Review: Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray

50th anniversaryStarring: Matt Smith, John Hurt, Paul McGann, David Tennant

2Entertain, out now

Pretty much everything linked to last year’s Doctor Who festivities in one place (with a few notable exceptions)…

If you’ve picked up the Blu-rays of Series 7, The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor as they’ve been released, you may be wondering what the fuss is about for this new set. There can’t be that much new on it, surely?

There is. Disc 4 is the place to go to first, with the debut on Blu-ray (in the UK anyway) of An Adventure in Space and Time, Mark Gatiss’ love letter to the classic series (see our original review here). Unlike some elements of the 50th anniversary, this holds up to repeated viewing, and there are some stunning recreations of the early days of the show: Big Finish have quite rightly brought Jemma Powell on board to continue her recreation of Barbara Wright. It’s accompanied by the extras from the DVD (which you’ll probably want to keep for the beautiful sleeve artwork).

Disc 4 also gives us the other highlight of the anniversary week: Peter Davison’s The Five (ish) Doctors Reboot. It relies heavily on a knowledge of the classic show and the personalities involved, but for those of us with far too much of our lives invested in this show over the years, it’s a great celebration. We’ve also got the edited version of the Proms concert (which still misses out Murray Gold’s specially-composed piece for the anniversary – it may not have been to everyone’s taste, but it should be there somewhere).

Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide – BBC Three’s contribution – turns up as an extra on Disc 1, with the cinema intros provided by Strax and the Doctor for The Day of the Doctor on Disc 2. Disc 3 brings us Brian Cox’s The Science of Doctor Who – but there’s no place for Matthew Sweet’s rather excellent Culture Show special, which seems really odd. (There’s no place for The Afterparty either but that decision is totally understandable!) Also missing are any of the BBC radio celebrations, although with the phoenix-like rise of BBC Audio from the ashes of AudioGo, hopefully that will be remedied in the near future.

As for the fictional stuff, we get The Name, The Night, The Day, and The Time of the Doctor (and hopefully there’s now a moratorium on putting his name in the title for a decade or so!), as well as The Last Day. The major drawback as far as these go is that despite being on what we’re now told by the BBC Shop was only “temporary artwork”, The Day of the Doctor isn’t the 3D disc released last year – which does make the Doctor’s comments about putting your 3D glasses on a bit out of place!

Verdict: You can’t quite get rid of everything on your hard drive or previously purchased and replace it with this set, but it brings together the last six months of the Matt Smith reign in some style. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Doctor Who – 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition [Blu-ray] from Amazon.co.uk

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