November celebrated 50 years of Doctor Who and the BBC materialized a gift set to go under your TARDIS console. It’s a solid set but there’s not much that you haven’t seen before but it does feature some new transfers and cool items in the impressive box. Happy Birthday Doctor.Fans will be happy to know that all the special features from the previous DVD and Blu-ray releases make their way over to this hefty set. Refer to my previous Doctor Who reviews for that content and episode/season opinions. Every episode since the series was rebooted in 2005 now finds their way onto Blu-ray, which also marks the debut of some seasons in high definition (seasons 1-4).
Even better in that some seasons that were released in high definition in 1080i have now been upgraded to 1080p (1:78:1). There are even some new to Blu-ray special features. These include a bonus disc that has the 45 minute “The Doctor Who Ultimate List of Lists” from BBC AMERICA’s The Brit List, the 45 minute “Best of the Christmas Specials,” and the 90 minute “Doctor Who at the Proms” concert. What is good about the 2011 Proms is that it is the uncut version. The one that appeared previously was the edited 60 minute version.
If you have BBC America then at least two of these items have been shown on the channel (unsure if uncut concert aired there, but I’d wager it did) and they don’t really focus on anything but the show since 2005. The box does contain three art cards featuring the ninth, tenth, and eleventh Doctor and a commemorative anniversary comic. However, the coolest inclusion is a sonic screwdriver universal remote control.
It’s solid, heavy, and feels like the real deal. You use gestures to operate it! Fantastic! It might’ve been nice if they’d put more swag in the box since the left side of the box features a clear plastic box to fill in the space. Maybe it had Tom Baker’s breath in it, but an Adipose or something would’ve been funny to find in it.
At the moment if you’re wanting those early seasons on Blu-ray then this set is your only choice (but I’d wager sometime in the future we’ll see them released). The box is hefty enough and full of items and the 29 Blu-rays that you’ll feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. The sonic screwdriver is especially cool.