Those desperate to see the latest five episodes of the Doctor Who again must’ve been relieved on Monday when Series 7: Part 1 was released on DVD and Blu-ray… but the BBC are forcing us to make a big decision – or spend out numerous times on the same release.
The DVD and Blu-ray features Asylum of the Daleks, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, A Town Called Mercy, The Power of Three and The Angels Take Manhattan, the last episodes to feature the Doctor with Amy and Rory. Instead of the standard vanilla releases of yesteryear, the BBC have decided to make the entire Autumn run of the show available, followed by (presumably) a single edition of the Christmas special and the rest of the series next year. This will be followed by a box set featuring all the episodes from 2011’s The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe to next year’s finale.
Fair enough. We’re used to having to make the choice of buying each release separately or waiting for the full series box set. But this year, Whovians’ decision is harder to make.
Doctor Who Series 7: Part 1 had been released in three formats – four if we include a special BBC Shop package.
The standard release has the Doctor carrying Amy through a menagerie of exploding Daleks (is this the first time the Special Weapons Dalek has featured on a cover?), and, as The K Review notes, it’s well worth getting:
All in all, these are episodes that any fan of nuWho needs to own.
But then there’s also the Weeping Angel Limited Edition DVD and Blu-ray, which features all the things the normal version does – but also a 45-minute special feature, The Science of Doctor Who (which is, again, given high praise from our review). Aside from this, it’s adorned with, of course, a stunning Weeping Angel on the cover, as well as an A3 poster showcasing the aforementioned Dalek picture – with Augmented Reality!
Oh, and it’s also specially numbered to certify that it’s the Limited Edition.
Well, that’s simple, then. If you’re really a Doctor Who fan, you’ll want the Weeping Angel cover, particularly as it’s roughly the same price as the standard edition.
But then the BBC messes with our minds once more.
Head over to the BBC Shop and you can buy their exclusive DVD and Blu-ray: it’s like the standard edition – missing the A3 poster and extra feature – but it does have limited edition art cards inside. They’re really cool, actually. Steven Moffat said that the episodes this year were like blockbuster films, and so the art department created fitting poster-style promotional images. These are included in postcard-size, without being cluttered by the text (ie. episode titles and cast and crew credits) shown in the recent issues of Doctor Who Magazine.
So this release is tempting too: as a BBC Shop exclusive, the art cards will be much rarer than even the Limited Edition Weeping Angel DVD/Blu-ray.
And furthermore, you can even buy a pack that includes the latter edition with an exclusive Weeping Angel t-shirt! Nightmare.
This is the one I bought, and I’m really impressed with the art card, particularly The Power of Three one; an image that fades into cubes – but made up of stills from past episodes.
But I do resent having to fork out a further £17 to get a poster and a 45-minute documentary. And then once more next year when the complete box set is released.
Wouldn’t it be just as easy for the BBC to make an exclusive edition of the Weeping Angel version, complete with art cards?!
So which release will you be getting? Are you a completist? Or will you just be buying it for the episodes? Or are you waiting for the full series box set?