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on 11 August 2017
This is a fantastic collection of the first three Doctor Who serials. Having been a fan of the rebooted series for a long time, I decided it was time to check out some of the classic series, and what better way than to start at the very beginning?

This boxset includes the first thee stories - An Unearthly Child, The Daleks and The Edge of Destruction. The Daleks is the one that really stands out; brilliant to see The Doctor's most iconic enemy in their earliest form - just as threatening as they are nowadays. I found the ma little hard to understand sometimes with the robotic voice, but once you were used to the tone it was easy. The storytelling ll the way through this episode is great, each episode ending on a cliffhanger which made you want to watch the next one right away.

An Unearthly Child starts off with a fantastic episode (The introduction of The Doctor, the TARDIS, and of course Ian, Barbara and Susan), the following three episodes involving the cavemen aren't quite as good but in no way bad. There's enough plot to keep the story interesting, and it was quite a shock to see The Doctor in his early days be so miserable and at times outright dastardly. Really fits well with him progressing as a character over the last 50+ years on screen!

The Edge of Destruction is only two episodes long and set entirely in the TARDIS using only the four main characters because of budget and schedule issues at the time (These are explained both on the DVD and the extras). This is still a good story however, and it's really impressive to see what they were able to do given so little.

If the stories themselves aren't enough, I'm totally blown away by how many extras are on these DVDs. Loads of documentaries, commentaries and features, which are worth the money alone. One of my favourites was on The Edge of Destruction DVD - a thirty minute condensed version of the episode Marco Polo, which is one of the old Doctor Who episodes that's missing. The episode is presented using the original audio along with some stills from the episode. A really cool extra. As I'm growing my collection of Classic Doctor Who DVDs I'm seeing that the large amount of interesting extras is a regular theme across them all, which is really exciting.

I thoroughly recommend this brilliant collection of DVDs to any Doctor Who fan, or those who haven't watched any but would like to get into them.
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on 6 January 2018
1963 television would never be the same again and for those who want to reminisce or if like me weren't born at the time this sensational series aired and would love to know how it all began this boxset is perfect as it has all 3 stories intact.

An Unearthly Child the very first story that had to be reshown again after the news that President Kennedy had been shot and killed.
The Daleks that make their very first appearance and written by Terry Nation who would create a classic monster that has endured and kids would play act in the street that showed the creator of who how the show was loved by children
The Edge of Destruction an episode set entirely in the Tardis and it was the first 2 parter

Wonderful to see the 1st doctor in all his glory before ill health took over him and he had to leave to make way for another actor, as he would often tell certain people "The Original" and don't call him doc.
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on 8 November 2013
The Unlikely Start
'This is boring', said Alexandra and Matthew, when I showed them this a few years ago, reminding me that when I first saw it, in 1979, it did seem remarkably slow, even by Power of Kroll standards. I just mention this for any twelve year olds that might be reading.

The weight of the following years makes all of the first episode really very moving - in a way never envisaged in 1963 - rather as if the fluttering of a butterfly were captured on film just before it caused all the office blocks of Capitalism to collapse, destroying all within. And it's highly intelligent; the weirdnesses of Susan all point to her being a very clever tourist to this planet, rather than just an odd product of an eccentric older relative, and her 'the Decimal System hasn't started yet' is poetry, in hindsight at least.

The mystery deepens; a junkyard at 76 Totters Lane (ah, back to the sinister location of Scene 1) and then the strange, oddly hostile grandfather and the police box.

And in they go. Lummee.

It's all played so beautifully straight, that's the thing; nobody seems remotely aware that any of this could be funny - I mean, it's all in Black and White.

And then the thing at the end of Episode 1, the Police Box really does take off and disappear, pull back from London and Earth, and there's a camera pointing down its own monitor, and then we're somewhere else - definitely not Coal Hill - and a big shadow falls across the land.

It's a good job that the first episode is so magical, because the following three are really quite... challenging.

