Doctor Who Season 5 Blu-ray

Monday, 08 November 2010 21:02

After his emotional regeneration, Matt Smith took on the mantle of the Eleventh Doctor, awakening to discover his TARDIS is about to crash. Crawling from the wreckage, he meets young Amy Pond – the breakthrough performance for Karen Gillan, one of the sassiest assistants for many a year. Still wearing the remains of David Tennant’s outfit, the new Doctor, disorientated or not, in his dishevelled state promises to take the very young Amy to the stars.

As usual, things in this universe aren’t as easy as that; before our new dynamic duo can begin their journeys, they become embroiled in an alien plot that could destroy the Earth. Many of the David Tennant Fan Club was no doubt absent without leave from watching any of the new stories, but then again they had originally joined the fun not for the concept, but because of their raging hormones. A shame, as although the series had an entirely different rhythm, it was still highly watchable.

Doctor Who - Matt Smith's first season out on Blu-ray and DVDI’ll make no secret that, despite appreciating that Steven Moffat, the new producer, has an understanding of storytelling, and indeed Doctor Who itself, which is as great as the outgoing Russell ‘The’ Davies, his choice of new Time Lord had me kvetching like an old woman. What I had seen of Matt Smith, in particular Moses Jones, had me anticipating that Mr Moffat had hired a plank of wood with a penchant for bow ties. Cynically I suggested this was a cost-saving exercise, as they were more than likely going to move to HD which would mean a rebuild of the TARDIS, such would be the forensic level of detail required for this upscaling in cinematography.

That said, the third major element of the retooling was the choice of companion.  Having already seen Karen Gillan be comic gold in The Kevin Bishop Show, I was in no doubt this was an inspired piece of casting. Indeed, she’d already been in Doctor Who as the Soothsayer in “The Fires of Pompeii”.

So, aside from not being convinced by the choice of Doctor, everything else was in place for excellent business as usual.  That did not, however, stop me having a great deal of trepidation in settling down to watch the first episode proper.  The final scene in “The End of Time”, depicting the regeneration, had cemented my fears about Mr Smith, with a dopey and unconvincing performance more suited to Play School than Saturday evenings.

Thankfully, right from the off the character of the Doctor was old-school Troughton at its most exuberant. Let’s face it, David Tennant’s characterisation had run its course, with our Gallifreyan having become maudlin and actually not much fun to be with. I’m surprised his female fans didn’t pick up on that more – it was like a boyfriend of long standing becoming moody, petulant, and really leaving no choice but to be dumped.

This latest season was far more testosterone-fuelled than before; it was swashbuckling rather than dramatic, masculine rather than metrosexual, spontaneous rather than measured.

So, here we are with the tradition of the entire series box set just before Christmas.  We’ve had the single disc vanilla editions at monthly intervals, and now the repackaging - featuring a host of extras.  Much has been made of the two special scenes exclusive to the release, but it has to be noted that from the original PR preening I was expecting many more than this!

But back to the plot. The Doctor makes good his promise to Amy, and her older version boards the regenerated TARDIS, ready to take to the stars on a series of adventures that will change her outlook to life. They visit 17th century Venice, France during the 1890s and the United Kingdom in the far future, now an entire nation floating in space. As always, wherever the Doctor goes, his oldest enemies are never far behind - the Daleks are hatching a new master plan from the heart of war-torn London in the 1940s, and they are about to go through a daunting transition themselves.

They are not the only strange creatures the Doctor and Amy must face this season - there are also alien vampires, humanoid reptiles, old Moffat enemies in the shape of the Weeping Angels, and a silent menace that follows Amy and the Doctor around wherever they go.

Guest stars stepping up to bat include James Corden (Gavin & Stacey), Daisy Haggard (Man Stroke Woman), Bill Nighy (State of Play) and Tony Curran (24), and Alex Kingston (ER) is back as Professor River Song.

Doctor Who Complete Series 5, is available in lenticular packaging, as well as a numbered limited edition steelbook box set, obviously out there with Christmas in mind. The full list of Extras on this set are:

  • “Meanwhile in the TARDIS” - Newly filmed scenes written by Steven Moffat, exclusive to DVD and Blu-ray, telling what happens between a couple of episodes. Why was Amy floating in Space above Starship UK, and what happened after 'that' kiss between the Doctor and Amy?
  • Doctor Who Confidential – The cut-down variants with an inside look at each episode
  • “Monster Files” - Get under the skin and inside the minds of the new Doctor’s most challenging opponents. With previously unseen footage and exclusive comments from cast and crew, the Monster Files take fans old and new even further behind enemy lines.
  • In-Vision Commentaries
  • Out-takes
  • Video Diaries (Matt Smith & Karen Gillan)

Doctor Who Complete Series 5 is out now, with a ‘PG’ certificate, a running time of 590 minutes, and a RRP of £79.99 for the Blu-ray, £69.99 for the DVD version, or get either version for less at www.culttvstore.com

 

SEASON 5 EPISODE LISTING

01. “The Eleventh Hour”

02. “The Beast Below”

03. “Victory of the Daleks”

04. “The Time of Angels”

05. “Flesh and Stone”

06. “The Vampires of Venice”

07. “Amy's Choice”

08. “The Hungry Earth”

09. “Cold Blood”

10. “Vincent and the Doctor”

11. “The Lodger”

12. “The Pandorica Opens”

13. “The Big Bang”

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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