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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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This Dr Who boxed set has all the first four seasons of the 'new' Dr Who starting with 'Rose', when Rose Tyler first meets the 9th Doctor. Inside the lidded cardboard box there's four large [2cm wide] DVD cases, one for each season. There's Special Feature's on every DVD disc - these include audio commentaries [some episodes], in-vision commentaries [some episodes], and audio descriptions [all episodes]. The final DVD in each season is just the 'cut-down' BBC Confidentials. My son [13] and daughter [15] loathe these how-its-done bits with a passion - they want to believe it's real. They do however like the well produced and illustrated large colour booklet of Episode Guides [around 30 pages] thats included in the box.

This 23 DVD set has only English 5.1 audio with English (SDH/HoH) subtitles. There's 9h 27m [5 DVDs] of video in season 1, 11 hours in season 2 [6 DVDs], 9h 45 mins [6 DVDs] in season 3 and 11h 21 minutes [6 DVDs] in season 4. It's rated 12: 'suitable for over 12s only', which is a bit odd as preteens are often Dr Who's strongest fans, with the Doctor's rock-solid moralistic overtones striking a chord within them, although I suppose some episodes particularly 'Blink', 'Silence in the Library', 'The Empty Child', and 'The Unquiet Dead' are a bit scary for some under tens. However, this didn't stop my son at 9 loving the first season on BBC TV, although my daughter was moved to tears watching the emotionally charged 'Fathers Day'.

This 1-4 season set has just the three Christmas specials between the seasons: 'The Christmas Invasion', 'The Run-away-Bride', and 'Voyage of the Damned'. These Xmas specials are essential for continuity, hence their inclusion. The last episode in this set is 'Journey's End', the finale of season 4. The later tenth Doctor Season 4.5 specials: 'The Next Doctor', 'Planet of the Dead', 'The Waters of Mars' and the last two 'End of Time' Xmas 2009/NewYear 2010 finale episodes are not in this boxed set, and they have been released separately in a Complete Specials set, also with a load of extras. These first four seasons of Dr Who weren't filmed in hi-definition video (Dr Who went hi-def with the 'Planet of the Dead' special in 2009), so we haven't bothered upgrading to the expensive Doctor Who Blu-ray Box Set: Seasons 1-7, as video upscaling of our standard DVDs on DVD/Blu-ray players will give similar video quality to the Blu-rays for these earlier seasons.

So this series 1-4 DVD boxed set is a great collection of fifty-six Dr Who episodes, with a lot of extras dotted around on the DVDs like 'Davids video diary', 'On set with Billie Piper', 'The adventures of Captain Jack', plus out-takes and the 'children in need' specials, and very usefully it's all quite compact at 10x14x19.5 cm, easily 6*... For young Dr Who fans also check out the The Sarah Jane Adventures, and perhaps the BBC's Roman Mysteries as well that are quite sympathetic to this spin-off series. In fact I actually prefer The Sarah Jane Adventures to the excellent 'adult orientated' Torchwood, probably as Sarah Jane's ethos is far more in keeping with that of the Doctors.
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on 12 April 2010
I won't go into the details of the actual episodes contained within this amazing boxed set - if you're reading this review, chances are you already know what a great series it is, but if not, just check out the many other brilliant reviewers on here, as they do it far better than I could.

I purchased this box set for just under £47 which, considering I was about to buy all four series boxed sets individually, is a great saving. Clearly this boxed set does not offer anything new to the fans who already own the individual series sets, but if you're new to Doctor Who like I am and looking to start your collection, then this is a perfect opportunity to own a slice of great British TV programming.

Some people have commented on the use of plastic DVD cases over the cardboard folders - I personally prefer the plastic versions contained in this set, as I find that cardboard cases tend to get a bit dogged eared after repeat viewings - and I certainly intend to give these DVDs many, many viewings! They're also more compact - about half the thickness of the individual cardboard cases, which is very welcome if you're short on shelf space. The box that contains the DVDs is deceptively small - almost of TARDIS-like proportions, the whole thing being roughly the same thickness as two of the cardboard individual series boxed sets. You also get a rather nice booklet which contains episode guides for all 4 series in one volume rather than four individual booklets.

