- Actors: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 3
- Studio: 2entertain
- DVD Release Date: 19 Oct. 2009
- Run Time: 333 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- ASIN: B002KSA3WK
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,051 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Doctor Who - The Dalek Collection [DVD]
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The Doctor and his companions face the return of his deadliest enemy - the Daleks, a distillation of all that is evil in the Universe - in 7 thrilling, action-packed episodes :
Dalek Bad Wolf Parting of the Ways Daleks in Manhatten Evolution of the Daleks The Stolen Earth Journey's End
Starring Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Billie Piper, John Barrowman, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate & Elisabeth Sladen
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The Daleks were the brainchild of Terry Nation, who debuted their on-screen television appearance in the second serial of the first series, running from 1963 to 1964, titled 'The Daleks' (although each twenty-five minute episode had individual titles). This serial introduced the Daleks as mutations who had survived a neutronic war with the Thals, forced to spend their days in their metal city, gaining their power from static electricity, attempting to thwart the plan of the First Doctor (William Hartnell) and his companions to end the Dalek oppression of the pacifist Thals. Later stories would give the Daleks a chance to show off their battle expertise in conquering twenty-second century Earth, along with providing a rather convoluted species history, which began with their creator, Davros (shown in the 1970's serial 'Genesis of the Daleks'), remaining ever popular throughout the Classic Series' run until its cancellation in the late eighties.
When Russell T Davies revived the series with Christopher Ecclestone as the Ninth Doctor, it was only a matter of time until the daleks were to make a long-awaited comeback to their television roots. This was ultimately given to the fans in the single episode 'Dalek', which provided some intermittent backstory between the years that the show was off-air, explaining that the Daleks and the Time-Lords were both destroyed in a cataclysmic battle called the 'Last Great time War, which devastated both species' planets. Eventually, in the four series that followed under Davies's production schedule, it is learned that some Daleks survived, including both the Emperor and Davros himself, as well as the mythical and secretive Cult of Skaro; a quartet of Battle Daleks created to think up new ways of species survival.
'Doctor Who - The Dalek Collection', released on 13th October 2009 and distributed by BBC Worldwide Limited/2entertain for the Region 2 market, includes all episodes Dalek-related within the Davies-era of the New Series, excluding Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, which were included on the 'Cybermen Collection' release, distributed a few months earlier.
With an approximate total running time of 335 minutes, this release includes the following episodes spread over three disks:
* 'Dalek' - The aforementioned episode within the first revived season, which gives certain backstory to the Time War, when one lone Dalek is seem to have somehow survived the destruction of his species, ultimately landing on Earth during the twenty-first century. It's distress call, whilst trapped in the possession of Henry Van Statten (a Bill-Gates like-figure) in his underground museum below Utah, catches the attention of the Ninth Doctor. The damaged 'Metaltron', as Van Statten calls it, is revived to full strength upon extrapolating DNA from the Doctor's companion, Rose Tyler, and goes on a killing rampage, before an unexpected turn of events leads to its self-sacrificing demise.
* 'Bad wolf' / 'The Parting of the Ways' - This two-parter episode which wraps up Series 1 as both the penultimate and final installments, takes the Ninth Doctor, Jack and Rose back to Satellite 5, now known as 'The Game Station', which is broadcasting futuristic versions of contemporary reality programmes, such as Big Brother and The Weakest Link, with deadly consequences upon losing. It is ultimately revealed that the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire has been having its strings pulled for centuries by an unknown force, ultimately revealed to be the Dalek Emperor himself, having somehow escaped the Time War. He has been harvesting human corpses in order to create his own kingdom of Daleks, whilst setting himself up as a self-professed God amongst his Dalek 'angels'. The Doctor is forced to make a tough decision; which leads into the first regeneration scene of the revived series.
* 'Daleks in Manhattan' / 'Evolution of the Daleks' - Following the events in 'Doomsday' (the finale of Season 2), the Cult of Skaro has shifted back in time to the 1930s, in the middle of the Depression at the heart of New York City. The Tenth Doctor and Martha discover that people are disappearing all over the city, and it is ultimately revealed that the four Daleks are using the Empire State Building to draw gamma radiation from the Sun in order to wake up their Human-Dalek army. Dalek Sec, as a means to enable the survival of his species, merges with the exploitative Mr Diagoras, and inevitably becomes the first Human-Dalek hybrid. Tensions rise as Sec becomes more humanly minded, with the three remaining daleks deciding to awaken their army with fully-implanted Dalek ideals, without a trace of humanity, in an attempt to take over the planet and become the dominate species yet again.
* 'The Stolen Earth' / 'Journey's End' - This two-part culmination of Davies's run on the series loosened up certain plot elements threaded throughout the revived show's first four seasons. Following Rose's various cameos throughout Season 4, it is ultimately revealed that particular planets, including Earth, are being taken out of time and space for some unknown scheme. With such a climactic finale, bringing together the franchise's sister shows of 'Torchwood' and 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', it was only right that the Daleks were to be involved somehow. It turns out that Dalek Caan had somehow temporally-shifted back into the first year of the Time War in order to rescue Davros, who rebuilt his empire from the cells of his own body, hiding within the Medusa Cascade one second out of sync. His plan is to use the stolen planets to enable his 'reality bomb' to wipe out all species and matter in the universe, leaving his Daleks as the ultimate and dominating race in all of reality.
Regarding special features, this release features a special introduction by David Tennant on the influence of the Daleks during his childhood and throughout his tenure as the Doctor, along with a trailer for 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' upon loading Disk One. There is also the choice of selecting audio navigation before the title menu appears, and the ability to view all episodes with English subtitles, with individual episode and scene selection. Within the DVD casing, a small glossy pamphlet is placed in the left-hand side, with some rather lovely artwork depicting both featured Doctors and particular Dalek variants, with a scene overview of all episodes within the set.
All in all, 'The Dalek Collection' is a nice little set that brings together the New Series episodes which feature the Doctor's most enduring foes, except, of course for the two-part Season 2 finale. With this is mind, if you are thinking of purchasing this set, it may be a good idea to acquire 'The Cybermen Collection' as well, in order to complete the overall story arc, placing the aforementioned episodes of 'Army of Ghosts' and 'Doomsday' in between disks one and two.
That being said, the episodes included as part of 'The Dalek Collection' and its sister compilation have already been released within their respective season box-sets, and on their own in the earlier distributed single-disk vanilla DVDs. This means that you aren't getting anything particularly new with this collection. However, for the dedicated Whovian and for the general fan of Dalekmania, 'The Dalek Collection' is an entertaining glimpse into the expanse of the ever-expanding Whoniverse.
Furthermore, if you wish to explore more of the Dalek's progression from their initial inception to the present day, it would be worth having a look at the Dalek entry in the series of DVDs under the umbrella title of 'The Monsters Collection', released for the Region 2 market. This includes the first-ever appearance of the Daleks in their eponymous 1963-4 serial, and the most recent episode from Season Seven starring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, titled 'Asylum of the Daleks', which includes cameos of Dalek variants from throughout the show's history. Additionally, the two non-canonical Dalek films of the 1960s starring Peter Cushing as the human inventor, Dr Who, are a worthwhile look back through history to experience the wave of Dalekmania that first gave Doctor Who its nationwide appeal (released in a box-set with the similar title of 'Dr Who - The Dalek Collection').
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