Ok, so these two seemingly unrelated serials have been paired together in a box set, but at the end of the day they are both good stories. They are also from two different eras of the shows history and so wont suit all fans, but come on this set is only five pounds more than an individual release. I am not a big Peter Davidson fan, but the Awakening is a claustrophobic story with no padding and some very good location work. These are all characteristics of any good Doctor Who serial. However after watching these two short episodes I found myself thinking what was the point of it all when in the end, through no direct result of the doctors actions, the Malus ends up destroying itself. Despite this I will still watch this again and the Awakening is worth the five pounds I effectively paid for it.
Now onto the Gunfighters, which for some reason has such a bad reputation. One of the main niggles people have is the ballad of the last chance saloon. In my view this works well with the comedy aspects and also keeps the story moving along. Another one of the gripes are the dodgy American accents, but I have to say I never really noticed them. What other reviewers don't seem to mention are the impressive sets and a strong performance from William Hartnell, who seems to thrive on the comedy aspects more so than in the Romans. The first episode is by far the best and moves along at a decent pace, introducing the main characters and setting the scene well. Although it turned out to be a disappointment the cliff-hanger at the end of the first episode is a good one and made me want to watch the next episode straight away. The plot then moves along steadily, but with no real padding, and although the climatic gunfight is hardly cinematic in quality it does work well in my opinion. Overall the gunfighters is an enjoyable, fun serial, definitely not a classic but way underrated.
The highlight of the extras is the end of the line documentary, which gives a unique glimce of what the, mostly missing, third series of doctor who looked like.
All I can say to some of my fellow reviewers is shame on those who have rated this set at one or two stars as it is easily worth the three stars I have given it. Neither of these are classics but they are both well worth a watch.