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Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series

Review by: 
Black Gloves
Release Date: 
2012-13
Studio: 
BBC Worldwide
Genre: 
Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
2 PAL
Aspect Ratio: 
1.78:1
Directed by: 
Various
Cast: 
Matt Smith
Karen Gillan
Arthur Darvill
Jenna-Louise Coleman
Alex Kingston
Movie: 
4
Extras: 
4
Bottom Line: 
4

For an incarnation of the Doctor that’s has been memorable for the youthful vigour, zest and the mercurial energy brought by Matt Smith to his interpretation of the role, the last four years of Time Lordly gallivanting across space and time have been strangely overshadowed by the twin spectres of death and the emotional consequences of grief and loss. Even Smith’s introductory episode was one very much designed partly with a death knell already sounding at its heart, in its foretelling of the eventual ‘fall of the eleventh’; then the whole of the subsequent sixth season was premised on the Doctor’s attempt to evade the apparently inescapable finality his enemies had plotted for him on the shores of Lake Silencio by fabricating a showpiece version of his own demise that required his distraught companions, Amy and Rory, to unknowingly witness and participate in the faking of his funeral and his subsequent cremation. from then on, threaded throughout the diverse assemblage of stand-alone episodes constituting series 7a and 7b  -- now packaged here as a complete collection, although they’re clearly demarcated as separate entities by a whole raft of transformative production design decisions, costume revamps, title sequence changes and, of course, a brand new companion – there is a persistent preoccupation with graveyard imagery which, in retrospect, obviously foreshadows the final episode’s ominous funerary feel: from the heart-rending moment when the Doctor finally loses Amy forever, the TARDIS glimpsed (tellingly, given the imagery that dominates the final episode) between the tombstones of a Manhattan cemetery; to the mystery of the impossible, twice dead Clara Oswald, who also wanders among the gravestones of an overgrown Victorian cemetery at the end of the 2012 Christmas episode, unheeding of the fact that one of them is apparently her own. Throughout we can now see that everything is leading up to the moment when the Doctor will be forced into visiting the one place in the universe that would surly haunt the imagination of any habitual traveller in time and space: the site of his own grave.

If we take a look back at how these fourteen episodes have been received by critics and fandom as individual entities, it’s often been a story of frustration and grievance, with many accusations being levelled that too many of them, as well as being spread rather too thinly across a greater length of time than usual, have felt like mere ‘filler’. Now it’s possible to reassess the entire run and see that there have been clear themes allowed to percolate below the surface throughout both blocks of episodes, but that they’ve operated at a slightly more abstract thematic level this time. Rather than a narrative arc developed from constant additions to an on-going parallel storyline (as was mainly the case in season six) here we are given a wide selection of stand-alone adventures, each pitched as movie marque epics while still contributing to the themes established with the very first episode that’s included here: 2011’s Christmas special “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”. In this story, the Doctor -- or the Caretaker as he chooses to designate himself while in self-imposed hiding (odd that this alter ego identity is soon dropped) -- is positioned as a magical spirit of Christmas, able to resurrect the dead and assuage the grief of a fractured family in 1940s Britain. Although not entirely successful as an episode, it now serves to make the Doctor’s inability to avoid the loss of his own companions five episodes later, in “The Angels Take Manhattan”, all the more poignant. Of course the Doctor always knows that his human companions will one day die on him while he lives on, but normally he never has to experience the grief that should be part of the process that comes with such an understanding, for he can travel back to any moment in their time-lines to be with them whenever he wants.

Here, for the first time, the Doctor is confronted with the knowledge that he can never see Amy and Rory again; that the happy and fulfilled life which they will go on to lead together into their mutual dotage will also be lived without him being a part of it from now on. The rest of the series is about the Doctor’s attempt to heal him-self of the malady that’s born as the result of this very specific form of personal grief, by plunging himself into the unravelling of the mystery of Clara: a special kind of person who piques the Doctor’s interest precisely because she actually appears to be unable to stay dead, and who will not stop turning up again and again in his life wherever in time or space he travels. What we’re subsequently given, from the 2012 Christmas Special onward, is perhaps one of the most wide-ranging, inventive and colourful selection of episodes for some time . And although not all the stories hang together as well as others, and not all of them are as interesting or engaging as each other, there’s not a single one of them that doesn’t play host to at least one memorable, outstanding moment during some point in its run time.

