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The 2012 Christmas special, "The Snowmen", and it's Prequels, will not be part of the May release of Series 7 - Part 2. "The Snowmen" MAY be part of the Complete Season 7 DVD/Blu-Ray release, but BBC has not said so yet.
(You can purchase "The Snowmen" on its own for region 1, in DVD or Blu-Ray.)

[Added later: Yes, the Complete Series 7 will have "The Snowmen" PLUS a new commentary track with Michael Pickwoad (production designer) and Paul Spriggs (art director).]

The 8 episodes are only 45 minutes each. Though I love Doctor Who, I think the shorter time-frame does hobble the story-telling. Lots of detail crammed into a short time.

Wouldn't it be great if some of the new series had a commentary track like the Classic Doctor Who DVD's?
[Added August 2013: The Complete Season 7 does have four new commentary tracks, including on "The Snowmen" mentioned above. Matt Smith (about time he does a commentary!) and Jamie Payne (director) do the commentary on episode 7.9 "Hide". Hooray!]

Here are the Extras on the DVD issue of series 7 - Part 2:

1. Prequel to "The Bells of St. John" (2 min) The Doctor glumly sits on a swingset in a park. A young girl joins him, noticing that he's sad. He tells her he's lost something: "The first two times I met her, I just sort of bumped into her. So I thought, maybe, if I just wandered about a bit I might bump into her again. You know, like, destiny." Who is this understanding little girl?
2. "Clarence and the Whispermen" (2.5 minutes) Prequel to "The Name of the Doctor". Clarence is in prison, set to be hanged on the morrow. He opens his eyes and three ghastly creatures in top hats are watching him. "I know you're not real," Clarence cries, "You're just voices inside my head. Leave me alone!" But they don't.
3. English Subtitles

EPISODE 7.6 - "The Bells of St. John"
Part 2 of Season 7 has an ongoing quest - the Doctor's search for the why and how of Clara Oswin Oswald. As the Doctor mutters in episode 7.7, "She's just a girl. How can she be? She can't be. She is! She can't be. She's not POSSIBLE." Does the TARDIS really not like Clara?

In this episode, Clara and the Doctor meet again in present day London. Not that Clara recognizes the Doctor, or trusts him - after all, he's inviting her into his snog box where the inside is bigger than the outside.

And that's after the Doctor rescues her from being uploaded to a data cloud by a walking wi-fi station "hoovering up people". A temporary rescue, as it happens. As the head hooverer tells the Doctor: "My Client requires a steady diet of living human minds. Healthy free-range human minds. He loves and cares for humanity.... The farmer tends his flock like a loving parent.... No one likes cattle like Burger King."

EPISODE 7.7 - "The Rings of Akhaten"
Clara asks the Doctor to take her somewhere and sometime spectacular. He complies with a visit to "the Pyramid of the Rings of Akhaten." They're just in time for the Festival of Offerings, held every 1,000 years when the rings align.

Clara gets to see aliens aplenty. And she befriends the Queen of Years, a young girl taught the song to wake up the god. But when it turns out that one of the Queen's duties is to be a sacrifice, the Doctor and Clara step in.

I love the idea of the currency on this system. They don't use money, as the Doctor explains to Clara, but trade in items of "sentimental value.... Psychometry. Objects physically imprinted with their history. The more treasured they are, the more value they hold."

EPISODE 7.6 - "Cold War"
After saving Akhaten, the Doctor and Clara are going to have some fun. The Doctor exits the TARDIS first, macho shades in place and crying out, "Viva Las Vegas...!" But instead of sunshine in the desert playland, they're immediately drenched and tossed about in a leaking submarine.
Clara: "Not Vegas then?"
Doctor: "No, this is much better."
Clara: "A sinking submarine?"
Doctor: "A sinking SOVIET submarine."

It's 1983, the height of the Cold War. Captain Zhukov prepares a test launch of the submarine's nuclear missiles. But he has two problems, the first being the Doctor and Clara's suspicious appearance.

Part of Zhukov's mission is to bring home Professor Grisenko and his chunk of 5,000 year-old ice containing ... what? They soon find out, because a crewman, against orders, applies a blowtorch to the ice, grinning, "Life's too short to wait." Life's too short, period. A metal arm cracks through the ice and grabs him by the throat.

That's the 2nd problem. A submarine's too small for everyone not to meet, and the Doctor is flabbergasted. "It's an Ice Warrior. A native of the planet Mars. And we go way back. Waaay back."

