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on 5 January 2012
Doctor Who - Revisitations box set volume 3 - the final collection of restored classics and by far the greatest line-up that could have been put together. This I must own, to hell with owning the originals, they are nearly as old as me so to have this brand new ultimate edition collection of restored classics is a must. Each of the three serials you get in this collection is a masterpiece, Doctor Who at its greatest, The Tomb of the Cybermen for me is the greatest 1960's Doctor Who serial ever made, I have reviewed this serial before {2002 edition} and I really must stress the greatness of this Pat Troughton Cyber Classic. The Three Doctor's, the second title of this collection is another Jon Pertwee great, come to think of it, I have not seen a Jon Pertwee serial I have not liked. This 10th anniversary special is indeed special, reuniting William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and new Doctor Jon Pertwee was a masterstoke from Barry Letts, the then producer. Finally, Tom Baker's The Robots of Death is yet another classic from the greatest 3 years of the show, classic-mania. The Philip Hinchcliffe era of the programme saw the most controversal and entertaining stories ever made and record viewing figures backed this up.

The Tomb of the Cybermen ~ The once feared Cybermen have disappeared from the universe without a trace. An expedition from Earth arrives on Telos - homeworld of the Cybermen - to try and discover exactly what has become of the silver giants. Soon after the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria join the archaeological party, the first mysterious death occurs. With the group now stranded on Telos because of the traitors in their midst, it becomes clear that the Cybermen may not be as dead as first thought. Beneath the planets surface, giant ice-tombs hold the last remains of the Cybermen in a frozen sleep. So who is working against the team to reawaken an old threat.

Brand New & Original Special Features On The New Revisitation Release;

* Morris Barry Introduction - The director's introduction from the 1993 VHS release.
* Title Sequence - Tests and build-up elements for the Patrick Troughton title sequence.
* Late Night Line-Up - behind the scenes at the BBC Visual Effects department to interview Jack Kine.
* The Final End - The Evil of the Daleks is mostly missing from the BBC archives. A taste of the climactic battle...
* Abominable Snowmen Audio Trailer
* Coming Soon Trailer
* Production Subtitles
* The Lost Giants - Cast and crew look back on the making of the story.
* The Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb - Sir Christopher Frayling & Dr Debbie Challis examine the Egyptian origins to the story.
* Cybermen - Extended Edition - A history of the Cybermen.
* The Magic of VidFIRE - A look at the technology behind the VidFIRE process.
* Sky Ray Advert - 1960's Doctor Who themed promo for Walls Sky Ray ice lolly.
* Photo Gallery
* Radio Times Listings

The Three Doctors ~ UNIT HQ comes under attack by an alien force, and the Doctor has no other option but to call on his own people, the Time Lords for help. Breaking their own rules and laws, the high council decide to send the 2 former incarnations of the Doctor to aid his future self. However, In a universe of anti-matter, an all-powerful figure from Time Lord history is waiting, and even all 3 incarnations of TV's favourite hero might not to able to thwart him.

Brand New & Original Special Features On The New Revisitation Release;

* Commentary
* Happy Birthday To Who - A brand-new look at the making of this anniversary story.
* Was Doctor Who Rubbish? - Raising a defence against criticism of the classic series.
* Girls, Girls, Girls - The 1970s Katy Manning, Caroline John & Louise Jameson on being a 1970s Doctor Who girl.
* Pebble Mill At One - Interview with the second Doctor Patrick Troughton and visual effects wizard Bernard Wilkie.
* Blue Peter Jon Pertwee introduces the Whomobile.
* BSB Highlights Cast and crew discuss The Three Doctors
* The Five Faces Of Doctor Who - The full trailer for the 1981 repeat season which included The Three Doctors.
* BBC1 Trailer
* 40th Anniversary Trailer
* Radio Times listings
* Production Subtitles
* Photo Gallery
* Coming Soon Trailer
* Digitally remastered picture and sound

The Robots of Death ~ On a distant, barren planet, storm mine 4 trawls across bleak life-less deserts and through fierce duststorms in search of rare and valuable materials. The crew are assisted by thier legion of robot servants who deal with all manor of tasks. They are so confident that thier robotic servants are completely fault-less that when a dead body is discovered, the blame soon finds its way to the newly arrived Doctor and Leela. As the death count rises, mistrust runs supreme until a final showdown between the last few survivors {the Doctor and Leela included of course} and the maniac behind the killings and the robots unviels.

