Doctor Who – Revisitations Box Set 1

Hmmm. Now this is an interesting one. This isn’t the usual kind of box set – not a set of consecutive or related stories that have never been seen on shiny round things before, but reissues of three of the earlier DVD releases.

So, what’s in the box? First, there’s the Tom Baker classic The Talons of Weng-Chiang, featuring the Doctor in superb Sherlock Holmes mode, and much more. The DVD was first released in 2003, so if you missed it, here’s your chance to get it in shiny remastered format, together with an extra disc of extras.

Then there’s Peter Davison’s last story The Caves of Androzani, first released on DVD in 2001, and also with an extra DVD of stuff.

Finally, there’s that delicious anomaly, the Paul McGann 1996 TV Movie. That was one of the first DVDs to be released if my creaky memory is correct, and also came out in 2001. That also gets an extra disc with, quite frankly loads of stuff including a new documentary.

I’ll do separate reviews about each story later, but this is more of a general ponder on the concept. You could take the cynical view that this is a Cunning Plan to make people buy the same thing twice. And there may be a bit of that involved. Or you could look at it as being a good example of looking over what’s been done before and trying to do it better. Remastering and general video cleaning and polishing[1] technology has improved a lot since 2001, and with the larger market for classic Doctor Who DVDs these days[2], there’s more money available to make documentaries and other extras, which were often a bit on the slight side in the early days.

So, if you didn’t get the DVDs when they were first released, this is a good opportunity to get two of the best classic stories and the TV Movie, which isn’t too bad at all, for under £30, including hours of extras. Or you can look for used copies of the originals which people who are upgrading to this set might be disposing of.

If, like me, you did get the originals when they were released, whether you should by this depends on how much you want the extras and the improved mastering. If you’re happy with the DVDs you have, and you can’t be bothered with watching all the extra bits and bobs, you’re probably better off not bothering. But if you’re a bit more obsessive, you’ll be wanting this.

Full details will follow, as I manage to watch them.

Perhaps it might have been more customer-friendly to release these as single discs rather than in a box, but I suspect they’d have ended up being more expensive that way…

[1] So to speak
[2] Apparently. Something to do with the TV series being back, which I might have mentioned in passing