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New Doctor Who DVDs For May 10th

Oh Hai!

Two new Classic Doctor Who stories are being released on DVD this week and they are two of the most important of all time. Both are from the Third Doctor’s era (1970-1974) and contribute greatly to the legacy of the show.

First up is Terror of the Autons from 1971. This is one of the most controversial stories in the series’ history due to its graphic depiction of evil living plastic toys. It also features the first appearance of the Doctor’s arch nemesis, the Master, played by the brilliant Roger Delgado. The Master would feature in all of the stories of season 8 and would appear several more times throughout the classic series. Extras on this single-disc include audio commentary, a featurette about the Master, a featurette about the making of the story, and a bit about the Autons in general.

The second release is the Third Doctor’s swan song, Planet of the Spiders from 1974. It culminates in the Doctor’s third regeneration, and first where the term “regeneration” is actually used. It’s a big ol’ action romp and as silly as it gets toward the end, with rod-puppet spiders “talking,” the final goodbye between the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane is quite profound. Extras on this two-disc affair include audio commentary, a doc about the final days of the Pertwee era, a discussion with the late Barry Letts about his time directing the show, and an “Omnibus” version of the story, which is basically the six episodes edited together into one long film.

If you’re at all interested in the Third Doctor or just the history of the show in general, these are two monumental serials well worth a look. I’ll get them because I’m a huge Pertweephile.

-Kanderson reverses the polarity of the neutron flow
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  1. Kyle Anderson says:

    My name is Kyle, I did this post, but you’re welcome.

    It’s possible these will come out on Blu-Ray eventually, however the fact that all Classic Doctor Who stories (except Spearhead From Space) feature both film and video portions means that there isn’t any higher definition they can have. What IS likely is that they will put multiple stories on one BD, maybe even releasing complete seasons on just a couple of discs. Spearhead was shot entirely on film due to studio strikes and will probably have an HD release in the future.

    Hope that helps!

  2. sam says:

    thanks Chris for these updates. Will there be blu-ray versions?

  3. Artie says:

    And the Brig’s in both! What better way to remember Nick Courtney and Liz Sladen than by watching these classics?

  4. Lincoln says:

    Kyle’s birthday’s coming up if anybody wants to buy them for him (hint hint).

  5. Scott S says:

    Saying that the Master was in every story is kind of misleading to people who just got into Dr Who recently, when story means episode. The Master wouldn’t necessarily show up for a few episodes (or weeks) but would be in the full story that you get on the DVDs. I saw them on PBS in entire stories when I was young, but don’t remember the Master being so ubiquitous. I do love Roger Delgado, and Pertwee’s my second favorite Doctor (after Peter Davison.)

    Also, spider poison doesn’t seem like it should be that terribly dangerous. Though, poison’s been unhealthy for a couple folk in this show. Better than falling, I guess. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers for 30 plus year old shows.)

  6. Doug says:

    Oh wow, I credit the Planet of the Spiders for awakening my arachnophobia at a young age. Thanks PBS!