Brand New & Original Special Features On The New Revisitation Release;

* Commentary 1 - Original release commentary.
* Commentary 2 - New commentary with Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and Pamela Salem and director Michael E Briant.
* The Sandmine Murders - Cast and crew look back at the making of the story.
* Robophobia - Toby Hadoke takes a humorous look at the history of robots.
* Studio Sound - Example of a studio scene before the robot voice effects were added.
* Model Shots Black and white time-coded recording of the original model insert film.
* Studio Floor Plan - Interactive view of the studio layout via the original floor plan drawings.
* Continuity - Off-air continuity for the first episode's original transmission plus mute continuity slide.
* Radio Times listings
* Programme subtitles
* Production information subtitles
* Photo gallery
* Coming soon trailer
* Digitally remastered picture and sound quality

Its hotting up to be a great year for Doctor Who on DVD, I will be grabbing this when it comes out and am really looking foward to watching these timeless classics again in super picture + sound resoration. I don't care what anyone says, these BBC revisit box sets are true value and are a welcome addition to the vast range of over 150 Doctor Who DVD's we currently have to enjoy.

Many thanks for your time in reading this sum-up, its very appreciated.

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on 28 February 2012
Well here's another mixed bag of nuts for you to consume, and hopefully you won't have a negative reaction to. I'm not going to summarize these stories since any fan already knows them, and if you're not a fan, this is NOT the first Doctor Who set you should buy because you'll be completely lost.

To be fair, when it comes to picture and sound restoration, these have been significantly improved, and for many people, this alone makes these worth the purchase. But when it comes down to the specials, I'm a tough nut to crack. While yes, there has been some new bonus features added, some of the bonus features from the previous releases were omitted. So if you're getting this new set, and want to have all the bonus material that has been released, DON'T SELL YOUR OLDER RELEASES. Many of the recent DVD releases have been far short of impressive for bonus features, so not including everything from prior releases with new material is just sad. Also, if anyone is a geek about the text commentary like I am, these are usually up-dated in the Revisitation sets, but the originals are also omitted. Personally, I want it all. Just because the information on these previously released text commentaries are old, it doesn't make them any less interesting. After all, both new and old audio commentaries are available on the new releases when applicable, so why leave out an older text commentary? Can we say "marketing ploy?"

Something else that bothers me is that while it's fantastic to see these restored with better picture and sound, why doesn't 2|entertain first focus on releasing all the other previously unreleased stories, before re-releasing these stories? I would think that you should crawl, then walk, then fly. But these releases are more like crawling, then walking, then going back to crawling, but at a faster pace.

And finally, can we PLEASE get rid of Toby Hadoke? There has to be someone, ANYONE, who was directly part of these stories that can be utilized for commentaries and special features. I would give my walnuts to never hear or see him on future releases.

My bottom line is, that while the stories get five stars, the few additional extras, and lack of including some previous extras, make brings it down to 2 to 3 three stars, so that's why I'm giving this overall package a 4 star rating. Perhaps the Re-re-release will have all this current, and previously released material, with some more new bonus material.

Please let me know if this review is helpful to you, and please tell me your opinions on my review so that I can hopefully improve upon my reviews for future reviews. Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider my opinion.
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on 12 December 2012
Briefly on the stories themselves as I reviewed them for the original release of each in some detail;
Tomb of the Cybermen is arguably the best Cyberman story yet done taking into account what was achievable at the time it was done. They story is a wonderful mix of the discovery of ancient tombs with SF and restricts the metal men's screentime (as the best Cyber tales do) . It has a slighty darker reading of the 2nd Doctor , meddling in things and causing much that happens albeit indirectly. A good cast and the time is used well. With a little respect for its age, mistakes such as a visible kirby wire and obvious dummy in a cybersuit will not detract from the enjoyment.
The Three Doctor was the 1st multi-Doctor story and its plot is simple-renegade timelord Omega wants revenge for being abandoned. The timelords send the 3rd Dr his previous selves for help. Hartnell's poor health at the time meant he could only be in pre-filmed inserts on a screen but for all that it's good to have him involved & the 2nd & 3rd Docs work together nicely. A fun christmas special type of story (although it was actually not screened at xmas).
The Robots of Death is Agatha Christie in Space as robot servants start bumping off their masters. As Steven Moffat once observed titles like Robots of Death compromise the whodunnit status of a story but it's who's behind the robots that is the mystery. A great story.
Now then onto the additional extras. I'm not sure if Robots and Three had additional remastering but Tomb is now in glorious vidfire and looks all the better for it. A feature replacing the original restoration feature fills us in on the process. Frazer Hines and Deborah watling's enjoyable but slightly dry commentary is joined by a new 1 with The Moderator Toby Hadoke who has recalled them with many others including villainess Shirley Cooklin, good guys Clive Merrison & Bernard Holley and Cyber men Reg Whitehead. Reg is great informing us he was the 1st Cyberman in Tenth Planet and pleaded to be allowed to play a Yeti later. A much better commentary although the Moderator makes a slip up. He berates the contemporary Radio Times for showing Cybermen on the Cover spoiling their appearance in the show. Look at the story title Toby!
The original making of-a panel at the 1st public screening after it was rediscovered (of special interest as some participants are no longer with us) is joined by a newly shot making of with Cooklin, Victor Pemberton and many more and it's very well made.
Other new features include Matthew Sweet looking at the history of the Cybermen including New Who stories.Good but probably more interesting for fans with lower levels of anorak knowledge.
A welcome feature see such distinguished names as Christopher frayling considering how much of the story came from the diccovery of Tutankhamen, death to many entering the tomb, cybermats as scarabs, A nicely made feature.
Original features;, the reconstructed climax of Evil of the Daleks, title sequence test fotage and effects feature on Late Night Line Up are retained along with easter egg audio trailer for Abominable Snowmen which now plays over the episode selection.

