There has been much debate among fans about released versions of classic Doctor Who stories as special editions or in new boxsets over the past few years, but never before has a collection split opinion as much as the Doctor Who Regeneration DVD boxset.
Aside from being the first instance in which classic and nuWho sit together in the same collection, there are really only two reasons to purchase it if you’ve already got a burgeoning collection. The first would be for the beautiful collector’s book that accompanies the DVDs. The second, of course, would be for The Tenth Planet, presented on DVD for the first time (incidentally, it should be pointed out that contrary to fan conspiracy theory, there are no missing episodes in this particular boxset. The Tenth Planet part four is completely animated!)
Now then, the book. Featuring stunning design and illustration from Kasterborous co-founder (who then went on to bigger, better and DVD-shaped things) Anthony Dry, the 24-bage booklet to accompany the DVDs is designed with images of each Doctor and each episode, matching the all-new DVD menu design. Minimalist it might be, but this physical, commemorative extra is a page turner with every page looking like a work of art.
The full list of stories included on the DVD are:
- The Tenth Planet
- The War Games
- Planet of the Spiders
- The Caves of Androzani
- Time and the Rani
- Doctor Who: The Movie
- Bad Wolf & The Parting of the Ways
- The End of Time
Now, you’ll find reviews for almost all of these elsewhere on Kasterborous, so we’ll avoid focusing on them too much. Suffice to say that these superb episodes all represent the epitome of the changing of the guard in Doctor Who, the change in tone, in actor, and in direction. Perhaps most prominent in this description is the TV Movie, now on its third DVD release. Not bad for an episode once considered “non-canon”…
As a reminder about the episodes, here’s a brief promotional video:
Oh and don’t ignore the cover. Yes, that is the Eleventh Doctor apparently regenerating…
So, do you buy this DVD boxset or not? What if you already have the episodes? Well, I think the answer lies in that ongoing discussion about how the BBC is treating Doctor Who during the show’s 50th anniversary. We’ve all heard (or made!) the complaints. But whatever you think about the low episode count on air or the lack of classic episodes, this DVD collection is exactly the sort of thing that should be released – a celebrator, anniversary compilation of regeneration stories, almost all of them brilliant. Yes, it might result in you owning Time and the Rani before you had intended to, but with episode four of The Tenth Planet and the stunning book, you’re getting nine stories for under fifty quid.
That’s pretty good value, IMHO.
Out now, the Doctor Who Regeneration set can be ordered from Amazon for £46.21– but you’ll have to decide whether you think it is worth it…