Oh boy, the Ice Warrior race abandoned Mars centuries ago. The Doctor might have been able to offer the Warrior a ride to their new home, but the TARDIS has disappeared. He might have been able to negotiate working together, but a Russian crewman stuns the Warrior and he wakes up in chains, an act of war. What's a soldier to do? Especially one who thinks he's been abandoned for 5,000 years.

EPISODE 7.9 - "Hide"
Major Alec Palmer, retired, has ghosthunting equipment set up in an elegant house. He and Emma Grayling, an empathetic pyschic, begin, as he puts on headphones and speaks into a microphone: "Caliburn House, Night 4, November 25th, 1974, 11:04 pm." Emma walks towards the dark hallway, saying softly, "I'm speaking to the lost souls that abide in this place. Come to me."

The Major's instruments start going wild. Then they're startled by loud knocks on the big wooden doors. The Major opens the front door. "Bob! Hello! I'm looking for a ghost!" It's the Doctor and Clara, and they've come here on purpose (for once). What is the scary emanation they see, crying, "Help me!"

At one point, the Doctor says, "We need some sturdy rope, plus a blue crystal from Metebilis Three." We know when he got that - in a funny sequence in "The Green Death" with Jon Pertwee!

This is one of the very very few episodes where Doctor Who shows fear, which made it doubly interesting to me. See capture shot I've added as a customer image.

EPISODE 7.10 - "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS"
The Van Baalen brothers run a salvage operation. Their giant ship uses a Magno-Grab, "outlawed in most galaxies", according to the Doctor, to pull in the TARDIS. The Doctor makes it out, but the TARDIS is leaking poisonous fuel and Clara is stuck inside. The Doctor bribes the brothers to help him rescue Clara. They'll get the TARDIS, "the salvage of a lifetime", if they get her out.

The rescue part isn't going well, and one brother asks the Doctor, "So you're telling us we're safe?"
Doctor: "Safe - ish. Apart from the monsters and the TARDIS reinventing the architecture every five minutes." Monsters as in molten creatures with red fissures like flowing lava and a deep rolling growl that terrifies.

EPISODE 7.11 - "The Crimson Horror"
It's 1893 and the Paternoster Gang (see "The Snowmen" Christmas special) is hired to find out why Edmund Thursday, newspaper reporter, went to the Sweetville factory town in Yorkshire, and came out dead, his skin hardened and turned a brilliant waxy red.

His brother asks Madame Vastra: "Do you know what an optogram is?"
She smiles, "It's silly superstition, Sir. The belief that the eye can retain an image of the last thing it sees."
He pulls out a photo of Edmund's eyeball, and the last thing the dead man saw was - the Doctor!

Jenny goes undercover, attending a rousing recruitment speech by Winifred Gillyflower, the owner of Sweetville. Sweetville, she declares, the "shining city on the hill", is the place to be when the Apocalypse "rains down upon us all." Just who is going to bring the end of the world? What kind of rain are we talking about? Who is Gillyflower's silent partner? And does the Doctor need rescuing?

"I'm the Doctor. You're nuts. And I'm going to stop you."

EPISODE 7.12 - "Nightmare in Silver"
A special treat! The Doctor takes Clara and her two young charges, Angie and Artie, to Hedgwick's World of Wonders, a whole planet turned amusement park. Well, it would have been a treat, except when they get there the park is in ruins, guarded by a troop of reject soldiers. Their Captain tells them, "This planet is closed by Imperial Order."

But fun can still be found. They meet Webley, a traveling carney, and his ship of "Webley's World of Wonders". Webley goes into Impresario mode: "Let me demonstrate to you the wonder of the age, the miracle of modernity. We defeated them all 1,000 years ago. But now, he's back to destroy you .... at chess."

Yow! It gives the Doctor a scare, but, whew, it's an empty Cybershell chess-playing machine. But wait a minute. What are those electronic silverfish climbing the walls. As the VERY impressed Doctor says when he catches one, not a Cybermat, but a Cybermite. But where there's Cybermites, there must be Cybermen. This does not look good.

This episode is fun, but it could have been GREAT in a longer time frame. More time to explore Angie's refusal to let the Doctor impress her (teenagers!). Expansion of the personalities of a couple reject soldiers. The hyper-patriotism of the Captain played off against her admitted insubordination - which lead to her posting to this backwater. And don't upgrade the Cybermen willy-nilly; make it an integral part of the plot.

But, on the plus side, Matt Smith does a terrific job of playing a split personality Doctor.
"Hail to you, the Doctor. Savior of the Cybermen!"
Say what?

