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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still crazy after all these years
Well, series 7 has divided fans, that's for sure. One first watch, I think it's fair to say that I found that most of the episodes were good rather than great. I miss the cliffhangers and within 45 minutes it's no possible to make good on the promise of 'a film a week'. But these stories are growers. Second and third time around, there's more to appreciate - perhaps a...
Published 14 months ago by Mr. P. Labrow

versus
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why such a big box for only 2 discs?
What's on the discs is wonderful, but who does the BBC think they're fooling with a box that is three times wider than it needs to be, even for the complete season, whenever that should come out? Space is a premium for collectors and this packaging is an insult.
Published 21 months ago by Leonard Norwitz


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still crazy after all these years, 28 Jun 2013
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Mr. P. Labrow (Stockport, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 7 Part 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
Well, series 7 has divided fans, that's for sure. One first watch, I think it's fair to say that I found that most of the episodes were good rather than great. I miss the cliffhangers and within 45 minutes it's no possible to make good on the promise of 'a film a week'. But these stories are growers. Second and third time around, there's more to appreciate - perhaps a little more maturity in the storytelling and a little less self-consciousness. Matt Smith remains for me a great Doctor, one of the best of all time, working wonders with pretty much any material he's given. Rory and Amy go down as a classic set of companions, while Clara introduces a mystery that's as old as the Doctor's travels, without getting in the way of each episode's progress. If Doctor Who suffers from anything these days, it's too much hype and publicity - Asylum of the Daleks was only disappointing after Moffat's continued cries of "every Dalek ever!!". Watched with that set aside, it's a terrific Dalek episode. A great start to the series that leads us into the Doctor's 50th anniversary. On blu-ray, the image and sound are cracking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pond Season - Daleks, Dinosaurs, Cowboys, Cubes and Angels, 28 Nov 2013
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It's rare I get to review anything from Matt Smith's era of `Doctor Who'. But for this occasion, I've decided to review on the latest series of episodes from the new series. Here is `Series 7 Part 1', a collection of five episodes chronicling the final adventures of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) with the Doctor (Matt Smith) before they depart leaving travelling the TARDIS behind them forever. These episodes were transmitted during the Autumn of 2012 from August to September. This is a 2 disc collection, with the first three episodes on Disc 1 and the last two on Disc 2.

DISC 1

`ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS'

NB: Watch `Pond Life' and `Asylum of the Daleks Prequel' on Disc 2 before this.

The first episode of this series, features the return of the Doctor's old foes - the Daleks. And they come back in their dignified glory, and in proper design compared to how they looked horrible in their previous outing 'Victory of the Daleks' (though some of the new paradigm Daleks appear in this episode). Also apparently in this episode, there is return of classic Daleks from the classic days of `Doctor Who' such as the Special Weapons Dalek in `Remembrance' and some Dalek designs from the first Dalek story; `Planet'; `Genesis' and `Remembrance'. Sadly for me, there was little time and little light to see these Daleks properly in full view. But some references to the Doctor's previous encounters such as `Kembel', `Spiridon' and `Vulcan' are mentioned.

In this story, the Doctor responds to a summons to Skaro - the now dead planet of the Daleks. The summons is from a woman called Karla who needs the Doctor's help in rescuing her daughter. But it all turns out to be a trap, as the Doctor gets kidnapped by Karla (who's a converted walking-talking Dalek automaton) and the Daleks. And it's not just the Doctor but also Amy and Rory, as the three of them find themselves on the Dalek ship containing the Parliament of the Daleks. They send the Doctor with Amy and Rory on a mission to the Dalek Asylum where all the deranged and abandoned battle-scarred Daleks from foiled missions are kept. They send them there to shut the asylum down and destroy it, as they want the Doctor (now called their Predator) since they can't do it themselves.

This episode features a surprise guest appearance from Jenna-Louise Coleman who's to appear as the new Doctor Who companion in the new series for the following year in 2013. Here she makes a guest appearance as Oswin Oswald, and I was delighted to see her for the first time in `Doctor Who' since watching her in `Emmerdale'. Oswin Oswald is a junior manager aboard the spaceship Alaska that crashed-landed on the Dalek Asylum planet. She makes contact with the Doctor and guides him, Amy and Rory to find the power source and shut down the asylum. Oswin is a genius and enjoys making soufflés to which the Doctor calls her `Souffle Girl'. But once the Doctor finds her, it transpires that she's a human converted into a Dalek and that she's been living a dream of making soufflés and believing to be human. She eventually lets the Doctor go and allows him and his companions to escape before blowing up the Dalek Asylum. Her last words are `Run you clever boy, and remember me!'

