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  1. #1
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    Default 10 Years of Doctor Who on DVD

    Can you believe it? This summer marks the tenth anniversary of Doctor Who on DVD after The Five Doctors SE (boo-hiss!) was released in the first batch of BBC DVDs.

    We've had some great DVDs, so below par DVDs and some that have been simply astonishing- for the wrong and right reasons...

    So what, for you, have been the highs and lows of the range? What would you have done differently? And what are you still looking forward to? Oh and overall, so far, what has been your favourite DVD of the range?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    The Doctor Who DVD's are amazing, we're so lucky. Piled high with extra features, the documentaries and just superb and the restoration is excellent.

    For me the highlights have been seeing the sixties stories given new life. I now think that the era would be far more appreciated if it didn't exist in the state it did - clarity IMPROVES your opinion of the story; it's hard to love a few blurry objects in a snowstorm, whatever the script is like. So when they restored "The Seeds of Death" to what it would look like brand new, I aquired a fresh love of that story. It's still one of my favourites. I think the stops pulled out on releases like "The Beginning" and "Trial" would also be highs for me.

    Lows? I wish they'd given us a decent cover design to begin with (or had the guts to revamp it after the test release, before it was too late) - we seem doomed to have the main visual component crammed below a tacky block of roundels for good.

    Favourite releases? "The Beginning", "The Seeds of Death", "The Five Doctors"

    Si.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Hunt View Post
    For me the highlights have been seeing the sixties stories given new life. I now think that the era would be far more appreciated if it didn't exist in the state it did - clarity IMPROVES your opinion of the story; it's hard to love a few blurry objects in a snowstorm, whatever the script is like.

    Si.
    I agree entirely!

    I always found it a bit of a chore to wade through The Aztecs, but I was absolutely gob-smacked when I first watched the DVD and enjoyed the story so much more than I had ever done on VHS.

    And you're right - for all the egos and attitudes amongst the RT sometimes, they really do us proud with the range and I'd be surprised if ANY other TV show gets the same treatment!

  4. #4
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    Agreed, absolutely - for whatever reason, our show is one that continually pushes people to go the extra mile. So we have the invention of Vidfire, which as Si says makes such a difference; the very first time I saw it used was on the Planet of Giants video, and for those first few moments it was just jaw-dropping how 'immediate' it suddenly looked. We have the recolourising, which has only given us The Silurians on DVD; and then another method where the colour's not so readily available to give us Planet of the Daleks completed, and Mind of Evil (allegedly). We really are SO lucky.

    As to highs & lows, although I've by no means got the whole collection on of the highlights on those I have are the interviews and commentaries with, particularly, the 60s & early-70s teams. Reading about the behind-the-scenes stuff in DWM is one thing, but to hear the people talking about it first-hand is often fascinating - and in future decades when a lot of those people are no longer with us, it gives them just that little bit of immortality. As the range goes on, that archive of interviews will become a really valuable record of certain periods in Doctor Who, and in TV in general.

    And if I can single out a couple of items - A New Body At Last (the Logopolis DVD documentary) is one I can watch again and again, and even more so, the New Beginnings one on The Leisure Hive. Both are really strong, enjoyable and interesting documentaries.

    One bad thing - it's just a shame that some of the people who could have contributed so much, and probably very entertainingly in most cases, are no longer with us. JN-T, Graham Williams, Bob Holmes, Douglas Adams, even Jon Pertwee, could conceivably still been with us now, and just imagine what they would have had to offer.

  5. #5
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    God, ten years? How time flies. I remember buying myself 'The Robots of Death' at Christmas 2000, shortly after getting my very first DVD player from Currys for what was then a bargaintastic £99. I remember being amazed by the picture quality, and it wasn't long before I snapped up 'Spearhead' from HMV. £19.99 was a lot back then for a secondary school boy!

    Favourite release? Hard to say. I loved the 'Ark In Space' CGI option at the time, and the shock of seeing 'Tomb' so clear and clean was a joy. I'm looking forward to 'The War Games' for simiar reasons.

    The range really had grown since then, and although they come thick and fast these days (remember when we got 6 releases a year?) I think the standard in terms of restoration has definitely been maintained. The extras have started to become a little disappointing in certain areas but that's to be expected I guess.

