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Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) Blu-ray Edition
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Nearly all of the classic Doctor Who episodes were shot in the studio on videotape because it was cheaper to produce with post-production finishing and special effects being done onto videotape while location scenes had to be shot on film because, back in those days, it was impractical to use bulky studio cameras that required heavy electrical cabling to shoot outside of the studio, thus nearly all Doctor Who episodes (up until the mid to late 80's when portable broadcast videocameras became standard) constantly intercut between a "live" television studio look and a softer "film" realized look.
But is it really worth upgrading from the recently released DVD Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) - Special Edition?Read more ›
Now, long-time fans will no doubt be aware that Spearhead has been released before, on VHS and DVD (twice). Thus, we all face a burning question...is it worth triple- (or quadruple-) dipping and buying this same story yet again, in a new format?
The short answer is, yes. The Blu Ray edition of Spearhead has a much nicer print than even the recent DVD special edition, with vivid colors and details; indeed, it simply blows away the washed-out prints of this story that I remember from back when I was a kid. To cite just two examples of how good this print is, I was able to admire the stitching on Jon Pertwee's shirt, and I noticed for the first time that the main villain has yellowed teeth.
That said, Blu Ray is a bit of a double-edged sword. The clarity of the print allows you to see extra detail, but also (in my opinion) makes film grain much more obvious and distracting than it looks on DVD prints. For this release, the Who Restoration Team cleaned up some of the grain but stopped short of "polishing it out" completely, which I think was a good move. The resulting presentation is not totally pristine but still very nice, and looks comparable to other Blu Ray prints of movies/TV shows from this period.
Now, on to the prickly subject of special features. The main offerings on this Blu Ray are two excellent (if a little sad) documentaries on the late Caroline John and Jon Pertwee.Read more ›
the additional doccos are exceptional., real in depth detail into the careers and lives of both Caroline John and Jon Pertwee to a scale never before seen
Kudos to BBC Worlwide - The Restoration Team and PUP Productions
If you just enjoy the Dr Who shows, then this is not worth it; if I had two televisions side-by-side, I could probably tell the difference between the DVD version and the Blu-ray version, but I don't, and so I didn't really notice that much of a difference.
However, if you are fan of the larger Doctor Who world, then the Blu-ray is very worth getting for the specials about the lives of Jon Pertwee and Caroline John. These were fairly in-depth (45 min for Jon Pertwee; 30 min for Caroline John), and were interesting. I found the fact that both of these actors had some severe doubt as to their competence as actors because of the Doctor Who production team - Jon because they never asked him to do work on any of their other work, and "Carrie" because they fired her after just one season. Apparently, it affected her pretty deeply. She couldn't have done a second season anyway, but she would have preferred to choose to leave rather than be fired.
There is a very short feature about the restoration; one can see the differences here, but standalone, it would probably be hard for anyone but real video expert to tell the difference.
The final feature is (apparently) a run-through of out-takes for different title sequences; there is no commentary, no notes, no nothing - just a long and tedious run-through of various title sequences; this could have been immensely helped with someone commenting on them; the differences; why some were used; what "look" they were trying for, etc. But just silent outtakes? To quote Peri, "Yuck".
I agree with the other review that the main menu screen is WONDERFUL! I give it six stars. I wish all of the releases used that format; it is really great.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This the best video footage you will ever see of any of the classic Doctor Who episodes. The picture quality is superb, with barely any grainy scenes like you see with a lot of... Read morePublished 5 days ago by En Trance
If you're a fan of the 3rd Doctor, have an HD TV and a Bluray player and DON'T already own this, just go ahead and buy it right now. Read morePublished 22 days ago by James E Hamilton
This looks better than my expectations, which says a lot. The colors are almost natural, which is better than I thought they would ever get it. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Nicholas R. Ferrara
First off, the only disappointment - no audio commentary! I think this is the only Dr. Who serial out of a collection of 70 some discs that doesn't have any. Ah well. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Tinfoot
I received the Blu-Ray on time and will do business again in the future. I love the Doctor Who Series both classic and new doctors. Read morePublished on May 7, 2014 by Lee F. Allen
Reaching into the annals of Doctor Who we find the first appearance of Jon Pertwee as the famous Doctor in the 1970 story, Spearhead from Space. Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Lucas Goldstein
This arrived in perfect condition and is exactly as promised. Doctor Who fans, both young and older, will love it!Published on January 2, 2014 by Susan