The seventh story from the very first season of Doctor Who comes to DVD. All six black and white episodes are presented on one disc. With a pretty good picture quality.
The story [referenced once in a Tenth Doctor episode] sees the First Doctor, plus companions Susan, Ian and Barbara, arrive in the middle of a disastrous first contact between humans and aliens. The latter are a race called the Sensorites. The Doctor and friends have to work to bring the two sides together, to get past all their mutual fear and distrust, and to find the secret at the heart of the sense-sphere...
Early Doctor Who did have a mandate to educate as well as entertain. It tried to do the former via the historical stories. And it tries to do the same here with a few moral lessons for younger viewers. Done in a fine and never very heavy handed manner.
These early Doctor Who's also never wanted for ambition, and thus this is a credible attempt to create a very alien world and it's inhabitants. But on the limited budget of early 1960's tv, with a story that had to fit a six episode slot, this does mean it's not the greatest looking one ever. Nor is it very fast paced. It really does try very hard to create a sense of mystery, though, and you have to admire it for that.
The usual demands of these early episodes to give the cast the occasional break means that Barbara is written out in a rather cursory manner for two parts in the middle.
So it's not fast paced exciting action drama, and it's not the most memorable story ever made, but it's an interesting curio. And worth a look.
The DVD has the following language and subtitle options:
It's also English audio captioned.
The usual: Trailer for the next release in this dvd range.
Photo gallery of stills from the story and it's production.
Radio times listings for the story as a PDF File.
Production information subtitles.
A commentary from some of the cast and crew.
Plus: Looking for Peter. A twenty minute long feature that goes in search of Peter R. Newman. Who wrote this story. But about whom very little seems to be known. This is quite an interesting and ultimately rather affecting piece, and it might just make you look at the story in a whole new light. It's highly recommended viewing. [And the answer to the question it might make you ask is: yes it is available on dvd. You'll see what I mean...]
There's also two short features, which are part of an interview with veteran bbc employee and producer Clive Doig, in which he explains what a vision mixer does and why strange voices can be heard in the background of one episode. These run for six and two minutes respectively, and thanks to him being a very good interviewee with a clear wealth of experience to draw on, are both very interesting and worth a watch.