In Review: Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 19 Blu Ray Set

Once again the collector set is an absolute joy to behold with some magnificent artwork which features Peter Davison's Doctor Who flanked by the season's various villains.

Description: Features all 26 remastered episodes of Peter Davison’s first season as Doctor Who

Review: I have to admit that when Peter Davison got the role of Doctor Who back in the early 1980s. I was one of the fans that absolutely hated the idea, and it took me a while to get used to Davison in the role. So given I had not revisited any of his episodes since their original airings. I figured I’d give this set a go and see if I liked any of the episodes any better after a second viewing.

Released earlier in the week. Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 19 comprises the entire first series to feature the Fifth Doctor as played by Peter Davison. This release follows on from the hugely successful release of Tom Bakers first season, which dropped in July. Season 18 sees Peter Davison’s first adventures in the Tardis and he is accompanied by Tegan, Nyssa, and Adric.

Once again the collector set is an absolute joy to behold with some magnificent artwork which features Peter Davison’s Doctor Who flanked by the season’s various villains. Artist Lee Binding provides some wonderful artwork throughout the set and it doesn’t end with the main cover. Much like the Tom Baker set, which came out earlier in the year. The inside cover opens up to reveal the eras Tardis Console. Which is also utilized to great effect for the Blu Rays various menus.

Much like the season 12 set. The picture quality has been upscaled and it looks absolutely fantastic. In fact, it looks better than I remember it looking back when season 18 was the first broadcast, which only shows how much technology has moved on. Both picture and sound quality are flawless.

 

The Stories

The stories included are Castrovalva, Four To Doomsday, Kinda, The Visitation, Black Orchid, Earthshock, and Time-Flight.

Castrovalva picks the story up moments from where Tom Bakers final episode  ‘Logopolis’ left off and concludes a rather clever trilogy of stories. Most of the first half of Castrovalva deals with the Doctor’s regeneration and eventual recovery and most of the action takes place in the Tardis, which offered some fun opportunities to explore various rooms in the Tardis, which is a trend that recurred on and off throughout Peter Davison’s era.

Castrovalva is a clever puzzle created by Adric, that the Doctor eventually has to solve in order to get away from The Master. The extras from Castrovalva includes a new documentary, which sees the cast revisiting locations from the story and sharing their memories about filming. We also get new CGI for this story.

Four To Doomsday is a strange tale and was apparently the first to be shot with Davison as The Docter. Apparently producer John Nathan Turner thought it would be a good idea to shoot the stories out of sequence to allow Peter Davison time to gradually grow into the role. And having viewed the entire set. I can humbly say that the decision paid off.

Kinda is a great story that has some wonderful dialogue throughout. The CGI version of the Mara is included and really makes for a wonderful ending to the story.

The Visitation is one that Classic Doctor Who fans will love. The story sees the Doctor going back in time to 17th Century London where a group of fugitive aliens called Terileptils that plan to take over the Earth by planting a deadly plague  It’s wonderful stuff and well put together by script editor Eric Saward.

Black Orchid is a pure history story, which is much more of a mystery than a science fiction story,  but it works well.

Earthshock sees the Cybermen get reinvented for the 5th Doctor era and was the first time the Cybermen has been seen on television in roughly 7 years at that time. Seeing this in HD quality is an absolute delight. The story is packed full of atmosphere and has a few shock moments, one of which is the death of Adric, which featured an incredible performance from Peter Davison’s Doctor who watched his companions death helplessly from the Tardis.

Time Flight is the final story on the set and is the season’s absolute low point. The story hasn’t aged well and not even the upgrade to HD can save us from the wibbly wobbly Concord sets.

Special Features

The added features for this set are wonderful. Of course, all the episodes carry over the extras from the original DVD releases, but the newly made documentaries and the interviews are worth the purchase price alone for the serious collectors.

We see a return for Behind The Sofa, which is similar to the Gogglebox format and sees cast members watching the stories and sharing their memories of them as well as commenting on various points throughout. The panel for the episodes includes Mark Strickson and Sophie Aldred balancing the TARDIS crew of Peter DavisonJanet FieldingSarah Sutton, and Matthew Waterhouse.

New documentaries are provided for ‘Castrovalva‘, ‘Four to Doomsday‘, ‘Black Orchid‘, ‘Earthshock‘ and ‘Time Flight‘. These new documentaries included a lot that fans already know about, but also included some stories that I hadn’t heard. For example on the one, which talks about ‘Castrovalva’ Matthew Waterhouse revealed that while shooting a scene he silently or not so silently had to throw up behind a tree because he’d overdone it when celebrating his 18th birthday.

Rounding everything off is the icing on the cake. The Matthew Sweet interview with Peter Davison, which is a really relaxed interview in which Davison shares some wonderful memories about his time on the show and even makes a few parallels to a certain 13th Doctor and her rather large Tardis crew being similar to the situation he was in during his first series.

Overall

This is another triumph of a Blu Ray release and well worth purchasing given that at £39.99 it works out at roughly a fiver per disk, and each disk is absolutely packed full of content.  This builds really well on the work that BBC Home Entertainment did on the Season 12 box set.

It’s a must-have for collectors and it would be good to get your purchases in as soon as you can while there are still copies on sale.

9.9
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 19
  • Stories
    9.4
  • Acting
    9.7
  • Picture Quality
    10
  • Sound
    10
  • Packaging & Artwork
    10
  • Special Features
    10

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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