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.

Blu-ray Review “Doctor Who: Series Seven, Part One”

Starring: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston,
Number of discs: 2
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Run Time: 225 minutes

Episodes: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Doctor Who” is one of my favorite series on television. I have been a hardcore fan since the first series and have been watching it grown into this now worldwide phenomenon. It is very trending in the US now amongst us nerds or as we are called “Whovians”. Series six was a very tough act to follow, its story line was the most epic yet, which encapsulated the whole series. Matt Smith has really grown on me quite a bit since series five. He is quickly becoming a fav of mine as well. Karen Gillan was a terrific companion for the Doctor in the last two seasons and, get ready “SPOILERS”, if you don’t know this is also her’s and Arthur Darvill’s (plays Rory) last. I am sure that BBC will be releasing a complete series seven at the end of this run but I recommend this release for this who are looking to section it as a turning point in the show. If you are a fan of Doctor Who, this will hold you over till the Christmas 2012 episode and get you psyched for what’s to come in part two.

Official Premise “Join the Doctor, his companions Amy and Rory (aka the Ponds) and numerous friends on their latest escapades through space and time where they puzzle an unexpected invasion of Earth, save a spaceship full of dinosaurs, don Stetsons in a Wild West adventure and are even kidnapped by the Doctor’s oldest foe. The explosive series concludes with Amy and Rory’s heart-breaking farewell a race against time through the streets of Manhattan. Will the Doctor really lose the Ponds forever? There’s only one way to find out.”

Episodes included are: “Asylum of the Daleks”, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, “A Town Called Mercy”, “The Power of Three” and “The Angels Take Manhattan”. “Asylum” was a good season kick-off. I do love me some Daleks. I do not feel that it as epic as season 6’s opener but you can’t always kill the Doctor. “Dinosaurs” was campy and very funny. Great visuals on this one. “A Town Called Mercy” was a fun Western spin the series but with cyborgs. “The Power of Three” was my least favorite of the five and is a big slow paced, cool idea with the cube’s planning a slow invasion but it was a little too slow for me. “The Angels Take Manhattan” was amazingly epic and probably one of my favorite episodes ever. I love the Angels and they literally scare the shit out of me. I also loved Amy and Rory and this is where there story ends.

Jenna Louise-Coleman will joining on as the Doctor’s new companion starting with the Christmas 2012 Special. She was well-placed in “Asylum of the Daleks”, playing Oswin Oswald. I actually really liked her and though she was fun, so I am excited and opened-minded to see where Steven Moffat, the Lead Writer, will take this show in the second half of this season. Moffat was quoted saying that the reason for choosing her what that “she worked the best alongside Smith and could talk faster than him.” Classic reasoning!

The episodes look and sound stunning on Blu-ray. BBC America has finally upgraded to HD (or 720p on TV), so at least now it is watchable but they look even better with their 1080p transfers, and presented in their original aspect ratio: 1.78:1. There are some great special features included in “Doctor Who: Series Seven – Part One”. There are five-part mini-adventure prequel to series seven called “Pond Life”, which puts the Doctor in more situations when attempting to visit AMy and Rory on Earth. There is a “Asylum of the Daleks Prequel” included where the Doctor receives a message from a mysterious hooded woman called Darla Von Karlsen. “The Making of The Gunslinger” shows us the origin of The Gunslinger in “A Town Called Mercy”. Lastly, “The Science of Doctor Who” and “Doctor Who at Comic Con” are great BBC America specials.

Lastly I must give a future nod to an upcoming “Doctor Who” release from BBC. On Nov.20th, the “Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set” is hitting the stories. It comes packed with over 70 hours of “Doctor Who” spread over 41-discs. It is the perfect gift for all Doctor Who fan’s this holiday season. It includes the complete series one-six featuring Christopher Eccleston (the ninth Doctor), David Tennant (the tenth Doctor) and Matt Smith (the eleventh Doctor). It also includes hours and hours of bonus features including three new Doctor Who Specials coming to DVD for the first time ever, a collectible eleventh Doctor Sonic Screwdriver, three original art cards and the comic book, “Doctor Who at Comic Con.” If you are wondering how all this can fit on to one gift set just remember that it’s bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside 😉

Her Universe and BBC Worldwide Launching “Doctor Who” Fangirl Fashion Collection

Her Universe and BBC Worldwide Launching

Doctor Who Fangirl Fashion Collection

Los Angeles, CA, June 26, 2012 – Her Universe™, a leader in female genre merchandise, announced today a license with BBC Worldwide, to create a collection ofDoctor Who apparel for the ever-growing female fan base for the television show.