Three Doctors keeps its Katy commentary which is great, Miss Manning on form. It also still has defunct broadcaster BSB's Dr Who Weekend footage and 30th Anniversary Convention footage with Jon Pertwee, Nicolas Courtney and others plus some contemporary Blue Peter footage.
Happy Birthday to Who looks at the making of the 10th anniversary story utilising new footage of Terrance Dicks, writer Bob Baker etc and cleverly culled archive footage of Barry Letts. The story's development, Hartnell's health problems and clashes between Pertwee & Troughton make for an enjoyable behind the scenes story.
Girls, Girls Girls is a welcome chat with some 70's Who girls. Sadly made too late to be able to involve the late Elisabeth Sladen but fortunately early enough for The late Caroline John to engage in an entertaining chat with Katy Manning & Louise Jamieson.
Was Dr Who Rubbish? is a feature that meanders and doesn't work well.

If you only own the original Robots, this will be a very tempting purchase as Robots benefits the most from the revamp. We still have untreated voice sequence of one of the robots, which still doesn't sound that different.
The interesting but dry original commentary from producer Philip Hinchcliffe and writer Chris Boucher is joined by a Tommentary. Good old Uncle Tom gets to play with Louise J director Michael Briant and Pamela Salem. He's on top form and regales us with how intakes of breath when he worked in a play with a young Pamela salem due to her beauty, sucked all the oxygen offstage, why changing a line to namecheck Jon Pertwee in a stage tour of Arsenic & Old Lace lead to a telling off and how he met Bill Hartnell's daughter in the supermarket!
The Sandmine Murders is a very well put together making of with Briant, Hinchcliffe and much of the cast. Salem tells of an old woman living near her who wears what looks like Toos' head dress!
As regular readers of my reviews will know, I'm not convinced that there is untapped comedic gold in most of the "funny" features produced but "Robophobia" works. Toby Hadoke's tone hits the spot, informing us why Daleks don't count etc. and it's a little gem of a feature. Not sure but the Chumbley clip may just be from the recently recovered episode of Galaxy 4. Please confirm or correct in comments, if you know.

Some great new features on stories with wide appeal.

For anyone who's interested other upcoming special editions are set to include; Ark in Space, The Aztecs (you have to buy it to get the Galaxy 4 ep) and Inferno. rumours abound that the Two Doctors may also get the treatment.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 February 2014
An ancient adventure that rose from its Tomb, a birthday party and an art-deco whodunit - this collection has three great stories, all with metal-faced adversaries but so different when you lift their masks.

If you don't have the earlier individual releases this set is an essential buy. If you do have them already - the quality of the newly reprocessed `Tomb of the Cybermen' is amazing and there are some great new extras. This is a longish review so thanks if you get to the end. Overall rating 5*

The Tomb of the Cybermen - 5*

I was too young to see any of the Patrick Troughton era stories, but reading the novelisations in the 70s showed me two absolute classics, both thought lost - `The Tomb of the Cybermen' and `The Web of Fear'. I still remember the news story when `Tomb' turned up in Hong Kong in 1992 and buying the VHS release. And it was a great story but like all the others from that time, rather fuzzy and low contrast from the film process. If only we could see it `like new' ...

This `regenerated' release, seen on a modern TV, must be better than watching the original broadcast! With crisp, sharp, stable, high contrast pictures, from the moment Patrick Troughton swirls into view you know this is something very special. Then you can just sit back and enjoy one of the great `Doctor Who' stories. It draws clear parallels with the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb and the `Mummy' films for characters, iconography and atmosphere, working this together expertly with real science, logic and the Cybermen to produce a classic `Doctor Who' that still works superbly after almost 50 years.

The direction and location filming of the opening scenes are excellent; no gravel pit has ever looked better. Valley of the Kings, Telos, here we are. The story is riveting from the opening of the outer doors to the emergence of the Cybermen two episodes later. The music soundtrack plays a key part in this; building a part futuristic, part ancient atmosphere as the huge doors are opened, then later as the Cybermen slowly emerge from the massive tombs set, in one of the iconic moments of `Doctor Who'. The sets mostly look very impressive for their sheer size and solidity, there are a few wooden-looking levers but the tense story carries you along. The Cybermen of this era look good and suitably massive; the grating, robotic voices of this period do have an unsettlingly inhuman quality. Who would have thought there could be so much menace in the flat statement "You shall be like us."? (Compare this for effectiveness with "upgraded".) I'm still not convinced by the Cybermats - my first thought was `can I get one of those as a wireless mouse?'

