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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

on 18 September 2013
Scream of the Shalka is an anomaly, a one off, a dead end. Intended as a new start for Doctor Who its now relegated to a footnote in the programme's history. I had hoped this dvd release might reveal a lost gem but unfortunately its a fairly ordinary story, a generic alien invasion. The animation is the basic Cosgrove Hall style and the picture quality is surprisingly poor for such a recent production. Richard E Grant plays the Doctor in a performance that Russell T Davies has described as lazy. This seems unfair, he is playing a character consumed by ennui and drained of passion and he livens up considerably when the Doctor "finds some form" in the later episodes. Derek Jacobi's rather camp performance as the Master is not a patch on his later appearance in the episode Utopia. David Tennant has a very brief cameo as one of the Shalka's victims but the rest of the cast get little to do and are rather forgettable.
As is usual with the BBC Doctor Who dvd range there are plenty of interviews, documentaries etc. Of particular interest is an isolated soundtrack of the musical score for the story. In spite of the effort involved in this dvd it still feels inconsequential and probably will only be of interest to Doctor Who completists.
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on 28 November 2015
Never saw this first time around but thought I'd give it a go. The animation is quite basic, perhaps due to the medium it was intended for. The style of the animation however is sharp and moody but also lively and colourful when it needs to be and it wholly adds to the drama. The new version of the theme tune is actually rather good and we get to see a few new elements that Russell T Davies revisits in the following years, including the first use of the TARDIS car alarm gag.

The Shalka aren't a memorable villain but the combination of Richard E Grant as The Doctor and Derek Jacobi as The Master lends a certain class to the production. Perhaps Big Finish could explore this combination one day and let this (alternative) 9th Doctor have further adventures in time and space.

I went in to watching this not expecting a great deal, but was sufficiently impressed with the episodes and the special features on the disc to be happy to revisit this again in the future.
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on 16 December 2016
What Who could have been - Richard E. Grant superb in this Cosgrove & Hall production for the BBC, And Derek Jacobi as the Master years before the 2005 return of the live action series. Just remember its an animation when you start watching it, and have a ball. Lot's of classic lines. Non stop action.
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on 15 June 2017
Very enjoyable, I'd never seen this before. Richard E Grant and Derek Jacobi really make this a little gem.
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on 1 November 2016
The last classic DVD I needed to complete the set. The extra features are better than the actual story.
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on 29 October 2013
A interesting side step in the world of Dr who which I enjoyed, it has a good story and is fast paced.
Richard does a brilliant job playing the 9th bbci animation version of Dr who.
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on 17 November 2013
An excellent story in this dvd. A must for all Doctor who fans. Well written story and very well priced.
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on 6 June 2014
I have to admit I was very skeptical of buying this DVD. I'd heard small bits about it from big 'who' fans but it always seemed to get swept under the carpet and was never mentioned for long. But, I took the plunge and bought it, not really knowing what to expect.

Quite honestly, the story is brilliant and has a pretty good concept. I mainly judge things on how interesting they are on if I look at my phone or check my emails when I watch them and the first two or three episodes really made me want to watch. Grant's portrayal of the Doctor really caught me in these first few episodes, kind of like a scaled down but slightly more eccentric Hartnell. The animation is very good and very stylised, albeit because of the very small budget of the show. However, I did feel it dragging and I felt myself slipping away from it during parts four and five, they seemed full of babble that took way too long to figure out for only a short show. The sixth and final episode did bring the story home and keep the faith alive but with an all too familiar ending, you know, the pretty girl jumps on board the TARDIS and although she's only known him for 5 minutes is the Doctor's best friend.

Jacobi, who portrays an android version of the Master (I feel this needed to be explained more, I just kept thinking... why is this happening) is a delight. Of course he was the Master in the reboot but I feel this really showed him off perfectly. With a dark side always searching for a way through but with just the right amount of camp a Who episode really needs he is the perfect addition, I only wish he was utilised more.

As I mentioned before Grant is a superb Doctor, he develops as the story progresses, possibly a little too quickly but the scale of the show was cut down an awful lot. He is the kind of actor that makes you want to listen to everything he says and take note, and this is not lost at all through the animation, which is modeled on the actors themselves. It was a real joy to see him as the Doctor, official or not I wish there was more of him!

The extras are the usual sort that come with a release of Who, commentaries and documentaries that are not to be missed. The Screaming Sessions was recorded in 2003 and really shows the love by the actors for what they were doing. It's an interesting watch but nothing to write home about. On the other hand; Carry On Screaming is a documentary about the making of the episodes that really interested me. It talks about the many, many problems they encountered to make the serial and is very frank. A very interesting watch that even surprised me in parts. The other documentary 'Interweb of Fear' came as a bit of a let down to me. It examines the history of the BBC website which, for some, will be a delight to watch but sadly just didn't interest me (so I'm sitting on the fence with that one).

Overall a superb main feature with some pretty solid special features and a relatively small price make this an absolute must for any Who fan.

I would like to congratulate 2 Entertain for the way they have packaged their most recent Who DVDs, changing the spine made me annoyed as it meant that all of my DVDs wouldn't fit together but was thrilled to find that they could be reversed to fit in with the rest of my collection (honestly, it did make me doubt buying the newer releases and special editions at first!).

The only fault I can find with this is that the episodes are all around 15 minutes long and as much as I do love the Doctor Who theme tune I would love for 2 Entertain to allow viewers to watch with just the first lot of opening titles and an extended ending credits sequence after all of the episodes, sometimes I feel I'm really getting into it and then either have to fast forward or listen to the same theme tune twice, it's a minor irritation and quite frankly doesn't bother me too much but if an exec. is reading this... it's a though!)
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on 1 October 2013
great and fast dilivery, hank you and hope to have your custom again maybe in the near future sometime, thanks.
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on 10 January 2015
Great story and Richard E. Grant was good as the Doctor!
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