Doctor Who Classic DVD's and Boxsets
This page features all the remastered Classic Dr Who DVD releases from 2009. There were some particularly good releases in this year with some true classics. I haven't managed to add my own review every item on this page yet, but I'm getting there!
The E-Space Trilogy (Full Circle / State of Decay / Warrior's Gate) - Tom Baker (Released 26th Jan 2009)
Average rating 4.1
Featuring excellent plots and memorable characters, this trilogy of stories is full of quality sci-fi and is excellent value. All of the stories are above average, and Full Circle has particularly clever writing, and the Marshmen are cleverly designed. State Of Decay is more like a Hammer horror movie and full of gothicness and vampires, maybe a bit OTT for Doctor Who, but great fun, nonetheless. Warrior's Gate continue's the gothic theme and features the sad departure of Romana and also K-9, who I was glad to see the back of! This is a quite a complex story and maybe a tad confusing at times, but the mysteriousness keeps you watching.
Full Circle: The Doctor discovers the TARDIS has fallen into E-Space and landed on the planet Alzarius. Its only inhabitants live on a vast, dilapidated spaceship which they have been attempting to repair for generations in order to return to their home planet. But Mistfall, a legendary time of terror, is coming again to Alzarius, and an eerie menace is rising out of the misty marshes. The Doctor and Romana must solve the riddle of the strange Marshmen if they are to have any chance of returning to their own universe.
State of Decay: Searching for a way out of E-Space, the Doctor and Romana, joined by a young stowaway, land on an Earth-like planet. Here the people live in fear of 'the Three who Rule'; cruel lords who live in a high tower overlooking their village. Suppressing all learning to keep their subjects ignorant and helpless, what chilling secret are these ruthless monarchs concealing? An ancient evil is rising once again and only the Doctor and Romana can destroy it.
Warriors’ Gate: A strange creature forces its way into the TARDIS steering them to a white void occupied only by the ruins of an old building and a spaceship. This empty space is a gateway to the past and future and the creature responsible for taking them there is Biroc, a Tharil, an enslaved race. The gateway offers the only exit out of E-Sapce, but the void is contracting. Are the Doctor and his friends fated to spend eternity in E-Space? And what final shock revelation awaits the Doctor?
The Rescue - The Romans - Box Set - William Hartnell (Released 23rd Feb 2009)
Average rating 4.0
This DVD release features much improved picture and sound quality, and is vastly superior the the previous VHS releases. The Rescue takes place on a deserted planet, in which we are introduced to the Doctor's new companion Vicki - an excellent replacement for the irritating Susan. She has been stranded for some time in this nightmarish world with an alien creature called Koquillon. The plot is very straightforward and simple, but it's an exciting two-part adventure and well-executed.
The Romans has a very different historic theme (you had probably guessed that already!) which comes with a heavy dose of humour thrown in. It has an epic feel, even though it was produced on a tight budget - quite an achievement. The set is great, there are decent costumes and the acting is solid. Some fans have described it as being a bit like a Carry On film, but this definitely has more depth and is well-scripted, with William Hartnell being well-suited to his light-hearted role. This is a pretty decent box set and well worth adding to your collection. Just remember that these are black and white (this was the 60s), but don't let that put you off and miss out on two decent Doctor Who stories.
Description: The TARDIS gains a new crew member then travels back in time to Nero’s Rome in these two classic adventures starring William Hartnell.The Rescue
Arriving on the planet Dido in the late 25th Century, the time travellers come upon a crashed spaceship from Earth. Its two occupants are living in fear of a creature called Koquillion, but everything is not as it seems…
The time travellers are enjoying a rare holiday, staying at a villa not far from Rome in the year 64 AD. The Doctor soon becomes restless and sets off to visit the city. Having been mistaken for the famous lyre player and asked to perform at the Emperor Nero's Court, the Doctor has to devise ever more elaborate schemes to avoid revealing that he cannot actually play the instrument.
Attack Of The Cybermen - Colin Baker (DVD released 16th March 2009)
Average rating 3.9
Colin Baker's role as the sixth Doctor is often criticized, and he had a pretty hard task steping into the shoes of Peter Davison in this first outing, but this was an ambitious and well-executed story with plenty of scary, if not terrifying moments.
Okay, it's not perfect and the synthesized music, set and costumes are all very 80s - as an editor of an 80s site that doesn't bother me in the slightest, of course, but it seems to bother a lot of fans judging by the reviews. Maybe they should accept the fact that each decade offered very different fashions, set design and music and celebrate the fact.
Colin Baker gives a full-on performance and shows much enthusiasm for his role, although you either love or hate his camp, colourful costumes. But if you're a cybermen fan then you simply have to add this one to your collection. The plot is decent enough and although it's not quite a classic, it's certainly entertaining. There are lots of references to previous cybermen stories, too, although that may be a little confusing for anyone who doesn't know their stuff, of course.