Patrick Troughton wears a cloak in the style of William Hartnell's era for much of this story and also seems to cloak himself in some of his former incarnation's strategic ways, manipulating the archaeological team to aid their entry to the tombs while warning against it! As soon as the word `Cybermen' is mentioned he knows he has to discover the motives of the expedition and find exactly what lies buried - or waiting. There are no wasted moments in this script but there are some quieter times and in one of them the Doctor has a sympathetic scene with Victoria (Deborah Watling), aware of her vulnerability after the trauma of the previous Dalek story. `Doctor Who' always `did' emotion, just not to over-sentimental excess.

The strong production benefits from the usual high quality cast of guest actors bringing their stage and screen experience to the programme. The boring myth that classic `Doctor Who' had poor acting is just that, a myth and boring. The style of the time was more stage than filmic because of the way studio work was done, but that's no criticism and it lends seriousness to the results. The three characters of Klieg, Kaftan and Toberman are a good but rather obvious trio of villains - the `eastern' priest and priestess/princess raising the dead (with grisly results for visiting archaeologists) are familiar from Egyptian-themed horror films. When you learn that George Pastell (a notable performance here as Eric Klieg) had played the mummy-raising priest in more than one film, the parallel seems deliberate. Here, Klieg and Kaftan are power-crazed members of an organisation intent on creating the "perfect master race" - guess who that was satirising. But don't judge characters too quickly - Toberman (Roy Stewart in an almost silent but memorable role) ultimately exerts his free will, overcoming even Cyber-conversion to take matters into his own hands. Many of the male characters (not the Doctor, of course) are amazingly sexist in a would-be `protective' way, but set against this the strong female character of Kaftan (Shirley Cooklin) is an excellent villain, ruthless and proud of it. And give a cheer for Victoria's sarcastic put-down line when the tough talking, patronisingly sexist space captain finally loses his nerve.

`The Tomb of the Cybermen' is a five star classic; if parts of it seem dated that's because it's almost half a century old, no time to the Doctor but a long time on Earth.

There's a very good set of DVD Extras. The new commentary is chatty, interesting and full of anecdotes. The main extras are on disk 2:
`The Lost Giants' feature lets cast and crew share some of their anecdotes to camera against CGI tomb backgrounds, very well done.
`The Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb' explores the many links between the story and ancient Egyptian archaeological fact and fiction, this was fascinating.
The feature on the VidFIRE restoration process gives an insight into the remarkable reprocessing that made the recovered film recording look like brand new studio video footage and shows side-by-side comparison sequences demonstrating the amazing results.
An Easter Egg on both DVDs.


The Three Doctors - 5*

How do you celebrate your tenth birthday on air if you're over 700 years old? Get some friends round, probably have a couple of annoying relatives drop in, go out for the day, take in a pantomime, set off a few fireworks then all home in time for tea. `The Three Doctors' is `Doctor Who' in full party mode and it works brilliantly. There is a serious back story of the Time Lords in trouble with only the Doctor(s) to save them, but this often seems like a framework on which to hang as many party decorations as possible. Jelly monsters, glittering sets and costumes, the Doctors getting on each others nerves but still working together and the Brigadier light years out of his depth but soldiering on gallantly with some great one-liners - Nicholas Courtney plays it perfectly, with a straight face and militarily precise comic timing.

In the midst of all this frivolity, Stephen Thorne still manages to create the tragic role of Omega, driven mad by his long isolation and desperate to escape. It's one of the best voice performances in `Doctor Who'; Omega's mask is unchanging but his shifting moods of pride, anger and utter despair are clear to see. Still, this show is a birthday party and the intention seems obvious with references to Omega's fortress as "Aladdin's cave" and the point of singularity as the "magic lamp" so I suppose that makes Omega the conjurer - but not really an evil one, the Doctor feels sorry for him at the end. In keeping with the birthday atmosphere, this is a rare (unique?) `Doctor Who' where everyone survives - even Omega, but that's another story ...

The idea of three Doctors in one show works superbly, Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton playing off each other expertly and William Hartnell appearing like a wise genie to steer them in the right direction. When the party's over (as William Hartnell's Doctor says) everyone goes home after a thoroughly good time and the Doctor gets a surprise from the Time Lords - just what he's always wanted!

Five shiny silver stars to `The Three Doctors', enjoy it with a smile on your face then watch it again with the sparkling commentary and laugh with Katy Manning and Nicholas Courtney as they open a party bag of anecdotes and happy memories; when Katy Manning provides voiceovers for the orange jelly monsters the joy is complete.

Picture quality is excellent, sharp and colourful, a different world from the VHS release I remember. I don't know how much better this is than the first DVD release but it looks very good indeed for a 40 year old programme.