EPISODE 7.13 - "The Name of the Doctor"
The prologue is Clara's narration accompanying a montage of Clara seeing Dr. Who through the ages and his regenerations. It ends with "I blew into this world on a leaf. I'm still blowing. I don't think I'll ever land. I'm Clara Oswald. I'm the Impossible Girl. I was born to save the Doctor."

The Great Intelligence kidnaps Vastra, Strax and Jenny to force the Doctor to open his tomb on Trenzalore. The purpose of THAT I won't give away as it's a major plot point, but I will say that G.I.'s frame of mind does not make sense.

This episode supposedly "revealed the mystery of Clara Oswald". I watched it twice, and all I've got are more questions, starting with: Where did the leaf come from?

Strax has a hilarious scene in the beginning, and every scene with River Song is a marvel.

Happy Reader
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One thing is constant in the world of Doctor Who, change is inevitable. Just as you get to know and love a Doctor and/or his companion, the series will pull the rug out and begin things anew. Some of the most dramatic moments of this current BBC incarnation of Doctor Who came in these episodes where we had to say goodbye. In the eight episodes that comprise "Doctor Who: Series Seven, Part Two" (that's a mouthful), we deal with two such cataclysmic shifts. First, the enigmatic Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) takes center stage as a new companion after we bid farewell (very sadly) to Amy and Rory in the preceding DVD release of Series Seven, Part One. As if that were not traumatic enough, this is also the swan song of Matt Smith as the ever-changing Doctor. As such, these shows serve as a transitional period. Just as we acquaint ourselves with this new pairing, it has ended. And with the recent announcement that the brilliant Scottish actor Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It) will assume the mantle of Doctor for Season Eight, I suspect the tone of the show will change significantly.

I, therefore, have somewhat mixed feelings about this batch of episodes. While I like the easy chemistry of Smith and Coleman, the coupling was too brief to have the emotional heft of some of the longer running pairs. Coleman, in particular, is an intriguing new addition and learning more about her was one of the highlights here. For the first time, we had actually met this companion in prior episodes. Coleman had been on in two other storylines, and had died in both. So getting to the heart of her mystery is something that I was particularly interested in. It's not until the perplexing finale that The Impossible Girl gets the time she deserves, but the season close raises just as many questions as it answers. As this selection of shows begins, the Doctor must locate Clara. Once discovered, however, they set off on a fairly routine (but amusing) set of adventures. While fun enough, they lack some of the gravitas that distinguish the very best of Doctor Who.

Included on this DVD release are eight episodes over 2 discs:
(1) The Bells of Saint John, (2) The Rings of Akhaten, (3) Cold War, (4) Hide, (5) Journey to the Center of the Tardis, (6) The Crimson Horror, (7) Nightmare in Silver, and (8) The Name of The Doctor.

Bonus Features:
(1) The Bells of Saint John: A Prequel and (2) Clarence and the Whispermen

Obviously, if you are a Doctor Who fan (and of course you are as you are shopping the Seventh Season by reading this), nothing I say will influence you to or deter you from checking out these episodes. I've enjoyed Matt Smith's reign as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman is a promising addition. As I said, though, I wished there was a greater chance for them to share screen time before being ripped apart. My favorite moments with Smith have tended to come with River Song (a great Alex Kingston). Her ominous forecasts have lingered in my mind, and they certainly reverberate in the finale "The Name of the Doctor." Not necessarily the most satisfying farewell episode, it will be interesting to see how things will pick up once Capaldi steps in. KGHarris, 8/13.
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VINE VOICEon July 29, 2014
I am not a big fan of Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor, a time travelling alien with a fondness for earth but these episodes, at the end of his time are the best of what he did.

Too much of his early adventures were marred by Smith's sense of comedy, like Roger Moore's later Bond films where camp comedy stopped them from having a sense of menace, if the actor doesn't take it seriously why should we, and his companions: The Ponds. A husband and wife team with Rory, the nurse and one of the most sensible companions ever and his wife Amy- a character so disliked in the fan community she was named "Pond Scum" by many. With the Ponds (yes they were really the Williams) Who lost its format of being the teacher and student/assistant sort of mode that it had maintained for nearly 50 years. It was more like 3 buddies out and the doctor was the one with the `car.'

With this set though it returned to format as the Doctor takes his new companion, Clara Oswald out into the galaxy. Smith is still annoying but Clara Oswald, played wonderfully by Jenna Coleman brings the show back on target.

