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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the vaults, 17 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Legacy Collection (Shada/More Than 30 Years In The TARDIS) [DVD] (DVD)
A box set containing two Doctor Who DVDS, both in individual boxes themselves, that are reissues of things that came on out on VHS back almost twenty years ago.

First is Shada. The legendary lost 'classic' of the old show. A six part story written to finish off Tom Baker's sixth year. It would have been the last for the producer and script editor of the time. The latter being Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker's guide fame. Who also wrote Shada. Shada sees the Fourth Doctor and Romana visit Cambridge to see an old friend. Only to find that said friend is in possession of a secret that mad scientist Skagra needs in order to further his quest for universal domination. The location of the legendary prison planet of the Time Lords...

Shada was never completed because of a strike at the BBC. For years after, it attained cult status amongst fans simply because it was a story we'd never seen, therefore it was bound to be great. A couple of clips from it were used in 'the Five Doctors.' Then the BBC finally put the whole thing together, using all the footage that was produced and various visual effects, plus linking narration from Tom Baker in character. Said character being the actor called Tom Baker who used to play the Doctor.

Then we discovered what Douglas Adams. Shada wasn't actually that good.

Shada actually is somewhat better than that assessment. But Doctor Who stories of the time that ran to six parts did so by necessity to fill out the required two extra episodes. So it does feel stretched. The bigger problem though is that whilst there's a lot of footage and only occasional narration early on, as the episodes go by, there's less footage and lots more narration. It just feels that you hardly get much of the former.

It really remains a fascinating glimpse at what could have been.

The DVD is a straight reissue of the VHS version, albeit with some cleaning up of visual effects.

However, as an extra, you do get an online version of the story that was done over a decade later. Which has Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor and Lalla Ward as a somewhat older Romana in the story. This is a full cast audio drama which was broadcast online using flash animation for the visuals. This version is accessible by putting the disc onto a computer and opening up the files. The flash animation is very basic. The opening scene is pretty clever in how it gets the Eighth Doctor into the story, and also explains the use of the the clips in the Five Doctors. But beyond that the script is much the same. Thus it's the same as the cd soundtrack of this version that came out a while back, but it's a more complete version of the story in many ways.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

It's also English audio captioned.

It has the usual extras for this range of:

Photo gallery.

Production information subtitles.

Coming soon trailer. [as ever with flashing images].

Plus several documentaries:

Taken out of time. All about Shada, this runs for twenty five minutes. Is very informative. Has lovely Cambridge locations. And Tom Baker walking his dog. So it's well worth a watch.

Strike! Strike! Strike! is roughly thirty minutes long and all about how strikes affected the show down the years. This is a fascinating trip down memory lane for those of a certain age with some great old footage. It's also well worth a look.

Now and then: runs just under ten minutes and compares the Cambridge locations for the story as they are now to as they were in 1979. Some great scenery makes this a good watch.

Being a girl runs for twenty five minutes and looks at how the show has treated female characters down the years. It's not entirely sure what point it's trying to make but it's a watchable production.

The other release in this box set is More than Thirty years in the TARDIS. Back in 1993, the BBC broadcast a documentary to mark the show's thirtieth anniversary. But a lot was cut from it for timing reasons. A VHS version came out with all the cut bits reinstated. This is a reissue of that VHS version. It could be a very out of date programme now but it does remain an excellent piece of work, with reconstructions of key scenes, excellent interviews, and some good presentation. It is still one of the best documentaries made about the show.

This has the same language and subtitle options as Shada, plus the photo gallery, coming soon trailer and production infromation subtitles.

For an easter egg, press the down key on the dvd remote till the menu gets to photo gallery, then press left then press play. For a short snippet from an interview with Director Richard Martin about his professional relationship with producer Verity Lambert. It's worth a watch.

Extras on this dvd are:

Remembering Nicholas Courtney. A twenty five minute long tribute to the actor who played the Brigadier. It uses footage from an unfinished 2010 interview where he was clearly in poor health, but these sections do contain a big surprise. So their inclusion is justified. Beyond that it is a fine tribute, with some classic archival footage from other shows you might have never expected to see again.

Doctor who stories. More interviews recorded for 2003's the story of Doctor Who, with first Doctor companion Peter Purves and original producer Verity Lambert. Running fourteen and ten minutes each both are very good interviewees and these are good viewing.

Those deadly divas is a twenty five minute long feature [approx] about some of the stronger female characters on the show down the years. With contributions from many of the actresses in question, it's a lively and entertaining production.

These are not two of the most essential dvds in the range, but both offer some good viewing, and the whole collection is overall worth getting.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Mar 2014 08:20:43 GMT
Enjoyed your review on 'Legacy' box set. You can tell 2Entertain were running out of ideas for DVD releases on 'Doctor Who'.

I'm a fan of 'Shada' as it was the Paul McGann version I enjoyed the most. The Tom Baker one's alright, but it lacked the magic of what the Paul McGann version had and of course it was incomplete despite Tom's linking narration in it. I prefer the audio version, but I'm glad we're able to see the original on DVD. And of course 'Shada's legacy has greatly expanded in the latest Gareth Roberts novelization which I tremendously enjoyed.

'More Than 30 Years In The TARDIS' is a good documentary celebrating 30 years of 'Doctor Who'. Wish there was more they could cover with my favourite companions and episodes, but it's still a good documentary all the same.

Great review on this! Tim.
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