The 'New beginnings' boxset
More about Doctor Who
Reviews of the serials in this boxset:
The keeper of Traken (1981)
What I've seen is the UK edition. Special features:
Definitely worth seeing:
- Being Doctor Who. Peter Davison discusses how he took over from Tom Baker.
- The crowded Tardis. A look at the increase in the Tardis crew with contributions from, among others, Tom Baker and Peter Davison.
- Commentary for 'Logopolis' and 'Castrovalva'. The commentary for 'Castrovalva' gives us the always entertaining Peter Davison - Janet Fielding double act, with guest appearances from Fiona Cummings and Christopher H. Bidmead. The commentary for 'Logopolis', with Fielding, Bidmead and Tom Baker, is a bit more subdued but worth listening to.
- Info text. Production subtitles providing background information for all three serials.
- A new body at last. A 50-minute documentary with cast and crew discussing the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison. It's a bit long and rambling, but the contributions from Tom Baker in particular make it worth watching.
- Being nice to each other. A 30-minute documentary looking at the making of 'The keeper of Traken'.
- Directing Castrovalva. Fiona Cummings talks about her work.
- Tom Baker on Nationwide (1981?). Nothing profound, but seeing Tom Baker being Tom Baker is always fun.
- Peter Davison on Pebble Mill (1981?). Fashion tips for the fifth Doctor.
- 1982 Doctor who annual. 59 pages of Doctor Who fiction, fan stuff and popular science in PDF format. Clearly aimed at a young audience, but quite fun.
Sort of good stuff:
- Commentary for 'The keeper of Traken'. Matthew Waterhouse is hosting the conversation, with contributions from Anthony Ainly and Sarah Sutton, and at times he seems too self-conscious to draw out any interesting responses from the others.
- Deleted scenes from 'Castrovalva'. No great loss.
- Music-only option for all three serials. The use of (electronic) music is interesting, with the music underscoring specific bits of action. In the music-only option the long silences between the fairly short bursts of music are a bit weird, though.
- Photo galleries for all three serials. They're nice, but it's a feature that I'm not really that interested in.
- The return of the Master. A short documentary about the return of the Master, who had been a recurring villain in the Pertwee era. A longer documentary about the Master's history in the series would have been nice (though perhaps difficult to make, since the two actors who were most famous in the part are no longer with us). As it is, there's not really that much subject matter to discuss.
- Peter Davison on Blue Peter (1981?).
- Peter Davison on Nationwide (1981?).
- Peter Davison on Swap shop (1981?).
- Sarah Sutton on Swap shop (1981).
- BBC News. News items covering Tom Baker and Lalla Ward's wedding, Tom Baker's departure and Peter Davison's arrival.
- Theme music video.
- BBC Enterprises literature. Literature produced by BBC Enterprises to promote season 18. Cast-listings and rather spoiler-ridden summaries.
The not really that great stuff:
- Trailers and continuity announcements
- Radio Times billings for all three serials.
I've found one Easter egg on the 'Castrovalva' DVD. On the main menu, press 'down' until the circle next to 'Audio options' becomes white, and then press 'left'. The Doctor Who logo at the top of the screen will become high-lighted. Press 'OK'. If you're playing the DVD on a computer, you can also click on the logo. What you'll see is a Doctor Who float with Peter Davison at some festive event.
The bottom line:
A "must have" DVD boxset.
More about Doctor Who
Doctor Who reviews: introduction
More "must have" Doctor Who DVD releases:
Doctor Who reviews: must have
More DVD releases from 2007:
Doctor Who reviews: 2007 releases
Original version of this review:
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