There seems to be broad agreement about which are the clunkers and which are the triumphs here; but aside from one or two obvious suspects like this in each category there has been a surprisingly wide-ranging set of responses amongst the fans to almost every single episode, spanning total joy to spitting rage. Oddly perhaps, this diversity of opinion also suggests that the series has been mostly successful in catering to the diverse expectations of an audience that must now consist of one of the broadest demographics possessed by any television programme currently in existence. There is literally something for everyone here, somewhere along the way. This time, arch manipulator and show running Svengali Steven Moffat has also had to cope with the added headache (and privilege) of getting to be the writer who leads us into the amazing 50thAnniversary celebratory episode which, I trust, we’ll all still be re-living and re-watching until the eleventh Doctor’s story is finally brought to a close with the upcoming 2013 Christmas episode (no spoilers here if you haven’t yet seen that feature-length Anniversary special, but … wow!!). Overall, niggles aside, season 7 has been largely successful and Matt Smith’s tenure has been delivered of a set of episodes here which have allowed the actor to deepen and broaden the eleventh Doctor’s troubled but engaging, and often physically funny, persona in a way which only underscores Smith’s talent and inherent suitability for the role with renewed emphasis.                

This collection’s main menu screen conforms to the funerary theme underpinning the series, and features the sepulchral interior of the Doctor’s TARDIS tomb as seen on the planet Trenzalore in “The Name of the Doctor”, the series finale. The ‘light wound’ in the fabric of space-time, caused by the decay of the Doctor’s tangled timelines over the site of his place of burial, appears as a column in the centre of the screen, where the TARDIS console would usually be. Upon accessing any option from the episode sub menu we zoom, Clara-like, into that helix spiral of light, as though entering the Doctor’s timeline in order to re-experience whichever particular adventure has been selected!

Discs 1 and 2 of the 5-disc DVD set (also available on Blu-ray) are dedicated to the 2011 Christmas Special “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe” and the mini-season 7a (or Season Pond) which followed it later in 2012. All episodes are presented in feature audio 5.1 Surround Sound with audio description and subtitle options included.

Disc I features the episodes “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”, “Asylum of the Daleks” and “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” and the disc extras consist of the 2011 Christmas Special mini-prequel webisode -- written by Steven Moffat -- in which Matt Smith’s Doctor attempts to update the Ponds on his latest exploits from the exploding spacecraft in deep space later seen in the pre-credits sequence of the Christmas episode. Similarly we also get the prequel for “Asylum of the Daleks”, which opens with the Doctor sitting in a tea room alone, apparently on Earth, before being menaced by a robbed figure who is manipulating him in his dreams in order to try and get him to travel to Skaro, home planet of the Daleks, in order to meet a woman whose daughter has been kidnapped by his greatest foe. Two exclusive ‘making of’ segments are included for the first two episodes of the series. Although both are extremely short, this is probably as good as it is going to get now that “Doctor Who Confidential” has been axed. “The Life Cycle of a Dalek” (3,33) features snappily edited cast and crew talking heads (Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Steven Moffat, etc.) talking about how great it is to have so many Daleks in one episode. It then settles into some quite interesting behind-the-scenes footage (if a bit blink-and-you’ll-miss-it) showing how the fibreglass Dalek casings are made, with commentary from the episode’s props maker Penny Howarth. Chief Dalek operator Barnaby Edwards still manages to make a memorable contribution amid the quick-fire pace of the editing and the indie rock music bed, while being interviewed on the trials of giving new recruit Dalek operators their training, advising viewers that if they also want to experience what being a Dalek is really like for themselves then they need only ‘sit on your office chair with a bin in your head for six hours, and you’ve pretty much got it!’ The segment ends with the special effects team blowing up a Dalek prop.

“Raptors, Robots and a Bumpy Ride” (4,19) takes us behind the scenes of “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” for a quick look at the filming of the Triceratops-riding scene, which was created using a combination of CGI and the cast mounted on a live-action prop dinosaur (‘It wasn’t great on your goolies,’ confides Matt Smith!); Chris Chibnall talks about drawing up his ‘wish list’ of dinosaurs that had to be included in the episode, and 3D supervisor Matt McKinney demonstrates the 3D animation techniques necessary for bringing them to life.  Also, Noel Byrne and Richard Garaghty demonstrate the ingenious puppetry costumes they wore which were devised to enable them to realise the giant robot characters voiced by Robert Webb and David Mitchell for the episode.

