Blu-ray Review – Doctor Who, The Collection: Season 12 box set, Part 7: Conclusion

Tom Baker’s first season as the Doctor in Doctor Who has been released as a Blu-ray box set. Season 12 comprises 5 stories made up of 20 episodes. Rather than trying to review the whole thing all at once, I’m dividing things up over a number of reviews. In this review, I’m wrapping things up.

The final disc in the box set contains some extras, including the edited down “Genesis of the Daleks” movie version (that’s here instead of the disc with the eps). The two BIG new extras are the Tom Baker interview and “Doctor Who Times: Season 12”. Never really saw the point of studio clocks as an extra. They seem kinda pointless.

“Doctor Who Times: Season 12” is a retrospective, putting the series into an entertainment, cultural and political context. And wow… I never realised just how political this season was, commenting (sometimes casually, sometime explicitly), about unions and terrorism and sexism and all sorts of other things. So really, the current series isn’t doing anything new when it gets political.

“Tom Baker in Conversation” is an hour-long feature of Baker being interviewed by Matthew Sweet. It is superbly entertaining and informative, giving a wonderful insight into the mind of the man who played the fourth Doctor. He is candid and revealing and captivatingly charming.

The BIG question is: Is this blu-ray box-set worth it, especially if you already have the stories on DVD? And the answer is an unequivocal YES! The quality of the eps and the way it’s all been put together is great. There are so many nice little touches with this set, from the lovely packaging and the informative booklet to the fact that Tom Baker does the menu voice-overs. This entire box set is actually worth it just for the new Tom Baker interview. And the whole thing is very reasonably priced. If you don’t already have the stories, get them this way. If you already have them… well… I reckon it’s still worth getting. If nothing else, this set will take up less shelf space.

Having said all that, I just wanted to touch on the “Behind the Sofa” featurettes. They’ve been produced for each of the stories, and involve a set of cast/production people sitting around watching clips from the story and chatting about them. It’s sort of like a visual, less in-depth commentary. While there are some really good moments, as a whole, it’s not a great addition. I would rather they had either interviewed these people, or put together a proper commentary. There is just too much time spent watching these people watching the screen.

And sadly there are a few extras from the original DVD releases that are not included on this set. Given how much info a Blu-ray can hold, there really is no excuse for these exclusions. And they are a good reason to hold on to the original DVDs if you have them.

If you want to read my previous reviews in this series, here’s a list…

Doctor Who, The Collection: Season 12 is released on Blu-ray in Australia by Roadshow Entertainment.

Catch ya later, George

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