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Doctor Who - 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]
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This limited edition collector's set includes the 50th anniversary special; The Day of the Doctor, Matt Smith's Farewell; The Time of the Doctor, the Series 7 finale; The Name of the Doctor, and the Eighth Doctor's (Paul McGann) surprise regeneration into John Hurt's War Doctor; The Night of the Doctor.
The collection also includes an exclusive cut of the read-through of The Day of the Doctor featuring Matt Smith and David Tennant, deleted scenes, new-to-DVD cinema trails and Mark Gatiss' award winning drama about the genesis of Doctor Who; An Adventure in Space and Time. The hilarious Five-ish Doctors - starring Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and a host of special guests - will also be included on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time.
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Should have taken the extra time, got the 3D version on there too and made the slipcase out of slightly stronger cardboard, almost ripped this opening it for the first time.
'The Name of the Doctor' marked the end of what I consider a very underrated series in series 7 (or 34 if you count the classics) and features a terrific cliffhanger that I definitely didn't see coming. Though Matt Smith is once again fantastic as The Doctor, for me the standout performance of the episode comes from Jenna Coleman as his companion Clara Oswald whose performance ranks her as one of the best and underrated companions in the shows history.
'The Night of the Doctor' is a mini episode which acts as a prequel to the 50th anniversary special featuring a surprise appearance from Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and his regeneration into a until now unknown incarnation of The Doctor.
'The Day of the Doctor' had a lot of hype going into it due to it marking the 50th anniversary of the show and thankfully it delivered on every level with great performances from Matt Smith, David Tenant, Jenna Coleman, John Hurt and Billie Piper and many great references from the shows past.
'The Time of the Doctor' marked Matt Smith's final full time appearance as The Doctor and what a way to go out. This Christmas special ties up all the story lines throughout Matt Smith's time as The Doctor and features one of the best regenerations in the history of the show.
The collections also feature a short spoof documentary entitled 'The Five(ish) Doctors' which sees former Doctors Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy attempt to get involved in the 50th anniversary special and the one off drama 'An Adventure in Space and Time' which looks at how Doctor Who was created and how it made the orginal Doctor William Hartnell a star.
The box comes with a small, pointless black cardboard sleeve which is usually present to stop the cases sliding out. However, this package uses a sealed box where you have to open a flap, a flap that will warp and show wear as you use it. This is disappointing for a "Collectors Edition" as it will invariably taken some of the value from it.
Next, the Blu Ray cases are not much of a fan fare, sure they have their own sleeves depicting the 4 Doctors used around the 50th, but there's nothing else at all, not even unique disc art. The discs all look the same except the writing on them. That's quite lazy.
My final point will be one that I knew I was getting into as the item description is pretty clear, but it's very sad there are no collectable cards, postcards, booklets or just SOMETHING to make this more exciting. There's so little here, the box feels like it would blow away in the wind!
Again, love the show, but for the 50th, this deserved more love and attention.
Quite who makes these baffling aesthetic decisions within the marketing department of the beeb or 2entertain, and why, is a mystery.
On the content side of things, without going into the worthiness of the individual episodes, everything is pretty much as expected. The episodes look fantastic in HD and it is a proper TREAT to have 'An Adventure' and 'The Five(ish) Doctors' in glorious 1080i too! A comprehensive selection of extras too barring one glaring omission, which I'll come to.
A couple of slight niggles : The Script to Screen Table Read is actually a 15 min featurette with only brief cuts to the actual table read. This disappoints the uber geek in me as I've seen a couple of FULL table reads of different shows and they are enormous fun.
: Strange to watch the Cinema introductions for Day of the Doctor talking about switching to 3D and not have the 3D version available.
: NO COMMENTARIES! This is the biggest niggle for me. The biggest episode in the show's recent history. The most high profile run of episodes in years and a magnificent one-off show dedicated to the birth of Doctor Who and not a commentary between them. A massive missed opportunity.
Anyway, still a great release, especially if you held off from buying all the stand-alone releases since last November. Just someone please have a word with the designer of the packaging :P
*****EDIT*****24/10/14******FAULTY DISC REPLACEMENT SERVICE UPDATE******
I note that the BBC are now offering to replace the faulty 'Day of the Doctor' disc, which is disc 2 of the set. It has audio and video playback issues, due to a framerate error. It's a freepost address, but is only for purchases of the 50th anniversary set. You need to send the faulty disc to
BBC Worldwide Ltd
BBC DVD Support
33 Foley Street
And the turnaround for delivery of the replacement discs will be roughly 4-5 weeks. Nice job!
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