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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2013
Apparently Doctor Who DVD collectors are something of a mad cult who feel morally obligated to buy anything and everything the BBC puts out that so much as mentions Doctor Who, hence everyone's been up in arms about this product in particular. As a short-time fan of the show, I can't really comment on feeling ripped-off or cheated by those "greedy money-grabbing BBC suits", but I can appreciate the sentiment towards Tenth Planet being released as part of this box set before a standalone release.

Judging the box set on its own merits, I'd say it's a nicely-presented - if a little thin on the ground - introduction to Doctor Who. As much as I'd like to collect every Who DVD, I simply don't have the shelf space, so I'd want any DVDs I do get to look as nice as possible. And this set certainly does. The slipcase and book are nice and solid (although the book fools you into thinking it's a lot longer than it is, when in fact it's composed of just 12 thick cardboard pages designed to house the six DVDs), and the photographs and text in the book are very pleasing to the eye.

Of course, the episodes themselves are the primary focus here, especially the newly-animated episode 4 of The Tenth Planet. From what the team had to work with (a few stills, the audio track for the episode and the odd bit of remaining footage), they've put together a good reconstruction of William Hartnell's final episode. The animation does look a little wooden at times (especially some of the front shots of Hartnell, as they've just used a traced version of one of his most famous publicity stills so the head doesn't quite match the body). The rest of the episodes have been well-restored, although most of them aldready had been in the past.

One complaint that I have (having seen some of the standalone DVDs in action) is the complete lack of any bonus features. You just get the episodes. No commentary, no behind-the-scenes, nothing. Something I would have thought would be a given in a set like this is a little featurette about each regeneration. Even something detailing how the concept was created. All you get on that front is a little paragraph at the end of the description of Tenth Planet: "Back in 1966, when The Tenth Planet was first transmitted, the viewers had no inkling about regeneration, no idea that the Doctor - and the programme - was about to change almost beyond recognition..."

So in summary: if you're just after the fancy bonus-featured Tenth Planet, don't be naive idiot and just wait for the standalone DVD release in the Autumn. If you'd like a fairly decent introduction to the classic series - as well as a nicely-presented coffee table book, go for it.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2013
There seems to be a few people reviewing this as purely a DVD boxset. That is missing the point a tad I feel. For the 4oth anniversary back in 2003, BBC books brought out a book called "The Legend" at approx. £40. It was just a book.

This time, for the 50th, they have brought out a book. But this time themed to be about regeneration - topical as it turns out. To enhance the book, they are including every regeneration story that exists (it would be, in this context, remiss to leave out 'The tenth planet' rather than profiteering). So you can read the book and then (if you chose) watch the story that the book has described. And for this, they charge less than the 40th anniversary book - Again, hardly profiteering if you ask me!

So, a limited edition coffee table book with DVDs in. Yes, you can wait a bit longer and buy 'The tenth planet' with additional features in November so there is no need for anyone to buy this just for that story. Buy this only if you want (what looks to be) a fitting tribute book to a key part of what has been the secret of the longevity of Doctor Who with easy access to DVDs of the stories that we may (and in my case do) already own but take on extra significance in the context of the book.

Doctor Who fans have been spoilt by the care and restoration spent on every release. Far more than necessary (we would buy the stories because we love the show without picture enhancement or special features - but we got them because the people behind the range love Doctor Who too). This book offers little new in terms of DVDs but does offer a lovely souvenir of a landmark achievement (50 years). That is, in my view, the real point of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2014
My dad got this for me for my birthday and I think it's brilliant. I was brought up with New Who so I already had Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways and the End of Time on DVD (season 1 and complete specials box sets, retrospectively) but I always wanted to get into Classic Who as well.

This does exactly what it says on the box. It has all the regeneration stories - up to Tennant's final words "I don't want to go!" - and I couldn't ask for anything else. The book is brilliant and very informative about the Doctor's incarnations. The DVDs were fantastic - especially the Tenth Planet (episode 4 was a brilliant reconstruction) - and this is a must for any Whovian.

If I had to find criticism for this box set, I would say it should have the post-regeneration stories in it (An Unearthly Child, reconstruction of The Power of the Daleks, Spearhead from Space, Robot, Castrovalva, The Twin Dilemma, Time and the Rani, Rose, The Christmas Invasion and The Eleventh Hour) so we could watch each Doctor come to terms with his new personality and new life.

