As per the pattern of previous releases, Doctor Who Series Seven was previously released in two volumes. Now the time has come to release the entire series as one entity and add some special features to the mix. There’s brilliance (Matt Smith, Clara’s identity), sadness (Goodbye Ponds and Eleven - eventually), and a lead up to a thrilling end of Series Seven (in the name of peace and sanity).Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor is rapidly coming to an end but we wouldn’t know until well into the second part of the seventh series that his days were numbered. The first part of the season features not the demise of the Doctor but of his traveling companions Amy (Karen Gillian) and Rory (Arthur Darvill). However, the second half features the arrival of a new traveling companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) and she even pops up sooner than expected adding mystery to her introduction. Nicely done.
To me the season had its ups and downs on first viewing but I’ve changed my tune a bit on second viewings. I still think that the brevity of compressing adventures into 45 minute chunks (although offering challenges to the makers) makes some of the stories rushed. Some of the second part stories are good, but not jumping out. Of course, this changes with the set up for the 50th Anniversary story (Day of the Doctor) that is coming up in November.
I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I will miss Eleven but I do look forward to Twelve. What is also nice is that the BBC is starting to put the show out in 1080p so that those that complain about 1080i can cease and desist.
Seventh Series Episodes: The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe (2011 Christmas Special), Asylum Of The Daleks, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, A Town Called Mercy, The Power Of Three, The Angels Take Manhattan, The Snowmen (2012 Christmas Special), The Bells Of Saint John, The Rings Of Akhaten, Cold War, Hide, Journey To The Center Of The TARDIS, The Crimson Horror, Nightmare In Silver, and The Name Of The Doctor.
Doctor Who is presented in a 1080p transfer (1.78:1). Special features on disc one include the 87 second prequel to The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, the 2 minute Asylum of the Daleks prequel, and the 2 minute “Making of the Gunslinger.”
Disc two has the five part “Pond Life” (6 minutes total), the 3 minute “Demon’s Run: Two Days Later,” commentary by on the Snowmen (production designer Michael Pickwoad and art director Paul Spriggs), the 3 minute “Vastra Investigates,” the 3 minute “The Great Detective,” the 3 minute “The Bells of Saint John: a Prequel,” the 12 minute “Last Days of the Ponds,” the 11 minute “Doctor Who at Comic Con,” the 43 minute “Doctor Who in the US.”
Disc three has commentaries on Cold War (writer Mark Gatiss, special effects supervisor Murray Barber, and special effects producer Jena Powell), Hide (Matt Smith and director Jamie Payne), and the Crimson Horror (actors Cathrin Stewart, Dan Starkey, and Neve McIntosh), the 15 minute three segment “Doctor Who on the Nerdist,” and the 10 minute “Creating Clara.”
Disc four has 13 episodes of behind-the-scenes (totaling 55 minutes), the 2 minute “Clarence and the Whispermen,” the 44 minute “Science of Doctor Who,” the 45 minute “The Companions,” the 3 minute “She said, He said,” the 2 minute “Inforarium,” the 2 minute “Clara and the TARDIS,” and the 2 minute “Rain Gods.”
There were some bumps, although nothing terrible, about the second part of Eleven’s series seven I did enjoy the twists and turns. I was redeemed with the cracking, thrilling set up for the celebratory 50th Anniversary special. This complete series set adds a nice selection of special features to help in celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who.