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Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited First-Fourth
DVD | Box Set
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2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction show in history! To celebrate, the BBC is releasing a curated selection of the best of each of this storied program s eleven Doctors. This initial release showcases Doctor Who s first four doctors, including William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, and Tom Baker, spanning from 1963-1981, a period of almost twenty years! The Doctors Revisited includes a profile of each Doctor and one classic story for each, including: The Aztecs, Tomb of the Cyberman, Spearhead from Space, and Pyramids of Mars.
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There are hours and hours of documentaries on the older Warner Brothers/2 Entertain DVDs that we die-hard Whovians have been buying for well over a decade. For at least the last five years, almost every story released on DVD has been given a lengthy making-of documentary and a retrospective feature with all the surviving cast and/or crew. This product is of its time, meaning that it's a look back on 50 years of Doctor Who by the people who are currently involved in the future of the show. It's designed for new fans to get a taste of what has come before and give them a jumping-off point for which to pursue each previous Doctor. This is not for the people who bought a DVD of The Five Doctors in 2001, it's for people who have never heard of The Five Doctors so that they can get a taste of Doctor Who outside of Matt Smith.
And I like the choices of episodes shown here. Pyramids of Mars, for instance, was the Tom Baker story that hooked me on his Doctor decades ago when I first saw it. There are certainly more important stories out there starring Tom Baker's Doctor, but it's a fine story that comes from the most well regarded period, being producer Philip Hinchliffe's tenure. It's eerie and gothic, but filled with the science fiction elements that are a hallmark of the series. And I imagine the reason they aren't showing the cleaned up versions of these episodes is because they want to offer incentive for fans to buy the actual, proper DVD releases (filled with extras) of the stories. With the re-release program, stories that originally had sparse extras are now being reissued with lavish features. That's both a good and a bad thing for those of us who bought the DVDs the first time around, but it's definitely a good thing for newer Whovians building a DVD library.
In my family, these specials have been a hit. I've been a devoted Doctor Who fan for about 20 years and have scores of the DVDs on the shelf. My wife and daughter, however, don't have the die-hard interest I do in the series and didn't really start watching with me until David Tennant. These specials are revelatory for them in showing what made those earlier Doctors so beloved. It's a great starting point for those looking for an entry point in the daunting 50 year history of Doctor Who. At the current Amazon price of less than 33 dollars for 4 classic stories and a couple of hours of retrospectives, it seems value-priced for all levels of fans to add to their shelf.
In the end, are these the documentaries I would have produced for each of these Doctors? No, they aren't. My documentaries would be hours and hours in length, but when I watched them I would probably quickly discover myself alone in an empty room because that wouldn't be accessible for a general audience. This feels like a great introduction for current/new Doctor Who fans (I hear so many people who say they love Doctor Who but have only watched Matt Smith) that doesn't insult older fans. Every new fan has to start somewhere in their quest to discover the past incarnations of our favorite Time Lord, and this seems like a better place than most.
2nd Doctor: Patrick Troughton: The Tomb of the Cybermen (Story 37)
3rd Doctor: Jon Pertwee: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) Pertwees 1st story and the 1st color episode
4th Doctor: Tom Baker: Pyramids of Mars (Story 82)
If you found and bought these DVDs individually, you'd spend a lot more money. I love that you have the option of watching each story as individual episodes or the edited version where it is shown as an unbroken story.
The special feature are truly pitiful! There is a feature where various people involved in Dr Who talk about that particular actor's portrayal of the Doctor. There is an introduction by Steven Moffat. That's it! There is no commentary, no still photos, bios or any of the other goodies that are usually included in Dr Who DVDs,
I'm still giving it 5 stars.
2nd Doctor: The Tomb of the Cybermen
3rd Doctor: Spearhead from Space
4th Doctor: Pyramids of Mars
This set is a good 'starter kit' for fans that have not seen the classic Doctor Who series. If you have been buying the single releases of the Doctor Who DVD's, this is more of the same. There are no 'behind the scenes' features, but they do have the interviews with some of the new show's cast and crew that aired on BBC America. Also, each of the 4 stories are presented as the way they were originally aired (broken into parts) and also in the form of one long story (opening and closing credits edited out).
The reason I give it 4 stars and not 5 is due to the fact, if you already have these four stories as individual releases, you are not really gaining much other than the short interviews from their BBC America airing, with David Tennant and Steven Moffat being the main people in the chair. However, Disc 4, 'Pyramids of Mars' does have a few moments with Tom Baker in the interview chair. But again, if you watched it on BBC America you know what to expect.
One other thing that came in the DVD case with my set was a set of four collectible Doctor Who fridge magnets. Nice little surprise!
This is a great DVD set offering a 25-30 minute docWHOmentory on each of the first four Doctors plus a story from their era presented in both edited together omnibus edition and in episodes. Whilst the quality is not up to the UK remastered releases it is far better than the VHS releases and overall this set is great value and showcases some of the best stories from Doctor s 1-4
The product and service were great - however - a warning to UK buyers. I was asked to pay not only VAT on delivery, but also the Royal Mail Post Office Sorting Office held the parcel as I had to pay an additional £8 service charge - on top of - the VAT! Ended up paying nearly £13 extra!! Shocking.
Most recent customer reviews
This 4-disc set samples what “Dr. Who” looked like with the first 4 actors playing the Doctor.Read more