To be fair, it can't have been easy to write, and it feels rather as if Anthony Steven hadn't quite thought through how difficult a Stone Age vocabulary might be. How, for instance, do you translate 'Imagine'? 'The way I see things when I sleep'. Hmmm.

Caveman politics, it transpires, is just like any other kind, only less refined and rather nastier. Morally there's very little between Za and Kal, and while the latter kills the old woman, there's little to say that Za wouldn't have done much the same thing - and what about the Dr looking very like being on the point of finishing Za off with a stone? Ever likely Za locks them in the Cave of Skulls as soon as he gets the secret of fire out of them. I think that the four are darn lucky to get away with the skulls and fire trick, and that it's a good job they don't fall over any more dead animals on the way back to the TARDIS.

The choice of two schoolteachers is an interesting one, and points me towards the HG Wells story 'The Country of the Blind', which proved the fallacy of 'in the country of the blind, a one-eyed man is king'; in this 'country of the ignorant' the educated are not kings and queens but, ultimately, fleeing fugitives.

Does it look good? Yes, I suppose it has to be said that it does. Obviously it's in a studio, and civilisation is at so basic a stage that there's no need to worry about such niceties as Art Deco wallpaper or Louis XV chairs; a cave and a jungle is all it needs and they look properly convincing, and there's no sign of Raquel Welch in a fur bikini fighting dinosaurs. I don't fancy Hur much, I have to say.

If it had gone on like this, I doubt they'd have got to a second series, but we all know what happened the following week.


The allusion to Country of the Blind may be a touch abstruse, but that to The Time Machine in this is blatant. The Thals are the Eloi and the Daleks are the Morlocks (the two names even sound the same). The other half sets the ideas of the growing anti-nuclear movement (1963 was the year of the Aldermaston March) against the ghost of WWII, rather in the manner of the school playground argument that generally starts with the word 'Eerr'.

'Eerr, if fighting's wrong, what you going to do if the Nazis come?'

Once beyond this seminal piece of philosophy, it becomes a Terry Nation adventure yarn, and rather better for that; forbearance and tolerance may be excellent virtues, but they're really not nearly so good as courage and fortitude when it comes to telling a good story and Mr Nation was never backward in that; here he gleefully mixes flavours from H Ryder Haggard, Where Eagles Dare and Flash Gordon to create a highly enjoyable romp with a neutron bomb at the end. That'll answer all the beatniks and peaceniks then; the way to avoid nuclear war is to brave the Lake of the Mutations and leap over the very deep chasm.

This is the first time we see the Dr come up against an alien creature, and as such it's a special moment - how much does he reveal he knows of extra-terrestrials to the humans? The answer is 'very little'. And the Daleks are marvelous.

It's easy to see why they became such an instant hit. Terry Nation's Nazis in tanks, Ray Cusick's design, and Peter Hawkins and David Graham doing the voices - it all comes together as a thoroughly disconcerting whole - a thing nastier than the sum of its parts.

And it's not - quite - inhuman; it's got tone of voice and body language, admittedly the tone starts at pre-emptory and goes way beyond ranting hysteria, and the physical message may start at inscrutable and end at psychotic - it's never funny or kind. It's quite surprising just how interesting such malicious atonal evil can be.

After all this, it's perhaps little wonder that the Thals are a little bit dull.

The design is beautifully realised; the petrified jungle looks great, along with the creature made entirely out of metal, and the Dalek city seems like a direct extension of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, odd angles, very unsettling - the horror of being stuck in a hostile alien maze created by a German Expressionist on some very bad LSD.

It's also, note well, a much better, much more grown up telling of the tale than that told in the movie.
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on 16 September 2015
Released as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who, this set presents the first three Doctor Who stories that were ever broadcast, all miraculously complete.

Despite re-mastering, the image quality is not great at times, but that gives it more authenticity as it was how people would have seen these episodes on an old 405 lines, black and white TV. These three stories show your the original concept of the show, giving an idea of just how much it has changed over the years, although many things have not changed at all (people blundering into the TARDIS by accident and becoming companions, taking in the concept of travel in space and time with the same facility that most people down a beer or a cup of tea).