So, anything bad about this boxed set? Definitely not! I'm still baffled by the decision to only offer cut down versions of the Doctor Who Confidential programmes, but at this price I'm not complaining!!
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on 25 February 2010
I've been a fan of the series for quite some time, something of a guilty pleasure. The individual box sets come with better and prettier presentation in their cardboard cases, however the plastic amaray that are supplied with this box set are far from a reason to avoid this box set. I couldn't be happier with my purchase and for the bargain price offered and I would advise any fan of the show to purchase without a second thought. OK so it doesn't include the specials (The next Doctor, Planet of the dead, Waters of Mars, End of Time) Neither do the individual series box sets. Don't give it a second thought- if your a fan this is the set for you. After buying my copy I purchased another 2 for gifts, both of which have been very, very well received.
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on 10 June 2010
As a relative newcomer to the Who-universe, I absolutely love this boxset. It's great for catching up with the 9th and 10th Doctor's adventures and to relive our favorite moments such as "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances," "Girl in the Fireplace," "Blink," and "Silence in the Library." Please note that although the description says the DVDs are coded in Region 2, it is actually in dual Regions 2 and 4 PAL so this is great news for viewers Down Under! They don't sell this as a boxset here in Australia and it would have cost a fair bit more money and effort to find and collect all the series 1-4 DVDs. Yes, as others have mentioned, the actual DVDs are in plastic cases and don't include the 2009 Doctor Who Specials (not really considered a "series" as such), but the outer box is fantastic (with the DW logo and TARDIS) and we get a booklet outlining each series/episode as well as commentaries from the producers/writers/actors. Much recommended and hope you enjoy the journey. Allons-y!
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on 10 January 2010
Simply a repackaged form of Seasons 1-4 of Doctor Who, this is a compact DVD set that is always a joy to watch. With all episodes from Seasons 1-4, David Tennant's Video Diaries and other special features, makes this box set a joy. The only thing that would have made it better, if they would have included the full Doctor Who Confidentials rather than just the cutdowns.
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on 27 November 2009
Its the adventures of the 9th and 10th Doctors, its already been on TV, so theres no need to cover old ground about the content, suffice to say if youre reading this, then you'll probably know how good the main content will be. For the price this is great, far cheaper than buying individual series boxes, so why loose a star?

Its advertised as being the complete Doctor Who's, but its not....

Good to know: Its not as big as the picture would lead you to believe. The box looks nice enough, and inside instead of the beautifully packed individual series sets most fans will be used to; there are some cheaper looking plasitc multi DVD cases. Theres a nice booklet with a run down of the various episodes. The set includes all series and specials and the associated Doctor Who Confidentials up to the end of series 4 (clues in the box set title here folks.) The 2009 / post series 4 trilogy of specials are not included.

So of the New Doctor Who stuff you'll just need to get the Planet of the dead/Waters of Mars/End of time specials (and Dreamland {if you really think it counts}) when/as they become available. So if youre looking for the entire stories of the 9th and 10th doctors then you'll probably not be dissapointed. But it would have made for a more complete story to include everything up to the hand over to the 11th Doctor. Sorry but this alone is enough to loose a star, and I'm being generous here! The BBC are releasing in spring 2010 the box set of all the new series specials: Doctor Who - The Complete Specials [DVD]. Why could the BBC not have waited a few months to include everything?

So if you're looking for the First 4 series of the new Doctors for a cheaper bulk price, then don't hesitate, buy it now!

Just remember in a year or two there will probably be a series 1 to 6 box set, then the anniversary series 1 to 9 box sets so the BBC can cash in some more!
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I had watched Doctor Who briefly in the late 80's, but never got into it much. When the series was rebooted in the early noughties, I thought I'd give it another try, hearing it was supposed to be quite good. Also being a fan of Christopher Eccleston did help me getting started.

Since then, I have watched every single episode until the present day, and though I have been quite disappointed with much of Stephen Moffat's convoluted paradoxes – paradoxes that, in the past, would have caused the universe and the time-space continuum to tear apart – the first four series are still true to the anti-paradox rules of time travel, and they have their gently laid out stories running through what is in essence still a very episodic series, each episode on its own being possible to watch and enjoy even when seen out of the context of the episodes around it.

As much as I enjoyed Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, it was David Tennant that really played the part to perfection, and with Russel T Davies heading the creative team, they make a dynamic duo the like of which we unfortunately might never see again.