    I was looking at my VHS tapes the other day and thinking how they really have become worthless now we have these shiny discs. But DVD really did blow me away.

  6. #6
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    it's amazing how time flighs (it's even more scarey to think it's around 25 years now since I got my first Doctor Who story on video) funnely enough right in the beginning I said I was never going to bother with the DVD's as I had all the stories on video and didn't see the point of starting collecting them all again.

    Then at around the time Fang Rock, was released I thought sod it I bought myself a combined video/dvd player and then bought all the DVD's released up untill that point. I think it was the extras on each release that finally made my mind up and also the realisation of the amount of valuable space on my shelf I could save as I got rid of each video as the DVD release came out. In fact I have now gotten rid of all my Doctor Who videos,

    But as pip says the picture quality after watching the rather grainy videos the picture quality just blows you away so much so that my enjoyment of certain stories I was originaly luke warm to on video was greatly enhanced. As for a favourite well I don't actually have an over all favourite release but my favourite extra is with out doubt the "oh mummy" suteck spoof.t

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    .

    One bad thing - it's just a shame that some of the people who could have contributed so much, and probably very entertainingly in most cases, are no longer with us. JN-T, Graham Williams, Bob Holmes, Douglas Adams, even Jon Pertwee, could conceivably still been with us now, and just imagine what they would have had to offer.

    it's also a shame that from the Hartnell era there are now so few people left alive to contribute to the documentories. The documentories on the whole have for the most been very good especialy the "making of" feature there have been on the other extras quite a few boring an uniteresting ones but thats only to be expected.

    My only critizism of the "making off" documentories is the repetition on them there must be at least half a dozen DVD's where there is some mention of how Tom Baker, got given the part. I do realise that there may be people who only buy the odd DVD now and again and may not of heard it before. But when you are buying them regularly and are hearing messers Letts & Dicks saying the same thing on numerous different subjects on half a dozen or more releases it can get a bit tedious.

  8. #8
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    Yay! @ everyone! We've been spoilt rotten with the care and attention that's been lavished on these. Star Trek: The Next Generation has been released in it's entirety at least three times - and those discs still aren't as exhaustive as what we've got!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  9. #9
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    Happy Anniversary!

    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    What would you have done differently?
    Turned down the 'reds' on The Five Doctors, Black Orchid & Invasion Of Time. All of which somewhat spoil my enjoyment when watching.

    And perhaps have released Resurrection Of The Daleks as transmitted.....

    Overal though, a wonderful series of dvds, and the pride of any archive tv collection.

    Favourites? Hard to say, Curse Of Fenric for the movie edit, The Beginning, and the 5.1 mixes (Leisure Hive being fantastic), but as others have said, the restored pictures nearly always bring a fresh enjoyment of almost any story.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    ? What would you have done differently?
    Si xx

    as Si, says I'd of certainly given the cover designs an overhaul I'd of also liked to of seen the flying tardis and the main menu pages all updated and redisigned as they look a bit on the drab side now.

  11. #11
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    Ten years!!! Where has the time gone?

    Highs for me, well, there have been quite a few highs, but I think the Lost in Time set did us proud by gathering all the odd episodes, bits of film and trailers all together in one package. Along with the interviews and commentaries it really is a thing of wonder. Even The Moonbase scrubbed up well.

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    I jumped for joy when I got The Visitation on DVD. It's one of my all-time favourites. As to the documentaries, "Behind the Sofa" on The Two Doctors was very good.

    Lows? Well I was distraught at the cock-up at the end of part 3 of The Invisible Enemy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Si Hunt View Post
    it's hard to love a few blurry objects in a snowstorm, whatever the script is like.
    Dunno about you, but I liked The Tenth Planet.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

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    I hadn't realised it had been that long, but my high on the DVD's has got to be Invasion with the two animated episodes. They don't detract from the live action episodes and it is great that they did it so people could see the adventure in it's entirety. The best documentary on that is the one where people say about recording the soundtrack from the tv, which brought back memories for me because I used to do it as well. If I had to have a low it would be the TV movie for it's lack of extras. But all in all they have been excellent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberchris35 View Post
    If I had to have a low it would be the TV movie for it's lack of extras. But all in all they have been excellent.

