This is, of course, the third DVD release of this story. The first was back in 2000, and was one of the first to come out. In those days, extras were minimal – just some deleted scenes and out-takes, and remastering was nowhere near as advanced as it is now. The second release was the quite annoying one for collectors – the only was to get it was on the Davros boxed set, which quite apart from being expensive wouldn’t let you put the story in the right order on your shelf. Anyway, all was put right in July this year, and it’s even more right now, as Amazon are offering this two-disc set for a quite friendly £6.98.
The story stars Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace, and was first shown in October 1988. This was Doctor’s Who’s 25th anniversary year, and this story takes us right back to the beginning, with strange things happening in 1963 around a junk yard and a school – the same venues that the series started in.
It all involves the Doctor attempting to sort out the Daleks once and for all by conning them into taking a Time Lord stellar manipulator, named, with typical Gallifreyan style, “The Hand of Omega”. It all goes a bit wrong when two factions of Daleks turn up, one with an emperor who turns out to be our old friend Davros in a new mobility scooter, and the other lot using a young girl as a a kind of battle computer.
The Doctor taunts Davros into playing with the Hand of Omega, which does exactly what the Doctor told it to – zip through time and destroy Skaro, then backfire and blow up Davros’s ship. Mr Wrinkly naturally abandons ship just in time, leaving the his Daleks to be destroyed. Still, he can always make some more…
It’s all a bit more complicated than that, with lots of dodgy human activity to complicate matters, but that’s a fair summary. Oh, and Ace does a great job of bashing a Dalek with a baseball bat.
Special features are plentiful this time.
- Back to School – The usual cast and crew reminiscence thingy. All nicely done.
- Remembrances – a look at the links between this and other stories
- Extended and deleted scenes – introduced by Slyvester and Sophie. Cool.
- Out-takes, commentary, production subtitles and the option of a 5.1 sound mix
And, on a second disc, there’s Davros Connections, a detailed history of Davros, including both TV and audio stories – the audios, which I’ll get round to eventually include stories of his early life, and how he became the charming chap first encountered in Genesis of the Daleks. Also good fun, and well worth watching.
If you didn’t get the Davros set, this is an essential addition to your Doctor Who collection, whether you have the 2000 version of the DVD or not.
 Oh come on, it’s not just me that does that! I’m sure David Tennant had his properly arranged when his shelves were on show in some interview or other…
 This never works, of course.
 You remember Omega, quite bonkers anti-matter chap…
 The Thals might get upset about this