15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
An Opportunity Missed
, 9 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen / Silver Nemesis [DVD]  (DVD)
It's my first negative review for a Doctor Who DVD release ever! I had been looking forward to the DVD release of these stories as I haven't seen "Revenge of the Cybermen" since I had the original VHS release back in the eighties and I was looking forward to seeing "Silver Nemesis" sorted out once and for all from the pig's ear of an edit that was transmitted in 1988 and only part way corrected in the (poor quality) VHS release.
The Revenge of the Cybermen disc is faultless. It's a typically superb cleanup job making the best use of the original high quality quad masters and the DVD format with the technology available. The story and the production itself is clunky, occasionally embarrassing and nonsensical like most classic Who but the nostalgia value coupled with the low price tag of the double box set sold it for me.
Silver Nemesis is the big let-down for me. I was not that keen on the original story when it first went out. I absolutely hated the music and the story did not flow well at all. Then I found out that it was due to practically an entire episode's worth of material that had had to be cut out in the edit to get it running to a standard three episodes. The VHS release back in the early '90s was pretty good for the time, restoring all of the cut scenes (without music) and chucking in a bonus documentary. Nice.
I had similar gripes with Battlefield and Curse of Fenric which were addressed beautifully in the more recent special edition DVD re-edits. The stories flowed better as they were allowed to unfold at a more natural pace. I had always assumed that Silver Nemesis would be a prime candidate for the Special Edition treatment due to the brutal hacking it had received for the tranmission edit but sadly BBC Worldwide/2|entertain have deemed this 25th Anniversary story unworthy of the investment. I am guessing it is a problem with the incidental music which would have had to be re-made for the new edit, but that is even more upsetting as it would have been a brilliant opportunity for Keff McKulloch to update it a bit, make it better. I can only guess. They have included the cut scenes as extras on the disc so I suppose fans with editing software and time on their hands could do the job at home. It's disappointing, I really hope that they come back to this one in future and do the Special Edition.
On the plus side they have given us a 5.1 remix and a wealth of decent extras, but these things also suggest that they have done as much as they are ever going to do with this and that a Special Edition will be a long time coming.
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