When one can travel through all of time and space, sometimes Christmas comes about at the strangest of times. For Doctor Who fans, it's Christmas right now as the BBC releases 2014's Christmas special "Last Christmas" on DVD and Blu-Ray between Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. While the title gets the 1984 song by Wham! instantly stuck in my head for hours to come, "Last Christmas" proves to be a brilliantly written and highly entertaining holiday outing for the Doctor. In fact I think it's my favorite of all the Doctor Who Christmas specials so far. Imagine Alien, The
Recently in Cataloging the Doctor
"Happy Easter." - The Doctor
As the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi is off to a roaring start in the brilliant new series.
With the Blu-ray release of Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series, it is clear that the beloved Doctor is on a historic roll. While there have been highs and lows since the 2005 re-boot of Doctor Who, something very special has been going on in the past couple of years. Part of this has been the excitement over the 50th anniversary, which was in November 2013. But even bigger was the appointment of Steven Moffat as showrunner. With The Sopranos, David Chase turned the story of a New Jersey mafia boss into a parable of turn-of-the-millennium America. With the eighth
Doctor Who: Deep Breath DVD Review: You Don't Need to Hold Your Breath to Bring the 12th Doctor Home on DVD or Blu-ray
Peter Capaldi's first outing as the Doctor time-travels onto DVD/Blu-ray.
The new Doctor has arrived...on DVD and Blu-ray! Doctor Who: Deep Breath sees actor Peter Capaldi stepping into the role of The Doctor for his first full-length episode (having made brief appearances in episodes The Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor). Wasting little time, the BBC has already produced a DVD and Blu-ray of the episode for those who, like me, can't watch the BBC or BBC America, giving us our first real look at the new 12th Doctor. Having just regenerated, the Doctor finds himself having trouble remembering important information, like the identity of his friends
A loving remembrance of how Doctor Who got its start.
In 1963, the BBC had a space to fill in its Saturday time slot. Legendary producer and head of drama Sydney Newman had an idea for an educational science fiction show to fill it. He promoted Verity Lambert to produce the show (creating the first female producer of a dramatic program at the network). She hired character actor William Hartnell as the lead. It had a minuscule budget, a tiny studio, and got off to a rough start (the pilot aired the day of the JFK assassination) but went on to become the stuff of legend. The show, of course
We're really quite lucky to have it, and ultimately, it is quite enjoyable.
It really is quite astonishing that they are finding various Doctor Who serials after literally believing them to be lost forever. Here at Cinema Sentries headquarters we threw quite a party when it was announced last year that all but one episode of The Web of Fear and the entire serial of The Enemy of the World had been found in Nigeria. They've only recently started to seriously scour the Earth for missing episode so who knows what they'll find next. The Enemy of the World is the fourth serial of the fifth season of Doctor Who. It originally aired
Available for the first time since being broadcast 46 years ago, The Second Doctor and UNIT are ready for the Yeti.
The DVD release of The Web of Fear is another victory in the battle to restore all of the “lost” Doctor Who serials. As a cost-cutting measure, the BBC erased and reused the tapes during the 1960s. Since the quest began in earnest, copies of missing episodes have been found all over the world. This has been an extraordinary effort, and when something as significant as The Web of Fear is restored, it is a real event. In some instances, not every episode of a serial can be located though, and this has forced the company to become creative. With
A nice send-off to the Eleventh Doctor, just not a great one.
The Time of the Doctor has all the tell tale signs of a Doctor Who episode under the tutelage of show runner Steven Moffat. It's thrilling, clever, funny, and very entertaining, yet crammed with too much stuff, overly referential, and ultimately rather shallow. On a small, isolated planet a mysterious message is being beamed across all of time and space. Outside the planet are hundreds of alien ships (including most of the Doctor’s enemies) all desperately trying to determine what the message says. The Papal Mainframe, led by Tasha Lem - an old friend of the Doctor - is protecting
The Second Doctor encounters the Cybermen for his first time but that's not his only problem.