Adventures include the evils of the social networks, cybermen running amok at an amusement park, aliens on a soviet submarine at the height of the 80's cold war tensions, and my favorite, investigating a haunted house in the north of Britain in the 1970's.In this last one smith's likeness to 2nd doctor, Patrick Troughton is clearly noted. There is also a set up to understand some of Clara's mysterious past and a beautiful lead in to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, which I will admit Smith pulled off wonderfully.

I do not like Matt Smith's time as the Doctor but these adventures are the best he produced and belong in any fan's library.
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on January 23, 2014
This is the final season of Matt Smith, as the lovable, goofy, yet stern Doctor. It didn't disappoint. When show runner Steven Moffat took over writing/producing the long running sci-fi/fantasy show Doctor Who, he brought with him a slew of new ideas. His writing is both praised and criticized. Taking over at the same time Matt Smith stepped into the blue box, he started us on a twisting and turning ride. Some episodes were better than others, and some have left us scratching our heads, but in the end he answers our questions. Well, sorta. He usually starts a whole new set of questions.

Matt Smith as the Doctor is one that has left Whovians across the globe split. Fans of classic who were disappointed with the casting of a fresh faced, younger Doctor. The so-called fan girls swooned over the actor. I for one, who grew up watching Tom Baker's portrayal, loved Matt Smith as the Doctor. In fact, I'm not sure that there has been an actor of Doctor Who that I don't like. I do like some actors more than others, but overall I'm a big fan of all the actors.

The second half of series seven starts really with The Snowmen. I won't go into great detail, but the show starts yet another group of questions, that get answered throughout the season, the 50th anniversary and the final episode of Matt Smith, The Time of the Doctor. If you are a fan of Doctor Who, then I suggest you watch this season finisher.
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VINE VOICEon March 20, 2014
The DVDs are of high quality and the content is as usual for Doctor Who. I am giving the collection low marks because of it's lack of inclusion of the Christmas Episode which is an important part of the Clara Story Arc leading up to the regeneration of Matt Smith's Doctor. The Christmas Episode is included on the bigger boxed set of the entire 7th Series, but is conspicuously absent here and is expensive when purchased separately. Not only is the Christmas Episode missing, but the 50th Anniversary movie and the Final episode from Smith. It's inadequate and totally incomplete. I feel like I was penalized for buying the 7th year in the two parts. In the future I will wait until the entire 8th Series is available before purchasing or download them.
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on September 4, 2013
Can I just say that I am happy that annoying Amy Pond is out of the show. Part two of Series Seven introduces us to a new companion that is fun, genuine and an interesting puzzle (everything Amy was not). She is the impossible girl and watching the Doctor trying to figure out the mystery is great. The second half of the series lacks a little with the stories, I felt that most of the episodes weren't given real effort and some were just a mash up of previous episodes with a little twist. My favorite episodes (reminded me of the David Tennant era) were Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, The Crimson Horror and the Name of the Doctor. Which were the last few episodes of Series Seven which makes me think they threw in filler episodes and put in effort towards the end. An amazing ending that makes you anxious for the 50th Anniversary special.
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on December 8, 2013
Oh, this half of the season is every bit as good as the first if not better. All the pre-feature bits are irritating, like the anti-piracy and BBC promos. It's difficult to skip through them. You'd think after buying this, they'd let me just get on with watching it. But the Blu-ray is a must for this series. The HDTV production really shines here and even if you don't have a great TV, you may next year. If you like Dr. Who enough to even consider buying the season, spend the extra and get top quality.
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on August 20, 2013
Ok I have to admit that while I was watching this series I enjoyed it. However I really don't appreciate the story lines. They all tie together like a soap opera. It was kind of cool in the Key to Time but I really just don't buy into it for this season. It was kind of like watching wrestling. I beat you, you beat me and then we go to the pay per view and the fans cough up money to see what happens.

The technical aspects are still incredible and the special effects are up to todays standards. The acting is good as well.
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on October 2, 2013
I am a long time viewer,been there since the first Dr Who. Matt Smith definitely has his own style. It's had to pick a favorite but Smith adds that extra to this Dr. The Cast and their characters are a great supporting part of the show.Series seven holds true to the Dr.Who Adventures.Smith brings a vibrant life and Style to the series.The stories draw you in,you can't wait for the next adventure.Series seven is a must,it is well worth the cost. Also Dr Who The Snowmen!
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on April 17, 2014
I don't know who Doctor Who is, but my grandson knows all about him. I bought it for his birthday. (He asked me to.) He's heavily into the entire Doctor Who thing. If he's happy, then so am I. A great purchase in Blu-ray.
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