THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE SPECIAL EDITION OF THIS DVD, NOT THE ORIGINAL RELEASE. I MENTION THIS BECAUSE THE AMAZON SYSTEM WILL PROBABLY POST THE REVIEW ON THE PAGES FOR BOTH.
Given the above, you will know that the Aztecs is a four part story from the first year of Doctor Who, which sees the TARDIS crew in 15th century Mexico. Where Barbara learns why they can never interfere with established. A pure historical story, as they are called, it is straight drama with no alien monsters. It's very good, strong drama, and a story with a strong and well deserved reputation as a result.
This edition of the dvd is a new one that supersedes the original release. The story as shown on the first disc of this new two disc version has an improved picture quality to the one on the original release.
It has all the same extras that were on that. On it's first disc.
But all of the second disc is new.
There's a coming soon trailer for an upcoming release in this range.
A reconstruction of the 1965 First Doctor story Galaxy Four. Until recently, all four parts of this story were missing from the bbc archives, thanks to the policy of the time of wiping tapes after transmission since they thought they wouldn't be needed again. But then a copy of part three was returned to the bbc thanks to a collector of old films in 2011. The reconstruction is built around that, which is shown in it's entirety. The rest of it uses what footage survives from the other three episodes, plus photos, minimalist animation, and the soundtrack, in order to reconstruct what is still missing. It does slim down the missing three episodes somewhat, thus the whole thing runs no more than just over seventy minutes [approx].
Galaxy Four, to go by the soundtrack - as we'd always had to unless we'd seen it's original broadcast - isn't a very strong story, a rather slight idea stretched to a slowly paced four minutes. It sees the TARDIS on a planet that's about to explode and where two spaceships have crashed. One containing glamorous woman warriors called Drahvins and another with hideous creature called the Rills who have robot servants called Chumblies. The Doctor and friends find choosing who to help isn't as easy a matter as it appears. But the reconstruction, by trimming the story down, does make it pacier, and the third episode isn't bad. Thanks to some excellent acting from the ladies playing the Drahvins and some interesting set designs on the Rill ship. So this is worth a watch.
Doctor Who forever! Celestial toyroom, is a twenty five minute long feature looking at Doctor Who merchandise down the years. From the heydays of Dalek Mania to the return of the show in 2005 and what has followed. It does feel initially as if it's going to rush through things at too fast a pace, but it soon settles down and becomes very watchable. It will bring lots of fun memories back to children of the 70's. And illuminate you about counterfeit merchandise. Beware the Cyber helicopters!
Chronicle - the Realms of Gold, is a long forgotten edition of a history documentary from the 1960's, and is all about what happened to the real Aztecs when Cortez met Montezuma. It runs for fifty minutes but it's utterly absorbing and it absolutely flies by. A documentary of the kind they used to make - a single presenter on location, minimalist music, no reconstructions, and just drawings and maps to illustrate things, it's fascinating viewing. If perhaps a bit apologetic for certain things on occasion.
Then there's two more things from the 1960's archive;
A whole scene going is a four minute feature from music and arts programme that show on set footage from the making of the Second Peter Cushing as the Doctor V the Daleks film, along with some chat with the director. It's a bit short, but the set footage is fascinating to watch.
And from comedy sketch show It's a square world comes a seven minute long sketch with Clive Dunn as a scientist demonstrating his rocket to presenter Michael Bentine. In this Clive Dunn dresses like the First Doctor and there's one Doctor Who joke, but that's the only connection it has with the show. It's reasonably amusing viewing, though, and has a couple of surprise guest stars.
Whether you want to buy special editions, or wait for them to come down in price, or care about picture quality, is entirely up to you. But as a whole there's enough in this release for me to make it worth five stars.