In Review: Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 18

This Blu Ray set brings together all the episodes from Tom Baker's final season

Description: This Blu Ray set brings together all the episodes from Tom Bakers final season as the 4th Doctor Who and packs an extra bit of punch with lots of added extras, which add to those we got from the DVD releases of all the episodes.

Review: Building on the success of Season 12 and 19. This latest release brings us the final adventures of the 4th Doctor and compliments season 19 perfectly given that you can watch Tom Baker’s final story ‘Logopolis’ and immediately follow it up with Peter Davison’s first story on the season 19 set. If indeed you have that.

The set continues the high standard of artwork from the previous releases with Lee Binding providing some awesome artwork along the established format. The artwork establishes the change of format to the series with Tom Bakers new season 18 costume, which broke from the mix and match format of the previous series. Opening up the set reveals an aged Doctor from ‘The Leisure Hive’ and then an image of the Tardis interior with Tardis exterior as seen in the episode ‘Legopolis’

The Blu Ray menu screens as designed by Gavin Rymill feature the Tardis interiors from ‘Legopolis’.

The Stories

Season 18 gave us an interesting mix of stories, which were a mixed bag in quality. The opening story  ‘The Leisure Hive‘  opens up a more colorful look to the series, but as far as the story goes it’s a fairly humdrum conspiracy story, which involves cloning and the use of tachyons.

‘Meglos’ follows the same beats as the opening story with colorful characters and introduces us to E-Space, which takes us back to a simpler format of ‘Doctor Who’ storytelling.

‘Full Circle’ sees the Marshman rise from the sea in a very similar fashion to the Sea Devils from the Pertwee era of Doctor Who. 

In ‘State of Decay’ we get a wonderfully fun vampire story from former Doctor Who script editor and legend, Terrence Dicks. ‘Warriors Gate’ concludes the trilogy of stories, which started in ‘Full Circle’.

Starting up another trilogy of stories is ‘The Keepers of Traken’, which closes with the introduction of Anthony Ainley’s version of The Master sneaking away in his Tardis.

We’d then get more of Ainley’s Master in the season finale ‘Legopolis’ as he tussles with the Doctor, which leads to the dramatic regeneration scene. We also get some CG updates on some of the effects of ‘Legopolis.’

The trilogy would then conclude in ‘Castrovalva’, which is the opening story on the season 19 set.

Extras

Each story on the season 18 collection includes all of the extra content from the original DVD releases with the addition of the Gogglebox style series called ‘Behind The Sofa’, which is done for all episodes. The panel this time comprises of Tom Baker, costume designer June Hudson, and John Leeson are great fun to watch. While season 18 companions Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding are joined on the sofa by 60’s sensation Wendy Padbury.

Also featured among the extras is an hour documentary about the making of ‘Legopolis’, which sees Janet Fielding discuss how difficult thing got on the set of the episode as Tom Baker wrapped up his seven-year run.

‘Weekend with Waterhouse’ is a new extra, which sees Toby Hadoke interview Matthew Waterhouse, who talks about his experience on the show as Adric, who is arguably one of the most disliked characters from the classic series of Doctor Who. Waterhouse gives some fascinating insights and shares some pretty traumatic stories from his time on the show.

The final disk on the set includes ‘K9 and Company’, which was a cute backdoor pilot for a show, which ultimately died at conception due to BBC budget cuts. Though we’d get ‘The Sarah Jane Smith adventures’ much later on, which was sort of a spiritual successor to ‘K9 and Company’. 

Also on the final disk is a new extra, which sees former Doctor Who writers discuss their experiences on the show while having a few pints in a pub. The pub setting and the honesty of the writers involved make this particular new feature a real treat. Hopefully, we’ll see this continue in future releases. The writers involved in this first one are  Christopher H BidmeadJohn FlanaganAndrew Smith, and Stephen Gallagher. The moment where they discuss ‘Meglos’ and ‘Warriors Gate’ is particularly interesting to listen too.

Overall

This is a wonderful collection of Doctor Who, which features lots of great content. Whether you are a new fan watching for the first time or an older fan. This set has something for pretty much everyone’s tastes.

I still get a bit teary-eyed when watching ‘Legopolis’ because Tom Baker was my Doctor Who and I didn’t want him to go.

Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 18 is out now. Order it now. Don’t miss out.

 

9.5
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 18
  • Packaging & Artwork
    10
  • Stories
    8.5
  • Acting
    9.2
  • Picture Quality
    9.8
  • Graphics
    10
  • Incidental Music
    9.5

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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