Her Universe recognized the burgeoning force of female Doctor Who fans and the need to create unique apparel and merchandise just for them. The international iconic brand and television hit Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi series in the world and continues to earn critical acclaim as BBC AMERICA’s highest rated series as well as the #1 downloaded series for iTunes in 2011. The new Doctor Who collection by Her Universe will premiere in July with fashion tops featuring images, characters and phrases from the Doctor Who universe all with fashion-forward designs for girls to look “Geek Chic.” To recognize their female Doctor Who fans, BBC Worldwide has created a special Doctor Who logo which will only appear on merchandise from the Her Universe collection.

Ashley Eckstein, founder of Her Universe and known to sci-fi fans as the voice of Ahsoka Tano on the hit animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars also designed and created the Her Universe merchandise. “Her Universe is a line for the fans,” said Eckstein. “Many of our design choices and decisions are influenced by our fans and Doctor Who was the #1 requested license by fangirls for us to pursue next. It was truly a dream come true when BBC Worldwide asked us to do their female merchandise and I am beyond excited to share this extraordinary announcement with our girls today! In the words of the Doctor, I feel like screaming Geronimo!”

Doctor Who apparel and accessories from the Her Universe collection will be available in the U.S. and Canada at both www.heruniverseshop.com and BBCAmericashop.com and through national retail outlets such as Hot Topic. Throughout 2012, the Doctor Who merchandise will also be available at select conventions including San Diego Comic Con.

About Her Universe
Her Universe was launched in 2009 by actress and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein, and her partner, The Araca Group, known as one of the most innovative theatrical production and merchandise companies in the world. Her Universe was created to directly address the expanding market of female fans by entering into its first agreement with Lucas Licensing to develop and produce a line of female-centered Star Wars apparel and accessories. The success of that line was followed up with a collection for the Syfy network including such shows as Battlestar Galactica and with BBC America for its Doctor Who franchise. You can learn more about Her Universe and purchase the current line of fangirl apparel and accessories by going to www.heruniverse.com and by following Eckstein on Twitter and visiting the Her Universe Facebook page.

About BBC Worldwide Ltd.
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has five core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products and Brands, Consumers & New Ventures, with digital ventures incorporated into each business area. In 2010/11, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160 million on sales of £1158 million and returned £182m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview

Photo credit: – Kelsey Edwards Photography



Related Content

Blu-ray Review “Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series”

Actors: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC
Run Time: 585 minutes

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars

This series is definitely one of the best of the new reboot. The story line is very intense and if I say it “ballsy”. In the first episode of the series, they “kill off” The Doctor…that takes some guts. Of course they only reveal little bits until the finale, but it is done so well that it leaves your mouth watering for more each episode. I feel that Matt Smith is just such an amazing Doctor. His mannerisms are just so unique and he really dives deep into the role. I can’t wait to see what is going to be happen with the seventh series.

This complete series set comes with all 13 episodes from series six and even includes last year’s Christmas episode “A Christmas Carol”. The special features on this release is really worth the purchase alone though. There are five “Night and the Doctor” recorded scenes exclusive to DVD and Blu-ray.  There are five special episode prequels.  There are two sketches recorded for the UK’s Comic Relief charity event.  Since “Doctor Who” has the best monsters, you can find out about the Doctor’s most challenging opponents in four different “Monster Files”.  I am a big fan of “Doctor Who Confidential” and there is an inside look includes for each episode.  There is also fantastic audio commentary available on a few episodes. So obviously if you are fan of the series, the purchase of this Blu-ray is a no-brainer!

