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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting adventures from the 1960s re-issued with care, 19 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Rescue & The Romans [DVD] (DVD)
Two good stories from the time of the earliest Doctor, William Hartnell. They come from an age of black and white television and when issued on VHS a few years ago they suffered from having been converted from video to film and back again. Now, new processes and a lot of hard work has meant that these stories can be enjoyed in crystal clear picture and sound quality, perhaps even better than when they were first shown.

The Rescue is two twenty-five minute episodes, which makes it the length of one of today's modern Doctor Whos. The story was designed to introduce the companion Vicki, played by distinguished actress and writer Maureen O'Brien, at the start of her career. Even though it's short, the story is exciting and has a strong cast, being focussed on the four regulars and Bennett, played by film star Ray Barrett.

The Romans is a really great story, its four episodes giving an epic adventure on a grand scale. There is a lot of humour in these episodes, but because the actors play it straight, you never get the feeling they are sending it up. The set design for ancient Rome is beautiful, the costumes are perfect, and the acting and direction is superb. It really is very impressive what the BBC could achieve on such a small budget.

The DVD extras are pretty good with a profile of Romans script writer Dennis Spooner, who wrote for every classic television series in the 1960s, a documentary about Romans and Nero, and a bit from Blue Peter about Romans. There is also a rather weak documentary about Doctor Who girls, but that doesn't detract from the rest. The commentaries are well-judged, bearing in mind that some of the participants are in their eighties, Doctor Who fan journalists have been brought in to moderate and prompt memories, and this works very well.

These would be a wonderful purchase for anyone wanting to see what Doctor Who was like in the 1960s, and allow you to enjoy the magic of thr first Doctor.
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