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Customer Review

51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High definition doctor who....from the 70's?, 13 July 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who - Spearhead from Space (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have based my review on the quality of the Blu-ray presentation, I am sure everyone knows the story very well and why it is the only Dr Who story from the classic series shot on film, so I am not going to add to what others have said. I was very sceptical about the issue of any Doctor who story on Blu-ray prior to 2010 when the new series moved into that format. I was also familiar with the BBC own statement that no programme made on 16mm film would ever be considered as high definition,and only programmes recorded on super 16mm (Merlin series 5 onwards for example)would be classed as HD. So you can imagine why I was a little concerned at the release of this story, and the fact that the story was only ever designed to be shown on 625 line TV format. Well the reviews prior to the release of this story showed nothing just claimed how exciting it was without actually seeing the new version.
My copy arrived this morning, and I have to say compared with modern day Blu-ray you would think this had been filmed yesterday, I have to say all my fears washed away, the clarity of the picture is just amazing, and this is 16mm film, not the industry standard of 35mm. There are some darker scenes where the picture is a little grainy but seriously nothing you would really notice, any more than modern recordings.
Obviously this could for some people be the third time you have purchased this story and although the special Auton box set was good this is now, well breathtaking clear. The sound is still mono regardless on the stereo claim on the box, although it would be dual mono. As for the extras they are in high definition as well, with a look at Caroline John's carrier, as well as a look back at Jon Pertwee's long carrier. None of the extras from the DVD release are included on the Blu-ray. So if your feeling flush with cash, then this is a amazing purchase.
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jul 2013 13:14:40 BDT
J Bullock says:
Finally a review from someone who has seen the new blu-ray instead of just guessing, thanks

Posted on 6 Aug 2013 19:12:17 BDT
Will it fit in with others in my collection? That's my main concern. I'm a bit OCD.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Aug 2013 22:35:18 BDT
hello Alex

As a plus the sleeve is reversible and has the DVD design of all the other Classic Dr Who releases, hope that helps

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Aug 2013 22:42:29 BDT
Thank you, but what do you mean by reversible? I'm not sure if I'm being an idiot. Do you mean that there is an option to have it look like the other Classics? If so, where is this option?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Aug 2013 22:51:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Aug 2013 22:52:07 BDT
The sleeve of the BLU_RAY has two versions of the artwork on it, the new BLU-RAY as displayed and another like all the DVD realeses

Posted on 8 Aug 2013 08:54:59 BDT
Paul WJM says:
I'm surprised that the BBC said that no 16mm film could be considered for HD - what a short-sighted comment! 16mm resolution is way above what DVD can offer, and as you've rightly pointed out, can look really good on Blu-ray. Anyway, thanks for the informed review.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2013 09:28:03 BDT
Thank you, the BBC made that statement when Pride and Prejudice was issued on Blu-ray, funny thing to say really as you say film is always going to be better than video.

Posted on 10 Aug 2013 20:12:15 BDT
Thanks for your review! I am eagerly awaiting it's release here in the U.S. three days from now and after reading your review I know I won't be disappointed. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2013 03:12:07 BDT
I don't really understand why they would make such a comment. In fact, I have trouble believing the reviewer's sources on this matter.

The reason Spearhead From Space is on blu-ray is because the story was shot during an industry strike which made the usual "video for indoors, film for outdoors" filming method of British television impossible, so the entire story was shot on film. Film, unlike video, does not have a fixed resolution, making HD transfer possible, and thus leaving Spearhead From Space most likely the only classic Doctor Who story to be released in HD.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2013 11:39:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Oct 2013 22:21:42 BDT
Dear Takeshi

I do wish you have read my review properly. I am well aware as is everyone else in Doctor who world why Spearhead was recorded on Film and why it is the only classic that could be considered to be transferred to blu-ray and all the technicalities which you have stated regarding film over Video and I have never questioned that film is better than video and everybody knows it is.
If you had done your research like I had done, and look up for example Pride and Prejudice (1995) you will see this quote from the BBC, that A high-definition transfer was produced from the original negatives and released as a Blu-ray in October 2008. "The HD version has not been broadcast on television, the BBC refuses to broadcast anything shot in 16mm and claim it is HD. The same restored version was released on DVD in March 2009.] The Blu-ray was released on April 14, 2009". Ok that is one of my sources, good old Wikipedia.

Also the first three series of Merlin were shot on 16mm film,and not broadcast in HD until series 4 which was shot on super 16mm for broadcast in HD and those two series were also issued on Blu-ray .

However what you have appeared to miss was I am quoting from articles issued by the BBC themselves, regarding 16mm film. I would also add again is that I was delighted that the results of this Doctor who story on Blu-ray are nothing but amazing, and of cause film is better than video, but Spearhead was only ever shot for 625 line TV, that is what my article is about. So what confuses me is why you would think I make up the quote?, and I would ask you to investigate before making wild accusations, why not phone BBC ask them as it's there quote.

Before I write a review I try and be helpful and factual , I look forward to an apology from you for your wild accusation that the quote was made up, why on earth would I ,make anything up, the review would be pointless and would make me look very stupid.
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