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VINE VOICEon 18 January 2013
Now that the Doctor Who dvds are nearly all out, this is a collection of bits and pieces that couldn't have been put on any other dvd release. Shada is the legendary unfinished Douglas Adams story that would have been broadcast in early 1980 if not for a strike. As some other reviews have said this boxset is really just a boxset of extras but there is still a lot to enjoy. Shada is barking mad and a lot of fun, seeing The Doctor and Romana and K9 in Cambridge visiting a mad old Cambridge proffessor who also happens to be a retired Time Lord who has misplaced a book that has the secrets of lost Time Lord prison Shada that an evil alien is after. Tom Baker provides linking material describing unfilmed scenes well and from the look of it Shada could have been a classic Tom Baker story if finished and broadcast as planned and there is also an animated finished version starring Paul Mcgann's 8th Doctor avaliable as well though you can only watch on PC format the animation is poor but story good fun and McGann proves as he has for Big Finish audios that he would have made a great Doctor if given a chance. More Than 30 Years In The Tardis is the 30th anniversary documentary very enjoyable with contributions from various past Doctors and companions. Definately a boxset for the die hard fans and completists only but very enjoyable if you decide to take a chance on it.
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on 2 January 2013
Really nothing to get excited about here. This is definitely one for the die-hard collectors... People like me! I don't want to put people off buying this but, then I don't particularly have many positive things to say about it either. Those of you who are old enough to have watched and possibly collected the old Doctor Who VHS range and watched the sporadic 1990s celebrations and screenings on the BBC will know more or less what this product is. For the younger Doctor Who enthusiasts and the people who didn't get to buy these oddities the first time around, let me fill you in. 'Shada' is an incomplete Tom Baker story. Only location footage and a small amount of studio footage was shot for the story before production was cancelled due to a BBC strike. The story was never finished and left in the archives until the early 1990s when it was released on VHS with Tom Baker linking the significant gaps between scenes with on-screen narration. I never felt satisfied with this presentation. You do get an idea of what's supposed to be happening during the story but, there is very little to keep you engaged. After one viewing, it becomes something tedious and a bit of a disappointment. However, it does have historical interest in that you actually get to see a Doctor Who story that was never broadcast. Despite being revisited by the BBC last decade and remade as an audio adventure with a new cast and accompanying minimal animation for viewing and listening on the BBC web site only (which I believe is included here in DVD ROM format) the story is still - if not more confusing than ever.

'More Than 30 Years In The Tardis' is the 30th Anniversary BBC Celebration Documentary, broadcast on the BBC in 1993 but with additional material not included in the original broadcast which had the title '30 Years In The Tardis', hence the addition of 'More Than' to the title. Have you ever seen any of the special features on a classic Doctor Who DVD, particularly the more meaty and lengthy documentaries about the show? Yes? Well this documentary is a lot like those. No? Well basically it's a Doctor Who 'Memories of Greatest Moments with Recollections of "How It Was Made"' featuring lots of classic clips inter-cut with an enormous amount of 'Talking Heads', People who acted in the series, relatives of people who acted in the series, production crew and celebrity fans of the show (who were never in it)giving us plenty of memories of watching the show and how they felt about it at the time. That's all really. I think the documentary was only really produced to promote the fact that the BBC Videos were available to buy. It was basically a nostalgic look back at a TV programme that started production 30 years earlier, finished production in 1989 - leaving our screens without a bang, not even a whimper, just fading away and with every year, leaving fans becoming increasingly concerned that it was something that was never coming back to our TV screens. From recollection, I don't think anyone who has ever bought a classic Doctor Who DVD in the past 13 years will learn anything or much they didn't already know - or haven't heard several times already. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, starting the year off with an out-dated 20 year-old documentary seems a bit odd. I really enjoyed this documentary for a few years, but that was 20 years ago. I have never seen any point in watching it over the past 10 years or more since the introduction of special feature documentaries on DVDs that deconstruct and analyze every aspect of the show right down the the very thought patterns in the heads and the glue in the hands of the people making and producing the show.