The Cybermen have always rivaled the Daleks as the premier villains in the Doctor Who Universe. The Daleks always seemed to be able to win on just being a creepy monster. The Cybermen were always the thinking man's villain for me. They are inherently a very philosophical monster. At what point do humans become something else as they replace their parts. It's been a theme in Science Fiction for generations. In the Doctor Who Universe, the evolution of the Cybermen has reflected the thoughts of the times. Their role now as arguably the most important adversaries is built upon more
Steven Moffat strikes gold with this 50th Anniversary Special.
Previously reviewed by Todd Karella, The Day of the Doctor is the 50th Anniversary Special of Doctor Who, the British television series that has gone on to become such a global phenomenon the special was simultaneiusly broadcast in 94 countries across six continents. Like past anniversary specials (The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors), The Day of the Doctor brings together various incarnations of the Time Lord to take on a great menace and have a bit of fun as the different personalities of the character interact. Writer and executive producer Steven Moffat delivers quite a story, as not only
The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration hits the silver screen.
I’ve been to a few of these Fathom Events before and so I’ve come to know what to expect. The ones I’ve experienced involved television shows and before the presentation starts the movie screen shows interesting trivia questions to get the audience in the mood for what is about to come. My favorite was that in North America alone more than 1,000 sonic screwdrivers are sold daily. And then there’s also some kind of featurette that involves the making of the episode with interviews of cast and crew. This one was entitled “The Day of The Doctor: Behind The Lens,”
Meet the Doctors.
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Doctor Who, BBC America has been airing a series of monthly specials entitled The Doctors Revisited, each dedicated to one of the eleven incarnations of the character and the series during his tenure. They serve as good introductions to the different Doctors, although those already familiar with them may find the special too brief. In conjunction with the specials, a classic serial would follow. The Doctors Revisited: Fifth to Eighth is a four-disc DVD set that collects the programming devoted to the Fifth (Peter Davison), Sixth (Colin Baker), Seventh (Sylvester McCoy), and
A straight-up classic Tom Baker-era Who.
Like a lot of Americans of a certain age - that is to say old enough to remember Doctor Who before the modern series - Tom Baker is my Doctor. From my understanding, the show didn’t really air in America until Baker’s run in the late '70s. His incarnation as the Fourth Doctor was certainly the one that got the most mileage in reruns being shown over and over again on PBS. In fact, it wasn’t until I started watching the modern series that I realized there were other Doctors besides him. As such, he is my favorite of the
The first transformation of the Doctor and first appearance of the Cybermen make this a very significant serial.
There have been many milestones in the 50-year history of Doctor Who, but there may be none more significant than what happens at the end of The Tenth Planet. With the words “It’s far from being all over!” the First Doctor (William Hartnell) goes inside the TARDIS and is transformed into the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). This happens right before our very eyes, so there is no question as to what has happened. It was one of the boldest moments a television show has ever made, and with it, Doctor Who could theoretically go on forever. Low ratings may have
This prequel offers an important bit of Who history.
Debuting online on November 14, 2013, the mini-episode "The Night of the Doctor" revealed the origins of the Doctor played by John Hurt, who first appeared in "The Name of the Doctor," the final episode of the seventh series, and is now identified in the credits of "Night" as the War Doctor. Watch it below before reading any further: First off, it's wonderful to see the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) return for the 50th Anniversary celebration since he never got a fair shot at playing the character due to the poor reception the FOX TV-movie received. And to do so
Hey, Whovians. Get ready to mark your calendars.
BBC America will be presenting a week-long Doctor Who Takeover later this month beginning Monday, November 18, at 9:00am ET in celebration of the British television program's 50th anniversary. On November 23, 1963, Doctor Who debuted on BBC, the story of its creation told in the TV-movie An Adventure in Space and Time, and has gone on to become a worldwide phenomonon that the Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor is going be simulcast in more than 75 countries. Leading up to it, BBC America's programming includes a heavy focus on the Eleventh Doctor
This is no Nigerian scam.