Disc 2 includes the episodes “A Town Called Mercy”, “The Power of Three” and “The Angels Take Manhattan”, each with their accompanying mini ‘Making Ofs’: “Wild, Wild … Spain?” (4,17) focuses on the famous Western themed Fort Bravo standing set location situated in the province of Almería in Spain, and follows Matt Smith’s stunt double during the filming of the horse riding scenes and actor Andrew Brooke being made up to play his cyborg Gunslinger character. “A Writer’s Tale” (2,16) features Chris Chibnall on the set of “The Power of Three” and actor Jemma Redgrave talking about the new character Chibnall introduced for her to play, i.e., Kate Stewart, the latest scientific advisor to UNIT and daughter of  Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: a link that establishes  a strong connection to the show’s past. “A Fall with Grace” (5,59) uses the filming of the scene in which Amy chooses to leap from the top of a New York skyscraper to be with her husband Rory in “The Angels Take Manhattan”, creating a paradox that will help them defeat the Weeping Angles, as the context for an examination of the relationship between the Doctor and his two travelling companions, with Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan talking about leaving the series as well as the excitement of filming in New York and the cast’s surprise at the huge interest they encountered from the public while attempting to film some intimately emotional scenes in Central Park.

Also included on this disc are the five mini episodes that make up the “Pond Life” mini-series, written by Chris Chibnall. It’s slightly odd that these should be put on the second disc in the set when they really should be viewed before “Asylum of the Daleks”, since, after a couple of light-hearted instalments (an Ood on the loo, etc), the series sets up the sub plot in that opening episode concerning the marital problems experienced by the Ponds which result in their ensuing estrangement and the preparations for their proposed divorce which we see at the start of that first episode. This mini-series was, after all, originally released as another taster for the start of the five episode run of 2012. Also included -- “The Making of the Gunslinger” is the prequel minisode for Toby Whithouse’s “A Town Called Mercy”, which provides the backstory for the creation of the cyborg assassin seen during that Western themed story.

Two slightly longer featurette’s on disc 2 turn out to be a lot more worthwhile additions to the extras haul than the rather stingy “Making Of segments”, which barely add up between them to the length of one of the cut down episodes of “Doctor Who Confidential” we used to get. “Doctor Who at Comic Con” (11,09) follows Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan as they attend their first ever Comic Con event to promote the show in the states, and includes their genuinely amusing Q & A with the audience, which allows us once again to catch one final glimpse of the amazing repartee and rapport between these three leads. “The Last Days of the Ponds” (11,48) includes the final interviews with Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan, which were clearly recorded quite recently judging by Gillan’s lack of hair (she recently shaved it all off for a part in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”), making this a rather lovely retrospective on their characters’ time in the TARDIS  and the actors’ reflections on their experience of the DOCTOR WHO phenomenon. With lots of touching behind-the-scenes footage of Gillan and Darvill during their final days on the show, this featurette rounds off the Pond years quite fittingly with humour and emotion, and makes up for the lack of commentary track for any of their episodes from this first half of the series.

Finally, the second disc also contains the first of three 43 minute BBC America documentaries included across the breadth of this box set. “Doctor Who In the US” is a look back at the series relationship with America both on-screen and off. Clips from 1965’s “The Chase” are juxtaposed with David Tennant era material from “The Daleks in Manhattan” plus others, and the producers have been able to source behind-the-scenes material from old episodes of “Doctor Who Confidential” to bulk out contributions from many actors who have been involved with the show since its revival in 2005, not just Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. It’s great to see David Tennant (who is a strong presence throughout all three of the documentaries), Noel Clark and John Barrowman still willing to devote their time to the show and displaying just as much enthusiasm for it; we get to see some footage from Tennant’s only trip to Comic Con during his tenure and there are interviews with ‘60s companion Peter Purves (whose first appearance in the series was playing the American tourist Morten Dill) and, a more recent presence, Lachele Carl (who also narrates) -- the mysterious American newsreader Trinity Wells, who cropped up all the way through the Russell T Davies years in DOCTOR WHO, “The Sarah Jane Adventures” and “Torchwood”.