Amy and Rory are facing a personal crisis in their lives as they're on their way to getting divorced. This rather shocked me when I saw it and made me wonder what caused this to happen since it was rather unprecedented. It turns out Amy can't have children with Rory because of what happened to her on Demons' Run in 'A Good Man Goes To War'. Because of that she `gave Rory up' or as Rory said `kicked him out'. But eventually through this adventure they make up and their married life is restored, which was reassuring especially for me.

The end of this episode for me is rather rushed and a bit weak since the Daleks in the Dalek Parliament don't know who the Doctor is anymore and keep asking `Doctor Who?' all the time. It's something Oswin did to make all the Daleks forget, but it seems rather strange and made me feel cheated at the end. What was going to happen in future stories with Daleks I wonder, and how will this puzzling contradiction will get resolved.

This is not a bad episode of `Doctor Who' written by Steven Moffatt. It's not the best Dalek story I've seen, but it's certainly an improvement on `Victory'. And it's lovely to see Jenna Coleman for the first time in the series, and makes me look forward to when she appears next time and what her appearance in this episode actually means.

`DINOSAURS ON A SPACESHIP'

The second episode of this series is a lovely written piece by Chris Chibnall, and literally features dinosaurs on a spaceship.

Chris is well known for writing the Silurians return in 'The Hungry Earth'/'Cold Blood' and was also head writer on the second series of `Torchwood'. Here Chris writes a rollicking and quite mad adventure with the Doctor, Amy, Rory and a new gang of friends investigating an alien spaceship about to crash into Earth containing dinosaurs.

The spaceship is actually a Silurian Ark containing dinosaurs to be sent out into space when the Silurians initiated assumed their world was going to be destroyed millions of years ago. A futuristic human army space station is intent on destroying this ship before it crashes into the Earth. The Doctor learns of this mystery and acquires help from Queen Nefertiti of Egypt (played by Riann Steele); African explorer John Riddelll (played by Rupert Graves) and Amy and Rory who are joined by Rory's dad Brian Williams (played by Mark Williams). Not only do they find dinosaurs but also paranoid and rather badly mannered robots owned by one Solomon (played by David Bradley) who's got a ship that boarded the Silurian Ark first.

The guest star for me in this story is Mark Williams playing Rory's dad Brian, who for me played Maxwell Edison with Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in the Big Finish story 'The Eternal Summer' (part of the `Stockbridge' trilogy). He's also been in `101 Dalmatians' as Horace with Hugh Laurie and as Ron Weasley's dad in the `Harry Potter' film series. The character he plays as Brian is not unlike his role as Max in `The Eternal Summer'. Brian is a loveable dad for Rory who initially is rather shocked by Amy and Rory's travels in time and space, to eventually helping the Doctor and friends out and saving the world from destruction and rather enjoying it. He actually gets to fly a spaceship with Rory at his side. One my favourite scenes in this episode is where Brian sits in the doorway in the TARDIS looking down on a view of the Earth with his sandwiches and cup of tea to enjoy. He then goes on travelling the world (even to Siluria) compared to how he initially doesn't like travelling in the first place. It was really refreshing to have Brian along and be a new member of the `Doctor Who' family and Mark Williams plays the part so well.

Another guest star is David Bradley playing Solomon, a wretched old man in command of a star ship and own two robots. For me I first saw David in `Our Mutual Friend' (with Paul McGann and David Morrisey). He also was in the `Harry Potter' film series and recently played William Hartnell in the 50th anniversary docu-drama `'An Adventure in Space and Time'. Here he plays a man who's seemingly on the verge of dying but turns out to be a vagabond who killed the Silurians aboard their Ark to get the dinosaurs. He also wants the Queen Nefertiti of Egypt and kills a Triceratops to do to persuade the Doctor however manages to stop Solomon and save the dinosaurs aboard the ark.

This is a really enjoyable episode of `Doctor Who' to watch. It has funny moments and it has sad moments. I enjoyed it when Brian was sniffed at by Tricey the Triceratops because of his golf balls and the Doctor, Rory and Brian get to ride on her. There are some nice character touches to Amy and Rory by Chris Chibnall that I've noticed and in my opinion manages to write for these two characters compared to their previous outings in previous seasons. I like it when Amy's working things out and has to content with Nefertiti and Riddell beside her. Not a bad `Doctor Who' episode. Certainly something to enjoy.

`A TOWN CALLED MERCY'

NB: Watch `The Gunslinger' prequel on Disc 2 before this.

This is a fairly okayish sort of `Doctor Who' story. The third of the series, this is set in the Wild West with cowboys, horses and a little town called Mercy. Filmed in Spain, this episode contains exotic sunny vistas to provide the backdrop for the Wild West.

