I have to admit to being in two minds about this particular release. Normally, I have no hesitation at all in getting all the “Classic Series” Doctor Who DVDs, and I’ve been very happy about the greatly increased release schedule. But this one’s a bit of an oddity. Normally, the special collections or box sets contain the standard DVDs in a slipcase, which helps collectors keep a nicely matching set. They also normally include things that haven’t been released before. This set, however, is quite different. Inside the slipcase is the kind of package that’s known as a digistak (or something like that) – eight discs on plastic holders hinged at one side. None of the usual DVD boxes here, but there is a booklet with a background article on Davros and a timeline.
But the real difference is the content. Most, but not all, of the material here has been on sale before, which is where the confusion sets in. Is this a nicely convenient way of getting all the stories featuring the evil creator of the Daleks, or is it a cynical attempt to extract more money from the hardcore of obsessive Doctor Who geeks who just have to get every release? Well, maybe it’s both. I don’t know, but for the purposes of this article, I’ll assume it’s the first. It’s a numbered limited edition – mine is labelled 9513 of 10,000, so if you want it, you might need to order it sooner rather than later. I’ll run through the contents of the set in order.
Genesis of the Daleks
On the same two DVDs it was when I bought it the first time. One of the best ever stories from the original series, with Tom Baker at his best, and Sarah Jane Smith too. Brilliant, and if you don’t have it already, this might be a good time to catch up. For the rest of us, it might just have to be a case of “so good I bought it twice”
Destiny of the Daleks
Now this is new. It’s also available as a standalone DVD if you don’t want the set. It starts Tom Baker as the Doctor and Lalla Ward as the newly regenerated Romana. The usual array of extras are present and correct, and include a documentary on the other creator of the Daleks, Terry Nation. A full report on this disc will follow as a separate post. When I get round to it, in the usual way, etc.
Resurrection of the Daleks
Another previously released one, and unchanged from that release. Peter Davison is the Doctor. The original release was before Losing it started, so I’ll give it the usual write-up, subject to tuit supplies, and all that.
Revelation of the Daleks
Yes, another previously released one, with Colin Baker as the Doctor. As with Resurrection, I’ll need to write this up later…
Remembrance of the Daleks – Special Edition
Now this is the contentious one. While this Sylvester McCoy story has been out on DVD before, this version has been freshly tarted up and given some new extras, which will be in that inevitable eventual review. The slightly dodgy bit is that you can’t get this improved release on its own. If you want it, you’ll have to get this set. Vague comments have been made that it might be released separately at some point, but there’s nothing specific.
A new documentary on its own disc, covering hs appearances both in the TV series and the audio dramas made by Big Finish under licence from the BBC.
At some point during the long dark years after the original series was cancelled, the BBC granted a company called Big Finish the rights to make audio dramas based on Doctor Who. They’ve been making them ever since, with stories featuring former Doctors and companions, and as time has passed, new companions have been introduced. What with one thing and another, I’ve never got round to listening to any of these, but I’m reliably informed that many of them are very good. Three of them featured Davros and are included on the final disc. In addition to actual Doctor Who stories, Big Finish have made a lot of spin off stories featuring Daleks, Cybermen, and a four part series called I, Davros, which is also included, along with a making of documentary, and an exclusive new audio drama called The Davros Mission.
So there it is. Lots of stuff, spread over no less than eight discs, but at a high price – the list price is a wallet crunching £100! Are the new bits worth the cost for people who have the other DVDs already? For people who’ve already got the audio dramas as well, it’s probably a really unattractive deal. For people who haven’t got all the previous releases, it’s not a bad deal at all.
Make your own mind up – I bought it because that’s the kind of geek I am…
 I know there have been some special sets of previously issued DVDs, but they tend to be exclusives from Amazon rather than full releases, so I’m ignoring those for the moment.
 I think I just described myself