Disc three is where we put the Ponds behind us and prepare to be introduced (or re-introduced) to Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) starting with the 2012 Christmas Special “The Snowmen”. “Clara’s White Christmas” (3,28) gives us a brief glimpse behind the scenes during a location shoot in Bristol, which here is standing in for a snow-swathed Victorian London. Location manager Iwan Roberts oversees the effort to spray the filming location with artificial snow while, back at the show’s Cardiff studios, the creation of an artificial cloud for the TARDIS cloud-top scene is looked at. Also related to the Christmas special, all the prequels featuring the Paternoster Gang are included – “Vastra Investigates”, “The Great Detective” and “The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later”, the latter explaining (or rather explaining away) the fact that Sontaran nurse Strax (Dan Starkey) crops up again alive and well and living as a Victorian butler to Silurian consulting detective Madam Vastra and her partner Jenny Flint in “The Snowmen”, after having previously appeared to die during the series Six episode “A Good Man Goes To War” as a result of being gunned down by a Headless Monk.

The first two episodes of series 7b, “The Bells of Saint John” and “The Rings of Akhaten” are also included on disc three along with their own brief mini making of segments, although from here on in each one is, rather unnecessarily, narrated by Richard Bacon in his usual quippy style. “Behind the Scenes of The Bells of Saint John” (3,54) looks at Jenna-Louise Coleman getting to grips with some of the show’s more action-orientated scenes, in particular the filming of the motor-bike riding sequence; while “The Rings of Akhaten” (5,58) looks at the filming of the alien marketplace scene; child actor Emilia Jones recording her first green screen effects shot with a harness; and Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman dealing with surviving the space-bike  prop they’re seen flying through space during one portion of the episode.

Disc four features the episodes “Cold War”, “Hide” and “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS”. “Behind the Scenes of Cold War” (3,50) includes an interview with writer Mark Gatiss on bringing back another classic series monster -- this time The Ice Warriors. The context of the Cold War in the 1980s is discussed and Gattis admits to being ‘kind of obsessed’ with this period in history. He also talks about how this episode represents a return to model effects being used rather than relying totally on CGI, since the exterior shots of the Russian submarine which provides the setting for the story were created in a studio with an actual miniature model of a sub. Director Douglas Mackinnon is interviewed on set and explains the difficulties of filming an episode in a confined space full of electrical equipment, in which the entire set is required to be flooded with water.

Writer Neil Cross explains his intent to create a chamber piece evoking classic haunted house stories in “Behind the Scenes of Hide” (3,36). We travel to Gethin Forest in Wales to see how fake ground mist is created and actress Kemi-Bo Jacobs talks about her role as time traveller Hila Tacorian. “Behind the Scenes of Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” (3,40) focuses on production designer Michael Pickwoad’s redesign of the TARDIS interior, first introduced in “The Snowmen”, which makes the ship look more like a futuristic craft again rather than a fantastical fairy tale palace. Pickwoad’s talent has been instrumental in changing the entire look of the show ever since he came on-board with the 2010 Christmas Special “A Christmas Carol”. Dressed here in both a bow tie and a scarf (and possessing rather wild dishevelled hair), while being interviewed about his new console room design, Pickwoad couldn’t look any more ideal a candidate for defining the look of this show if he tried! Steven Moffat admits that his main reason for changing the look of the TARDIS interior design was in order to let Pickwoad loose on this most iconic of spaces associated with the show.

“The Science of Doctor Who” is the subject for the second of the three more substantial documentaries to be included with the set. Here we are subjected to an array of American actors and comedians that most British viewers will probably be unfamiliar with and who are here mainly to provide a layman’s explanation of some of the central ideas in the show while experts, in the form of science presenter Jim Al Khalili, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku and space scientist Maggie Aderin Pocock, give marks out of five on the real-world feasibility of subjects such as time travel, the TARDIs’ inter-dimensional capabilities and parallel universes, etc. Mention of the Daleks and the Cybermen gives futurist Kevin Warwick a chance to talk about his experimental chip implant again, and the concept of regeneration is used as the springboard for a discussion of the possibility of recycling human body parts using stem cell research. There is also the inevitable consideration of the likelihood of aliens existing for real out in the Universe somewhere. Basically though, ‘the science part’ of this documentary is pretty much another excuse to feature lots of clips from post 2005 WHO, such as “The Rebel Flesh” and “The Almost People”, which, in that instance, facilitates an exploration of the subject of cloning.

