Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Nice upgrade, but not that "Special".
on 9 December 2012
I bought this because a marketplace seller was offering a significant discount on the usual price of the set and I have been impressed by the extra work done on previous "Special Editions" of the serials.
With this set the Restoration Team have made dramatic improvements in the picture quality of The Robots of Death - which has been given a proper conversion from PAL to digital for a start - and Tomb of the Cybermen, which has been given a good VidFire treatment on the studio sections and also seems to have been given additional, even finer restoration work than the heroic first DVD release.
The only improvement I can see in The Three Doctors is apparently a slightly better PAL-to-digital conversion, evidenced by the cleaner lines around the ridiculous eletronic CSO blobs. Not a dramatic improvement.
The Robots of Death is a good classic story which has been released several times over the last few decades on VHS and DVD. It has never looked finer or sharper or more vivid than it does on this release but I've seen it so many times that I was hoping for something more dramatic for a Special Edition release than merely a technical polish and a couple of featurettes. Doesn't seem like an essential release, only worth getting if you can get the box set cheap or if you are really annoyed by the authoring on the original DVD release.
The Tomb of the Cybermen now looks absolutely faultless, especially considering how badly mangled the original pictures were in some places. The repairs that were done to the original DVD release have been improved to the point where the original print damage and electronic technical faults are undetectable.
I personally find the story rather dull and some of the acting painful to sit through. To be honest I rather preferred the sharp, filmic quality of the unprocessed print on the previous release but I can't help being impressed by the fact that this release is probably slightly better than it appeared on its original transmission.
The inclusion of The Three Doctors is another damp squib for me. A tedious story saved by the novelty factor of being an anniversary special, and I would have to watch it side by side with the previous release to appreciate any technical improvement. There is an extra disc but I don't think the features add anything especially new or interesting, it's just filler. Scraping the barrel on this one I think. As a Special Edition of a landmark story it was a wasted opportunity. If any classic Who serial could have benefitted from CGI effects it's this one.