DVD extras include the entertaining commentary and a mixed selection of other items. On disk 1 the best is the lengthy `Blue Peter' segment (the one with the `Tenth Planet' episode 4 remnant.) The main extras are on disk 2: a very interesting `making of' feature and a superb extra in which Caroline John, Katy Manning and Louise Jameson discuss their time in the show, acting in general, feminism, the fans, costumes and the Doctors.


The Robots of Death - 5*

Monsieur le Docteur exercises the little grey cells and solves the crime most brutal. But what if `the butler did it' and your whole society depends on robot `butlers'?

A murder mystery set in a giant mineral mining machine on a distant planet, `The Robots of Death' was immediately popular and still is almost 40 years later. The story draws on the style of Agatha Christie, technology of `Dune' and the robotic future-lore of Isaac Asimov to create one of the true classics of `Doctor Who'. Strongly scripted, with a varied and interesting cast of characters, we have all the necessary motives for the `country house' drama to unfold - greed, ambition, class friction, thwarted love, concealed madness and a crew that is getting on each others nerves after several years `at sea' on their ship of the desert.

In this `Upstairs, Downstairs' world, the small human crew lives in opulent, even decadent luxury while the work is carried out by a horde of service robots - non-speaking `Dums' down below, more capable `Vocs' on the bridge and in the crew quarters and one `SuperVoc' to manage them all. This is a perfect translation of the below-stairs and above-stairs staff of a Victorian country house, with the butler in charge. But one of the `rules' of classic murder mysteries is that the criminal must always be one of the family or guests, never one of the workers. When the bodies start to mount up, the crew are so busy pointing accusing fingers at each other that nobody suspects the robots ... which all have the perfect alibi - according to the `First Law of Robotics', a robot can never harm a human, it is their Prime Directive. Enter the Doctor and Leela to investigate the crime - after briefly being suspected themselves (as usual!).

The script has the required red herrings and plot twists and introduces many clever ideas around the nature of robots and why, even when they are designed to be attractive and helpful, some people cannot quite shake off the feeling that they are "the walking dead". A diverse and very talented cast brings the script to life in style.

Beyond the interesting concept and enjoyable plot, this story is remembered for its outstanding design of both costumes and sets. The decision to create a luxurious, art-deco inspired environment for the crew was a triumph, as are the crew's lavish costumes that look totally impractical until we remember that this crew doesn't actually do the work on board ship. The robots are defined by their superb masks, designed to look pleasing to the eye (the crew are living surrounded by them for years) but still ... slightly creepy. The cleverly created `art-deco future' style has not aged in 40 years and perfectly echoes the 1930s era that was the high point of the classic English murder mystery. The interior of the Sandminer is a design descendant of one of the great ocean liners of that time with their lavish art-deco architecture and furnishings.

Before production (according to the DVD commentary and features) some people had reservations about the script and others were initially surprised at the style of the robots and costumes. But the combination made an enduring classic which remains very near the top of the fans' favourites decades later, the ultimate proof of success, thanks to an outstanding team in the golden age of classic `Doctor Who'.

Vocs populi (!) - Five stars.

