Trenton Bless reviews the Fourth Doctor Season 12 Blu-Ray set. Is it… Worth It?
Welcome to a new series of Doctor Who product reviews I like to call: “Worth It?”
In this series of articles, I’ll review Doctor Who products and merchandise and try to answer the question, is it worth it? In this first instalment, I’m taking a look at the Fourth Doctor Season 12 Blu-Ray set. I purchased it from my local Barnes and Noble Booksellers for $70. A bit overpriced, so do pay attention where you get it from.
Taking a look at the DVD art, I must say it is pretty good. The use of the new era logo with the purple tint to the vortex is different, especially for a Classic Who release such as this. Definitely a unique look. I’ll run through each disc one by one and talk about their highlights.
Disc One features Tom Baker’s debut story Robot. Several bonus features from the initial release of this story are present, as well as some new ones, including the “Behind the Sofa” segments (which are available on each disc) featuring Tom Baker, Philip Hinchcliffe and more.
This disc also includes some unfinished documentary footage shot during the filming of the series, which is cool. I appreciate the effort made to convert all 20 episodes of Season 12 into some kind of HD format. Though not 100% Blu-Ray quality, it still gets a pass from me.
On the Ark in Space disc, we get not only the original broadcast version of this story, but the omnibus version as well. Two stories in this set (The Ark in Space and Genesis of the Daleks) feature optional 5.1 Surround Sound, which sounds amazing. Pair it with the Blu-Ray HD restoration quality of these episodes and you have one heck of an experience! Other than that, it’s pretty much your standard commentary tracks and such.
This disc includes one of two making-of documentaries exclusive to this set. On top of that, it flaunts “The Tom Baker Years”, a high quality version of the original 1992 VHS tapes, featuring Tom Baker reacting to clips from all of his stories. It’s split up into two parts (as was the original VHS release) and is definitely worth a watch. I will say this story is pretty good, but I’ll save that one for the mini review.
Aside from the Surround Sound option and “Behind the Sofa” featurette, there are no new bonus features for this story. Seeing it in such high quality is pretty wonderful, though. Definitely a step up from the original 2006 release. But not much to add for one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time? Might as well just have stuck with the original release.
The Revenge of the Cybermen disc includes a newly updated making-of featurette and exclusive updated special effects. Along with the “Cheques, Lies and Videotape” featurette from the original release, this is pretty much an updated version of the original release from 2010. I will say, this applies to most of the set, but certain discs have more than others.
Disc Six is basically a bonus disc featuring “Tom Baker in Conversation”, a newly-filmed interview with the legend himself, which is worth buying on its own, really. This disc also contains the “TV Movie” version of Genesis of the Daleks from 1975, which was the same version shown in theaters in the summer of 2018. Other than that, there are a few studio clocks and that’s it for Disc Six.
So overall, what do I think of this set? Though I have the standard individual releases of all of these stories (except for Robot), I still find this set enjoyable and worth the money I spent on it. The new bonus features alone warrant the double-dipping, especially the Tom Baker interview and those Tom Baker Years VHS copies. Unless you’re fine with the standard releases for all of these stories, I would definitely say it’s worth it!
Also, more of these boxsets are on the way with Peter Davison’s first season coming to Blu-Ray in November, 2018. Expect a review for that in future as well. However, next time we will take a look at something a bit more modern.
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.