Finally, this disc also features the Script to Screen competition winner “Good as Gold” – a mini-episode written by the children of Ashdene School, in which Amy and the Doctor tackle a Weeping Angel who’s about to prey upon the 2012 Olympic Torch bearer, and Matt Smith’s hair gets an Einsteinian makeover!

The final disc features the episodes “The Crimson Horror”, “Nightmare in Silver” and season finale (and 50th Anniversary Special cliff-hanger setter) “The Name of the Doctor”. The prequel to the latter episode, which is called “Clara and the Whispermen”, is included and the third and last full-length documentary of the set looks at the role of the companion in the series, with particular emphasis on how the companions in the post-2005 series have affected the dynamic of the show. Noel Clarke, John Barrowman, David Tennant and Freema Agyeman appear along with Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill to discuss how each of the companions since Rose Tyler has brought out different aspects of their respective Doctor’s character. The re-introduction of Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) during the memorable 2006 episode “School Reunion” is also discussed at length and the documentary concludes with an introduction to Jenna-Louise Coleman’s character Clara Oswald, with some behind-the-scenes footage of her first ever ‘read through’ session.

The featurette “Creating Clara” (9,40) gives us more background on Steven Moffat’s thinking as to Clara Oswald’s intended role in the series. Here the current show runner comes right out and says that the Doctor ‘fancies’ Clara, seemingly forgetting that he’s supposed to be (sort of) married already! Does knowing the exact day of your wife’s death in her future cancel out all ties of fidelity in the relationship, then, if the event has already happened in your past? Matt Smith’s take on it is, interestingly, slightly different, though; he reckons the Doctor doesn’t really fancy his new companion but that her quick-witted humour has allowed him to discover the joys of flirting for perhaps the first time. The featurette also has an interview with Jenna-Louise Coleman, and follows her as she undergoes training for some basic stunt work on “The Snowmen” episode; and costume designer Howard Burden shows off the Victorian costume Jenna got to wear in that particular period storyline.

“Behind the Scenes of The Crimson Horror” (4,17) goes to  Caerphilly in Wales to see production designer Michael Pickwoad turn a single street of the Welsh model village of Bute Town into the story’s fictional Yorkshire location, known as Sweetville -- a community of match factory workers overseen by the sinister proprietress Mrs Gillyflower (Diana Rigg) and her unseen consort, the mysterious ‘Mr Sweet’. Visual effects supervisor Danny Hargreaves explains how to make the gloopy red mixture of Mrs Gillyflower’s diluted prehistoric leech venom that Matt Smith has to be dunked in during the course of the episode; and Catrin Stewart choreographs her memorable fight sequence. “Behind the Scenes of Nightmare in Silver” (2,55) features writer Neil Gaiman on his reasons for bringing back the Cybermen, Steven Moffat on their change in appearance over the years and choreographer Alisa Berk on their new fast-moving ‘upgrade’. Special effects supervisor Mark Spatney explains how the bullet time Cybermen movements are achieved in this episode. Finally “Behind the Scenes of The Name of the Doctor”(4,12) features Alex Kingston, Neve McIntosh and Dan Starkey providing anecdotes from the set during the filming of this episode, with some behind-the-scenes footage included also of Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman on the last day of filming of series seven.

Exclusive to this set we also get four more of an apparently limitless supply of Moffat penned mini-episodes, or rather stand-alone scenes written by the show runner to promote the series. “The Inforarium” (1,55) features a hologram of a post-series Six Doctor (still wearing his original costume) setting out to erase all information on himself from the data core of the universe’s biggest library of ‘illicit information’. “Clara and the TARDIDS” (2,07) expands on the peculiar relationship between the Doctor’s ship and his new companion for a scene in which the TARDIS appears to be attempting to send poor Clara completely round the bend. “Rain Gods” (1,39) is a mini adventure featuring the Doctor and River Song on the verge of being sacrificed to appease the rain gods of a distant planet, with River not being entirely convinced by the Doctor’s plan for getting them out of this sticky situation. Lastly, the full version of the season finale prequel “She Said, He Said” (3,32) is included.