Excellent picture quality shows off the remarkable visuals to best effect; the main DVD extras are `The Sandmine Murders' looking back at the production with a very good set of contributors and `Robophobia', one of the `humorous' items, which is both funny and informative.
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on 23 January 2012
Like the two previous sets, I still find one selection a bit of a strange one (Three Doctors). Anyway firstly all these stories are some of the best examples of Classic who and are all worthy of five stars. My only problem is I would rather have these sets as stand alone, leaving the fan to buy which one they want to up grade,and like most I like my Who DVD's in order so I do separate them out of the box. The price tag is high for DVD's especially when we all have them. However this is not going to stop me buying this set having sold the originals last year with anticipation of this set and made back twelve pounds so now this set can be a bargain!.
First off is Tomb of the Cybermen, now this is the only remaining complete story from season four a disgrace I know. Tomb was the first Troughton story, and was issued before the vid-fire process(returning the picture to its original video look)had been invented, so the picture quality is much improved, even though a lot of work had gone into the original issue, the extra on this one are Morris Barry introduction The director's introduction from the 1993 VHS release. Title Sequence Tests and build-up elements for the Patrick Troughton title sequence.Late Night Line-Up behind the scenes at the BBC Visual Effects department to interview Jack Kine. The Final End The Evil of the Daleks is mostly missing from the BBC archives. A small taste of the climactic battle. Abominable Snowmen Audio Trailer,Coming Soon Trailer.(these were all on the original issue now the new extras are, The Lost Giants Cast and crew look back on the making of the story.The Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb Sir Christopher Frayling and Dr Debbie Challis examine the ancient Egyptian origins to the story. Cybermen Extended Edition A history of the Cybermen. The Magic of VidFIRE A look at the technology behind the VidFIRE process.Sky Ray Advert 1960's Doctor Who themed promo for Walls Sky Ray ice lolly.
Next the anniversary Three Doctors, not the best story, but it is just a delight to see all three Doctor's together. Considering there are only six complete Troughton story' in the archives its just wonderful too see anything with him in. I was surprised at this one only because it had quite a few extras, but the new ones have much improved this issue and are pretty good they include Happy Birthday To Who,the making of this anniversary story. Was Doctor Who Rubbish?, Raising a defence against criticism of the classic series.Girls, Girls, Girls The 1970s Katy Manning, Caroline John (Liz Shaw) and Louise Jameson (Leela) on being a 1970s Doctor Who girl. Pebble Mill At One - Archival interview with the second Doctor Patrick Troughton and visual effects wizard Bernard Wilkie. Blue Peter Jon Pertwee introduces the Whomobile. BSB Highlights Cast and crew discuss The Three Doctors The Five Faces Of Doctor Who The full trailer for the 1981 repeat season which included The Three Doctors. BBC1 Trailer 40th Anniversary Trailer.
Finally we get one of my favourite stories and the first Tom Baker story issued on DVD, The Robot of the Death, this is one of those story's that you would recommend to anyone who had never seen the classic series, it just works so well and even after just two story's Leela has settled in so well. This story was on at the height of the programmes popularity and with Philip Hintchliffe and Robert Holmes in control. Although only a single disc set the specials are a lot better than the original issue due to the advances in restoration, the extras are great considering there were almost none on the original, New commentary with actors Tom Baker (the Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela) and Pamela Salem (Toos), and director Michael E Briant.The Sandmine Murders Cast and crew look back at the making of the story. Robophobia Toby Hadoke takes a humorous look at the history of robots.Studio Sound Example of a studio scene before the robot voice effects were added. Model Shots Black and white timecoded recording of the original model insert film.Studio Floor Plan Interactive view of the studio layout via the original floor plan drawings.Continuity Off-air continuity for the first episode's original transmission plus mute continuity slides.
If you can afford it and even better don't have these stories this is a must for anyone getting in to he classic show, if you do have them you are going to get three fantastic stories and a load of great extras.This is an excellent set and in hindsight most of these discs here are over 20 years old, and if you think how many times pop groups have there back catalogue re-issued and mastered this is not too bad and it is a good package,and if money is no object buy it for the extras as they are brilliant on there own. Coincidently after a campaign by fans, Vengence of Varos as I said in my review of the second set is being issued as a stand alone special edition strange it can be done with some stories but not all. Inferno is being re issued as is the Green Death, The Visitation,Ark in Space and Aztecs (including Galaxy 4 re-discovered episode) all as double sets with better improved picture quality like the claws of axons so who knows what the future holds but it appears 2013 will see a lot of re-issues.
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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.
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on 16 March 2012
As a life-long fan of the show (thats almost forty-two years of viewing pleasure) I am happily willing to put my hands up and say if it exists in the BBC archives, it's on my dvd shelf. However, I never ever miss an official BBC release and this one I was exceptionally eager to get my grubby little protuberances on.
This third revisitations boxset is arguably the very best, because let's face it the original releases of the three stories it contains were seriously woeful.
Lets take them in order.................

The Tomb of the Cybermen looks absolutely stunning now that it has been cleaned up even more than before. The picture is crisp, the sound sharp, and all the atmosphere that I imagine was there on its original broadcast is there for all to see in glorious monochrome. Tomb stands the test of time, Troughton easily stealing his show, but its the extras that shine for me. Not only are all the original extras here, including the embarrassing Morris Barry intros to the video version release, but a host of new bits and bobs that do not fail to grip and enthrall.

Thr Three Doctors is the same - great story, beautiful restoration, but get to the special features and wallow in the nostalgia. Especially poignant for me are the explanations of Billy Hartnell's short appearances. We all know how ill the man was, but now we have the full story and we can realise that we are immensely fortunate to have him in the story at all. I remember watching this one on transmission, and thinking "who are these other Doctors????", and its fantastic to be able to not only re-watch a classic tale from my youth, but also enjoy the background to the story as well.

Ah - The Robots of Death.
A four-part epic that truly deserves its status as one of the all-time greats. MY Doctor at his best.
The Louise Jameson interview - from 2003's Story of Doctor Who - is my favourite. She is a truly amazing actress ( come on people - go get a copy of Tenko ) and her thoughts and anecdotes are worth watching over and over again.
This single disc release is arguably the best of the lot, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I watched the entire disc twice on the day the boxset dropped on my mat.

If you are sitting there reading this, and you've got down to here, then take my advice - get your debit/credit card out, add this to your basket, then when it arrives just sit back with a bottle of your favourite tipple and immerse yourself in three of the best stories ever written, not only of Doctor Who but of drama as a whole. Watch the extras first, then enjoy twelve of the finest episodes of the greatest TV show in the world. You will NOT regret it.

