DVD Review “Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set”

Actors: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Karen Gillian
Number of discs: 41
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 20, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

BBC Home Entertainment is answering the prayers of every Doctor Who fan just in time for the holiday season with the release of “Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set”. This limited edition Doctor Who collector’s box feature over 70 hours of “Doctor Who” amazing-ness plus many more of special features. The set also includes a collectible 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver, three original art cards and the comic book, “Doctor Who at Comic Con.” To honest I was a little disappointed with the packaging since it is a bit of a pain to open and close. Also in order to get to the comic book and card, you need to remove all of the contents. The 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver alone is a $30 value and is overall pretty rad to play with. The three original art cards are super cool as well and will look nice in a frame. Lastly, the comic book included “Doctor Who at Comic Con”, is a nice addition as well. This should satisfy all fans of the series but if you have been purchasing each series DVD as it has been released, the extra disc and goodies might not be worth the price.

This gift set includes the series in it’s DVD format spread out of 41 sci-fi packed discs. There are no Blu-ray’s included though. We all know that first few series of “Doctor Who” were shot on standard definition video, but since the 11th Doctor they have been releasing them on Blu-ray. So in this gift set, I understand them including only DVD to keep it uniform but I still prefer my Blu-ray releases of Series 5 and 6. So we get Series 1-6 and The Complete Specials (The Next Doctor / Planet of the Dead / The Waters of Mars / The End of Time Parts 1 and 2) included in their previously released packaging. Series 1-4 has never been released on Blu-ray and are currently only available on DVD. While Series 5-6 and The Complete Specials are also currently available on Blu-ray.

This gift set also includes a DVD of never-before-released specials including: “The Women of Doctor Who”, “The Timey – Wimey of Doctor Who” and “The Destinations of Doctor Who”. “The Women of Doctor Who” looks at the great women behind ever time lord. “The Timey – Wimey of Doctor Who” looks into what timey-wimey is exactly with star Arthur Darvill. “The Destinations of Doctor Who” takes up in a time machine to the travels through the universe, you never know where you”ll end up including the year 5 billion. These specials have all originally aired on BBC America but have never-before-released on DVD. They are must have for all “Whovians”.

Series 1 includes all 13 episodes of the BBC sci-fi classic, which served as the reboot for the show. It was written by Russell T. Davies and starred Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor. His joins up with companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) to save the world. I liked Eccleson as the Doctor but something was a little off about the way he portrayed him. Episodes included are: “Rose”; “The End of the World”; “The Unquiet Dead”; “Aliens of London”; “World War Three”; “Dalek”; “The Long Game”; “Father”s Day”; “The Empty Child”; “The Doctor Dances”; “Boom Town”; “Bad Wolf”; and “The Parting of the Ways”.

Series 2 included all 14 episodes, primarily written by Russell T. Davies. It also introduces a new Doctor, played by David Tennant. In this series, it features the tenth Doctor continuing to travel with companion Rose Tyler. I liked Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor but Tennant taking over was simply brilliant. Episodes included are: “The Christmas Invasion,” “New Earth,” “Tooth And Claw,” “School Reunion,” “The Girl In The Fireplace,” “Rise Of The Cybermen,” “TheAge of Steel,” “The Idiot”s Lantern,” “The Impossible Planet,” “The Satan Pit,” “Love & Monsters,” “Fear Her,” “Army Of Ghosts” and “Doomsday.” This series really has some of the best episodes to date.

Series 3 includes all 14 episodes and stars David Tennant as the Doctor with companion Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) after Rose Tyler became stuck in the parallel world..forever. I was never a fan of this series but it has seen grown on me, since it packs some wonderful intense episodes. Episodes included are: “Smith and Jones”, “The Shakespeare Code”, “Gridlock”, “Daleks in Manhattan”, “Evolution of the Daleks”, “The Lazarus Experiment”, “42”, “Human Nature”, “The Family of Blood”, “Blink”, “Utopia”, “The Sound of Drums”, “Last of the Timelords” and the 2006 Christmas special “The Runaway Bride”, starring Catharine Tate.

Series 4 includes all 14 episodes and continues David Tennant playing the Doctor, in his last go around (until the specials) with yet another companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), who appeared first in “The Runaway Bride”. Episodes included are: “Partners in Crime”, “The Fires of Pompeii”, “Planet of the Ood”, “The Sontaran Stratagem”, “The Poison Sky”, “The Doctor”s Daughter”, “The Unicorn and the Wasp”, “Silence in the Library”, “Forest of the Dead”, “Midnight”, “Turn Left”, “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey”s End”. Overall decent season but not a big fan of Catherine Tate but at least we get more Rose Tyler. Also very sad to see the end of Tennant playing the Doctor.

Series 5 includes all 13 episodes and begins the next wave of the franchise with Matt Smith taking over as The Doctor and Karen Gillan, as his companion, Amy Pond. This is by far one of my favorite seasons as a whole, in sense of the storyline. Episodes included are: “The Eleventh Hour”, “The Beast Below”, “Victory of the Daleks”, “The Time of Angels”, “Flesh and Stone”, “The Vampires of Venice”, “Amy’s Choice”, “The Hungry Earth”, “Cold Blood”, “Vincent and the Doctor”, “The Lodger”, “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang”. This series is just a wonderful introduction to the companion and really dives the story right from the beginning.

Series 6 includes all 13 episodes and returns the adventures with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond. Also joining them is Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams and Alex Kingston as River Song. This season started with the death of the Doctor, which ran through the whole series. Definitely an exciting arc for the show. Episodes included are: “A Christmas Carol”, “The Impossible Astronaut”, “Day Of The Moon”, “The Curse Of The Black Spot”, “The Doctor’s Wife”, “The Rebel Flesh”, “The Almost People”, “A Good Man Goes To War”, “Let’s Kill Hitler”, “Night Terrors”, “The Girl Who Waited”, “The God Complex”, “Closing Time”, “The Wedding Of River Song”. These episodes reveal quite a lot of the series. Matt Smith is quickly becoming my favorite Doctor. Amy Pond is also my favorite companion to date.

Series 1 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, numerous making-of featurettes, video diary with Piper and an interview with Eccleston. Series 2 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, video diaries with Tennant, Doctor Who Confidential and Picture-in-picture commentary on The Girl in the Fireplace, The Age of Steel, The Impossible Planet, and Doomsday. Series 3 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, Doctor Who Confidential, Music and Monsters, Freema’s tour of the studio, David Tennant’s Video Diaries, Deleted scenes and Outtakes. Series 4 special features include commentary by cast and crew on all episodes, Doctor Who Confidential; video diaries with Tennant; Deleted scenes; Teasers and trailers; Retrospective featurette and Children in Need “Time Crash”. Series 5 special features include audio commentaries from cast/crew; newly filmed scenes written by Steven Moffat, called “Meanwhile in the Tardis”; Doctor Who Confidential; Monster Files; Outtakes; video diaries and Teasers and trailers. Series 6 special features include audio commentaries from cast/crew; five Night and the Doctor specially recorded scenes and episode prequels; two sketches recorded for the UK’s Comic Relief charity event; Monster Files; Doctor Who Confidential and BBC1 Trails.

I highly recommend this limited edition gift set if you are just being introduced to this show or if you have never purchased any of the previously released DVDs. If you are looking for something to hold you over until “Doctor Who” returns next year with the second part of series seven, which features a new companion joining the 11th Doctor. Until then…enjoy revisiting this fun and exciting series.

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