Classic Doctor Who seasons on Blu-Ray

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  • #239391

    By Jove its holmes

    With Season 18 coming out, I’m really looking forward to the extra “Phoning It In: How Tom Baker sleepwalked during his awful last season”.

    By the way, the Master fooling Nyssa in “Logopolis” that he’s Tremas, her father, would have been a lot more plausible had Nyssa been six, rather than the sixteen she is supposed to be.

    #239397

    Captain No-Name

    I quite like Season 18. It’s got Warrior’s Gate in it, which I really enjoy. I’ve never really understood what people see in the Keeper of Traken, but Tom’s distracted gloominess certainly works in favour of Logopolis I think.

    The Master, a Time Lord famed for manipulating people via his strong hypnotic ability, persuades Nyssa that he is Tremas while wearing the body of a rejuvenated Tremas. That seems reasonable to me, within the science fantasy world of Doctor Who.

    #239398

    Warbofrog

    State of Decay is one of my favourite 80s Who stories, even if it’s cheating by being a 70s story.

    #239408

    Ben Saunders

    Season 18 is such a step up from the season immediately before, I really, genuinely hated moments of Season 17, Tom Baker was a right arse in it and didn’t take the role seriously anymore and did all that shite like talking directly to the camera etc. His performance in 18 is an improvement, and while he does seem a little tired, it kind of works with the theme of entropy/decay and the idea that the Doctor (and Tom Baker) knows the end is near.

    The worst thing about Traken/Logopolis is how Nyssa barely even reacts to her home planet being destroyed and seeing somebody take over the body of her recently deceased father. I don’t know who to blame – the actress, the director, the script, the shooting schedule – but man, give us SOMETHING.

    #239409

    International Debris

    There’s some nice stuff about that in the novels, which generally do a good job of fleshing out some of the less well developed companions.

    Not a big fan of 18, other than Warriors Gate and Logopolis. I really enjoy 17 though.

    I’m in the ‘fucks sake why aren’t the BBC re-pressing any of the already released BluRays’ camp, though. I’d like to buy them but haven’t had the cash this year. And I definitely won’t have the cash for a £350 second hand one in the future. So fuck ’em.

    #239410

    Captain No-Name

    I’m in the ‘fucks sake why aren’t the BBC re-pressing any of the already released BluRays’ camp, though.

    Agreed. I didn’t pay much attention to Season 12’s release if I’m honest. I stupidly thought it would hang around in the shops, and I could get round to picking one up eventually. You’d think I would’ve learnt, as I made exactly the same mistake with the 50th anniversary limited edition boxset.

    I haven’t really got my head around the BBC’s current philosophy for physical media… is a re-pressing of Season 12 even likely? Or is that it now? Or would they do something annoying like re-press it, but only as a vanilla Blu-ray release?

    #239413

    International Debris

    It seems that it’s not being repressed at all. Which is pretty bonkers, given that the second hand prices suggest there’s definitely an audience for it. I mean, physical releases of film & TV are definitely becoming a niche market, but Who is the exact kind of show that has a fanbase who would collect it. I think most people were expecting a non-limited second release in normal packaging, but apparently it’s not coming.

    I don’t understand TV frame rates and so on, but I believe the more easily available US version is going to be a pain to watch on UK TVs, which means it’s basically a case of sourcing an Australian version of 12 & 19 now if you want them – and as they go out of print, their prices will rocket. I’m out of work, so it’s just an impossibility for me at the minute. But it’d be nice to get all the new extras, and it’d be nice to have some much more compact boxsets for the future, and it’d be nice to have HD where it’s available… but, y’know, when I can actually afford it.

    #239415

    Ben Saunders

    >There’s some nice stuff about that in the novels, which generally do a good job of fleshing out some of the less well developed companions.
    Oh yeah, they’re pretty great in audio as well. I will always recommend Psychodrome (part of the Fifth Doctor Boxset) to anybody who likes the early Fivey stuff.

    #239477

    By Jove its holmes

    The Master obviously spent a lot of time doing research before taking over the body of Nyssa’s father. Just finding someone whose name is an anagram of “Master” must have taken years. That nice Mr Semrat on the next planet over had a lucky escape.

    #239480

    Lily

    I’ve just started buying the Who dvds, so the inability to get the season 12 blu-rays is really annoying. It seems such a bizarre business choice to only do one print run and say ‘no more’ on something that’s got long term appeal. People want to buy it regardless of its “limited edition package”. I just want a nice blu-ray boxset. I want to give the BBC money and they won’t let me!

    #239491

    Captain No-Name

    I’m in the exact same boat, Lily. It’s stupid. And I do wonder whether the whole “limited edition packaging” thing is them hedging their bets, so that *if* they change their mind later, they can release the exact same contents in a not-limited-edition box. Which, to be honest, I hope they do.