Trust me, I'm a Doctor
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on 3 February 2016
I have issues with the BBC's decision, on the special edition releases of classic era stories, to apply the treatment on too many occasions to stories fans either don't much care about, or which were fine the way they were on initial release, or should have been in the first place. On this collection, The Robots of Death for starters was initially released, unnecessarily, with next to zero extras. The Revisitations sets were the DVD releases which started it all, and have their merits and demerits. One thing they weren't, for the first two instalments, were especially well considered as to what made the box set grade. Revisitations 1 was stymied by featuring two of most beloved Who tales of any era (The Talons of Weng Chiang and The Caves of Androzani) with the generally ill-regarded TV Movie, which is not as bad in fact as long term fans make it out to be, but which was an overly Americanised and plot shy effort which is generally considered as being only half-canonical. It already came loaded with extras, and there was nothing up with its tranfer, unlike Talons, which came with bad picture in the fist place, and Caves, which came with bad sound. Revisitations 2 was patchier. The sublime Carnival of Monsters was backed up by the lumbering, padded and paceless The Seeds of Death, which isn't even improved dramatically in the restoration, and the merely goodish Revelation of the Daleks. It's main draw is that the latter, individually, is now out of print. Revisitations 3, however, gets it exactly right by featuring three stories that are universally recognised as being top drawer classic Who. Tomb of the Cybermen is a strong contender for the finest story to have ever featured the eerie intergalactic Communists from Mondas. It features the best set design of any black and white story and one of the most memorable scores. The Three Doctors features one of the most sympathetically tragic villains in Who along with timelessly psychedelic design that makes it a paragon of its period, and the beautifully Art Deco designed and otherworldly The Robots of Death, whose gorgeous multicoloured robots match the loveliness of Leela in her finest outing with Dr Number 4. My only grievance is that some of the extras that were originally on Tomb of the Cymbermen are not included, even though a few of those were a trifle repetitive and dull.
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on 14 February 2012
I've not had time to watch yet (has anyone ?), but it looks as if the new features are well worth the price of admission and the picture quality is as good as it can possibly be - which is very very good indeed.

However, I do have a bit of an issue with the content. Past volumes of Revisitations (and "Mannequin Mania") have retained all the extra features of the initial editions of each story. These haven't. The
"Tomb" and "Three" upgrades have dropped the convention forums which were a part of each.

Was this done to reduce the running times of the first disc of each - and thus ensure picture quality was as good as possible ? Or because of budgetary and/or contractual considerations ? Whatever the reason it's a bit disappointing as I sold my initial versions of the three stories thinking everything on them would be duplicated on the new versions along with the admittedly excellent new material.
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on 27 February 2012
So we have reached the third and final Revisitations set from the Doctor Who Revisitations Team. After the second collection, in my personal opinion, being rather lacklustre in terms of the stories chosen, this has gone out on a high with three incredibly strong and popular stories. Although a few will disagree again with the choices, particularly from the point of view of the extras on the original DVDs, I have only owned The Three Doctors before (which I've now traded for the new edition) so all three are hugely welcome to my own personal collection.

The first story is the 1967 classic The Tomb of the Cybermen starring Patrick Troughton. It's sad that the few complete Troughton stories held by the BBC archives are mostly clunkers but this definitely isn't one of them. Without going into too much detail about the plot which will already be familiar to fans, this is a shining example from the black-and-white era of the programme of good, imaginative writing, strong acting and direction winning over a paltry budget. Patrick Troughton himself is at the top of his game as The Doctor - his seemingly-whimsical and mischievous nature masking great intelligence, cunning and authority as he thwarts his enemies without resorting to the vocal histrionics of McCoy or Tennant for instance. A scene between Deborah Watling's Victoria and The Doctor about family is well-acted and emotional without being over-sentimental. The various members of the archaeological expedition are well-played even if their slightly-combative relationships don't get enough time to develop after the first episode and it's refreshing to see a multi-cultural unit portrayed in 1960s Who. The two main villains of Klieg and Kaftan become slightly pantomime at times although that isn't a great issue amongst the well-portrayed, over-the-top villains throughout the history of Who. Their motivation for trying to control the Cybermen however isn't as well explored as it should be (Nazism-overtones?). The Cybermen themselves are suitably menacing with their cold, electronic voices and generally pose a threat in this story compared to some of their later appearances in the 80s and NuWho. It's also interesting to note how many of the additions to Cyber-lore e.g. the introduction of a Cybercontroller and their dependence on cold storage have remained to this day. The story itself is tightly-paced and fast-moving, a real contrast to many of the lumbering six-parters around it of the same era. Design-wise, the serial looks fantastic, giving some real sense of scale to the tomb complex on a limited budget and both through a combination of this and Morris Barry's direction, a fully believable alien world and atmosphere has been realised.
In terms of special features, the majority of those on the original 2002 release have been ported over, although the footage from the 1992 "Tombwatch" event has surprisingly not been included in this. However, we do get some excellent new features, which improves the package as a whole from its rather scant original release. These include the now-mandatory (but always interesting) behind the scenes/reflection documentary with cast and crew, "The Lost Giants", "Cybermen - an Extended Edition", originally seen on the "Attack of the Cybermen" DVD, but now with links by Matthew Sweet and material from the new series included and "The Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb" which explores the Egyptian influences on the story.