Description: The TARDIS is lured to Earth in 1985 by a distress call sent by Lytton, who has made contact with a group of Cybermen based in London's sewers. The Doctor and Peri are then captured and forced to take Lytton and the Cybermen in the TARDIS to the Cybermen's home planet Telos. The Cybermen have stolen a time vessel from another race and plan to change history by crashing Halley's Comet into Earth and obliterating it before it can bring about the demise of their original home world, Mondas, in 1986.
Image Of The Fendahl - Tom Baker (DVD released 20th April 2009)
Average rating: 4.2
There were quite a few gothic-style stories during the Baker ear, and this is yet another one, although that's not necessaily a bad thing. Let's not beat around the bush, this isn't a five star adventure, but it's certainly worthy of four shiny ones.
Featuring Leela as his assistant (love her!), this spooky ghost story contains plenty of atmosphere, just the right amount of humour (there's nothing worse than sci-fi that takes itself too seriously) and above average performances from all the cast. On a negative note, the monsters let the side down and the ending is underwhelming, which stops this from being a classic, but if you can get past that then you'll definitely enjoy this one.
A sonic time scan draws the TARDIS to the Fetch Priory on Earth. There, the Doctor and Leela discover an impossibly old human skull that is the key to a nightmare from the Time Lords’ past.
A murderous monster stalks the priory grounds; and within, someone is intent on unleashing a malevolent creature that feeds on death itself...
This story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 29th October – 19th November 1977
The Deadly Assassin - Tom Baker (DVD released 11th May 2009)
Average rating 4.7
Gallifrey. Planet of the Time Lords. The Doctor has finally come home, but not by choice.
by a vision from The Matrix, he is drawn into web of political intrigue
and assassination. Nothing is quite what it seems, and in the shadows
lurks his oldest and deadliest enemy...
Now this is a pretty gripping four part adventure from Tom Baker's third year, and he has really settled into his role. However, this is more suitable for an older audience with more violence than usual. In fact, this caught the attention of Mary Whitehouse for the drowning scene!
Many fans compare this to The Matrix and, therefore, rate it very highly. With good dialogue, an excellent script and solid acting, this is definitely one for the collection.
Delta and the Bannermen - Sylvester McCoy (DVD released 22nd June 2009)
Average rating 3.3
Dr. Who in a 1950's holiday camp is never going to please ardent fans, and this isn't the most highly rated of stories. Having said that, the majority of customer ratings are 4 stars at Amazon. Well, it is all a bit hi-de-hi, but I don't dislike the 50s feel to this, which is an original setting for Doctor Who and a lot of fun, although it's very cheesy and certainly not in harmony with the adventures from the Tom Baker era.
Sylvester McCoy is trying hard to act seriously, but that's virtually impossible with a setting such as this. It isn't McCoy that is the problem here, but the whole script and the villains are OTT, but if you like 'em like that then you'll enjoy this.
This is always going to be one of those adventure's that you'll either love or hate, and it's certainly divided opinion in the customer reviews, which makes it pretty hard for a reviewer to advise on whether you're going to enjoy this or not. You can now obtain this at a pretty decent price, so if you want to take a chance on this you don't have too much to lose.
Description: The time: 1959. The place: the Shangri-La Holiday Camp, South Wales. The Doctor and Mel want time out.
The hedonistic alien Navarinos wants to catch some vintage rock and roll. And two CIA agents want to know what happened to their country’s missing satellite.
When the beautiful Chimeron princess Delta shows up on the scene, the murderous Bannermen soon follow in hot pursuit. The stage is set for a fiery showdown that will decide the fate of an entire civilisation.
This story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 2nd November – 16th November 1987.
Remembrance Of The Daleks - Special Edition - Sylvester McCoy (released 20th July 2009)
Average Rating 4.0
This is the final classic appearance of the daleks and Davros, and McCoy has settled well into his role as the Doctor and is at his finest in this well-written and very watchable story. This is one of the best McCoy stories, with plenty of action, great characters and solid acting. If you don't already own Remembrance Of The Daleks then you need to buy this. On the other hand, if you already own the DVD version then this "special edition" simply doesn't feature enough extras when compared to the 2001 release to make it worth buying again.
London, 1963, and the Doctor returns to Coal Hill School with his new companion Ace, where he has unfinished business. His oldest foes, the Daleks, are on the trail of Time Lord technology – an artefact the Doctor himself left behind on Earth. Enlisting the assistance of the local military, the Doctor must protect the Gallifrey an secret of time travel as two opposing Dalek factions meet in an explosive confrontation, with the fate of the entire Universe at stake!
