Doctor Who: Regeneration

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:00
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Doctor Who - Regeneration in a DVD premium setThis is going to be an expensive year for Doctor Who fans.  In this, the occasion of its 50th anniversary, merchandise of all descriptions, and in particular at the premium end of the market, is going to cascade into every outlet possible. In terms of the releases so far this year, we have seen episodes that don’t exist in colour restored from B&W (check out "The Ambassadors of Death" and “The Mind of Evil”), second bites at restorations (“Inferno”), and now, in the spirit of the 2006 release of Troughton’s “The Invasion”, we have a set which includes the most prized of missing episodes, “The Tenth Planet – Part Four” in an animated form next to the existing soundtrack.

“Regeneration” is exactly what it says it is. Every Doctor Who story that includes a regeneration scene (made a little incongruous by the troubled metamorphosis between Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy). While some fans of a less profligate disposition will probably wait for “The Tenth Planet” to be released individually, there is no doubt that the presentation of this set will prove very tempting to the majority of hardcore fans.

And what’s not to like about such a well-packaged, individually numbered and limited edition coffee table book? You get over 1,000 minutes of episodes on its six discs, which brings together the heartbreaks where we all get to see our first remembered Time Lord depart.

We have William Hartnell. the first Doctor, exhausted from battling the Cyberman, admit that his body is worn out in the aforementioned “The Tenth Planet”. Patrick Troughton avoids an onscreen metamorphosis, spiralling away from us into limbo at the end of “The War Games”.

There’s Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor suffering from radiation unleashed by ‘The Great One’ -a giant spider from Metebelis Three in “Planet of the Spiders” (note to Matt Smith: it’s pronounced ‘Met-er-bee-liss’!). Tom Baker falling to Earth in “Logopolis”. Peter Davison also suffering from radiation, almost regenerating in Peri’s lap in “The Caves of Androzani”. And a fudge, when we don’t actually see Colin Baker become Sylvester McCoy at the start of “Time and the Rani”.

Sylvester himself was allowed the benefit of a regeneration scene, when he made a cameo at the beginning of the attempted American reboot of the franchise, where Paul McGann made his one and only appearance – a casting decision that always raises a smile here at Cult TV Towers, as a piece of fan fiction submitted to our first writing competition at the Cult TV Festival predicted it would be McGann who would become the Time Lord. How did the writer know over a year in advance of the announcement?

Which almost brings us to the new era, with a jump in the pattern, as there is no story portraying the regeneration of McGann into Eccleston. Way before his time, our Christopher, the Ninth Doctor, departs in a hail of sparks and energy swirls, becoming David Tennant. And how many girly fans wept, scowled and disowned the show when Tennant’s era was ended with Matt Smith taking on the role? Hell, they are even asking for Tennant to take the role back on now!

The package is adorned with striking photography from across the eras, and features detailed informative accounts of every regeneration – and so it needs to be with a price tag that’s RRP is £59.99. Regrettably, this set will soon be out of date, with Smith’s regeneration coming as part of this year’s Christmas Day episode. Some cynical reviewers on Amazon suggest this set will be reissued early in 2014 with this new story included.  They wouldn’t do that, would they?

To confirm, the stories included are:

  • “The Tenth Planet”;
  • “The War Games”;
  • “Planet of the Spiders”;
  • “Logopolis”;
  • “The Caves of Androzani”;
  • “Time and the Rani”;
  • “Doctor Who: The Movie”;
  • “Bad Wolf” & “The Parting of the Ways”; and
  • “The End of Time”.   


Those who accuse 2Entertain of ‘cashing in’ will have a lot to moan about before the end of the year. On 30 September 2013, a series of titles under the umbrella title “The Monsters Collection” will be coming out. These will be individually titled “The Cybermen”, “Davros”, “The Silurians”, “The Master”, “The Sontarans” and, of course, “The Daleks”.  At the risk of incurring the wrath of some strict orthodox fans, these titles are NOT intended for the long-established appreciators. These are samplers, to entice the curiosity of the new generation of fans, some of whom are under the firm belief that the series started in 2005 (I kid thee not, my wife works with some who won’t be persuaded otherwise!).

Like all collectors’ editions, it is, of course, designed not to be used but stored, admired, and cherished. Of course “The Tenth Planet” will be released individually in due course, so you either pays your money, or learn some patience. No-one is forcing you to buy every single DVD that is released, but let those who do ‘shell out’ reap some sort of benefit for doing so!  Rant over, and for those who want to hear such information, “The Tenth Planet”, in its newly restored version, is worth the asking price on its own.

DOCTOR WHO – REGENERATION (12), is out on 6 DVDs, from 2Entertain. It has a ‘12’ certificate, a running time of 1,109 minutes approx, and a RRP of £59.99, or get it for less at


Last modified on Friday, 05 July 2013 15:08

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