All in all though: one amazing regeneration box set for one amazing Time Lord!
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Why all the negative fuss over a book? "Its awful and should be banned" says one, lambasting an item they haven't actually seen. Perhaps that reviewer would like a nice bonfire to throw all the copies on? Such spitefulness serves only to demean the writer, and highlight the absurdity of reviews posted for goods that nobody's actually got yet...
So, why my review then? And why five stars? Partially in retaliation to the bitter nonsense elsewhere, mostly because I am reviewing the idea. Until it's release, it is all we have. And I love this idea. It looks to be a beautifully thought-out book, merging the old (you know, pages and words and stuff) with the new (shiny discs!), like going from an ancient Aztec city into outer space. Uniquely Doctor Who. Yes, this book includes DVDs of material many of us have already bought. So what? Isn't that what a Greatest Hits album also contains? Perhaps they can go on the pyre too?
Another criticism is why buy now because it will only be re-released again with the Eighth Doctor's regeneration. Well, I'd love to see that too, but suspect we'll be getting the Power and Evil of the Daleks double DVD set first. Yes, sadly Matt is now also going; that is no reason to put a book on hold. It's a 50th Anniversary celebration - if we wait of Matt's finale, it won't be shipped and ready for the shelves until the 51st year...
Limited edition, sumptuous books like this are one way the publishing industry is fighting back against e-books, and more power to them. For the casual viewer, it's a nice way to pick up some of the key Doctor Who adventures without having to wade through hundreds of titles (and who knows, they may decide to invest in one or two more later...) For the collector, it's something to display proudly on the coffee table, and by its limited print run comes with that thrill of rarity. And for the fan, it's the Tenth Planet five months early.
And as for why we're waiting five more months.... Does it not occur to the moaners that such a landmark story - the first regeneration - being scheduled for November - the week of the 50th Anniversary - is the most apt way to bring to an end the Classic DVD range (barring further discovered / animated episodes)? The timing couldn't be more perfect. Serendipity, as the Third Doctor might say.
So, if you want a high-quality coffee table souvenir of 50 years in the TARDIS, buy this. If you cannot wait for the Tenth Planet's official release (and bonus material) in November, buy this. But please don't NOT buy this purely based on the rantings of those who see big business conspiracy for the sake of it.

It's a book. A tip of the fedora and a twirl of the bowtie to 50 glorious years. Let's be thankful the BBC wish to celebrate - and either partake, or if you so choose, not. But enough with the silly fuss. I love the idea of celebrating - and that's why it gets my five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2013
A beautifully presented box set. The book/let containing the discs is well put together with key character info about each Doctor, and lovely B/W photos. Just a pity that Colin Baker is given no real screen time apart from a few seconds (it's not even him, just a wig!) at the start of the Sylvester McCoy story. Although Regeneration is the theme, and he wasn't given a regeneration scene per se, it would be nice to see a story from his tenure as a doctor. Still, at least the book does him justice, and gives him due recognition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2014
I purchased this box set for £26 (inc. delivery) as one of Amazons Black Friday deals at the start of December and feel it excellent value at that price. I definitely wouldn't feel it the same value at £100 though. It's an nice presentation pack although its long coffee table book style means it doesn't fit on the DVD shelf with the others. The lack of an extra features also seems sadly lacking for a DVD - sort of grown accustomed to DVD's having extras but I suppose with the demise of VHS there is no need to entice people to buy the DVD version. Was a shame that the surviving shots of the The Tenth Planet were not included but it didn't spoil my watching of that episode.

It should however be noted that it is not a book - just a cd case in book form. There is very little content other than what could be done on a normal CD case. Each page is 4 or so millimetres thick to make it seem like a weighty book. If you buy as DVD box set as I did then that's fine, but if you expected more literature then you would be sadly disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2013
The main reason why I don't like this DVD release is because of "The Tenth Planet". No extras are included in this DVD set and it's missing the original VHS reconstruction of "The Tenth Planet: Episode 4". I don't know why they animated episode 4 when they had a great telesnap reconstruction of it created back in 2000. Don't get me wrong, I've loved the animated episodes in "The Invasion", "The Ice Warriors", and "The Reign of Terror", but to replace a great telesnap episode which includes surviving clips in it (including the Doctor's regeneration) with an animated one is just wrong! At least with the proper DVD release of "The Tenth Planet", which will be released soon, you get a choice which version of the episode you want to watch, but in this DVD release, you get no extras, and only the animated version of episode 4!
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on 7 May 2013
Ok first and formost, i will put my hands up and say yes, i slated the boxset, when it was first announced, but after a lot of humming and pondering, i decided to jump in and see what all the fuss was about.