    I'd not be at all suprised if once all the complete stories are released 2-entertain, don't go back to some of the earlier releases like the tv movie and robots of death and re-release them with the usual package of extras.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberchris35 View Post
    If I had to have a low it would be the TV movie
    Quite...

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    The thing is though, all the footage and extra's for the TV Movie is held by Fox, so with that one it's not just a case of doing it now meaning that it would be a better package.

    Si.

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    I think one fo the many highpoints for me in the DVD range was The Leisure Hive release. If it comes down to it, I think this would be the one I would take to a desert isalnd with me. It's got a great range of features- an excellent 5.1 mix, the icolated score and some of the best documentaries of the range, especially New Beginnings which I've watched several times. It was usch a joy to see some involvement from JNT, who is sadly missed from these releases. I love the little features too like those on the costumes with June Hudson, the new title music and title sequence and the one on writing. A superb release!

    I agree with the points made about the restoration of the 60s stories and it's something I'm still wowed by every time. It's amazing what they can achieve from such poor prints and it really does give the stories a new lease of life.

    What haven't I liked? Very little overall. There's been the odd special feature that hasn't seemed very special at the time and a couple of odd decisions made here and there through the range, but you know, overall these are the best DVD releases for cult TV I've ever seen. No other range seems to be given the care, attention and sheer love the Doctor Who ones have. Yes we may grumble about them from time to time and we all have stories that we feel deserved a better release than it got, but we're extremely lucky with what we do get and I feel these are going to be the definitive releases of the show.

    That last statement will probably come back to haunt me sometime!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  18. #18
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    I wasn't bothered about DVDs initially - having spent a decade plus building up a fairly large video collection, I was happy enough with that. It was when I upgraded my PS to a PS2 that I gained the ability to play DVDs so I bought a cheap film, something I didn't already own. I soon realised the various advantages of DVD!

    This was around 2001 and I was still put off by the £20 per release in the shops for the Who range. I started off with a "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" offer in WH Smith (Hammersmith where I worked at the time). IIRC I got 5 Doctors, Robots or Spearhead and I'm fairly sure This Life S1.

    For me, the range's golden era was 2003 - one story per Doctor, many of them double-disc releases and a couple of them signed on 10th Planet signings (Seeds and Talons). Early days on PS, and many of them purchased while in the company of good new friends.

    I'm particulary fond of Earthshock - a great story with excellent extras, particularly the docu looking at the impact from a fan's viewpoint. My favourite though has to be Talons - not only my favourite story, but I was particularly pleased to see Whose Doctor Who? for the first time in 26 years.

    I was fine at keeping up with them up until the Key to Time, which not only took me 3-4 months to complete but also coincided with an increased rate release. Since then, I've lagged several months behind (I only watched War Machines a week or two ago!) although this has had a major benefit financially because after 6 months or so (or less sometimes) the online prices do come down significantly. And with a lot of the recent releases having been far from favourite stories (42D, Trial, Battlefield for example) I'm quite happy with the overall situation.

    However, when an eagerly anticipated story does come out (where on earth is Seeds of Doom?!) it will undoubtedly be purchased on release (I did the same with the E-Space trilogy). Quite simply, I pay pretty much what I feel each story is worth - but only thanks to online bargains, my first such purchase being Green Death 5 years ago.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    However, when an eagerly anticipated story does come out (where on earth is Seeds of Doom?!) it will undoubtedly be purchased on release (I did the same with the E-Space trilogy). Quite simply, I pay pretty much what I feel each story is worth - but only thanks to online bargains, my first such purchase being Green Death 5 years ago.
    On the first point - couldn't agree more!

    On the second point....

  20. #20
    Wayne Guest

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    I think my first Who dvd was DIOE.
    Looks great, but still not a fave really.

  21. #21

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    The first one I got was Talons in 2003 quickly followed by Spearhead and Robots

    I only had about 20 DVDs full stop back then...

  22. #22
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    The first DVD I ever got was the Five Doctors. Plain silver with no roundels.

  23. #23
    Wayne Guest

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    Wasn't that the first one anyway?

  24. #24
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    It was the very first DVD I got EVER, full stop, I only owned one DVD & that was it, Numero Uno, single one, not another owned at all, of any description...comprendae?

  25. #25

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    Interesting latin plural take on a spanish word there

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