DVD Review: Doctor Who Series 9: Part 1 (UK, 2015)

I must confess, I geek out a little when there’s Doctor Who DVD’s about; I’ve got every boxset from New-Who (though I’m still working on collecting all the classics). Every Christmas I would receive the latest season, using my holidays to productively nestle in and watch the entire season…twice. Doctor Who Series 9: Part 1 comes a little earlier this year, but I welcome it with wide open arms.

First off, the set has really capitalised on what makes buying DVD’s special – collectors cards! From past boxsets, I’ve got hologram cards, movie-style posters, and this time, I’ve been treated to a set of four Master themed cards. As Michelle Gomez rejoins season 9 for the best frenemy relationship I’ve ever seen, the producers seem to be exploring the past of The Master in this boxset.You’ll receive profile cards on each classic Master rendition, including Roger Delgado, Peter Pratt, Anthony Ainley, and Eric Roberts. As a fan of classic-Who, it makes me ridiculously happy to see the show return to its roots once again. You also get an A3 sized poster of The Doctor and Clara, making it well and truly feel like Christmas.

As far as the episodes go, the DVD covers episodes 1-6; The Magician’s Apprentice, The Witch’s Familiar, Under The Lake, Before The Flood, The Girl Who Died, and The Woman Who Lived (you can read my reviews by clicking on each episode). Disc 1 houses the first 3 episodes, as well as a bonus behind the scene eight minute special that runs through the first episode – Doctor Who Extra. It’s great to see Capaldi and Gomez dissect their characters, and even better to explore how the creative team make these worlds come to life.

Disc 2 is quite similar, exploring the remainder of the episodes in Doctor Who Extra. Through discussions with producers, actors, and writers, we gain a deeper understanding into how the episodes are constructed, and why particular elements are important. Capaldi’s commentary makes these sequences, bringing intelligence, wit, and excitement to the production element of the show. At one point he stated (in relation to “Under The Lake”/”Before The Flood”), “everytime you see an underwater base on a sci-fi or fantasy show you know that at some point it’s going to get breached.” If that doesn’t encapsulate Doctor Who, then I don’t know what does. Fun fact: Did you know that Corey Taylor from Slipknot does some of the vocals for the Fisher King? Now you do!

Given the age of downloads that we live in, DVD’s have suffered exponentially. But the crew onboard Doctor Who have recognised this, adding extra incentive to support the show through fun knick-knacks and added insight to the episodes. Plus, there’s just something about being able to hold a tangible piece of Doctor Who history.

Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Doctor Who Series 9: Part 1 is available on Blu-Ray and DVD now for only $39.95.

 

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