The guest stars for this episode include Ben Browder as the Sheriff of Mercy - Issac; Adrian Scarborough playing the alien doctor Kahler-Jex with a list of war crimes added to his name, and Andrew Brooke playing `The Gunslinger' - a cyborg assassin set out to hunt Kahler-Jex.

Written by Toby Whitehouse, this story is about an alien doctor being hunted down for the crimes he committed on his own planet, and moral dilemmas in the town of Mercy about whether to keep him alive. It also sets moral dilemmas for the Doctor to as he's raging with Kahler-Jex wanting him killed, turning into him protecting him in memory of Issac the Sherriff trying to protect him.

It's quite an atmospheric tale but it's nothing special or exciting for me. Nice performances from Matt, Karen and Arthur though. Also the costume design for the Gunslinger is very impressive as well as the voice which was quite chilling and brings a shiver down your spine.

DISC 2

`THE POWER OF THREE'

I really like this episode of `Doctor Who' with Amy and Rory. The fourth in the series and the second to be written by Chris Chibnall. It's a story that's Earthbound spread across one year and is about the life of Amy and Rory at home, shared with the Doctor, during the slow invasion of the small cubes. It's a very character driven piece, which I enjoyed watching and found was really good in portraying Amy and Rory in a much broader light.

The guest cast for this episode include the return of Mark Williams playing Rory's dad Brian; Steven Berkoff as the alien Shakri of Time Lord legend; and Jemma Redgrave making her first appearance as Kate Stewart, daughter of one Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart (played by the late Nicholas Courtney), who's now in charge of U.N.I.T's scientific division and is working out what's going on in the `slow invasion' of the cubes.

My favourite scenes in this episode include the Doctor getting easily bored and frustrated waiting for something to happen to the cubes as he finds himself still in Amy and Rory's lounge. He tries to occupy himself with kicking a football; moving the lawn in the garden; hovering the house, sorting out the car engine and painting the fence very fast. Once finished, feeling initially satisfied with himself, he only finds he's done these things within an hour and becomes immediately frustrated and bored again. Funny stuff.

There's also where Brian is asked to stay inside the TARDIS by the Doctor to watch the cubes. Four days later, he's still there in the TARDIS `alone with his thoughts' when the Doctor, Amy and Rory find him. I love Brian's daily log on the cubes and also like it when the Doctor treats Amy and Rory to a wedding anniversary present at the Savoy Hotel in the past on its first night only to be invaded by Zygons. Also Amy accidentally agrees to marry Henry VIII, much to Rory's annoyance. Quite tongue-in-cheek but very amusing.

The episode ends on a high where Brian allows Amy and Rory to go into the TARDIS and to travel with the Doctor after the slow invasion is over. This being the penultimate adventure marks how Amy and Rory love being with the Doctor and having him part of their lives. I enjoyed it when Amy, Rory and the Doctor enjoy eating fish fingers and custard whilst watching `The Apprentice' with Alan Sugar. It's a lovely piece of written drama and certainly provides an new interesting angle on Amy and Rory's characters.

`THE ANGELS TAKE MANHATTAN

The fifth episode of this collection is the final adventure of Amy and Rory travelling with the Doctor, and it also features the return of another bunch of old foes. The Weeping Angels return as they take over Manhattan, New York in 1938. The Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves facing a death-chilling confrontation with the Angels and one of the most heart-breaking departures I've seen in the series.

This episode features the return of River Song (played by Alex Kingston), now a Professor. This story in terms of continuity in River's case, is between 'The Time of the Angels'/'Flesh and Stone' after she's served her time in prison; and before she meets him as the Tenth Doctor in 'Silence in the Library'/'Forest of the Dead'. She's there to see her parents Amy and Rory off before they leave, and is disguised as Melody Malone who writes a book for the Doctor to read in 2012 before coming back in time to meet her in 1938.

This story also features Mike McShane as crime boss Grayle initially concerned with the statues before keeping one of the Weeping Angels in his office as his `girlfriend'. There's also Rob David playing private investigator Sam Garner who meets a future older version of himself at the Winter Quay apartments that becomes his resting place of death as he gets sent back in time back the Angels.

It also becomes the death place for Rory Williams who sees a future version of himself dying in bed at Winter Quay. With him and Amy being chased by Angels, Rory attempts to change his own death by committing suicide and falling off the top of the apartment building to break the paradox. Amy, who is trembling with emotion, joins Rory as they fall off the building much to the Doctor's dismay. The paradox is broken and Amy and Rory survive much to the Doctor's delight.

