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Blu-ray Review: DOCTOR WHO Season 19
PHOTOGRAPHY
DOCTOR WHO Season 19 (Peter Davison Complete Season One)
Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 624 minutes approx, audio commentaries, production text tracks, optional CGI effects, deleted scenes, studio and location footage, featurettes, making-of documentaries, PDF production files, photo galleries, previews, Behind The Sofa featurettes, Peter Davison hour long interview
VIDEO: 4:3 1080i High Definition (episodes)/ 4:3 and 1.78:1 (extras- some in High Definition and others Standard Defintion)
AUDIO: Varies- English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio with English 5.1 DTS-HD MA options for two stories
Subtitles: English SDH

STUDIO: BBC/ BBC Studios America/ BBC Worldwide Limited
RELEASE DATE: 12-4-2018

DISC ONE- CASTROVALVA (4 episodes), extras
DISC TWO- FOUR TO DOOMSDAY (4 episodes), extras
DISC THREE- KINDA (4 episodes), extras
DISC FOUR- THE VISITATION (4 episodes), extras
DISC FIVE- BLACK ORCHID (2 episodes), extras
DISC SIX- EARTHSHOCK (4 episodes), extras
DISC SEVEN- TIME-FLIGHT (4 episodes), extras
DISC EIGHT- PETER DAVISON IN CONVERSATION and other extras
DOCTOR WHO launched into a different era for the show in the early 1980s after Tom Baker left the show ending his seven year run as the Doctor. Producer John Nathan Turner cast the youngest actor at the time to play the Doctor, the youthful Peter Davison. The first season of Davison's three year stint as the fifth Doctor saw a wide range of stories with the Doctor going up against a couple of his oldest foes and face loss. The best stories of the season are FOUR TO DOOMSDAY and the action thriller EARTHSHOCK with KINDA being somewhat interesting and BLACK ORCHID being like an Agatha Christie tale (more than a DOCTOR WHO tale). THE VISITATION and TIME-FLIGHT are the weak stories of this season. Sometime one or more of his three traveling companions- Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), and Adric (Matthew Waterhouse)- are sidelined to make more story for the other two which makes the TARDIS seem like too much of a crowded time traveling ship. Despite the low budget of the classic DOCTOR WHO series, the writing and sometimes rather excellent direction and great cast overcome that. However, sometimes the production design on a studio set and the limited monster design budget can only do so much.

The release of the Classic Doctor Who seasons back and forth has to do with what material they can present in the best resolution. Season 12 and Season 19 have lots of film material from location shoots that can be scanned to full HD. Many seasons of classic Doctor Who have their problems in terms of remastering and how long it takes for the elements to be remastered in the best quality possible. I think BBC wanted to release Peter Davison's first season because it was ready to go before Baker's last season (season 18 which sees release in the US in March). After Baker's last season (season 18), I have a feeling that the BBC will either go with releasing season 13 or season 16 (Key to Time) as the next Baker season. They can't really release the Baker seasons in order due to the long process of remastering elements to better than DVD quality even if some isn't quite up to HD standards. The DVDs tended to jump around due to what releases were easier to get out due to restoration time and the popularity of a story.

This is a great buy for fans of the series since many of the classic DOCTOR WHO stories are becoming unavailable on DVD in North America and the price of the set is cheaper than buying all of the individual DVD releases of each season 19 story. I was first introduced to Peter Davison back in the 1980s through PBS and I saw these stories after the Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor) stories aired, but some of the stories of Peter Davison I read the Target novelizations first before seeing the actual aired episodes. It has been at least over 20 years (with the exception of EARTHSHOCK) that I have last seen any of Peter Davison's first season as the doctor.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Each story has new and existing special features (from the old DVDs) in addition to PDF materials (accessible via Blu-ray-ROM) for production paperwork, scripts, and Radio Times cuttings. The amount of extra material is awesome and it will take you hours to get through

DISC ONE-
Audio Commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, writer Christopher h. Bidmead, and director Fiona Cumming
TIME TRAP- new making-of documentary (in HD) with cast and crew interviews as the main cast visit the locations used
BEHIND THE SOFA: CASTROVALVA (HD)- the actors of the series react to watching the story
New optional updated CGI special effects which look better than the original effects
Studio footage from CASTROVALVA (new to blu-ray)
Photo gallery in HD

Features (in addition to the audio commentary) ported form the DVD:
DIRECTING CASTROVALVA- FIONA CUMMING
BEING DOCTOR WHO with Peter Davison
THE CROWDED TARDIS about the Doctor and his three companions
Deleted scenes

SWAP SHOP- Peter Davison interview
BLUE PETER- Peter Davison interview
PEBBLE MILL AT ONE and SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MILL have a Peter Davison interview
Extract from THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW PARADE showing Peter Davison as the Doctor on the Doctor who float
BBC1 continuity and trailers
Theme music video
Clean opening and closing titles
Isolated music score and revised production subtitles
Coming Soon DVD trailer for FOUR TO DOOMSDAY

DISC TWO-
Audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, and Matthew Waterhouse
Highlights of studio footage