    Although let’s be honest, *everything* is limited edition really isn’t it? There aren’t infinite quantities of anything.

    #239493

    Captain No-Name

    The Master obviously spent a lot of time doing research before taking over the body of Nyssa’s father. Just finding someone whose name is an anagram of “Master” must have taken years. That nice Mr Semrat on the next planet over had a lucky escape.

    One of the things I really like about the RTD/Moffat reimagining of the Master is that they have canonised the fact that the character is an absolute fruitcake and has a bizarre sense of humour. It nicely tidies up some of the stupider details of Classic Master stories. So, thanks to John Simm and Michelle Gomez, I now completely believe that the Ainley Master did extensive research into people whose names were acronyms of Master!

    #239495

    International Debris

    That’s nothing compared to him trying to free himself from prehistoric Earth in disguise, despite the fact that nobody there knew who he was.

    #239496

    Captain No-Name

    Absolutely. It’s a very clever Get Out of Jail Free card for any of the Master’s inexplicable Classic Series behaviour. All you’ve got to do is imagine Michelle Gomez recounting what happened as a hilarious anecdote, and suddenly it seems to make some kind of twisted sense.

    #239582

    By Jove its holmes

    The sad thing is that while JN-T was terrible for Doctor Who, Doctor Who was also terrible for JN-T. Coming to it at the specific moment he did, it was almost tailor-made for him to indulge all his worst instincts and act out his fantasies of a showbiz lifestyle. It also constricted his ability to develop his skills or grow professionally, so when the whole thing collapsed he had nothing to fall back on – which was another factor in the BBC keeping him on Doctor Who, slowly strangling it as it strangled him.

    With hindsight they should have put him on ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ or a similar light domestic drama for a couple of years where he could get the discipline without distractions.

    #239603

    Berlin

    Wonder if he told birds down the disco he was the big boss of Doctor Who, which at the time was seen as the Beeb’s embarrassing little diversion.

    #239609

    Berlin

    Having looked up his bio, it appears he was gay so let me format my previous post.

    Wonder if he told fellas down the gay disco he was the big boss of Doctor Who, which at the time was seen as the Beeb’s embarrassing little diversion.

    #239627

    By Jove its holmes

    Just remembered that JNT *was* on ACG&S! he left it in its third season to take over Who. His dog Pepsi had a role as the dog Pepper, as Pepsi-Cola didn’t exist in Yorkshire between the wars…

    #239726

    si

    You know there was a sound problem with a couple of discs in the s12 sets? (They kept sending me replacement discs – I had to email them to get them to stop).
    I’ve started watching s19, and already found a couple of problems on Disc One. I think there might have to be replacement discs going out there, too.

    #239732

    Berlin

    You’ll find that the sound problem on those seasons was called ‘the 1970s’.

    #239738

    By Jove its holmes

    <i>His dog Pepsi had a role as the dog Pepper</i>

    Pepsi was actually offered the role of the Doctor, but turned it down telling JNT, “I just can’t work with you anymore!”

    #239741

    Flap Jack

    These Classic Doctor Who Blu ray releases continue to be baffling. The actual content of them seems excellent (disc errors aside), but:

    • They make them extremely limited for no apparent reason.
    • They mislead everyone by labelling them “Limited Edition Packaging” when they should just be “Limited Edition”, and even tell people there’ll be further printings before going back on it.
    • They keep quiet about the scope of the project – are they planning to release all 26 classic seasons on Blu ray over the span of a decade, or just a select few?
    • The choice and order of seasons has no rhyme or reason to it as far as I can tell – Seasons 12 and 19 make sense (different Doctors’ respective first seasons), but Season 18?? A second Tom Baker set for only the third overall release? And not even one of his best ones?
    • Both releases so far have been delayed by weeks, yet still have reported technical issues.

    These Blu ray sets are a cool idea, but I wish the release and marketing weren’t so slapdash. Maybe the BBC will get their act together as they go along, but it’s not been a promising start.

    It’s also frustrating to feel like I need to re-buy these stories for superior picture and extra special features, when I only just finished collecting them on DVD this very year. That’s just not good for my inner completionist.

    I’d kind of prefer if BBC Video focused on making animated reconstructions of missing episodes for DVD (as with Power of the Daleks, Shada and The Macra Terror) instead of this. Plenty to cover there.

    #239743

    SoundableObject

    >I’d kind of prefer if BBC Video focused on making animated reconstructions of missing episodes for DVD (as with Power of the Daleks, Shada and The Macra Terror) instead of this. Plenty to cover there.

    The animated releases are done by a different team to the Blu-Ray sets (with some crossover of personnel). One doesn’t have a bearing on the other aside from avoiding each other in the release window.