I was too young to remember any of these stories, but became hooked on Doctor Who soon after and, for me, this was a wonderful opportunity to see how the series began and how the character of the Doctor was developed. It also shows William Hartnell as he started the series, before serious illness impacted his ability to play the role: similar to Peter Capalldi in irascibility and impatience, but without being so bizarre and very much less alien.

Definitely it is an opportunity for Doctor Who fans to participate in a little history and think about how, from such modest beginnings, the series has survived now for more than 50 years.
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on 7 September 2014
Doctor Who is a great T.V. show (Ive been a whovian since February of this year).
This box set contains the first four stories of Doctor Who.

An Unearthly Child: Schoolteachers Ian & Barbra are very curious about their mysterious student Barbra, but their curiosity leads them on the wildest adventure ever! (four episodes)
The Daleks: The Doctor & co land on a lifeless planet, or so they think! (seven episodes)
The Edge of Destruction: The TARDIS is malfunctioning & it leads to fear, paranoia & nobody can be trusted. (two episodes)
Marco Polo: The gang meet Marco Polo. (seven episodes). This story is currently missing from the BBC archives. But it has been reconstructed into a 30 minute film with telesnaps & audio recorded by hardcore fans. Its on the special features of the Edge of Destruction DVD.

My overall review of every story:
An Unearthly Child was brilliant in the first episode but the other episodes were pretty bad.
The Daleks was an interesting story, episode 4 was my favourite.
Surprisingly, I actually really didn't like The Edge of Destruction. I know some people will disagree but HEY, everyone has their own opinions!
Marco Polo: A very good story, no criticisms.

If your a fan of Doctor Who (New or Classic) you should give this a try.
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on 16 March 2014
I can just remember, being 8 at the time, of sitting round a 12 inch black and white TV,on 23rd November 1963 and being amazed at the first transmission of Dr. Who. The opening episode of An Unearthly Child has really stood the test of time, and still stands out today. It wasn't really until the Daleks appeared some weeks later, that the programme really took off. I had previously owned An Unearthly Child and The Daleks on VHS, but watching the restored version is a big improvement on VHS. The effects can be a bit basic, but when considering the " historical value" of these stories, it is worth owning the DVD's just for that.
I didn't remember The Edge of Destruction, but this story, despite being only 2 episodes long, gives the viewers a good insight into the 4 characters who were to be the mainstay of the program for the next few months.
The included bonus material includes the original pilot episode which was never aired until the mid 1990's, so this makes interesting viewing to those who had not seen it before.
Generally a good box set, and i'm sure, one which will be watched time and time again.
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on 9 March 2014
Received my DVD Saturday 8th March 2014 (2 days earlier than Amazon stated). Surprised and pleased. Have just finished watching all three DVD's. Impressed with the quality of the pictures, considering it was shown in 1963 (2 years after my birth). Had the original on VHS long ago. Subtitles were very welcome and helpful.

After each episode ended, the digital counter on the DVD went back to nought when each episode ended and began. I shall now try and get all the Hartnell DVD's (I already have all that is available on DVD with Troughton, one of "The Tenth Planet" all of Pertwee and Tom Baker, 2 of Peter Davison (Frontios and The Caves of A,) and one of Sylvester McCoy (Silver Nemesis).

I am eventually hoping to obtain all the DVD's of Dr Who from 1963 to the end of 1989. I do not rate the format of any Dr Who after that, but maybe that is due to age! For anyone who is seriously thinking of building a Dr Who Collection with the old episodes, this DVD is the perfect one to start off with!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 May 2013
I watched these adventures as a boy when they were first transmitted. I thought that, when I returned to them almost fifty years later, they would seem creaky and poor. They don't. They come across as captivating stories still, and the techniques used to make up for the lack of special effects are still as effective as they were.

Without special effects, there was much more emphasis on the actors. When the characters are fleeing for their lives, the camera focuses in really close and it is the looks of terror on the actors' faces that conveys the danger they are in. Carol Ann Ford (Susan) was especially good at this. The added benefit is that, in the best traditions of hide-behind-the-sofa scariness, the danger is unseen. Is the bad guy catching the fleeing hero? What is it that has terrified them?

