Hello, my fellow wanton Whovians!
If you just can’t take the waiting for the new Doctor Who to start (which is probably going to get a mid-April start date), wrap your Time Lord-craving mandibles around these new DVD releases:
First up is Doctor Who – The TV Movie: Special Edition. This is the first time in North America that the Eighth Doctor’s sole screen outing has been released after years for licensing bollocks. Lucky for us, this isn’t a paltry vanilla release. Oh, no! This is a super-awesome special edition that they got in the UK some months back.
The extras on this two disc set are truly amazing, including (but not limited to):
– Audio Commentary by Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy, moderated by current Dalek voice actor Nicholas Briggs
-“The Seven-Year Hitch” a documentary about the producer’s struggles to bring DW back after its cancellation by the BBC.
-“The Wilderness Years” a doc about how the show survived in print, video, and audio format during the cancelled years, thanks to fans in various media.
-“Stripped for Action” another in an excellent series about the Doctor’s adventures in comic strip/book format, this time focusing on the Eighth Doctor.
Those are just my favorites; this set has literally dozens of extras of various length and content. Even if you’re not a big fan of the TV movie, and truthfully it’s kind of hard to be, you’ll find more than enough interesting material to keep your attention.
If that release wasn’t enough to satiate your Who-appetite, there’s also the release of the Third Doctor story, The Mutants, from 1972. It’s an allegory for colonialism disguised, as all good sci-fi is, as a story about aliens.
It’s a six-part adventure, which means we get a second disc for extras, and this set has some good ones. Aside from the obligatory making-of featurette, there’s also an audio commentary featuring a bevy of people who worked on the serial; “Dressing Doctor Who,” a short doc about the costumes designed for the show by James Acheson; and, finally, a documentary called “Race Against Time,” which talks about the representation of black actors on British television from the 1960s through the present, focusing on The Mutants specifically. This documentary is already being nominated for various awards and is truly one of the best produced for the Classic DVD range.
And just because I’m nice, I’ll tell you about a release happening next week. On February 15th, the Doctor Who Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, will be released. It’s a fairly bare-bones release, with the only extras being the “Doctor Who: Confidential” episode about the making of the thing and “Doctor Who at the Proms,” which is a concert performance of music from Doctor Who recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC’s annual Proms concerts. As was common with the previous Christmas specials, A Christmas Carol will more than likely be released on the Series 6 box set, but if you can’t wait until next November to watch it again, it won’t set you back too far, as Amazon.com has it priced at an affordable $9.99.
Okay, so that’s quite a lot for you all, so I don’t want to hear any whining that you don’t have any Doctor Who to watch. We’re going to be getting some really great releases this year, so DVD collectors should have much to cheer about.