Doctor Who: The Beginning (An Unearthly Child / The Daleks / The Edge of Destruction) (Stories 1 - 3)
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On November 23, 1963, the BBC launched Doctor Who, which became the longest running science fiction series in television history. Five weeks later, a Dalek suction arm was thrust into the final shot of the cliffhanger ending, and history was made once more. Now fans can revisit the first exciting months of Doctor Who on dvds with digitally remastered picture and sound quality.
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Those who come to this through the new show will be surprised. This isn't the Doctor you're used to: he's not yet the man entire species fear and want dead -- he's a jerk-ass. The TARDIS is a mere machine, neither Gallifrey nor Time Lords are mentioned, and the Daleks are the canned survivors of a nuclear holocaust, confined to their city (they would not become the show's perennial villains until 'The Dalek Conquest of Earth').
It was intended originally to alternate between science fiction and historical stories, with the historical stories intended as educational. All the Doctor would be was the chauffeur (and occasional plot driver) while the companions did all the heavy lifting. Eventually, those features changed, and the show -- while still with a budget that seemed to be drawn from petty cash and turned-out pockets -- became the one most people think of now.
Unlike others who reviewed this set my DALEK and EDGE OF DESTRUCTION disks weren't reverse labeled.
Story #1 is 4 episodes
Story #2 is 7 episodes
Story #3 is 2 episodes
Story #1 is the very first Doctor Who. Isn't that reason enough to watch it?
Story #2 is the first appearance ever of the Daleks.
Story #3 is not so good in my opinion Less then B rated scifi. The science portion of this story could have been written by a toddler.
Story #4 although short because so much material was lost is still interesting.
I think this set is worth purchasing just for the first two stories.
That out of the way, this is an excellent collection. Especially for the fans of classic Doctor Who. It brings us through the original introduction of The Doctor, his companions, and his magnificent ship the TARDIS. And it also brings us to his first-ever meeting with the universe's most-feared menace, the Daleks! Literally everything a Who fan could want!
Bonus features include commentaries, a condensed reconstruction of the lost (But RUMORS SAY it has recently been recovered!) serial Marco Polo. And some other excellent little goodies such as a documentary on The Daleks. A definite must-buy! (Purchased Black Friday/Cyber Monday at amazon, 2013)
That being said... going back to the very beginning was a treat. I watched it with my family and even my kids stayed focused. The video quality is far better than expected and the sound actually holds up on a surround sound.
My biggest gripe is the pilot episode, which showcases a disturbingly harsh Doctor, isn't a special feature. It plays right before the first episode and with the exception of the Doctor, are very similar. In fact for the first 5 to 10 minutes you could swear the same episode is replaying.
That being said, this is for hardcore Doctor Who fans. And it's a real treat to experience