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Customer Review

30 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Carelessly and amateurishly put together - a real disappoitnment, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Daleks Limited Collector's Edition (2-Film Set) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have looked forward to seeing the Daleks in pin-sharp high definition for some time so this release has been eagerly awaited. Sadly the pin-sharp picture is the only positive thing I can say about this Blu Ray. It's a huge let-down and a real insult to fans. When you load up the disk and see the menu features a TARDIS from 2005 and a mirror-image of a 1970s Dalek from the TV series, it immediately makes you ask yourself who is putting this together, and do they know anything about Doctor Who - or care?

The presentation is a mixture of laziness and incompetence. I'm not sure which of these the menu graphics falls under, but an example of the latter is an interview on the "Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD" disk on which the audio is so quiet you have to turn up the sound - only to be deafened when it returns to the menu music. This is just amateurish.

The content of the extras is extremely low quality. For example: a feature on the restoration work talks about Techniscope without actually explaining what it is, or how it differs to its rival formats. An engineer rattles off information about film types as if we're all familiar with the intricacies of celluloid and despite the fact I'm interested in this behind-the-scenes stuff I found it generally incomprehensible.

An interview on the "Dr Who and the Daleks" disk is so packed with errors, it beggars belief. The subject which he's discussing is well documented however Gareth Owen spouts his own version of events which is incorrect in every aspect. He states numerous things which many fans will know are wrong off the top of their heads, and it completely undermines his inclusion, and also his title of "expert". A few errors include the number of Daleks built, the name of the person who built them, and the manner of their construction. It's embarrassing to listen to if you know anything about this film already. If you don't, you're being given a work of fiction!

The commentary for the first film is simply the same one used on previous releases and worse, there is no commentary for the second film at all. This is even more of crime given the people who are still around who could have contributed - most notably the much-loved Bernard Cribbins who has now battled the Daleks alongside David Tennant and whose anecdotes would have been fantastic to hear. The stills gallery is padded out with promotional posters and clippings, rather than actual photos from the production, and there is a very little which feels special about this release. It seems as if they went with the cheapest option at every turn.

As to the image quality of the film itself, the print is very sharp and has been treated to remove dust and scratches. This is obviously the least we should expect from a Blu Ray. The colours, however, are the palest of any version of these films I've seen. It is repeatedly stated that the restoration has returned the film to its original appearance and, whilst this may be the case, it is less vibrant than we're used to. Perhaps this "natural" look is the most technically accurate, but is the least enjoyable to look at.

The sound has been given no treatment except a clean-up. That is to say, it has not been mastered with a surround sound option - in fact, not even stereo! It is left in the original mono form. Once again the easiest (cheapest) option.

The absent audio options, the dirth of good extras, the lackluster colours and the inaccurate graphics make for a really poor-quality release.

If your sole concern is the sharpness of the film prints then turn up the colour on your TV and there you have your heart's desire. If you're hoping for more than the bare minimum, then this release is something of an insult. The impression I'm left with is that many decisions were made using the phrase, "Who cares? The fans will buy it anyway..."

It really goes to show what a tremendous job is done on a monthly basis by the team responsible for the classic TV series DVD releases, the worst of which puts these Blu Rays to shame.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 May 2013 18:05:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 May 2014 07:36:26 BDT
Simon Martin says:
A young fan of these films, I have to agree with everything you've said, including what you said about the colours etc of the film, the picture looked very washed out on our T.V. Sorry to say i have already given my Blu ray away, i'm sticking to the 2010 DVD release, which is a region 2 Italian release i bought on Amazon. i'm more than happy with all the Blu rays i have bought before such as 'Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang', 'The African Queen', 'Sister Act' etc. but was very disapointed with this.

Posted on 31 May 2013 15:24:30 BDT
hammer58 says:
Of the reviews put on so far, this is the one that matches closest to my own view.
Its said that the techniscope process results in a heavier grain image but compare
the restoration on Hammers Dracula Prince of Darkness, also a techniscope ratio
and the Dalek movies dont come anywhere up to its standard. I havent yet compared
it to the old dvd version but i doubt if its much of an improvement. Also to get
Bernard Cribbins for an interview for just 4 minutes!

Posted on 3 Jun 2013 13:25:00 BDT
J. Martin says:
Whilst I think a couple of points made here are a bit nit-picky, on the whole I agree. It's clear this set was put together by someone who probably had never seen the films, certainly as far as the packaging goes, and had merely done a brief search online about them.

The thing that bugs me most of all is that the blurb refer to 'Dr. Who' as 'The Doctor' and also as a Time Lord, yet they can't even spell that correctly because they put 'Timelord'. *facepalm*

The title of this set also comes into question, because it's simply title 'Doctor Who: Limited Colector's Edition'? Why not call it 'The Dalek Movie Collection' or something which actually refers to the films in an appropriate and correct manner?

With a little bit of research they'd be able to deduct that both the films are really only loose adaptations of the TV show and share very little in common beyond the Daleks and the TARDIS. But StudioCanal seem to really want to sell this product on the basis that it's Doctor Who, when really it's the Daleks that are the selling point, and at the end of the day the vast majority of people buying these films are not the general public, but serious fans who know their stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2013 12:01:29 BDT
horrace says:
Another point to note here is that the original price was a bit high but what some of the "little tykes" selling it here are asking (currently £45 min) is massively too muck for such a sub-standard product - you can buy the 2 films separately for at least £18 less - so if anyone wants to pay £18 for a bit of cardboard to put round the two films well that's up to them !

Me - I'd suggest spending the money on say : Doctor Who - The Dalek Collection [DVD] and Doctor Who - The Beginning (An Unearthly Child [1963] / The Daleks [1963] / The Edge of Destruction [1964]) [DVD] and/or maybe the new dalek or davros collections when we find out what's in 'em !
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