Basically, these two features deserve nothing more than 'Bonus Feature' status. Individually, they could (and should) have been tacked on to previous proper Doctor Who DVD releases. There you have it; and here it is... If you want it for the sake of being a completist or if you're such a fan of the show that you want every single piece of footage in existence that relates to the show in as high a quality as possible.

If you're a casual viewer who enjoys watching the occasional engaging and entertaining classic Doctor Who Story - best start looking for another title and give this one a miss for the time being.

If you're looking for a gift for a cash-strapped Doctor Who fan, best to ask first before buying this, it won't be appreciated by someone you don't know well enough. However, it would make an ideal gift for a fan that has possibly put it on their wish list but have more important things to spend their own money on until they can afford and be bothered to buy this. I've bought every classic Doctor who DVD release on the day of release for the past 13 years, but this time, for the first time, I think I'll just wait a while - it's really not a priority purchase right now, even as a long-time Doctor Who fan who buys every release.
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on 15 October 2013
This is a great value box set with two versions of Shada and a classic documentary. Its a great shame shada was never competed as it could easily have been one of the best Tom baker stories. What I didn't realize was that the animated version cannot be played through the DVD player, only a computer.
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A box set containing two Doctor Who DVDS, both in individual boxes themselves, that are reissues of things that came on out on VHS back almost twenty years ago.

First is Shada. The legendary lost 'classic' of the old show. A six part story written to finish off Tom Baker's sixth year. It would have been the last for the producer and script editor of the time. The latter being Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker's guide fame. Who also wrote Shada. Shada sees the Fourth Doctor and Romana visit Cambridge to see an old friend. Only to find that said friend is in possession of a secret that mad scientist Skagra needs in order to further his quest for universal domination. The location of the legendary prison planet of the Time Lords...

Shada was never completed because of a strike at the BBC. For years after, it attained cult status amongst fans simply because it was a story we'd never seen, therefore it was bound to be great. A couple of clips from it were used in 'the Five Doctors.' Then the BBC finally put the whole thing together, using all the footage that was produced and various visual effects, plus linking narration from Tom Baker in character. Said character being the actor called Tom Baker who used to play the Doctor.

Then we discovered what Douglas Adams. Shada wasn't actually that good.

Shada actually is somewhat better than that assessment. But Doctor Who stories of the time that ran to six parts did so by necessity to fill out the required two extra episodes. So it does feel stretched. The bigger problem though is that whilst there's a lot of footage and only occasional narration early on, as the episodes go by, there's less footage and lots more narration. It just feels that you hardly get much of the former.

It really remains a fascinating glimpse at what could have been.

The DVD is a straight reissue of the VHS version, albeit with some cleaning up of visual effects.

However, as an extra, you do get an online version of the story that was done over a decade later. Which has Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor and Lalla Ward as a somewhat older Romana in the story. This is a full cast audio drama which was broadcast online using flash animation for the visuals. This version is accessible by putting the disc onto a computer and opening up the files. The flash animation is very basic. The opening scene is pretty clever in how it gets the Eighth Doctor into the story, and also explains the use of the the clips in the Five Doctors. But beyond that the script is much the same. Thus it's the same as the cd soundtrack of this version that came out a while back, but it's a more complete version of the story in many ways.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

It's also English audio captioned.

It has the usual extras for this range of:

Photo gallery.

Production information subtitles.

Coming soon trailer. [as ever with flashing images].

Plus several documentaries:

Taken out of time. All about Shada, this runs for twenty five minutes. Is very informative. Has lovely Cambridge locations. And Tom Baker walking his dog. So it's well worth a watch.

Strike! Strike! Strike! is roughly thirty minutes long and all about how strikes affected the show down the years. This is a fascinating trip down memory lane for those of a certain age with some great old footage. It's also well worth a look.

Now and then: runs just under ten minutes and compares the Cambridge locations for the story as they are now to as they were in 1979. Some great scenery makes this a good watch.

Being a girl runs for twenty five minutes and looks at how the show has treated female characters down the years. It's not entirely sure what point it's trying to make but it's a watchable production.

