The Doctors Revisited 5-8

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by Victoria Irwin
Resident Whovian
[email protected]

With 50 years under it’s belt, Doctor Who has more than one story to tell. BBC has recently released it’s collection of The Doctors Revisited for Doctors 5-8. Each special features a discussion of The Doctor, the companions and villains of the time frame, and a special complete story representing their versions of The Doctor. This 4-Disc set is loaded with trivia, cast interviews, and clips from Classic Doctor Who episodes. It also includes 4 magnets, each representing one of The Doctors included in the set.

Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor was, for that time, the youngest Doctor to grace the television screen. Dressed as a cricketer with a bit of celery, Davison’s Doctor faced the first serious death of a companion on Doctor Who. Matthew Waterhouse, the actor who played Adric (the first companion to suffer a tragic death), reflected on his time in the TARDIS, as well as his final dramatic scene. Nicola Bryant, the actress who played Peri, discussed her time with Davison. David Tennant, the 10th Doctor (and Davison’s now son-in-law) offered his thoughts on his favorite Doctor and what it meant to watch him growing up. Viewers will notice that much of Davison’s actions would later be lovingly mimicked by Tennant in the 2005 Doctor Who Series. Fans are treated to the option of watching the complete story of Earthshock with or without and introduction from current Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffat. That’s right; if you can’t stand the sight of Moffat after last season, you can simply choose to click the other option.

Doctor Who Revisited 5-8Collin Baker is given the special treatment as well, his special focusing on the difficult job of replacing Peter Davison. Collin Baker had a difficult time with the role, as he was instructed to be a more dangerous, angry, and unhinged figure to make up for the 5th Doctor’s rather jarring regeneration. His Doctor was known for nearly choking his companion, Peri, to death. This segment also featured the lovable Bonnie Langford from her time as Mel. Colin Baker’s Doctor was highlighted with the story Vengeance on Varos. As with the 5th Doctor, viewers are given the option of a Steven Moffat introduction or just straight to the original episodes.

Sylvester McCoy has possible the strongest of The Doctors Revisited specials. Bonnie Langford returns for a brief talk on being a companion to McCoy. Sophie Aldred, the actress known for playing Ace, and McCoy speak of their time together on the show. Truly, there have been few pairings as good as McCoy and Aldred. The special concludes with Remembrance of the Daleks, an episode held in high favor by fans of the classic series. After all, what could be better than Ace taking down a Dalek with her supercharged baseball bat. I found myself enjoying this disc the most.

The Eighth Doctor section was noticeably missing a few key figures and facts. Despite the fact that Paul McGann has done so much in the way of audio adventures with Big Finish and ,his Doctor has been featured in various novelizations, the focus was entirely on the 1996 made for TV movie. Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso were available to interview, but Paul McGann and Eric Roberts were notably missing from the discussion. Due to a lack of screen time, the only real option to show for the Doctor was the 1996 movie, Doctor Who. As BBC recently released the special edition of the film, the space on the disc seemed like a waste. I guess one could view it as one less DVD to purchase in the long run.

Overall, the collection is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon or to introduce the younger audience to version of the Doctor that they may not have been able to see. The inclusion of the complete stories makes the series available to a wider group of people and gives a quick introduction to each Doctor’s strengths. It is a great set to brush up on 50 years of Doctor Who history.

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