If Moffat paradoxes and the extremely unimaginative call of "Geronimo" isn't your thing, this is definitely the box set to go for for the best of the Doctor as portrayed by the inimitable David Tennant.
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on 13 January 2012
This box set constitutes almost the complete saga of the Doctor at his peak in every respect. After 26 years of staggering through limited production budgets, barely credible special effects and a great deal of struggling to convert the drama to dialogue rather than action (which they couldn't really afford and couldn't make quite effective enough), and finally being cancelled and supposedly forgotten, the new Doctor's first 4 seasons constitute a massive epic storyline that takes us from the return of the Doctor (immediately after the end of the Time War in which Gallifrey is destroyed) when he is basically a freshly mustered out warrior, through his growth, development and maturity and (if you also obtain the year of "specials" that occupied the gap between series 4 and 5), eventual "death" (regeneration).

It is that very rare case where the character meets the actor in perfect symmetry. David Tennant's approach to the role (with producer Russel T. Davies' guidance and support) makes this a single, massive story arc, in which the Doctor deals with rage, falls in love, finds his charm, suffers pain and loss, assumes a virtual godhead and finally understands his own limitations.

While many of the tales are typical series "monster of the week" stories, the entire story arc continues to grow and develop throughout.

By the time you reach the approach of his regeneration your heart will be breaking and you will greive as if he had died.

Whenever I try to recommend the Doctor to anyone who hasn't a clue what I'm nattering on about, I always encourage them to start at Season 1, Episode 1 and go straight through to "The End of Time" in order to "get it". Those that have done so understand why I adore this show.

Now you can get most of that in one neat package. Loverly.
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on 25 December 2011
I got this as a Christmas present (today!). I knew I was getting it, and I was quiet excited, because it has all the special features on it that the individual box sets have, and I've only ever owned the individual releases, with the bare minimum. I was expecting it to be quiet big, but its a diddy thing! Saves A LOT of shelve space. A very good set. Buy THIS, not the individual box sets. This box set is exactly the same as what you would get if you did.

This box set also includes The Christmas Invasion, The Runnaway Bride, Voyage of the Dammned, A Doctor Who Confidential Cut-down for every episode, Time Crash, and the Doctor Who Music and Monsters concert.

I keep saying, Buy this, NOT the individual box sets, they are EXACTLY the same, it saves shelve space and looks amazing, and it is also CHEAPER.

Merry Christmas Everyone, and a Happy New Year 2012!
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on 13 January 2014
Doctor Who needs little introduction - a TV sci-fi series that started way back in the 1960's that ran more or less continuously until the late 1980's and was required Saturday night viewing for generations of British kids. It was notable for it's scary monster of the week theme, the changing title role, the Doctor's slightly ramshackle mode of conveyance and the variety of "Doctor's Companions". Sadly, it was also notable for it's limited budget, wobbly sets and man-in-a-rubber-suit aliens. However, despite its failings, it gained a special place in the nation's conciousness and is looked back on with fondness by many.

After a seventeen year break, the series restarted in 2005 with new writers, Doctors and companions and it has gone from strength to strength since.

Series 1 ***
Christopher Ecclestone as the tenth Doctor, Billie Piper as his travelling companion Rose and Russell T Davies behind the typewriter to carry the Series 1 through 13 episodes, to wit:
- "Rose"
- "The End of the World"
- "The Unquiet Dead"
- "Aliens of London"
- "World War Three"
- "Dalek"
- "The Long Game"
- "Father's Day"
- "The Empty Child"
- "The Doctor Dances"
- "Boom Town"
- "Bad Wolf"
- "The Parting of the Ways"

The first of the "reimagined" series has some strong themes, largely based around the Doctor's admiration for the terribly backward, parochial yet still wonderful people of Earth and his developing (but of course, chaste) relationship with Rose Tyler. It does struggle however, oh yes. The monsters are still mostly rubber suits (human-inhabited or not), most of the scrapes are solved (or at least mitigated) by means of the ubiquitous sonic screwdriver, and the elephant in the room is that all of those scrapes /could/ simply be sorted by the Doctor popping forward (or backward) in time a few more years. Also, while Ecclestone clearly wanted to develop an unique persona - slightly unhinged but terminally optimistic - his mad, bouncy grin simply annoys.

