Part two focuses on the technical facets of this basic assortment…
Video and Audio
Season 2 isn’t the primary time Black and White Doctor Who has been launched in HD however is actually a labour of affection for the crew behind these units, having to cowl 37 episodes, 11 of which have acquired all-new transfers from the prevailing tapes (The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Crusade episode 1 “The Lion” & The Time Meddler).
The Lion particularly bodes effectively from its restoration regardless of the broken nature of the one identified copy of the episode (there’s a line going by the center of the movie print and different blemishes to the print), while TDIOE & TTM profit properly from these new restorations.
The remainder of the tales within the set additionally look cleaned up in comparison with their DVD releases – naturally there are imperfections and blemishes all through and there’s a restrict to how crisp these early tales can look, however I used to be left reasonably impressed general and look ahead to seeing how different 60s season fare.
The audio, which is dealt with splendidly by Mark Ayres, cleans up properly and although we don’t get any new 5.1 Surround Sound mixes, there may be an enhanced soundtrack for TDIOE.
Season 2 continues to combine the fold-out e-book styled packaging, with a compartment for the booklet and a stack of disc trays. Unfortunately, owing to the additional disc the trays have grow to be reasonably top-heavy, leading to some folks’s units arriving with the trays disconnected from the glue dots holding them to the packaging.
The exterior art work by Lee Binding was maybe initially one in all my least favourites owing to the likeness of Hartnell used. I’ve since come to love it a bit extra however would have appreciated to see Nero on the entrance.
We additionally get one other detailed booklet with retrospective content material by Pete McTighe which packs within the little particulars for these tales that makes it a vital aspect of the set.
This boxset collates many of the earlier DVD particular options from Season 2’s earlier releases, although is lacking the Spanish audio monitor for The Web Planet Episode 6 “The Centre”. Compared to earlier field units this launch is probably lighter general on particular options, owing each to the price range needing to stretch for 37 episodes but additionally because of the lesser variety of actors and behind the scenes personnel for interviews, resulting in various options being produced when these serials initially obtained DVD releases, just like the recreation of the unique episode 3 & 4 for Planet of Giants.
Probably the most important particular characteristic right here comes from the presentation of The Crusade, introduced by way of telesnaps with optionally available on-screen subtitles for the lacking episodes – these are very effectively completed, residing as much as the nice telesnap reconstructions completed for the animations.
Established recurring options just like the Behind the Sofa segments and Matthew Sweet’s In Conversation items additionally make a return right here. On the sofas this time are Maureen O’Brien, Peter Purves & Carole Ann Ford, who characteristic alongside Janet Fielding, Wendy Padbury & Sarah Sutton, plus Bonnie Langford and Sophie Aldred.
Not each story will get coated this time round as Planet of Giants and The Space Museum are missed – maybe the latter because the viewers could have fallen asleep throughout the latter episodes in any other case. These segments have been usually watchable although it’s a disgrace that there wasn’t a number of love for The Romans.
For the In Conversation options, William Russell and Maureen O’ Brien are the interviewees this time round. William Russell’s interview, recorded approach again in 2018, is endearing to observe, although the actor does seem to wrestle with Sweet’s strategy of questioning at instances. It does give us some good little tidbits about his time within the collection although, and it was great having any new presence from the actor on the set in any respect.
There’s even some clips from the primary season that appeared noticeably restored like the remainder of this season – maybe the crew behind this collection is banking some work on Season 1 for later? Maureen O’Brien’s interview was additionally insightful, giving a better look into her upbringing and storied profession, together with her vary of novels and arguably essentially the most sincere take a look at Hartnell’s persona and insecurities on the time.
The Chris Chapman directed Looking for David Whitaker sees Toby Hadoke exploring the lifetime of Doctor Who’s first script editor and what occurred following his departure from the collection. It’s fairly a poignant watch however I gained’t spoil something right here.
We additionally get a documentary on collectibles from the Nineteen Sixties whereby presenter Emily Cook interviews followers who’ve very spectacular memorabilia collections. Sadly, this documentary didn’t do a lot for me as I didn’t fairly gel with the presentation, however I’m open for extra entries sooner or later.
Unlike earlier units, no new making-of documentaries have been produced for tales that didn’t beforehand obtain them, nor can we get any prolonged variations of tales, owing to the character of 60s Who simply present being a bonus. We as an alternative get a Season 2 retrospective Flights Through Eternity, which is a frank and insightful take a look at this era in Doctor Who historical past, and options nice interviews, each new and archival.
As of penning this assessment there have been no additional units introduced however feedback from Doctor Who actors have recommended that Season’s 9 and 20 might be on the playing cards for 2023, and having had solely two units in 2022 I’m hoping for not less than three – with one hopefully being a Patrick Troughton season, although I’m anticipating one other Tom Baker season quickly as effectively.
4/5 – Season 2 is essentially the most constant of William Hartnell’s tenure within the function, and holds some very bold storylines that although blended in execution pushed Doctor Who in direction of greater and higher tales, while sustaining a robust ensemble solid.
Look again at Part One of the assessment for extra element on the tales included.
By HW Reynolds
Images Courtesy of the BBC