Doctor Who: The Complete Specials (Blu-ray)


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Rating: Not Rated

David Tennant as The Doctor

Special Features:
Disc 1: The Next Doctor
Disc 2: Planet of the Dead
Disc 3: The Waters of Mars
Discs 4-5: The End of Time, Parts One and Two

Doctor Who Confidential
Doctor Who at the Proms
Deleted scenes with introduction from Russell T. Davies
David Tennant Video Diaries: The Final Days
Doctor Who BBC Christmas Idents
Audio commentaries
Doctor Who at Comic-Con

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 114 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the specials:

“This stunning collection of ‘Doctor Who’ specials – The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, Part One & Two – is a must own for all ‘Doctor Who’ fans. The four imaginative, action-packed specials are the farewell to star David Tennant, and Russell T Davies, the mastermind behind the rebirth of the modern ‘Doctor Who.’ The specials culminate in the dramatic regeneration of the Doctor, giving fans their first glimpse of the eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith. The specials are packed with a terrific lineup of guest stars including Michelle Ryan (‘Bionic Woman’), David Morrissey (‘State of Play,’ ‘Sense and Sensibility’), Lindsay Duncan (‘Alice in Wonderland’ (2010), ‘Rome,’ ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’) and many more that we can’t reveal just yet!”

“Doctor Who: The Complete Specials” is not rated.

The Specials:
I have to confess that I had never seen “Doctor Who” before viewing this Blu-ray. I had seen bits and pieces of it on PBS and at sci-fi conventions, but none of it was ever any interest to me. So I went into “The Next Doctor” completely cold. I was a little flummoxed by some of the history. I didn’t know the significance of the robots, I didn’t know why Doctor Who did what he did, and I didn’t know what a Tardis was. Despite this, I found myself drawn into the world. The production values on the show were quite impressive. The sets and costumes were better than some I had seen in big screen features. The music was quite good and I actually noticed it rather than missing it as it blurred into the background. But the thing that really hooked me was the grand finale. In it, we see a massive steampunk-looking robot stomping through Victorian London as The Doctor attacked it in a hot air balloon. Consider me sold. My young children happened to watch it with me and they were as enthralled as I was.

But the great thing about the “Doctor Who” universe is that the story can take place anywhere at any time. While “The Next Doctor” was set in 1851 London, “The Waters of Mars” is set at a Martian base in 2059. “Planet of the Dead” takes place on an alien planet while “The End of Time” takes place elsewhere. The concept also allows for a wide variety of guest stars. We see all the ones listed above as well as Timothy Dalton as Lord President Rassilon. It just opens up a lot of storytelling possibilities.

If you’re a “Doctor Who” newbie like me, I think this Blu-ray set is a decent place to start. It doesn’t take too long to figure out the rules and the production is so first rate that you’re well indoctrinated before you go back and see the cheesier episodes from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The hour long format also keeps the pace moving and doesn’t draw it out too long.

There are a lot of bonus features included in this set. Each episode includes a ‘making of’ special that is actually as long as the movie itself. They discuss the creation of the effects, the stories, the cast, and other such stuff. You’ll also find deleted scenes, audio commentaries, and even a presentation from the San Diego Comic-Con.