The other release in this box set is More than Thirty years in the TARDIS. Back in 1993, the BBC broadcast a documentary to mark the show's thirtieth anniversary. But a lot was cut from it for timing reasons. A VHS version came out with all the cut bits reinstated. This is a reissue of that VHS version. It could be a very out of date programme now but it does remain an excellent piece of work, with reconstructions of key scenes, excellent interviews, and some good presentation. It is still one of the best documentaries made about the show.

This has the same language and subtitle options as Shada, plus the photo gallery, coming soon trailer and production infromation subtitles.

For an easter egg, press the down key on the dvd remote till the menu gets to photo gallery, then press left then press play. For a short snippet from an interview with Director Richard Martin about his professional relationship with producer Verity Lambert. It's worth a watch.

Extras on this dvd are:

Remembering Nicholas Courtney. A twenty five minute long tribute to the actor who played the Brigadier. It uses footage from an unfinished 2010 interview where he was clearly in poor health, but these sections do contain a big surprise. So their inclusion is justified. Beyond that it is a fine tribute, with some classic archival footage from other shows you might have never expected to see again.

Doctor who stories. More interviews recorded for 2003's the story of Doctor Who, with first Doctor companion Peter Purves and original producer Verity Lambert. Running fourteen and ten minutes each both are very good interviewees and these are good viewing.

Those deadly divas is a twenty five minute long feature [approx] about some of the stronger female characters on the show down the years. With contributions from many of the actresses in question, it's a lively and entertaining production.

These are not two of the most essential dvds in the range, but both offer some good viewing, and the whole collection is overall worth getting.
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on 22 November 2015
The Shada story is pretty good, but there is a lot unfinished. Tom Baker's narration of the missing sequences is rather quaint though. Douglas Adams' writing is darn good too, with some great sparky dialogue.

The documentary is a lot of fun, and a nice piece of Doctor Who history – I remember watching it as a kid!

This is a great gift for anybody with gaps in their collection.
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on 9 March 2015
The very famous unfinished story from the Tom Baker years. And it wasn't all that bad! I actually liked the links of The Doctor - well, Tom Baker linking the unfilmed scenes.

My collection is currently unfinished - but this is a fantastic great addition!
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on 28 February 2014
a lot of people will disagree with me, but I thought this story has been overhyped like most of the modern doctor who's and various movies that are out their. the acting was pretty poor in my opinion not like the usual standard of tom bakers and the story in principle was a great idea but the story just lacked something that I cant quite put my finger on, maybe it was the poorer acting or special effects I just don't know. on the plus side at least I finally managed to see the show at long last.
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on 23 March 2015
Shada was great fun and it just shows how much was lost at the time when it was unable to be completed. I had seen the other documentary back in the VHS days, but though a bit dated it was still very interesting.
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on 4 January 2016
"Shada" is well worth adding to your Dr Who DVD collection. I enjoyed the plot; the Cambridge setting and Tom Baker at his whimsical best, relishing his delightful delivery of Douglas Adams "undergraduate humour". Of course the missing scenes are frustrating, and the linking narration, although well delivered, is very brief. However, I made it through the whole 1hr 50minutes in one sitting. The gaps can be filled in by watching the Big Finish version of the story on your web browser. It is well done with basic animation, an interesting framing story and only minor changes here and there in the script. Unfortunately Paul McGann's delivery of the witty script rather dampens the humour. Both the delivery and facial expressions of Tom Baker (and for that matter, the facial expressions of Lalla Ward) are sorely missed. So the experience, in both cases, is imperfect but enjoyable nonetheless.

The extras are also good, highlights being the interview with Verity Lambert and the "More than 30 years" documentary which was very well done, informative in places (even for a long time Dr Who fan) and had me laughing out loud several times.

Now I really must get round to reading the book version...
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on 10 November 2014
A must for Doctor Who collectors. As a fan of the Tom Baker era I really enjoyed watching this. More than 30 Years in the Tardis was very enjoyable too and brought back many memories of my childhood.
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