They return to the cemetery where the Doctor left the TARDIS in 2012. Rory sees his own gravestone before he gets sent back in time by a surviving Weeping Angel. What follows is a gut-wrenching and heart-breaking goodbye between Amy and the Doctor, as she looks away and gets zapped back in time to join Rory to live the rest of her life with him before they both die. The Doctor sees both Amy and Rory's names on their gravestone and becomes immensely heartbroken before he and River leave in the TARDIS. The Doctor eventually manages to find an afterword written by Amy in River's `Melody Malone' book to save a final farewell from her and Rory and that they love him.

This is one of the most heart-wrenching episodes I've ever watched and a fitting farewell for two companions of the Doctor, who over the years I grown to like a little more. Certainly in this first half of Series 7, Amy and Rory have become better characters compared to previous seasons and wish I could have seen more of that in other episodes.

Following this story is a Coming Soon trailer for the 2012 Christmas Special - `The Snowmen', which I was really looking forward to with Jenna Coleman appearing proper in the series.

The special features on Disc 2 are a number of prequels leading into particular episodes in this collection of `Doctor Who'.

There's `Pond Life', a series of five mini-episodes written by Chris Chibnall. These should be watched before `Asylum of the Daleks'. These episode focus on Amy and Rory's life at home on Earth before rejoining the Doctor. They have phone calls and an unintended visit at night when they're asleep and even have an `Ood on the loo' one morning who becomes their butler after accidentally wandering off from the TARDIS without the Doctor noticing. Some of the episodes are really funny and enjoyable to watch. I really wish I could have seen these before watching `Series 7', but they were shown only as webcasts on the Doctor Who website and I wasn't even aware of them.

There's also the `Asylum of the Daleks Prequel' written by Steven Moffatt, where the Doctor gets summoned to Skaro by a messenger in a purple cloak. And there's `The Gunslinger' by Toby Whitehouse, which is a prequel to `A Town Called Mercy' and it depicts about the history of how the Gunslinger came to be.

All these prequels can be found on Disc 2 of this box-set. Why they're not `Disc 1' I have no idea, since they're more suited to being on Disc 1 where the main episodes are.

So to sum up, this is a fairly good collection of episodes marking the end of Amy and Rory's travels in the TARDIS. It certainly shows our trio of TARDIS travelers in a better light and has stories that are far more easier to follow compared to previous seasons. Matt Smith, Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvill are very good working together in this set of five stories and it marks the ending of a chapter in the Eleventh Doctor's life remarkably well.

The next Doctor Who story is 'The Snowmen'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 13 Oct 2013
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I have to say that my favourite doctor is David Tennant (sorry, Matt), but these way over the top tuned episodes are worth watching nontheless. Having said that I have to add that I find it annoying that season 7 is presented first in two box sets and one christmas special only to be released a few months later in a new package containing it all. Please leave that kind of picking the fans pockets to the americans...
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blockbuster Doctor Who, 23 Sep 2012
Doctor Who returns after a while to present us with another half and half season, this time with Christmas as the bridging point. After the excellent and complicated Series 6 with the most prominent story arc in the show's history, Steven Moffat and co. presents us with a five part series, five blockbusters of Doctor Who giving us things we could only dream of, Insane Daleks,Dinosaurs, a Western and the return of the Weeping Angels. Is this series good? Oh yes, this one is good, epic stories, big characters, a constantly changing title sequence and some real highlights. Let's begin.

Episode 1: Asylum of the Daleks 8/10
As you no doubt have seen this episode had a lot if images showing ever Dalek design in Doctor Who history. If you expect this to have any impact on the story, you will be disappointed. There's about three of four brief shots of the past Daleks and they do barely anything in the story. But that's really the only major negative. The premise is that the Daleks abduct the Doctor on Skaro and force him and his companions to take out a force field on their planetary asylum so they can finally blow it up after keeping it around for the admiration of their pure hatred. Meanwhile down below, a survivor of a crash, Oswin (Jenna Louise Coleman, the next companion in a surprising cameo), finds out about our intrepid heroes and gives them a helping hand in getting around a mainly dormant asylum. As the Doctor and Amy fight off the Dalek's new minions (in one of the most disturbing elements in the Dalek arsenal) Rory meets the Daleks who are now waking up and remembering they are scary again. As the Doctor races to get them off and Oswin out, Rory and Amy seem to be in a divorce position and tensions run high as Amy faces a potential end to her humanity. So what's good about this episode? The Dalek's return and the Time War design is back in force, meaning they no longer are the plastic mockery subjects of "Victory". The episode is dark, creepy, menacing, deeply tragic and features many a moment between the Doctor and his long-standing companions, as well as very dark revelations and a great twist ending. Doctor Who is back, and it's awesome.