Fans of Classic Doctor Who, and in particular those of the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, should be delighted by the news that The Enemy of the World (Story 40) and The Web of Fear (Story 41), both from Season Five and neither seen in 45 years, have been recovered and remastered. While many stories on the Internet related to Nigeria involve scams, Phillip Morris, Executive Director of TIEA Ltd., has a tale that will bring a smile to the face and hope for what the future may bring of many a Who fan. Morris found episodes 1, 2, 4, 5
Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series DVD Review: Lots of Changes Make For a Less Than Steller Doctor
I liked the first half of Series 7 much more than the latter half.
The seventh series of Doctor Who was unusual for several reasons. It was broken in half with the first part airing in the fall of 2012 and the second part not airing until the spring of 2013. We said goodbye to the Ponds and hello to Clara, who turned out to be the ongoing mystery of the second half of the series.. It was the final season for Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor. All of these changes took its toll on the series, making it not quite as good as many of the ones before it. While it is
Frightening, hissing Martians break out of the ice.
Whether you are a new fan of Doctor Who, or have been watching the show since its debut in November 1963, you are probably aware of the BBC’s notorious “wiping” policy, which erased a huge number of episodes. The majority of the episodes that were wiped were from the first years of the series, in the ‘60s. William Hartnell portrayed the First Doctor from 1963-1966, and Patrick Troughton was the Second Doctor from 1966-1969. Thanks to the amazing efforts of fans all over the world, a great deal of the missing episodes have been found, but not all of them.
A fascinating bit of Who history.
In 1989 after 26 seasons, Doctor Who was cancelled. There continued to be various radio programs and novels, but the television series was effectively dead. In 1996, a television movie was produced by an American studio but the ratings were not good enough to turn it into a regular series again. The series was so dead that as the 40th anniversary of the program began to creep closer the BBC had no desire to celebrate the still-very-popular series. The Doctor Who website, at this time, was very popular and the managers of the site had previously created some very rudimentary
Katy Manning went out on a high note with The Green Death.
“So the fledgling flies the coop,” states the Doctor in one of the opening scenes of The Green Death. It is an interesting moment, as the Third Doctor’s (Jon Pertwee) companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning) has just declined his offer to take a trip in the TARDIS. At this particular juncture, going anywhere in the TARDIS is something of a new experience, as the Third Doctor had been exiled to Earth by the Time Lords for most of his tenure. He has been “forgiven” at this point, and the TARDIS is now operational. The Doctor is headed to Metebelis Three,
A great introduction to Pertwee's Doctor.
There is a lot of trivia connected to Spearhead from Space but it is not at all a trivial episode. It was the first serial of the seventh season. The first to star Jon Pertwee as the Doctor and Caroline John as his companion Dr. Liz Shaw. It was also the first Who to be shot in color. That last bit combined with the fact that a strike caused the series to be shot entirely on film (usually at least part of an episode would be shot on cheaper-looking video) makes this the first Classic Doctor Who to be released
The more entries, the more chances to win.
Cinema Sentries have teamed up with BBC Home Entertainment to give six lucky readers the opportunity to win a Doctor Who program featuring the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee). Doctor Who: Spearhead From Space is notable for being the first story of Jon Pertwee’s tenure as the Third Doctor, the first Doctor Who story to be presented in color, and the first to be shot entirely on film. The latter aspect is what makes this classic Who able to presented in high definition. The Spearhead From Space Special Edition DVD was reviewed by Greg Barbrick and the Blu-ray reviewed by Mat
Fabulous intoduction to the first four Doctors.
The fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who is coming up, and the BBC is pulling out all the stops. There have been a couple of high profile golden anniversaries recently, including those of The Beach Boys and Rolling Stones. There is no television show in the world that is even close to that mark other than Who though. The fact that they made it is incredible, given the history of the show. It is a journey worthy of an eleven-part serial of its own. I say eleven parts because there have been eleven Doctors. Telling the story of the show from
The Doctor and Jo battle The Master in a story that tells us more about the latter than the former.