Synopsis: The 6-disc set combines all 13 episodes of the new season from award-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock, The Adventures of Tintin), along with the 2010 Holiday Special, A Christmas Carol, starring Harry Potter’s Michael Gambon, plus hours of bonus features. The series follows the adventures of the Doctor, a mysterious traveler who journeys throughout all of time and space, picking up companions along the way. ©BAFTA nominee Matt Smith (the Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory) and Alex Kingston (River Song) are back when the Doctor faces his date with death and learns a lot more about the mysterious River Song. Guest stars include Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Notting Hill), supermodel Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), James Corden (Gavin & Stacey,The History Boys), and David Walliams (Little Britain, Come Fly With Me). Catch a surprise appearance by NBC’s Meredith Vieira in the series finale as well as Michael Sheen (The Twilight Saga, Midnight in Paris), who voices a character in Neil Gaiman’s episode and Imelda Staunton (Cranford, Vera Drake), who voices a character in Tom MacRae’s episode. Executive producers are Piers Wenger (Upstairs Downstairs, Ashes to Ashes) and Beth Willis (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes). Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1, Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 2 and Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol are also available for purchase separately on DVD and Blu-ray.

The hugely popular complete sixth season of Doctor Who is available Nov. 22 on Blu-ray and DVD at http://bit.ly/rN2cf5

Blu-Ray Review “Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1”

Starring: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill
Original channel: BBC One/America
Premiered: 23 April 2011
Episodes: 7 out of 13 from Series 6
Running Time: 45 minutes per episode

Series 6, Part 1: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

I think series five with Matt Smith coming on board as The Doctor was a good kicking off point, but the show really finds its mark with series six. I think that Matt Smith is really what The Doctor needs to be…awkward, goofy and out of this world (no pun intended). The addition of adding Arthur Darvill on as a traveling partner for The Doctor and Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) is great and adds a lot for Amy’s character. This set consists of the first seven episodes and really leaves you wanting more.

I have been watching Doctor Who for a while and it is always great.  There is definitely something deeper about this season, whether it is darker or more mysterious but it really has been drawn in.  Maybe it is the shows migration over in the United States, but overall this season really packs a punch.  Watching the episodes on Blu-ray is a huge improvement from BBC America since they were not in HD.  The episodes looks fantastic and the colors are so enthralling.  The sound packs a terrific DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1, which is similar to the past “Doctor Who” releases. Overall an definitely purchase for us “Doctor Who” fans

Unfortunately after a great season, you expect great extras but included on the 2-disc Blu-ray edition are only two featurettes called “Monster Files”. They run 24 minutes and provide an overview of some of the aliens, monsters and creatures that appear in series six.  So fingers crossed that Part 2 of Series 6 really delivers in the extras.

On July 19, the first part of the new acclaimed season of “Doctor Who” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD, with the release of Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1.

Check out the Official Site: http://bit.ly/oa1ppC

About the Blu-ray/DVD:
Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1, a two-disc DVD and Blu-ray set, contains the first seven episodes along with two Monster files, “The Gangers” and “The Silence,” two of the Doctor’s most challenging opponents.

In the season opener, “The Impossible Astronaut,” four envelopes are received, numbered 2, 3 and 4, each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but in TARDIS blue. Who sent them? And who received the missing number one? This strange summons reunites the Doctor (Smith), Amy (Gillan), Rory (Darvill) and River Song (Kingston) in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret the Doctor’s friends must never reveal to him. ‘Space 1969’ is their only clue, as their quest lands them – quite literally – in the Oval Office, where they are enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former-FBI agent Canton (Mark Sheppard) in saving a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman.

Following the two-parter, the Doctor, Amy and Rory journey on the high seas of 1696 aboard Avery’s (Bonneville) pirate ship to solve the mystery of the Siren (Cole). In a bubble universe at the very edge of reality, the Doctor meets an old friend with a new face, and in a monastery on a remote island in the near future, an industrial accident takes on a terrible human shape. And waiting for them, at the end of all this, is the battle of Demon’s Run, and the Doctor’s darkest hour. Can even the truth about River Song save the Time Lord’s soul? Only two things are certain. Silence will fall. And a good man is going to die…