Doctor Who – The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe Blu-ray

Yes, I’m so late reviewing this that it’s closer to the next Christmas special, but as with the box set of the 2011 series, I was sort of keeping it back. Well, actually, that’s not quite true. You see, I tend not to buy the single episode discs, preferring to wait for the full sets, but given the somewhat different scheduling this time, it’s going to be a while before there’s a set, so I decided to get it now. The current low price made this a very easy decision…

On the disk you’ll have that lovely warm fuzzy Christmas special[1] which ends with the Doctor catching up with the Ponds, who contrary to his expectations are quite aware that he’s not actually dead, what with River[2] having told her parents[3] about his little deception.

Then we come to the extras, and there’s the problem. What we should have had was a lovely one hour Doctor Who Confidential, telling us all about the making of the show with lots of probably not all that relevant, but generally entertaining stuff about the cast and crew. But as the management at BBC Three decided that a programme that people actually watched and which wasn’t actually Family Guy wasn’t what they wanted on their little channel any more, so there wasn’t one. What we do have is another of those little prequels, which aren’t quite trailers because they include bits nto shown in the episode. That’s nice.

And then there are three “Best of Doctor Who” items. These are basically clips from Matt Smith’s episodes with assorted people talking about them. Now that sort of thing can be fun, but as these were made by and for US TV, there’s a bit of a problem in that most of the people doing the talking are not that well-known in the UK, so it’s a bit odd. It’s even more odd that some of the people doing the talking don’t actually seem to know all that much about what they’re talking about, making them a little annoying, and emphasising how much we need home-grown material like this. I’m sure they’ll have worked better for their target audience, but it’s a bit sad that the BBC can’t be bothered to make some documentaries to go along with the release of one of their most successful (and biggest money making) shows. Perhaps they should talk to the people who make the classic DVDs for tips on how to add valuable material to their Blu-ray and DVD releases?

Anyway, mutter over. Full marks for the main feature, two points[5] for the prequel, and a big fat Meh for the other extras. But at under £7, I’m not complaining that much. I just hope that wiser heads prevail and we get some proper stuff for the 50th anniversary next year.

[1] Doctor decides to repay someone who helped him. As you might expect with the Doctor’s good intentions, it goes a bit wrong, but works out better than expected at the end. Only with more fun than that, and with added Narnia vibes. But no Mr Tumnus. I think I should make that clear.
[2] Amy: She’s a good girl!
[3] If you weren’t watching series six, none of that[4] will have made any sense at all
[4] So it’s pretty much usual form for this site, really….
[5] Out of some arbitrary number or other