I suppose one can forgive, however. After nearly two decades away, some time would be needed to bed in and find feet. And there ARE some outstanding episodes, in particular "Dalek" and "The Empty Child"/"Doctor Dances". Also, several new and subsequently recurring characters make their entrances; Harriet Jones and Jack Harkness, to name but two, and there are some sweet cameos to spot as well. Interestingly, there is also the genesis of several recurring references and story arcs that make themselves felt in subsequent series, such as "Bad Wolf" and The Time War. Finally, we are also introduced to Mark Gatiss who is a huge asset to the franchise in his recurring and intermittent role as screenwriter ("The Unquiet Dead").

In the end, however, I felt that S1 was a bit of a letdown - not half as good as I remembered it to have been when I watched it with my (then) pre-teen daughter. It is nevertheless good entertainment and essential viewing if for no other reason (and it's NOT the only reason) than to provide continuity into the next series.

The five discs come with a short "making of" documentary for each episode, plus various trailers commentaries and video diaries.

Series 2 ****
The second season of the series' renaissance, with David Tennant taking up the Tardis' helm, featured 14 episodes, penned (for the most part) by the usual suspects - namely Moffat, Davies and Gatiss:

- "The Christmas Invasion"
- "New Earth"
- "Tooth and Claw"
- "School Reunion"
- "The Girl in the Fireplace"
- "Rise of the Cybermen"
- "The Age of Steel"
- "The Idiot's Lantern"
- "The Impossible Planet"
- "The Satan Pit"
- "Love & Monsters"
- "Fear Her"
- "Army of Ghosts"
- "Doomsday"

Why is it that The Doctor, who can travel anywhere in the universe, always ends up fighting off aliens who want to wreak havoc in London? It strikes me that the writers were either under some strange obligation to stick to Earth, or they lacked a lot in the way of imagination. Well, the second series, /does/ actually represent a huge improvement on the first. The stories seem a lot more exciting and inventive and there is an enjoyable self-awareness to it all. The aliens (even if they ARE still just blokes in rubber suits) look better - scarier, cooler, more imaginative. Even the earthly locations have a more sci-fi, less lo-budget feel to them, so things are definitely looking up.

Tennant, the new Doctor, is a big improvement on Christopher Ecclestone. Still worryingly manic, still rather patronising to "his" pet earthlings, but not quite so put-on loony. Billie Piper continues to chav it up, poor old Mickey tags along for the ride for a few eps and we even meet Sarah Jane Smith and K9. There are some real beezers too, not least The Rise of the Cybermen two-parter (god bless Roger Lloyd Pack), The Girl in the Fireplace and another two-parter " "Impossible Planet/Satan Pit". If only the Tardis could work up enough whizz to get out of Sol system a little more often...

Oh, and I really enjoyed the controversial Love and Monsters. A welcome break from the Doctor, some great acting from Mark Warren - poignant and gently comic by turns - and a plot that plays subtle tunes on your emotions. A five star episode, in my opinion.

The Ood: The Beast and his armies will rise from the pit to make war against God.
Rose: I'm sorry?
The Ood: (shakes translator) I apologise. I said: I hope you enjoy your meal

Series 3
The third series of the new run of Doctor Who is a patchy affair, veering wildly between good and (sorry about this) terrible, even within individual episodes. The episode listing is:

- "Smith and Jones"
- "The Shakespeare Code"
- "Gridlock"
- "Daleks in Manhattan"
- "Evolution of the Daleks"
- "The Lazarus Experiment"
- "42"
- "Human Nature"
- "The Family of Blood"
- "Blink"
- "Utopia"
- "The Sound of Drums"
- "Last of the Time Lords"

The rather lovely Martha (Freema Agyeman) makes her debut as The Doctor's new companion and her nose is immediately put out of joint by the Doc who is on the rebound from losing Rose. Sadly, too much is made of this - it persists as a minor theme through the entire season and it undermines Martha as a character and Ms Agyeman as a performer. Neither recover from the slight and it's no surprise that they depart at the end of the season.

As I said, there is good and bad to the episode listing, but yet again, the large part of the action takes place on the exotic and exciting planet of... earth. To be honest, the teasers at the end of each episode are becoming a bit of a disappointment when it becomes clear that, yes, it's bloody Earth yet again. That said, one of the best episodes - "Blink" is firmly rooted on our home planet, and in the current timeframe at that. It's a very well scripted and plotted story, poignant and exciting by turns. Quite apart from the genuinely scary baddies (not, I'm afraid, a given in the series), putting the incredibly winsome Carey Mulligan front and centre was clearly a masterstroke. That The Doctor barely features is (ahem) no bad thing.