William Hartnell's Doctor Who was one of my favourites. He played the Doctor as slightly sinister - sometimes more than slightly. In the first episode he effectively kidnaps half his companions in order to protect his secret of being a Time Lord.

The first full story, about cavemen who have forgotten how to make fire, is interesting but not heavyweight, and had this been the standard of all the stories, the show would not have lasted as long as it has. But the second full story introduces the Daleks, who were destined to be the definitive TV baddies. With their electronic voices, ruthlessness and mechanical bodies they were the epitome of non-human nastiness - and they struck an immediate chord with the TV viewers of the day, to such an extent that the return of the Daleks was later to become a major TV event. In truth, the story is probably an episode too long: the action is therefore slow by modern day standards, but the hide-behind-the-sofa tension is starting to build.

With the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who approaching, this set is well worth a view. It will enable you to see how it all started but also to see if there are any links that the current writers might pick up and play back.

Putting this show into context: it was first transmitted on the day the President Kennedy was shot. The Beatles had just started to dominate the music scene. Television was black and white and home computers, mobile phones and the internet did not exist. Doctor Who was received as innovative, strange with its electronic music and, well, different from pretty well anything that had gone before. This box set shows why.

I thoroughly recommend this set as good entertainment even now, and also for its historical importance. Five stars.

Update August 2013: I watched this with my grandson this weekend, who has grown up with the David Tennant and Matt Smith Doctors. I was worried that he might find it disappointing. To the contrary: he loved the first episode and is now going to watch them all.
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on 21 June 2013
I am not a fan of the modern Dr Who series we see on our TV today but much prefer the older series which do not rely on modern day CGI to make a good story/episode. I watched a few of the Tom Baker episodes the other day, the Dr I saw in my childhood, and realised I had never see any of the first series, including the vary first episode, and so I tool the plunge and brought this box set of the three vary first series.

I am halfway through the first story right now (The Unearthly Child) which has William Hartnell as the Time Lord. I have to say that the opening scenes and first episode as a whole was far more eerie and atmospheric than any of the awful offerings we have today despite all the computer produced graphics of today, despite the fact that these early stories are in black & white - in fact I think that adds to the atmosphere. This was when good acting made the show not the effects.

I am really enjoying this and I believe any Dr Who fan would. I will update this review as I continue to watch them. I am looking forward to story two - the vary first Dalek story.
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on 2 November 2011
Doctor Who, words now as widely known to the world as Great Britain or Queen Elizabeth, but back in the early 1960's the show was just a TV schedule gap-filler, an educational series for the family to enjoy whilst taking supper. Now in 2011, the show is one of the most successful series in the world, a massive cash maker for the Beeb. It is no suprise that the BBC has regularly released Doctor Who on to VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, Books and just about anything else out there for over 30 years. This BBC DVD boxed set, released in 2006, is a very special edition to the range. It contains the first 3 serials that the show produced, 13 classic B&W episodes digitally remastered on to DVD.

The quality and care that go in to every DVD release of Doctor Who nowadays is unbelievable, I would be surprised if the BBC were making a NET profit on any of these releases as they are just terrific and look and feel so premium, the episodes themselves look like high definition quality. Included on nearly all of the so far 130 DVD releases are a commentary from the original cast and crew, specially filmed documentaries and tit-bits, production information and a photo gallery - all this is standard, this release goes a bit further. Origins Of Doctor Who: a 55 minute documentary on the creation of the series. Marco Polo: a 30-minute condensed tele-snap reconstruction of the classic missing seven-part serial. Many documentaries about The Edge of Destruction are included, also a doc about the creation of the Daleks is included on the second disc.

I must admit that this release is one of the greatest DVD's the Beeb has released lately and one of my favourites, true enough, the shows are nearly 50 years old and are in B&W, but without these early successes, the series would never have climbed to the height of fame it currently possesses.

This release comes Highly Recommended.

Many thanks for your time,

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