New to blu-ray (for FOUR TO DOOMSDAY):
DAYS OF WRATH: HD making-of documentary as the cast talk about the making of this serial as they comment on the casting and production design. Clips from the story and archival interviews with crew are used when needed
BEHIDN THE SOFA: FOUR TO DOOMSDAY (HD)
Studio footage (unedited)
Audio archive: Stratford Johns interview
BBC1 continuity, production subtitles, HD photo gallery

DISC THREE-
Audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, and Matthew Waterhouse, and Nerys Hughes
DREAMTIME- making-of documentary
DIRECTING WITH ATTITUDE- PETER GRIMWADE
Deleted and extended scenes
Optional updated CGI effects which make a CGI snake look better than the dodgy plastic snake in the original effects
CGI effects comparison featurette
HD Photo gallery
BBC1 continuity, Isolated Music Soundtrack, and production subtitles track

BEHIND THE SOFA: KINDA (HD)
New optional 5.1 surround mix
HD photo gallery

DISC FOUR-
Audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, and Matthew Waterhouse, and Peter Moffat
GRIM TALES- making-of documentary now in HD
Films trims and studio footage
DIRECTING DOCTOR WHO- PETER MOFFATT
WRITING A FINAL VISITATION- ERIC SAWARD as he talks about writing the serial
SACRING THE VISITATION- PADDY KINGSLAND
BBC1 continuity, Isolated Music Soundtrack, and production subtitles track

BEHIND THE SOFA: THE VISITATION (HD)
HD Photo gallery

DISC FIVE-
Audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, and Matthew Waterhouse
NOW AND THEN featurette on the locations used during filming
Deleted scenes
Film restoration featurette for the DVD restoration
BLUE PETER and POINTS OF VIEW segments in addition to BBC1 continuity

New Special features for blu-ray:
DOUBLE TROUBLE- new making-of documentary with the cast as they visit one of the locations in the serial
BEHIND THE SOFA: BLACK ORCHID
Audio archive: Tony Burrough interview
Production subtitles, BBC1 continuity
Photo gallery in HD

DISC SIX-
Audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, and Matthew Waterhouse
Optional updated CGI special effects which look better than the original effects and even fix an effect at the end of the story

New HD Making-Of Documentary, EARTHSHOCKED (41:23)- the cast and crew are interviewed about the making of the story intercut with clips from the show, footage of a Cyberman wandering around on the makeshift set built for this documentary, and archival interviews when new interviews couldn't be recorded
BEHIND THE SOFA: EARTHSHOCK (HD)
New optional 5.1 sound mix for EARTHSHOCK
HD photo gallery
Location Film Sequences and almost two hours of studio footage

PUTTING THE SHOCK INTO EARTHSHOCK- old making-of documentary from the DVD
THE BOY WITH THE GOLDEN STAR- actor Matthew Waterhouse talks about his character and working on the various stories that Adric was in
DID YOU SEE?- a humorous commentary on various Doctor Who monsters
PEEBLE MILL AT ONE- interview with Peter Davison
BBC1 Continuity, Photo Gallery, option to play EARTHSHOCK with updated Special Effects, Claymation Short which shows an alternate death for one of the show's characters, and a brand new 5.1 Surround mix for the episodes

Isolated Music Soundtrack, and production subtitles track

DISC SEVEN-
TURBULENCE, THE MAKING OF TIME-FLIGHT (33:58)- new HD making-of documentary with cast and crew as they talk about the making of the story as the main cast visit a retired concord plane in a hanger
BEHIND THE SOFA: TIME-FLIGHT (HD)
Audio Archive: Peter Grimwade (new to blu-ray)
Deleted and Extended scenes
Studio Footage (Highlights, Part 1, Part 2) - new to blu-ray except highlights reel
Outtakes
PETER GRIMWADE interview
BBC1 continuity, Photo Gallery, and Audio Archive

DISC EIGHT-
PETER DAVISON IN CONVERSATION (HD)- a brand new one hour interview with the actor who played the Fifth Doctor as he talks about how he got cast, his time as the Doctor, and his aborted music career
JOVAKANA AIRLINES tongue-in-cheek promo for the 19th season (aka Peter Davison Season One) blu-ray set
THE PANOPTICON ARCHIVE: PANOPTICON 93- Janet Fielding, Matthew Waterhouse, and Nicholas Courtney
TAKE TWO
Audio archive: Ron Jones interview
Studio clocks

TIME CRASH special short with Peter Davison and David Tennant
MARA TALES DVD trailer and TEGAN TALES DVD trailer
PDFs for DOCTOR WHO ANNUAL 1982 and BBC Enterprises literature

FINAL ANALYSIS: This set is a bargain for DOCTOR WHO fans that don't own the DVDs, and the new extras and HD remaster are worth upgrading too. I can't wait for more classic DOCTOR WHO to come out on blu-ray (with Season 18- Tom Baker's last season being next). I loved watching all of the making-of extras and interviews. Furthermore, these sets make me love the classic show even more and I loved watching the old stories again. Recommended buy for all DOCTOR WHO fans.

This movie review is (c)1-4-2019 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com