    They have made a commitment to release the first 26 seasons. They are already filming extras for releases way into the future. Season 17 has had stuff filmed for it even though that won’t be out until likely 2020 at the earliest (2019 is Season 18, 10, 26 with 14 also rumoured).

    The release order makes sense to me. The first season they wanted a popular set of stories with the most popular classic Doctor. It makes sense to go for the shortest and first. Then with the second release, they want to show off the format so it makes sense to go for the one with the most existing film which can be presented as true HD. From then on it is about varying it up with lesser seasons amongst more popular seasons (a less popular Tom Baker with a popular McCoy) and also about tackling the more troublesome seasons later (hence Season 10 being the first Pertwee).

    They definitely need to stop referring to it as Limited Edition Packaging. I’d dare say they’ll wait until everything is out and release complete sets for each Doctor in none limited packaging.

    #239794

    Berlin

    I never understood the need for the project other than to have people quadruple dip in some cases and to Americanise each yearly series as discrete seasons to sell onto other markets.

    Upscaling only goes so far, colour grading only goes so far and enhancing certain VFX shots only goes so far.

    What could’ve been a better project was re-editing select serials to pick up the pace, new VFX and musical cues and bringing them closer to the modern era but at the same time, ensuring the originals are always going to be available.

    Plus by this point, the ’60s and ’70s Doctor Who really should be available for free to watch.

    #239795

    By Jove its holmes

    If the originals are no longer commercially viable, why not let them go out of print?

    #239796

    Berlin

    There was an episode of Enterprise planned where the Doctor would appear.

    I’m glad that fanwankery has all but disappeared from Doctor Who now.

    And the storylines.

    And humour.

    And meaningful consequences.

    And character development.

    And everything, ever.

    #239798

    Flap Jack

    The animated releases are done by a different team to the Blu-Ray sets (with some crossover of personnel). One doesn’t have a bearing on the other aside from avoiding each other in the release window.

    Yes, but presumably the budgets for both of these teams come from the BBC at large, which has limited resources. It’s certainly true that they could release more missing episode DVDs per year without releasing fewer classic Blu rays, but “How much money do we want to spend on Doctor Who home video releases?” has got to be a question that’s discussed before the question of how much each sub-team should do.

    OK, I probably am just wrong about that, but still: they should do more missing episode DVDs. 1 of them every 1-2 years is just not getting it done.

    They have made a commitment to release the first 26 seasons. They are already filming extras for releases way into the future. Season 17 has had stuff filmed for it even though that won’t be out until likely 2020 at the earliest (2019 is Season 18, 10, 26 with 14 also rumoured).

    Whoa, where did you hear all this?! If that’s true, it’s good to know. Given how long that’ll take, I wonder where the Blu ray format will be by the end of it.

    I’m fascinated to know how they plan do to Seasons 1-6, too. Animated reconstructions for all the missing episodes? Still image/telesnap/arration reconstructions? Just not including the missing episodes at all?

    Also, Seasons 4 and 21 will somewhat mess with the US “Lead Actor’s Name – Season X” labelling, won’t it?

    They definitely need to stop referring to it as Limited Edition Packaging. I’d dare say they’ll wait until everything is out and release complete sets for each Doctor in none limited packaging.

    You’d think they wouldn’t repeat this mistake after Season 12 pissed people off, and YET.

    The fact that they’re planning Blu rays for all of Classic Who actually makes it far more weird that they’re limited edition. You’d think they’d want these new HD versions to be the standard versions of the stories going forward, and so they’d want people to, you know, actually be able to buy and watch them.

    Of course they might well do non-limited versions in the future, but it just seems so arbitrary. Especially if they’re only in the form of complete sets for each Doctor. With this non-chronological release order, those will take flipping ages.

    #239801

    Ben Saunders

    >and to Americanise each yearly series as discrete seasons
    Classic Doctor Who has always been referred to in seasons

    #239803

    SoundableObject

    >Upscaling only goes so far, colour grading only goes so far and enhancing certain VFX shots only goes so far.

    My copy of Season 19 hasn’t arrived yet but the Season 12 release looked superb. Massive step up from the DVD. It is the definitive way of watching Season 12 and will never look better. At under £40, it is an absolute bargain IMO.

    All of this (as well as the Dwarf release) means they have an HD version of these shows for broadcast and streaming and pay for it using physical releases (as with TNG).

    >Whoa, where did you hear all this?! If that’s true, it’s good to know. Given how long that’ll take, I wonder where the Blu ray format will be by the end of it.

    Season 26 has had features filmed for it and Season 10 has been mentioned by the Australian Distributor as coming up (I think it has also been mentioned as having features filmed). Season 26 was mooted for the end of the year. Season 14 has been mentioned on Zeta Minor by somebody who had previously provided information on Season 19 and 18 being next.

    They can only make around 3 or 4 per year by the production team’s estimates. At 4 per year it will take 6 years for this range to complete.

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