Episode 2: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship 10/10
Could you ask for a better premise? Well, anyway, the Doctor and a gang consisting of a big game hunter, an Egyptian Queen and the Ponds + Rory's dad arrive on a spaceship heading for Earth to find the crew missing and Dinosaurs as the cargo. This episode is just a joy, a great romp and the first proper adventure story since Series 5 in 2010. We get the best of Britain with Mark Williams as Rory's dad Brian, David Bradley as our villain and Mitchell and Webb as a pair of robots reminiscent of Douglas Adams' work. The plot is fairly straightforward, Chibnall is at his finest and this time doesn't screw up the story like he did in "Hungry Earth" and its a fun, humorous romp with plenty of great CGI dinosaurs with "Primeval" contributing to designs and just generally a fun, memorable albeit silly episode of Doctor Who.

Episode 3: A Town Called Mercy 7/10
Doctor Who's first Western since 1965's "The Gunfighters" and we get a mainly good story with some weaknesses. The scenery and sets are fantastic, the effort made into making this feel genuine is extremely admirable and the fact that the lines of good and evil are blurred work well here. At heart a Western is the story of inner demons of heroes and villains, it's perfectly handled here as is the human emotion of fear and the desire for justice. Visually it's great with the Gunslinger cyborg looking awesome and a good back-story for what we have as the plot. So what's wrong with it? Well the emotions are there but sometimes executed weakly, the power is there just not enough and the ending is something of a fluke in the wrong direction as to if it even makes sense. It's still not a bad episode and it a good Western blockbuster for all to enjoy.

Episode 4: The Power of Three 7.5/10
Different from the other four in this series, The Power of Three is a slow invasion of Earth with billions of cubes which over time grow dangerously complacent and familiar to humanity, doing nothing but with a sinister motivation. And then the cubes begin to activate, and then the invasion truly begins. This episode however has the real strength in that it is revolutionary for examining the companions - it's the first to truly show the strain of the Doctor / home life and does what no other story has done, examined the issue of that strain. The Doctor here has a great scene confessing to Brian about the fate of his companions, albeit vaguely but with enough there. It's a deep story and the fact is, the Pond's are special, they have done things with the Doctor no other has done, seen Universe's end and reboot, had their lives stolen or lived and then come back, the Pond's are more than most companions in what they've done and this episode shows it in many a touching scene. But the invasion is still good, the menace of things you take for granted invented and potently realized. The only problem being the incredibly rushed third act which damages the episode with how quickly and transparently it goes by, but that's not the focus of the story and with UNIT, and a certain figure leading it, we have an excellent tale of the Doctor and his companions.

Episode 5: The Angels Take Manhattan 8.5/10
It promised to be the most heartbreaking episode of Doctor Who ever, although in retrospect I consider that to be "The Family of Blood" but this one's tear wrenching too. It's the departure of the Pond's and the end for this series. Bringing back two of the most beloved creations from Steven Moffat, both River Song (now Professor) and the Weeping Angels make a return in a dark, paradoxical and deeply emotional finale. Describing the plot for this is tricky but it basically takes that small little hint at the end of "Blink" and turns into it's full vision, terrifying cherubs and a certain landmark which you should never turn your back on. The episode is, well, it's not so much clever as simple, brutal, honest and does live up to expectations as a sad departure. It's emotional, it's wrong, it's heartfelt and unlike other companions, it feels right in how it ends, just right. It may not have exploited the Angels much but in truth, the focus is surprisingly not on them, because let's face it, we've seen their stories and the strengths, despite them being phenomenal in concept, were never the greatest focus, there was always enough in their stories to make them just a great part of it all. This at the end of it all and, was about being the swansong of two of the best to have traveled the TARDIS. It's a fitting finale to Series 7 Part 1.

