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Doctor Who - The Collection - Season 19 - Limited Edition Packaging
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 remastered episodes of the BBC sci-fi drama
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.
- Extended Version of Black Orchid Part One.
- Rare studio footage from Castrovalva, Four To Doomsday, Earth shock 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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In my opinion this blu-ray box set represents the best possible quality of presentation of this season of Doctor Who that we are ever likely to see without resorting to advanced CGI simulation. The location footage has been meticulously restored from 16mm film and given the sharpest possible transfer to HD. 16mm film was formerly not considered good enough for HD but I can tell you that the image quality on these discs from the film segments is way beyond SD and mostly well graded. The studio footage can never be HD having been captured on old 576i analogue tube cameras and recorded to a composite PAL analogue tape format (2" quad), but the conversion from composite to digital is heroic and nearly flawless. The noise reduction has resulted in beautifully smooth gradation but has not sacrificed so much as a pixel of detail. In fact the upscaling has incorporated some intelligent enhancement of fine gradations and detail although some PAL artifacts and electronic camera defects still inevitably creep through. It is a worthy step-up from the mpeg compressed DVD and a far finer result than is likely to be achieved with domestic upscaling.
The stories and the productions themselves are enhanced with optional new effects that are sympathetic to the original and (in my opinion) superior. The new effects on Castrovalva are certainly an improvement, although the enhanced/upscaled picture quality has left the TARDIS set looking a little crude and shabby in places.
I have already pre-ordered season 18 and I regret not having bought season 12 now. Hopefully it'll be re-released in the future.
Peter is a great actor but his doctor is much weaker than what came before him, and he is encumbered by too many companions, who are quite poor and often annoying. I also found the incidental music a step down from season 18: in this season it’s jarring and often downright horrendous. That said, these eclectic stories a light years ahead of the garbage the new series has become and therefore well worth seeing.
-Castrovalva: a strong season opener made better by being Peter’ s third story to be shot so he was well into his stride by the time this was filmed. Beautiful location filming greatly enhanced by the restoration for Blu Ray, with superb colour grading
- Four to Doomsday. Some exquisite set design and lavish production in terms of all the choreographed dancing and fight scenes representing Aboriginal, Chinese and Maya cultures . I really enjoyed this story.
- Kinda. I cannot understand why this story is held in such high regard by fandom. I thought it was cheap rubbish as a child and I think that still as an adult. Cheap production and poor acting . It is telling in the making of documentary that they show the jungle from Creature from the Pit from season 17 as a more realistic jungle. Yes it is, it was shot on film in Ealing studios with atmospheric lighting. The jungle presented here looks cheap and tacky and is appallingly lit. I respect Rob Sherman as a writer, but I cannot agree with his assertion that the production doesn’t matter if you don’t have a strong story, Yes, without a strong script, you don’t have a show, but on the other hand poor production removes any credibility from a serious story and people switch off. It was the woolly fandom thinking that had people switching off in droves in the 1980s , that “any old rubbish will do, “ so long as the story is strong. Great replacement CGI effects for the giant snake, but could not make much of the 5.1 surround mix, other than the open and closing titles music. It also clearly exposes the myth that JNT production was “superior “ to Graham Williams, as they hold up the jungle from “Creature from the Pit”as much more convincing as Kinda’s!!
- The Visitation . I greatly admired this story as a child and I still do as an adult, The BBC does costume drama well and this is a beautifully produced period piece enhanced further by Ealing film studios filming for Pudding Lane, beautiful location filming and anamatronics for the Terrateptils. Save for the twinkly incidental music, this story holds up well today. Oddly, the studio scenes shot on video look a bit blurred to me in the spacecraft scenes, as though something has gone wrong with the upscaling.
- Black Ordhid. Another beautiful period price, a sort of Agatha Christie who dunnit but sadly the protagonist is obvious from the start. Not sure what impact the Doctor makes on this story here, this story beautifully exemplifies the weaker, passive doctor, but a lovely diversion into some sumptuous 1920s period filming and evidence of great cricketing skills from Peter Davison, which are not replicated in 2018 on the extras. Older man or trick filming in 1981? You decide!
-Earthshock. Easily the best story and production of the series, the 5.1 mix is superb here as the Cybermen stomp around the steel stairs and the Cyber-march theme makes full use of the rear channels. Top marks again to Mark Ayers. A fitting exit for Matthew Waterhouse too
- Timeflight. Episode 1will blow you away with all the filming on board Concorde and Heathrow airport, which would not be allowed today. Unfortunately after episode 1, the rest of it is complete garbage . It shows how poor JNT’s judgement was : to get agreement from British Airways for filming of their prestigious flagship, Concorde, yet then treat it in such an appalling way with such shoddy production. If you got their agreement to use Concorde you should have made it one of the most expensive stories, and then scripted cheaper alternatives as other stories, not treat it as an end of season afterthought with no money available. Shameful something so iconic to be treated in this way.
Extra extras: (Disc 8)
- Peter Davison in Comversation. 8 mins too long and although Peter can be very funny I did not think this interview was a patch on Tom Baker’s interview
-Time Crash, the 2007 short for Children in Need with his son in law, David Tennant
-Jovanka Airlines Trailer
- The Panopticon Archive. A 1993 interview featuring Nicholas Courtney, Janet Fielding & Matthew Waterhouse
- Take Two. The consensus seems to be “move Doctor Who back to Saturdays!”
- Audio Archive
- Mara Tales DVD Trailer
- Tegan Tales DVD Trailer
- Studio Clocks
No Who news this time though .
A strong box set worth collecting but it is evident the show had started to slip...
The packaging feels stronger than the season 12 boxed set, and the disc trays haven't fallen apart like what happened to the previous release.
Will update with picture and sound quality comments when I've watched it all 😀