Peter Davision makes his Blu-Ray debut in the Season 19 boxset. But is it worth double-dipping if you already have the standard releases?
Welcome back to “Worth It?”. Today we’ll be taking a look at the Classic Who Season 19 Blu-Ray set, starring Peter Davison as The Doctor. I got this set as a Christmas gift, but it normally retails for $60+, depending on where you purchase it.
Comparing it to the previous Blu-Ray release, the covers are in a similar style. They use the 2018 Doctor Who logo, which is nice. I always did like the design template of these sets with the unique color usage. However, it doesn’t really match up with my standard Classic Who DVDs.
As before, we’ll skim through each disc and look at what it has to offer. Each disc has a “Behind the Sofa” feature and all seven stories from this year have been restored brilliantly. Unlike Season 12, I do not own any of the original releases of the stories from Season 19 (though I have borrowed a handful of Season 19’s DVDs from my local library). So some of the material included with the stories I will be experiencing for the first time.
Castrovalva is one of five stories (out of seven!) that got new making-of documentaries. Even though some of them don’t offer much new stuff, they are now in HD and give more than the original documentary. Castrovalva also was a story selected to get new VFX for this release. That covers both a slight clean-up of some of the original visuals, as well as some new scanner screens and a fresh change of the messiness of Castrovalva’s time trap.
Unlike the previous disc, Four to Doomsday has very little in the way of special features. Apart from the new documentary and “Behind the Sofa” features, the only other note of interest is the studio footage, balanced into edited highlights and unedited versions.
Not much is new with Kinda, either. All the features from this story’s previous DVD release are present. I will say the new VFX done for this one are welcome, though. The comparison feature is a good way to get a look at it. I would go as far as saying that the Mara look more menacing in the updated version. Then again, snakes in any form are pretty scary.
The Visitation is another serial that doesn’t have much new material, Extras-wise. The documentary from the previous release is used here, and we also get a few featurettes discussing the writing and scoring of the story. All of it is pretty interesting.
Honestly, I was expecting some new material for this one, but the only new stuff we got was the documentary and the “Behind the Sofa” feature. As a note for the new making-of documentaries, they are not done in the usual talking head style. Instead, they feature interviews of the main cast of the serials, on location where the stories were filmed. This disc also includes a feature on the restoration of this story for DVD. Again, all very interesting stuff, but it isn’t new.
Earthshock is another disc with many features from the original release and a good mix of new material. Pebble Mill at One is new, as well as a new making-of documentary. Of course this serial also has the new CGI effects from the previous release. Earthshock is the only story in this set to have 5.1 surround sound, which is odd considering the previous release included two stories with this option.
Time-Flight also got a new making-of documentary, and we get a handful of studio portions, including regular studio footage and outtakes. As with the other discs, though, not much is new here either.
I suppose the “meat” of the new material comes from this disc. Along with a segment from Take Two, we get a panel from Panopticon ‘93 with Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding, and Nicholas Courtney. An interview with Peter Davison can also be found on this disc. We also got the Jovanka Airlines trailer (which you can find for free on YouTube) and “Time Crash” starring David Tennant and Peter Davison.
Overall, what do I think? Unlike the Season 12 box set which had quite a bit of new material, this box set doesn’t have a ton compared to the previous release. It seems like this could all be found on a special edition of each story. It would also help if a little pamphlet came with the set to tell me which features are on what disc!
For those of you who are wanting to double-dip, this might not be the release for you. If you don’t have any of Season 19 or need a way to fill those gaps in your collection (like me), only then is this one worth it.
Do you wield a Sonic Quill? We're calling all Whovian Scribes who have a voice and are keen to get their ideas out there. Perhaps you write Doctor Who Fan Fiction, essays on the most obscure facets of the Whoniverse, or maybe you want to review the local stage adaptation of 'Blink'. Either way, if you'd like to join the ranks of our WBW Correspondents, get in touch and we'll chat.