And there we have it, five cinematic blockbusters of Who which took us from the Dalek asylum, to a spaceship filled with Dinosaurs, to a Western town of war crimes and penance, from a deadly familiar invasion to paradox monsters. From terrifying creatures to slow invasions, from romps on spaceships with the best of Britain to fear and justice in an isolated part of the world, Doctor Who gave us so much in five episodes, which whilst they all have flaws, could have perhaps benefited from longer running times for their colossal stories, should be and will be remembered for being tales which gave us an incredible end to the Pond's era on Who. Roll on Christmas, and bring on 2013. It's been a great, emotional ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not the best, 20 Jun 2013
By 
M. Kidger "bristolcity" (Madrid, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 7 Part 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
Again, wheels within wheels and we may discover later that some things are a lot more significant than they appeared at the time, or have an explanation. Not everything worked for me though. The first episode illustrates some of the problems: suddenly Rory and Amy are divorced, Amy has turned into a model and single woman as we briefly saw in the alternative timeline when the Doctor found a cybership under a department store in Chelmsford: the image is that little time has passed, yet they have fallen out so badly and, despite having River as a daughter, they divorce because Amy can't have children (OK, normal ones, at least). Of course, it all turns out to be a misunderstanding and normal, married life resumes. Hmmmm. We then discover that the Daleks know that the Doctor has survived (how?) And that they have mastered a technology to turn humans into Daleks - if they could do that before and capture the Doctor so easily, how come they didn't kill him long ago? And then it turns out that they need his help to control a planet full of mad Daleks who threaten all Dalek-kind. The best part of it is Jenna-Louise Coleman's show-stealing performance as an infiltrator on the Dalek planet who is not all she seems to be.

I also expected rather more of the end of the Ponds. So, the Weeping Angels have taken over Manhatten (why and where did they come from)? Rory defeats the Angels, only for a survivor to appear from nowhere and send him into the past due to an unforgiveable piece of negligence.

There are some fun stories and some clever ideas, but unless there are surprises to come, not everything hangs together.

Incidentally, what has happened to Karen Gillen? I watched the two extras and there is an interview with a woman who is almost unrecognisable as Amy: she looks at least fifteen years older and to have put on a huge amount of weight. Has she been seriously ill?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eco-unfriendly Packaging, 4 Jun 2013
By 
A. Hicks "tonyoz" (Rockdale, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 7 Part 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
Another great Doctor Who product - it delivers what it promises and more.

I just do not see the need to have separate cases for each Blu-ray. This is not required as you can have blu-ray cases that contain 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. The Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset I have has a smaller overall space requirement (that is it is thinner) then this box set, even though it contains 6 Blu-rays compared to this 2 disc set.

Surely it would be more economical for BBC Worldwide to produce this boxset in a 2-disc case containers then 2 single cases.

9 day delivery to Australia isn't that bad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series, but small package, 2 May 2013
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Series is great, but be aware, the Season 7 Christmas special is missing - just as the 2nd Part (although that should be obvious by the Title)
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back to form, Matt & Steve! Farewell, Karen & Arthur..., 16 Dec 2012
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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Series 6 of Doctor Who was something people either loved or hated. While it had it's moments, I felt Steve Moffat had over-extended himself with his writing and direction, turning the once-proud and magnificent show into an (overall) long-winded and inaccessible mess that just got lost within itself.

Let down by the gross inconsistency, I opted NOT to check out the 2011 Christmas Special ("The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe") and was not seeing or hearing anything to make me want to tune back into the show. But then Moffat started bringing up Daleks, Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) & Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) announced their shocking departure and despite the creative direction having dipped drastically...I LOVE Matt Smith's Doctor.

So on the verge of switching off...I decided to give the show a second chance. I'm REALLY glad I did! So far, this seventh series of Doctor Who signifies a return to form, and given it's DVD release, Part 1 is something I would highly recommend.

After his whole overcomplicated "Death of the Doctor" arc, Moffat wisely returns to what he does best; concentrating his writing into SINGULAR episodes. This time, his direction and vision has extended into a much-more mature & disciplined form of storytelling for this series. So far, the episodes (although linked by continuity) are pretty much self-contained tales, like Who used to be before its 2005 revival. By keeping things simple, Doctor Who feels fresher than its been for years, and it clearly shows in what has (to date) been a very strong outing.

Starting with the much-hyped series-opener, "Asylum of the Daleks" sets the standard and is the best episode since Series 5's "Time of the Angels/Flesh & Stone". After the hugely disappointing "Victory of the Daleks" and being absent (sans a criminally brief cameo) throughout all Series 6, "Asylum" returns the Daleks back to their rightful place as the Doctor's most terrifying and deadliest foes.

It's Moffat's first proper Dalek episode, and it's a classic, seeing the Doctor, Amy & Rory actually summoned by their arch-enemies to actually HELP them! Steve's writing here is at its best for this one, paying homage & expanding upon the Daleks' illustrious history and depth. Featuring plenty of good scares, the excellent Jenna-Louise Coleman (the next companion in-line) in a surprise appearance, a great twist in the Amy & Rory relationship and a satisfying ending, this has all the trademark intricacies, psychology, shocks, emotion & drama that made Moffat famous. It's everything a Dalek episode SHOULD be! The best since Series 4's "The Stolen Earth"!