Contrast this with The Lazarus Experiment. Now, I do appreciate Mark Gatis' points as a dramatic actor - he makes a grand, old school baddie - but he's catastrophically let down by a plot that doesn't so much borrow from The Fly as pillage it shamelessly (and for neither the first nor last time, I'm sad to say) and by a CGI monster that deserves a Golden Raspberry with Oak Leaves and Crossed Spoons.

The Daleks make their obligatory reappearance in a 2-parter. The plot here takes a moderately interesting turn by stripping the head pepperpot of his armour and putting him in - of all things - a pinstripe suit. Unfortunately I struggled to get past the bit where black characters are made out to be respected members - even leaders - of a happy multiracial community. I despise historical revisionism of this sort. It's no less egregious in a programme that is aimed at younger viewers who may not know any better.

"Human Nature/Family of Blood" is another 2-parter and not a bad 'un, either. Possibly my favourite part was Harry Lloyd's Flashman impression. I had NO idea until I Googled him that he went on to play GoT's Viserys Targaryen (I KNEW I recognised him!). The episodes have some real tension built in and even a bit of romance and it's only let down by the (yawn) rather prosaic location and (yawn yawn) the scarecrow monsters. Don't waste bullets! Chuck lit matches at 'em, for heavens' sake!

The final 3 part series introduces us to a new-old baddie (I shan't spoil the surprise). Again, the balance sheet is finely... balanced. Apparently, earth in the year six-squillion is populated by humans who /still/ haven't evolved. There are still internal combustion engined vehicles and Kalashnikov rifles. However, the universe is dying - a jolly decent premise which is gaily chucked out of the Tardis' window when our heroes simply pop back to 21st century earth to complete the story.

I'm afraid I can only give this season three stars - "It's OK". The bad points are many and lamentable but at least they are saved by a few outstanding positives.

Series 4 ****
This, the fourth series of Doctor Who continues Tennant's Tardis tenancy. It begins with another Christmas Special in which none other than Kylie Minogue steps in as the Doc's companion. Subsequently, however, the mantle is taken on by Catherine Tate as the inimitable Donna Noble. Kylie, I am afraid, isn't given the chance to develop her character much and is little more than throw-away eyecandy. Catherine, on the other hand, is... annoying. It's hard to say who is more annoying - Donna or the Doctor - but I would put my money on Donna. That said, she is a darn sight more interesting than poor old Martha, who looked good but never really recovered from being Rose's successor. Tate certainly stamps her mark on the series, giving a lusty, red-blooded, full-lunged performance that threaten's to upstage Tennant's Doctor.

The series comprises:

- Voyage of the Damned
- Partners in Crime
- The Fires of Pompeii
- Planet of the Ood
- The Sontaran Stratagem
- The Poison Sky
- The Doctor's Daughter
- The Unicorn and the Wasp
- Silence in the Library
- Forest of the Dead
- Midnight
- Turn Left
- The Stolen Earth
- Journey's End

I've moaned at some length about the series' inability to achieve escape velocity and actually leave 20th/21st Century earth and this one is no different. Even when it /does/ (e.g. Library and Ood) it may as well not have bothered. I've also noted that each season generally includes a couple of stinkers and a couple of jewels and again, S4 is the same.

The Library/Forest 2-parter is a good 'un by any standards with a creepy premise, plenty of peril and some mind bending concepts. Despite the apparently mundane location, the idea of a library the size of a planet is pretty cool and the head librarian nicely recalls Resident Evil's Red Queen. By contrast, Partners in Crime, with its insufferably cute fat-gremlins is just terrible and I felt compelled to skip forward to the next ep after an excruciating 30 minutes. The Sontaran 2-parter (Stratagem/Poison) is a bit 50-50, with great (and familiar to us old gits) aliens but again a rather mundane setting. And so it goes. Nevertheless the series is probably the best of the four to date.

One of the real joys of watching Doctor Who all these years after it aired is spotting the cameos - both established actors and new faces that have subsequently established themselves. So, keep a lookout for Colin (Merlin) Morgan, Chris (The Young Ones) Ryan, Tim (ASIN:B00005NGUA Thank you Darling]]) McInnery and Peter (the twelfth Doctor) Capaldi.
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