Moving on just over 5 years later and the series was celebrating its tenth anniversary with "The Three Doctors" with Troughton and William Hartnell reprising their roles alongside Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor to take on the renegade Time Lord Omega, in his first appearance. I would say that the story has not aged as well as the other two included in the box-set. This doesn't make it any less enjoyable but the lack of budget really shows on this story with the tinsel, fairy-lit anti-matter universe of Omega and his bubble-wrap Gel Guards. Bob Baker and Dave Martin certainly have imagination but The Three Doctors is just one of those times in the classic series that there was a real disjoint between what was intended and what could actually be portrayed with limited time and money.
That's not to say there isn't much to enjoy. Troughton slips effortlessly back into character and the antagonistic, rivalry between the Second and Third Doctors (stemming from real-life conflict between Troughton and Pertwee) is incredibly amusing. Hartnell, due to ill health, is relegated to a cameo as the First Doctor but certainly makes the most with his limited screen-time cutting his two successors down to size. Despite the focus on the Doctors, the UNIT family of the Brigadier, Benton and Jo Grant are very much involved in the action although Stephen Thorne's Omega is perhaps too over-the-top with a performance more suited to the theatre or radio. The storyline itself is slightly hokey and non-sensical and the direction, at times, flat and uninteresting, but this is one of those Who stories, that whilst not really a classic, is just enormous fun to watch without taking it too seriously.
Again a number of extras from the 2003 release have been included although once more, footage from an actual event (this time Panopticon 93) has not made it across to the special edition. In terms of new features, we get "Happy Birthday to Who", which takes a look at the making of the story with much humorously being made of the relationship between Troughton and Pertwee. "Girls, Girls, Girls - The 1970s" follows up the excellent 1980s feature on the "Paradise Towers" DVD, with former companions Caroline John, Katy Manning and Louise Jameson reflecting together on their roles in Doctor Who as well as the influence of feminism at the time and is incredibly insightful whilst "Was Doctor Who Rubbish?', where fans defend the classic series against comparisons to the new series, caused a cheer from me as I completely agreed with much of what was said. In terms of special features,"The Three Doctors" is by far the strongest.

The final story is 1977's "The Robots of Death", also the first proper Who DVD release way back in 2000 (discounting the original "The Five Doctors" release the year before). Given how scant special features were back then, its re-release is pretty welcome. This story falls towards the end of the acclaimed Hinchcliffe/Holmes era of the programme and for me, it's one of the strongest of that era, a rather ingenious take on the Agatha Christie, Whodunnit, type murder-mysteries with shades of Isaac Asimov thrown in for good measure.
It's amazing how well this show stands up today. A strong script from Chris Boucher is backed up a very strong, (and like "Tomb") ethnic cast with real relationship dynamics established between the various crew-members of the Sandminer through lots of personal jokes and jibes at each other's expense and an atmosphere of greed and lust for material wealth hanging over the world that's been created. The robots themselves, whilst not exactly frightening, are an interesting addition to the roll-call of Who monsters and even if the real villain behind their murderous rampage is all too obvious from early on in the story, it's certainly an interesting take on the whole robot angle. Tom Baker is still very much in his darker persona as the Fourth Doctor (although that would soon evaporate with the departure of Hinchcliffe and Holmes) but with the usual flashes of a wicked sense of humour we expect. His confrontations with Russell Hunter's Uvanov are a real treat to watch. Louise Jameson also settles in well to the role of Leela and it's refreshing to see a companion who is more physical and less reliant on the Doctor than had been seen up to that point (skimpy leathers aside). The art-deco designs of the robots and the Sandminer also make a change to the white, over-lit visions of the future we have previously seen in the programme.
In terms of special features, we get two new documentaries with another recollection "The Sandmine Murders" and also "Robophobia" with Toby Hadoke looking at the various robot appearances in Who. It's probably the weakest in terms of the new features, but they are by no means less interesting.

Each story also has the usual commentaries, information subtitles, photo galleries and continuity trailers included. Audio and picture quality is very strong, especially with the new VID-Fire restored "Tomb" looking pretty crisp and as it did on original transmission. The only problems I did notice were some obvious lines in the film sequences on "The Three Doctors" but that's a minor quibble.
Overall, I would highly recommend this package, if like me, you don't own the original versions. Those who do may balk at shelling out just for some additional features but it's by far the strongest of the three Revisitations in terms of story and extras-quality.
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