The Black Guardian Trilogy: Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment Box Set - Peter Davison (Released 10th Aug 2009)
Average rating 4.1
The third, fourth and fifth stories of the twentieth season were conceived by John Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward as a trilogy reintroducing the Black Guardian.
The Black Guardian recruits a young man named Turlough to assassinate the Doctor. Although outwardly an ordinary pupil at a boys' private boarding school, Turlough is in fact an alien who believes that the Guardian will return him home if he succeeds.
The TARDIS attaches itself to a space liner after Turlough, still under the Black Guardian's influence, damages its controls. The Doctor and Nyssa meet two space pirates, Kari and Olvir, who have come on board the liner in search of plunder, while Tegan and Turlough get lost in the infrastructure.
The White Guardian warns of impending danger and directs the TARDIS to what appears to be an Edwardian sailing yacht, the SS Shadow, but is actually one of a number of spaceships taking part in a race through the solar system, the prize being Enlightenment.
The Keys Of Marinus - William Hartnell (DVD released 21st Sept 2009)
Average rating 4.3
On a remote island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid, there is a machine that can remove evil from the minds of an entire population – the Conscience of Marinus. Fearful of its immense power falling into the wrong hands, its sole guardian has scattered the machine’s operating keys across the planet. The TARDIS crew arrive to find the island under attack by the evil Voord. Marinus’ last line of defence – and its only hope – is the Conscience machine. The Doctor and his companions must undertake a deadly quest to recover the Keys of Marinus...This Terry Nation story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 11th April – 16th May 1964
Dalek War Box Set (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) - Jon Pertwee (Box Set released on 5th Oct 2009)
Average rating 4.6
Now this boxset is enough to have any Who fan's tongue hanging out and dragging along the floor with excitement. Especially the fact that episode three of Planet Of The Daleks has only been available as a 16mm monochrome film recording, but for this DVD release it has been returned to full colour!
Featuring two excellent six-part adventures featuring Jon Pertwee, this involves involving one of the Doctor’s greatest nemeses. Packed with a host of fantastic special features, this four-disc box set contains Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks. Frontier in space .
When the TARDIS accidentally brings the Doctor and Jo aboard Earth cargo ship C982, they find it under attack. The crew perceive the Doctor, Jo and the attackers as Draconians, whose empire currently rivals Earth's for control of the galaxy. But the Doctor and Jo see only Ogrons - brutish, simian mercenaries who steal the cargo, including the TARDIS, and head off into space.
The Doctor's investigations take him to
Earth, the Moon and then to Draconia itself. He discovers that the
Ogrons are employed by his sworn enemy, the Master, who is attempting to
provoke a war between the space empires. The Doctor suspects the scale
of the plan is too grand for the Master, but even he is shocked to
discover the identity of the far deadlier foe waiting in the wings...
Planet of the Daleks
Injured after a shoot-out between his old nemesis the Master and the Ogrons, slaves to the evil Daleks, the Doctor sends a message to the Time Lords, asking them to pilot his TARDIS and follow the Daleks to their new base. After he slips into a coma, it falls to his assistant Jo Grant to explore the planet where the TARDIS finally materialises. She meets a party of Thals and is left in hiding aboard their crashed spaceship while they go to the Doctor's aid. On his recovery, the Doctor learns of their mission to destroy a party of Daleks sent here to discover the native Spiridons' secret of invisibility.
Not only must the Doctor contend with the Daleks' new scheme, but he must try to stop them unleashing a plague that will exterminate all organic life. When a rescue ship of Thals arrive, they bring with them darker news still - somewhere on Spiridon 12,000 Daleks are waiting to emerge and take what they believe is their rightful place as the Universe's supreme beings!
The Key to Time Box Set- Tom Baker (Released 16th Nov 2009)
Average Rating 4.5
The Key to Time starring the much loved Tom Baker is a
multi-story box set containing the six linked stories comprising the whole of Doctor
Who's 16th season, along with a huge array of extras contained on seven
As with many of the Tom Baker stories, there is the perfect mix of humour and drama here with Mary Tamm making an excellent Romana. The biggest annoyance is K-9 who is often getting the Doctor out of trouble, but if you're a fan of the metal mutt then this won't be a problem, of course. The story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 27th October – 17th November 1979, and with a running time of over 10 hours, you get a lot for your money here. Thrilling and well-written, what more could you want?
The plot: In The Key to Time, the Doctor and his new companion, the elegant and sharp-witted Time Lady Romana are dispatched by the White Guardian to recover the six segments of the Key of Time, a powerful device with the ability to stop time.The Doctors and Romans’ mission is to find the six segments before the evil Black Guardian discovers them.