There are four audio commentary tracks with this set, all featuring episodes from the post Amy and Rory section of the series. “The Snowmen” features production designer Michael Pickwoad and art director Paul Spriggs discussing how they went about creating a Victorian wintertime Christmas with the help of paper snow and rubber cobblestone mats! The tricks of the trade are explained so matter-of-factly here at times, you could almost miss the sleight of hand genius that is probably more vital in the production of this particular series than pretty much any other on TV: modern landmarks must be obscured with strategically placed props; the fact that the whole of this Christmas episode was filmed in mid-summer, with leaves still on the trees, is artfully disguised through a variety of cunning means; and entire non-existent settings are fabricated from locations often in different parts of the country, which are combined with sets built and colour co-ordinated to be edited flawlessly into one seamlessly flowing sequence, creating the illusion of a fully realised period setting. Plus, there is that brand new TARDIS console room re-design, seen here for the first time and obviously something about which Pickwoad is immensely proud -- and rightly so: it’s an impressive rejig of the classic Peter Brachacki design concept, which reintroduces the futuristic machine ambience of the original but integrates it with the fantastical elements which the show in its modern form has since acquired, but minus the ‘Willy Wonka’ tone of the previous design. Here is a TARDIS that looks both beautifully otherworldly and yet at times faintly sinister as well … just the way it felt all those years ago in the early 60s Hartnell era story “The Edge of Destruction”. Pickwoad’s additions to the time rotor are part fairground carousel and part Hadron Collider – denoting a living, sentient machine that has the power to make things potentially very difficult for its passengers should it take a disliking to them.

On the commentary track for Mark Gatiss’s “Cold War” the writer is joined by two members of the team responsible for realising on screen the bony, clawed, reptilian creature that turns out to be inside the body armour of an Ice Warrior – another ‘60s vintage monster returned to the series, this time at the behest of Gatiss who introduced the angle of there being a vulnerable creature inside the lumbering frame we were previously familiar with as a way of persuading Steven Moffat to allow him to bring this classic foe back. Visual effects supervisor Murray Barber and visual effects producer Jenna Powell are on hand to run us through the thinking behind their CGI rendering of the Grand Marshall Skaldak and Gatiss is as erudite and amusing as ever as he expounds on the difficulties of rendering the Cold War ‘80s milieu in which this submarine base-under-siege adventure is set for a younger audience, who might not even be aware who Margaret Thatcher was let alone understand the air of fear and mistrust surrounding the politics of the age of mutually assured destruction . The synth pop preferences professed by David Warner’s Professor Grisenko are apparently Gatiss’s own (the writer is anxious to let it be known though that it’s early John Foxx era Ultravox he favours, but that the line in which he had Grisenko spell out this fact was cut from the finished episode), and he also points out that all film and TV representations depicting the arming of a nuclear submarine are necessarily guess work on the behalf of screenwriters because the whole process is in fact top secret and covered by the official secrets act!  

The commentary for Neil Cross’s episode “Hide” brings us Matt Smith’s one and only commentary since first taking up the role of the Doctor in 2010, and he’s paired with director Jamie Payne on a track which concentrates on elucidating how Smith’s unique physical performance adds to the way in which this episode was blocked out by the director before filming began, while Smith notes how the post production grading has been tweaked in order to lend the episode the appearance of a ‘70s Hammer Horror chiller. This is a considered and in-depth discussion between actor and director concentrating on the technical aspects of capturing a performance and a particular feel. In the commentary for the marvellous “The Crimson Horror” meanwhile, the Paternoster Gang themselves -- or rather their real life alter egos Catrin Stewart, Neve McIntosh and Dan Starkey -- appear in an informal get-together that’s light on specific information but enjoyable in the sense that it enables us to relive this rich, inventive, hilarious future classic from the perspective of some of the show’s most popular guest stars ,who are clearly relishing and enjoying every moment of their part in its current success.

A sprawling, clever, funny, often moving and occasionally mysterious series is catalogued here and is destined to be remembered with great affection by young fans who will surly look back on it in the future as an era of great invention and diversity. This collection of episodes is a suitable testament to the show in its present form and makes for a strong mission statement about what the next fifty years of adventures in time and space might hold in store for the ever-changing face of this wandering Time Lord hero.

 

Read more from Black Gloves at his blog, Nothing but the Night

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