First the boxset, its a fairly thick book which has 2 pages about each Doctor, gives you a bit of info on each one, and a synopsis about the story, and has pictures of each Doctor, including Colin Baker who's story is not included.The discs themselves are in the top of the pages and pull out, this is my slight bug bare, only because, i'm not keen on touching discs to pull out, and because new little bit stiff to get in or out, but that's me and some may like it, and that's why it got 4 stars, it would get 4.75 stars if Amazon allowed

The main review is obviously for the Tenth Planet, personally i think it's an improvement on The Reign of Terror, although i've comne to the conclusion, the animation team are better at female drawings then males, as Ben's was below standard compared to Polly and Ian in the Reign of Terror i didn't recognise at all, but all in all, it's the first introduction to the cybermen and the first regenartion, so it's a double whammy,what i also like is that all discs just contain the stories and no extras which for someone who does not really bother with extras suits me just fine.with a further 9 stories, it's not that bad for someone who has not got these stories.

Now i can understand why this has hit controversy, in wholand, as it seems people have said that it's for casual or new viewers, it may seem like devoted fans who have paid a lot of money, for VHS and DVD's now have to wait for Tenth Planet single release where as the "casual/new viewer" gets early preview, regardless for me personally, it was worth the money, and if you don't have the stories, this is one way to get them all in 1 hit for a pretty reasonable price.And for those who don't I hope Tenth Planet was worth the wait, for me it was
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2013
Bit of a waste of money if you've already collected these on stand alone dvds but the book that comes with them is very good. No extras whatsoever and nothing from the 6th Doctor so nothing to get overly excited about. If you don't already have them and you don't care about extras it's a good set for the money and the reanimated episode 4 of The Tenth Planet is pretty good too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2013
A collection of stories to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr Who. Along with the DVDs there's also a collector's booklet.

As a collector's item this is fine. I'm sure people with more money than sense will buy it even if they already own almost all of these stories. But if this box-set was intended to showcase each Doctor, quite honestly the Davison and Eccleston stories are the only ones which do their incarnation of the perpetual Time Lord justice. "Caves of Androzani" is a dark tale of drug-trafficking, dodgy mercenaries and a Phantom of the Opera-like villain. Not only an all-time great but a demonstration of how the talent and imagination of writers, directors and actors can overcome a small budget. The Eccleston two-parter is also great, his grand Dalek finale. The blackly comic scenes involving 'Anne Droid' have to be Dr Who at their boldest.

Of the other stories, Planet of the Spiders is an intriguing Buddhism-inspired tale only let down by an over-length chase scene and some silly fighting. Like a lot of six-parters from the 1970s, it feels more like a 4-parter stretched out. Dr Who The Movie is lightweight but enjoyable, and The War Games is interesting if rather over-length.

Unfortunately The Tenth Planet (though an interesting story) is not a good showcase for William Hartnell, who is clearly ill throughout this story. Time and the Rani, (although fun) doesn't do Sylvester McCoy justice (he was at his best in Seasons 25 and 26). Logopolis is watchable but, regeneration sequence aside, unremarkable. Tom Baker was arguably at his greatest during his first three years as the Doctor. During his final stories he was kind of funereal and clearly bored with it all. End of Time is a silly self-indulgent mess with an over-length "goodbye scene" which just puts me in mind of the odious Tony Blair's sickening "farewell tour". Colin Baker and Matt Smith, meanwhile, make only brief apearances despite the latter being on the box cover. And there stands the flaw in the "regenerations" theme. I'm sure fans of the series would rather buy the indivudual DVDs which come with extras (this set has no extras, and the included booklet is to be quite honest nothing special). If on the other hand this was intended to introduce new viewers to the Dr Who series then a better idea would have been to include an all-time-great story from the time of each incarnation of the Doctor. This feels too much like a cynical cash-in to take yet more money from those who must have every piece of merchandising junk with the "Doctor Who" logo on it.

By the way, The Tenth Planet will be released on its own later in the year. So any folk planning to send the BBC hate-mail and death threats can perhaps pen a nice poem instead.
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