After that, we have "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" (by Chris Chibnall), an episode that (on paper) looks set to be as bad as Series 5's "Vampires in Venice" and yet turns out to be a really enjoyable family romp. Okay, it's a ridiculously silly premise, but thanks to quality writing and presentation, the whole episode turns out great, offering family entertainment, a delightful array of fun characters, absurd creatures & nasty villains, plus the Fast Show legend himself Mark Williams offering superb entertainment as Rory's dad Brian.

The wonderful variety of this series is expanded upon in "A Town Called Mercy", one of the most powerful, intelligent and adult tales we've seen in the Moffat era. Veteran Who writer Toby Whithouse delivers a tense, claustrophobic episode that touches upon several moral dilemmas, all of which are handled and resolved with excellence in the inspired western setting. The ones to watch out for here are Matt Smith (whose Doctor borders on dark, menacing & fragile) & Andrew Brooke who breathes such life and sympathy into the tragic rouge, The Gunslinger.

What sets Series 7 apart from previous series is that Moffat actually takes the opportunity to age the companions. Amy and Rory don't remain with the Doctor on his travels like they used to, instead going without seeing him for months (or even years) before resuming their adventures. It's an original way of exploring the lives of the companions, and Chris Chibnall utilises the idea to give such heart in "The Power of Three."

It's worth mentioning that both Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill give perhaps the most down-to-earth and heartbreaking performances as Amy & Rory for the last two episodes on this set. Throughout "The Power of Three" (which is another wonderful outing that thrives on the domestic setting), it becomes apparent that Amy and Rory have outgrown the Doctor and are on the verge of leaving him altogether. It's truly a time for sadness as events reach their ill-fated conclusion, and when "The Angels Take Manhattan"...the tears WILL fall in what is a genuinely heartbreaking departure. Although Amy and Rory's exit doesn't quite have the same power as Rose Tyler or Donna Noble's, it's nonetheless devastating as two companions who have proved themselves most worthy of the Time Lord must finally say goodbye.

Anything else? The Weeping Angels and River Song (Alex Kingston) are back again for the finale, and although they lack the same sparkle that they possessed in earlier series, their presence is still important for the terrifying, life-changing mid-season finale. That plus the exceptional guest appearances from Jenna-Louise Coleman (who will doubtless be a legendary companion after her performance here) and Mark Williams (proving himself worthy of Bernard Cribbins' Wilfred Mott) has so far made Series 7 absolutely charming, spectacular and major.

Doctor Who: Series 7 Part One has proven itself to be a true return to form for the show. I don't recall Doctor Who being this consistent since Series 4 (my favourite!). Steve Moffat has finally mastered his vision, and Matt Smith just continues to cement his legacy as the Eleventh Doctor. For those fans who felt let down by Series 6, your faith will be restored with this box set. I'm certainly looking forward to the rest of the series next year.

P.S. Goodbye, Karen and Arthur for giving such greatness to the show. You will be sorely missed.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of Ten? Eleven!, 30 Sep 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 7 Part 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
After waiting NINE MONTHS for a new episode of Doctor Who, I was beyond excited for series 7, and I was hoping it would make up for series 6, which was, to me, a letdown (sorry, but I can count the episodes I actually enjoyed from that series on one hand).
Well put it this way, just 'Asylum of the Daleks' made up for that entire series, so I had a hunch this would be one of the best series yet. Was I correct? No. It IS THE best series yet.

ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS - Literally, an Asylum full of Daleks! Kind of let down though by the fact that you don't see as many classic Daleks as was first made out. On the plus side, JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN WAS IN IT! How they managed to keep this a secret I don't know, but after that little taste, I'm really looking forward to JLC taking over at Christmas. Oh, and the Daleks say "DOCTOR WHO?", so that's godda be worth something. 9.5/10

DINOSAURS ON A SPACESHIP - A brilliant episode, made even more brilliant by the star guest cast. Mark Williams 'Mr Weasley' as Rory's Dad, Brian, with David Bradley 'Mr Filch' as Soloman (and a freakishly accurate William Hartnell look-alike may I add?). Rupert Graves - looks like Lestrade has found his division - as Riddell, and lets not forget David Mitchell and Robert Webb as Doctor Who's campest EVER robots. And there's dinosaurs too - they're on a spaceship! 8/10

A TOWN CALLED MERCY - If I HAD to pick a worst episode, I would pick this one, as I found it particularly slow at the beginning, but it really started to pick up round the middle, as the angry, more darker side to the Doctor is explored. There's a typical western fight at noon, and people die. I like death and darkness in shows like Doctor Who, it shows people that it is not 'just a kids show'. 7/10

