Doctor Who The Collection Season 8 [Blu-ray]

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Doctor Who The Collection Season 8 [Blu-ray]

Doctor Who The Collection Season 8 [Blu-ray]

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Behind the Sofa: New episodes with Katy Manning and Stewart Bevan, plus companions Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton and from the Jodie-Whittaker-era Sacha Dhawan and Anjli Mohindra. Prior to The War Games, where the Time Lords are an aloof, indistinct presence, the only named member of the Doctor’s race had been The Meddling Monk in The Time Meddler and it would be another 2 years before the Doctor’s home planet is finally named as Gallifrey in The Time Warrior. It was noted during the original VHS restoration of The Dæmons that some minor edits were present in the colour version which was mostly covered by freezing the last available frame of colour available, and also basic colour washes (as Azal clutches his head and screams in Episode Five, and the final shot of Bok in Episode Two). As beloved as Season 7 of Doctor Who is, there’s no doubting it’s a bit of a mish-mash; unlike the modern series, where a showrunner might be allowed a generous amount of time to work out how they want to present the new Doctor, Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks had less than 6 months to pull together a new Doctor, new companion, new format and the switch to colour broadcasting that was having an impact on every production within the BBC. Nicholas Courtney and John Levene continue their roles of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Sergeant Benton, while Richard Franklin makes his first appearance as Captain Mike Yates.

A major colour drop towards the end of Episode Three was fixed by looping a short section of colour.The Cybermen years can be put on one of the 2nd doctor boxset’s Cybermen stories so perhaps the Moonbase on season 4.

Coming Soon: Shada/More Than Thirty Years in the TARDIS removed, not on season 17 but perhaps The Wilderness Years. Colony In Space sees the Time Lords send The Doctor and Jo in the Tardis to a colony planet in the future where The Master is after a doomsday weapon. Once again we start with the Time Lords, in the blue and silver colour scheme that would reoccur in the Pertwee era, temporarily breaking the Doctor’s exile on Earth to send him on a mission to another planet. Interviews: Katy Manning (actor), Making of Documentary, 'The Daemons - Omnibus' movie edit; 'The Vampire From Space' extended edit; PDF written archive: scripts and rare archival material. Of the stories in Season 8, The Mind of Evil is the one that feels most like a hang-over from Season 7, with its earthy concerns of prison reform and mind control feeling much more like Liz Shaw’s cup of tea than Jo Grant’s.She is wonderfully effervescent as usual but it is an astonishing life story that has never really been delved into in such depth.

It’s in this story as well that Letts and Dicks start to develop the Time Lords, seen only briefly in The War Games. Next up, The Mind Of Evil seeing The Doctor investigate a machine at a prison that its inventor claims removes evil thoughts while The Master is after a nuclear missile that could start World War 3. And Colony in Space, whilst a tad overlong, has some clever social commentary about the dangers of colonialism peppered throughout its tale of sinister mining corporations and alien doomsday weapons. I remember reading the Curse of Pleadon target book when I was a kid and when I finally saw it for the very first time which was the DVD release it did not disappoint!

Audio Commentary - With Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) and producer/director Barry Letts. The way they are knocking these out might not have that long 2 year wait as it seems to have been the filmed documentaries and location films that were being held back due to the pandemic and also actor availability. The homage to A Clockwork Orange is a bit obvious but the convicted villains add a sense of gritty realness to an otherwise fantastical tale. The Claws of Axos received two DVD releases, as the first was early in the range and could be superceded with improved restoration techniques and bonuses.

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