9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
There Should Have Been More...,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Scream of the Shalka [DVD] (DVD)
"Scream of the Shalka" was produced to celebrate the show's 40th anniversary in 2003, and would serve as the first story in a brand new series of animated webcasts (three stories across twelve episodes). However, due to the announcement that Doctor Who was to return, production was cut down to just one serial.
The question is - why? Would it really have effected continuity that much. There are two ninth Doctors - so? This may have been intended as canon at the time, but that could have easily been worked around. I wish there could have been more...
The story itself is by no means perfect, but still extremely enjoyable. Written by Paul Cornell, who penned the episodes "Father's Day" and "Human Nature/The Family of Blood", it's also quite dark too - in fact, I'd say some of it is too dark to be shown live action.
Richard E. Grant makes an excellent Doctor. He's dark, and eccentric and looks the part, even in flash animation. He performs much better here than he does as The Great Intelligence in the recent finale of the revived series.
Derek Jacobi plays the Master, a full four years before he would again play him in the revived series, and is excellent. There's a very good twist to his Master too, which makes for a rather amusing one-liner in Episode 5. Again, I'd have loved to see how he would have evolved, had the web series continued.
Sophie Okonedo (I hope I've spelt that correctly), plays Alison, and is another actress who would appear in the revived series as well, as Liz 10 in "The Beast Below". Personally, I found Alison - not unlikable - just a little...hard-going, but that might just be me.
There's also a rather amusing cameo from David Tennant, who would of course appear in the revived series as the Doctor himself, so be sure to watch out for that!
The animation itself is done by Cosgrove Hall, the company responsible for animating the missing episodes of incomplete serials for DVD. It bares similarities, especially to "The Invasion"
Despite this being a single disc release - the only one this year, if my memory serves me correctly - there's still plenty of special features, as we've come to expect from classic releases now (They frankly put the new series releases to shame), Including some very interesting documentaries and the story's soundtrack in its entirety.
Another solid classic release, though a little odd considering all six parts of this story are available online, both on YouTube and the official BBC/Doctor Who website. But buy it anyway, it's worth it.
Oh, one more thing - unlike other classic releases, which normally have an aspect ratio of 4:3, this one has an aspect ratio of 16:9 - full screen, in other words. It's great!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Sep 2013 16:07:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Sep 2013 16:12:50 BDT
I enjoyed your review, and agree, there should have been more Richard E Grant 9th Doctor stories. (animated or otherwise). The only other REG 9th Dr stuff I am aware of is the online short story 'Doctor Who: The Feast of The Stone' from years ago.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2013 16:05:51 BDT
Paul Wilcox says:
Further to your comments about it being available already, as per my review I found it much more comfortable and easier to watch on dvd plus the picture quality is improved - and you get all the extras. then again I buy the special editions even though I have the originals....
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2013 16:20:48 BDT
I agree with you. I've always wanted it to come out on DVD for that reason, abd the extras. I just never thought it would - its higher quality on DVD too! :)
Posted on 22 Aug 2014 07:05:27 BDT
Steven M. Taylor says:
"The question is - why? Would it really have effected continuity that much. There are two ninth Doctors - so? This may have been intended as canon at the time, but that could have easily been worked around."
It had absolutely nothing to do with continuity (only fans care about such things), it was about brand management and rebuilding public perception of Doctor Who. Quite similar in fact to the way that the producers of the Paul McGann TVM put the kibosh on the BBC's planned 30th Anniversary Special (The Dark Dimension).
Simply put - having a cheap online version with the lead character voiced by an old ham, was not an association the BBC wanted for their new flagship drama. Especially as they were already fighting against the poor repuation the series had gradually amassed since the late 1970's.
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