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Doctor Who - The Collection - Season 19 - Ltd Ed Packaging [Blu-ray] 
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(Dec 10, 2018)
Limited Edition Packaging
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Peter Davison’s first series as the Fifth Doctor in a limited edition Eight-disc box set. Features all 26 episodes remastered.
Brand new special features include: Five new Making-Of documentaries for Castrovalva, Four To Doomsday, Black Orchid, Earthshock and Time-Flight; surround sound mixes for Kinda and Earthshock; an Extended Version of Black Orchid Part One; Rare studio footage from Castrovalva, Four To Doomsday, Earthshock and Time-Flight; updated special effects for Castrovalva; seven more editions of Behind The Sofa; a newly-shot one-hour interview Peter Davison In Conversation with Matthew Sweet and much more.
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The first story, Castrovalva, is one of the best opening stories of any Doctor and I remember the excitement of waiting for the first episode to be transmitted and it didn't disappoint. The four regulars gelled instantly and together with a great script by Christopher H. Bidmead gave us a story that was fresh, original and the shot in the arm that Doctor Who sorely needed.
Four to Doomsday was the first story that Davison actually recorded and in some ways it shows, he is a little hesitant at times as he works his way through creating his Doctor and it's really interesting to see, it's a unique performance as the Doctor and Davison is never as nervous again. The story is no great shakes but it's a solid enough adventure.
Kinda is one of the series' all time classics with possibly the greatest ever guest performance from any actor to appear in the series in the form of Simon Rouse as Hindle. Here is a man descending into madness and his performance is terrifying and pitiful at the same time, he truly is electrifying in the role and is one of the reasons why Kinda is the best story of the season. Kinda is a deeply disturbing story with demons of the mind and dreams and people being driven insane and possessed, very very adult for Doctor Who. A masterpiece.
The Visitation on the other hand is a straightforward pseudo-historical, a story set in the past but with sci fi elements attached. Here the setting is 1666 and the Doctor becomes embroiled in a story of aliens doing their ut,ost to wipe out humanity, the story ends on a nice twist and features Michael Robbins from On the Buses fame as it's main guest star which was the story's main selling point.
Black Orchid is a lovely little two part murder mystery and a nice breather from the more deeper and heavier stories of the season. It was the first true historical story since Patrick Troughton's The Highlanders in 1966 and it made for a nice change. The location work of both Black Orchid and The Visitation are beautiful and as the film elements have survived they should look absolutely glorious on Blu Ray.
Earthshock was at the time the hit of the season and the long awaited return of the Cybermen, back to the programme after a seven year absence. The story is beautifully shot and directed and there's a real epic quality and feel to the story. It contains the greatest cliffhanger the series has ever seen and the most shocking finale to round it off. As I said this was the number one when season 19 was transmitted but in recent years Kinda has perhaps overtaken it in the minds of the majority of the fans, and rightly so. But it's still an excellent production.
Time-Flight. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. One of the great turkeys of Doctor Who with plastic look sets, one of the most atrocious monsters ever seen and a cringe inducing performance from Anthony Ainley. The money had run out and it shows, and yet it featured the most expensive prop ever seen on the show, Concorde. JNT managed to persuade British airways to allow them to film on the plane itself and it does provide a bit of gloss and swagger but it ultimately cannot save the story.
All in all it's a fantastic season and one that reinvented Doctor Who and showed there was a future without Tom Baker. If the content is as good as the season 12 boxset, and there's no reason to suppose it won't, then we are all in for a treat.
I notice the branding has been brought up to date with the latest logo. Makes literally no difference to me as it’s the same programme irrespective of the logo on the box.
Looking forward to watching the new series with Jodie Whittaker - she’ll be ace. Although to be fair the decision by some different people who weren’t involved in any way with the production of this series to cast a woman for the role over a third of a century later isnt really a relevant factor IMO.
The golden age of Dr Who can probably be regarded as the first 4 doctors, but with the first 2 being in black & white with missing episodes, and Pertwee`s archive, although complete, being a real mish mash in terms of picture quality, thus providing real hurdles in transference to bluray, we therefore arrive at the beginning of the 5th doctor`s era as an obvious choice.
The main positive thing i could say about this release is that it should be packed with extras, even more so than the Baker release, simply because by the early 80`s when this season was made, a great deal more was saved in the archives, out-takes, unused scenes,interviews, promotions, the lot, so there should be plenty to go round.
Unfortunately, its a bit mediocre.The doctors companions would simply get worse and worse as the 80`s went on, so perhaps we should be grateful for small mercies. In fact, despite much ridicule, i think Adric is by far the most entertaining companion, helped along the way, unintentionaly i`m sure, by Mathew Waterhouse`s complete nievity as an actor.
`Castravalva``Four to Doomsday` Black Orchid` Earthshock` and `Kinda` are good stories, but you feel that maybe with a much stronger production crew behind them, rather than the JNT gang, they could have been far more memorable.
Not a `bad buy` by any means, but there are far better Doctor`s and seasons i`d prefer in bluray in my Christmas stocking this year !