THE POWER OF THREE - I was looking forward to this episode most out of the entire series, mainly because it was the least spoiled episode. I really can't understand why people give it so much stick. I mean, fair enough, the ending was rushed, but it was good as a 'kind of' light hearted episode before the dark and depressing finale. 9/10

THE ANGELS TAKE MANHATTAN - What can I say? In the words of the Doctor - just YOWZAH! Great story, brilliant music on behalf of Murray Gold, particularly in once scene involving Amy, Rory and a rooftop. A fitting send of for the Ponds, tying up ends all the way back to their first episode, 'The Eleventh Hour'. 10/10

Bravo, Steven Moffat. Just Bravo.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who has never been better!, 17 Dec 2012
So, series 7 part 1... How can anyone describe it's awesomeness? With at LEAST 3/5 truly awesome episodes, this is undoubtedly the best 5 consecutive episodes since the show returned in 2005.

For me the only unfortunate thing about this series for me, is that, rather than taking a step closer to the strength of the original stories, Moffat has moved away from the serials that made Doctor Who so unique. This does cut some episodes slightly shorter than perhaps is entirely satisfying. This, however, simply shows up the series' many other strengths, as it is still amazing.

1. Asylum of the Daleks: This episode has one of the best rewatch values that I have ever encountered in Doctor Who. The first time it came on, I watched it 5 times on Iplayer! However, there are a few problems with the episode that are slightly disappointing. Firstly, the premise of the whole story is that the daleks on the Asylum are supposed to be insane, but when you think about it, the only daleks featured are not insane, they simply don't work! They have the same instincts as ordinary daleks, but their weapons don't work, and some of them spin on the spot. Secondly, although there are many original daleks are featured, and have very little to do - nice idea, but do it properly! Finally, the daleks in the intensive care unit are "bad news" according to Oswin, and yet within the same minute, she says that they never do anything! Grrr...
However, other than these flaws this episode is almost perfect, with a fantastic plot twist and a very engaging debut from Jenna Louise Coleman. The Amy Rory subplot is given just the right amount of airtime to give the episode a nice emotional edge without moving into soap opera levels (always the problem with Russel T Davies' era.

2. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship: Unfortunately, this episode is not quite such a success, for me. When I heard that the budget would be Hollywood style, I did rather hope that the scripts would live up to the same standard. Much as this episode is quite enjoyable on the first watch, it has a rewatch value of about 0. The plot just isn't funny enough to be the amusing episode of the series, nor is it exiting or fast-pace enough to be thrilling. While the introduction of Brian was well-done, the rest of the episode felt cobbled together. Good enough but not nearly up to scratch with the rest of the series.

3. A Town Called Mercy: An emotional thrill-ride adventure which begins in a light-hearted manner and suddenly shocks the audience into silence, as we find the Doctor a changed man - no longer the lively and excited "mad-man with a box" but a lonely traveller who has become set in his ways and tired of adventure and discovery. It shows the Doctor's corrupted view of justice and fairness, and the coincidences that his foolish actions can have.
However, the episode is not exclusively contemplative, and has several excellently tense moments such as the slow advance of the Gunslinger on the Doctor when the hopeful townsfolk mistake him for "the alien doctor", and his subsequent advance on Mercy. An excellent episode, with very few flaws.

4. The Power of Three: This episode starts excellently, there is a very interesting conscept at the heart of the story - what happens when the Doctor comes to stay? However, on the whole, the majority of people do not tune in to Doctor who to be intruiged by some little black boxes for 30 minutes. The slow invasion was a good idea which had never been done before, and it nearly worked: The build up suggested an exciting climax and some strange-looking monsters who had some kind of devious plan. However, what we got was a very brief and vague explanation of a new alien from the Doctor's childhood, the complete lack of any danger to the Doctor or his companions, and a "something blows up" ending. So much promise, such poor execution.

5. Angels Take Manhattan: Well... what can I say? Such a fantastic climax to the Pond era. An affectionate look at the Doctor, Amy and Rory having a bit of downtime, with an emphasis on how the couple have grown up since we first met them in Series 5, followed by an atmospheric sequence in the novelised Manhattan. However, the atmosphere becomes far more foreboding as the Doctor finds that he may shortly lose his best-loved companions. The idea of the future being cemented once you've read it, is fantastically inventive, and shows Moffat in top form. The ending is saved from being incredibly cheesy in a cleverly timey-whimey way - Moffat's speciality - only to give the audience a sudden plot twist as Rory is taken by an angel, and Amy follows - leaving the doctor in a state of utter distress. We all feel it - excellent.
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Doctor Who - Series 7 Part 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy]
Doctor Who - Series 7 Part 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy] by Douglas Mackinnon (Blu-ray - 2012)
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