Doctor Who: The Movie (Special Edition)
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Over 14 years after its production and broadcast, the Doctor Who TV Movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor will finally see release in North America!!!
This 2-disc release will be on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 for the suggested retail price of $34.98, under the title: Doctor Who - The Movie - Special Edition. 2entertain's Commissioning Editor Dan Hall revealed this surprise news on the "Hoo on Who" podcast (available on iTunes) on August 25. He was successful in negotiating release rights for this production outside of the UK that had previously been held by the co-producers of the TV Movie, Universal Television. This clears the way for a release in North America by BBC Worldwide Americas.
The version that will see release is a new edition that was made available in the UK in October as part of what they're calling the Revisitations Box Set, where three previously available titles were re-released together with boosted extra features. The McGann TV Movie is one of them. The others will see release in North America later in 2011.
For those of you who don't know, "the TV Movie" as it is called was a one-off attempt to revive Doctor Who in 1996 as a "back door pilot" for the Fox Network in the U.S. It was a co-production by Universal Television, BBC Worldwide Americas, and Fox.Read more ›
First off: Paul McGann is brilliant. He adheres to the cardinal rule of "reinvent the Doctor the way YOU think he should be played" that has worked so well for every actor before him, and we get a charming, easily-distracted romantic with a hypnotic gaze. Eric Roberts likewise brings a great combination of sadism and quirky humour to the Master. Sylvester McCoy is back on form as the Doctor's seventh incarnation as if he never left, and Daphne Ashbrook manages to steal scenes even when the script has relegated her to the familiar "stand to the side and ask 'What's it all about, Doctor?'" routine. Mention should also be made of Yee Jee Tso's very good performance as the wayward teenager who becomes an unwitting pawn in the Master's plan to regain his physical Time Lord existence.
The TARDIS interior is unbelievable. You get the impression that this is what the series's original designers would have aimed for all along had they the budget.Read more ›
What does that mean for US/Canada audiences? As the TV movie was originally shot and broadcast in North American using the NTSC standard, that means that this conversion is NTSC -> PAL -> and back to NTSC. The feature presentation will suffer from PAL-speed up, running about 4% faster than originally broadcast on Fox back in 1996. Perceptive viewers (who may have recorded this on VHS when it originally aired) will notice that everyone's voice is pitched slightly higher and that the movie runs faster (looking similar to how "time-compressed" airings of shows look on basic cable syndication).
Most American viewers probably won't even notice the changes but they are there nonetheless and the more perceptive (or pedantic) fans will notice. Still, with that said, the extras package looks great and I can forgive the PAL speed up (I'm used to it by now, having imported the Region 2 DVD release years ago).
I don't quite share that negative view of this movie, however. As an American myself, I've always wanted to see Doctor Who take off in the U.S. - and this movie remains Who's only truly significant foray into the U.S. market. Such concerns aside, I also admire the movie for its slick production values and sense of fun. To me, this is still the best-looking Doctor Who production of all time, particularly in terms of sets (huge), extras (numerous), and direction (arty-farty).
Certainly, Matthew Jacobs' often-convoluted script needed some work; if you compare it to "Caves of Androzani" or "Midnight," you're bound to be disappointed. But I'd still rather watch this movie than, say, anything involving the Quarks or the Slitheen - if only for Paul McGann's charismatic performance as the Eighth Doctor, and his awesome TARDIS interior.
But even for fans who hate the Doctor Who TV Movie, there should be no denying that this is a first-rate DVD package. The remastered movie itself looks and sounds great (why no Blu-ray version, I wonder?) But the real attraction is the huge array of special features. The longest is a documentary called "The Seven Year Hitch" about the movie's epic production history; though a little dry, it offers some compelling glimpses into the workings (and thought processes) of the BBC.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While it prompted more questions than it answered, I enjoyed and still enjoy the movie. I wish Paul McGann had more of a chance to flesh out his Doctor in the long run, but his... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Peter Nicolle
I saw all the bad reviews but as a doctor who fan baught this movie and I'm glad I did this is a great moviePublished 1 month ago by Autumn
Love it and this year marks it The 20th anniversary of this movie thank youPublished 2 months ago by Patricia A. Ghuste
Love this Dr. Who. It is too bad he didn't have his own season on the tellie.Published 2 months ago by Michael Edward Gibson
Big fan of the Doctor, so of course I loved seeing the movie again! This movie is just the beginning of a series of events that finally led to bringing the Doctor back for a new... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marta Womack
The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is transporting the remains of the Master to their home world of Gallifrey. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joseph M. Reninger
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