time Around”, a rather splendid documentary about Patrick Troughton’s tenure as the Doctor, in which I was pleasantly surprised to find some footage of the recently discovered missing episodes. I have some very vague recollections of the story thanks to its repeat showing in the early 80’s (“The Five Faces of Doctor Who” season if memory serves). However, I can confidently say that I haven’t watched it since, so I’m about to give episode 1 a test. In the aforementioned documentary, it was said that The Krotons was hardly one of highlights of the show, which is the latest in a string of none too complimentary asides that I’ve stumbled across, but Pat Troughton is invariably enjoyable to watch so I look forward to seeing what’s in store. More views and your comments welcome in the usual place below.


Come In Number Five

Away from the hullaballoo that surrounds the build-up to Easter Saturday’s debut of The Impossible Astronaut, I thought I would go a little old school and say a few words about Revisitations 2: the recently released boxset featuring special editions of Resurrection of the Daleks, Carnival of Monsters and Seeds of Death. These re-releases tend to cause a little furore when they arrive because many fans feel somewhat put-upon to have to fork out money on the same story more than once. They have a point, to a small degree. To cough up the RRP for a DVD only to find a better, more comprehensive version turn up a few years later could feel like a waste of money, and, with the dreaded compulsion that collectors feel to have *everything*, this must feel like a constant drain on resources. However, my copy of Revisitations 2 only turned up yesterday and I have just dipped my toe in to the contents by watching Ed Stradling’s “Come In Number Five” documentary hosted by David Tennant. It has already been worth the expense thanks to this 60 minutes of a wonderfully insightful retrospective of the Peter Davison era. He, as David Tennant says, was my Doctor and so this feature could have been made specially for me. Lovely stuff. Personally, I have tried to limit the expense by buying this at a nicely discounted rate, using a cashback credit card, and selling the older versions of these DVDs via eBay… thus, Revisitations 2 feels like nothing more than an upgrade. Long may they continue, I say.

2010 DVD Round Up

12 Blogs of Christmas: #11

Apologies for being a few days late with this penultimate post, I was supposed to get this review of the 2010 set of Doctor Who DVD releases up on the site ages ago. So much so, that continuing this “Twelve blogs of Christmas” sequence does seem somewhat unnecessary given that the decorations are safely stored away for another eleven months, the only evidence that remains of turkey and Christmas cake is slightly tight fitting jeans and Starbucks have reverted to their normal menus. However, after completely running out of hours in the day of late I will not let you down and finally present to you the DVD round up of Doctor Who in 2010. Just to remind you what was on offer from the combined efforts of 2Entertain and the Restoration Team, here are the classic series title that we were treated to….

  • Peladon Tales
  • Masque of Madragora
  • Space Museum / The Chase
  • Myths and Legends
  • Creature From the Pit
  • King’s Demons / Planet of Fire
  • The Dominators
  • Revenge of the Cybermen / Silver Nemesis
  • Time and the Rani
  • Revisitations 1
  • Seeds of Doom

There were some nice new extras on the re-releases contained within the first Revisitations box set, especially the comprehensive history behind the TV Movie: still, it was quite a bit of money to pay for episodes you already own but there’s never a good reason not to watch Caves of Androzani again. Probably, my best extra featurette of the year came on the Revenge of the Cybermen, with its “Cheques, Lies and Videotape” tracing the history of Doctor Who on VHS and some of the fun and games and astronomical prices that pirated tapes would cost  in the early days of video. On pure nostalgia terms the first and last releases of 2010 were the best with the pair of Peladon releases bring back fond memories and the Seeds of Doom being something of a widely accepted classic. All in all Seeds was head and shoulders ahead of the rest in being a good story and I did get the chance to reconsider my fairly poor recollection of Time and the Rani. It was ever so slighter more palatable than I remember, and I do still admire Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor. 2011’s progress will begin tomorrow with the release of Meglos.

Of course, we also got what can only be described as the usual suspects from the world of new Who….

  • The Complete Specials
  • Dreamland
  • Series 5 Volume 1 – 4
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Third Series
  • The Complete Fifth Series

The year began with the release of the “Complete Specials” gathering together the five special from the so-called gap year (although strictly they are gathered from three calendar years: Xmas 2009, Easter 2010, Autumn 2010, Xmas 2010 and New Year 2011). It was, in truth, a nice little set and despite not having the greatest set of extras in the world, it is worth mentioning that Doctor Who’s first ever Blu-ray looked like a million dollars. Animated adventure, Dreamland, provided no more than a nice little distraction before the releases of the vanilla episodes. I have never purchased a copy of any of these 3 or 4 episode discs as I always prefer to wait for the collected boxsets. They tend to turn up fantastically cheaply on eBay and bargain buckets within months of coming out, so one day the completist in me might be tempted I guess. The best part of the Complete Fifth Series was undoubtedly the two “Meanwhile in the TARDIS…” extras, which were little five minute scenes set between episodes that provided linking material not seen in the episodes themselves. However, that aside, the extras, given how much stuff is probably filmed, provided little in the way of new or interesting material. Not helped by the fact that my old Blu-ray player is incapable of playing back the picture-in-picture commentaries. Given that series six will have a different structure to what we’ve seen before (being split in to two), I do wonder whether we’ll get the same kind of DVD releases in 2011. Time will tell.