Over the past few years, I've reviewed quite a few of the BBC releases of Doctor Who. One of the latest releases, The Mind of Evil, is not my first Jon Pertwee review with him as the Doctor. I reviewed The Three Doctors release that takes place at the beginning of Season Ten when the Doctor is finally released from a two-year exile on Earth. This new release takes us back to the second story of Season Eight. By this time, Pertwee is comfortably 29 episodes into his run and has settled into the character. The six-episode arc is an
Inferno is definitely one of the better ones, and with all of the extras, this package is a sweet one.
We are just a few months away from the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and the BBC continues to roll out classic serials on DVD. As a Yank who is a fairly recent convert to the series, I am getting to know the various incarnations of the Doctor through these releases. In watching them, I find it interesting how often my opinions about the show, and the Doctors changes. A case in point is the new seven-part Inferno, which originally aired from May into June of 1970. Jon Pertwee stars as the Third Doctor, and with this serial, he has
Doctor Who: Series Seven, Part Two Blu-ray Review: The Doctor Returns with a New Companion and a New Attitude
The second half of the seventh series is well done and the interaction between the two main characters adds a breath of fresh air to the franchise.
Now that the Doctor is back with a new companion and he’s pulled himself out of his emotional cage, he’s ready to set off for adventure at the beginning of the second half of the seventh series. But wait; there’s a huge problem. The audience has been promised that Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) was the new companion. But how could that be? We saw her in the first half of the series as a shipwreck victim in the episode “Asylum of the Daleks,” and she died in that episode. That could have just been a coincidence since at that point the
Doctor Who: The Snowmen Blu-ray Review: This Year The Doctor's New Christmas Gift Is A New Companion
It's entertaining, but difficult to understand why it needed to be released separately from Series Seven, Part Two.
Series Seven continues the tradition in the Doctor Who universe of a stand-alone Christmas special coming between the two halves. In "The Snowmen," it’s 1892 and the Doctor has gone into self-exile. The loss of his two previous companions, Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), in the first half of the ser has pushed him over the edge. He is no longer the protector of the universe. Instead, he has resigned himself to the TARDIS high above the clouds. But the universe works in mysterious ways, and if his past is any precursor of what’s to come in his
The Doctor and the Master find themselves at the cold end of time.
Forget about the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary, the one that really counts is coming this November, which will mark 50 years of Doctor Who. For a show that was dismissed, destroyed, and seemingly discarded for good at one point, the BBC is pulling out all stops. One element of the celebration is the publication of some very cool Doctor Who novels, the latest being Harvest of Time. This is no quickie tie-in either, as the book was written by the acclaimed sci-fi author Alastair Reynolds. I must say, the story Reynolds has crafted is as good and in some ways
Doctor Who: The Visitation Special Edition Review: Rubber Reptiles and Disco Androids Bring the Plague
A visit to London with the Fifth Doctor and his companions.
The Visitation is the fourth serial of the 19th season of Doctor Who. Though it was fourth one aired, it was actually the second one produced, and thus only the second time Peter Davison played the titular character (he briefly appeared in the final episode of the 18th season but only at the end so that viewers could get a hint of what the new Doctor looked like). The episode was written by Eric Saward and this was his first time writing for the series. Given the newness for both actor and writer The Visitation has something of an unfinished
Adult science fiction show reduced to novel aimed at simpler audience.
"PC Reg Cranfield turned the corner into Totter's Lane, the beam of his torch slicing through the fog. It was a thick one tonight, what his dad would have referred to as a 'real pea souper', had he still been alive to say it." That's how the first Doctor Who book I've read in over 20 years starts. The latest release from Broadway Paperbacks is written by Tommy Donbavand and entitled Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow. It's one of three new releases including Doctor Who: Plague of the Cybermen by Justin Richards and Doctor Who: The Dalek Generation by Nicholas