There's something odd about Susan Foreman. She's an average
teenager most of the time - she likes pop music and boys -
but there's something about her that's just not right. For
example, her knowledge of science is way beyond that of her
chemistry teacher and she also has the ability to read massive
history tomes over night. It's therefore no wonder that two
of her teachers are confused by their pupil. To make things
even stranger, her home address is a junk yard, a quadrant
that contains nothing but worthless tat and a Police Box.
DVD set contains the very first appearance of the time travelling
Police Box, the TARDIS, and its mysterious owner, The Doctor.
If you ever wanted to know how TV's longest running SF show
started then here's the story - or rather first three stories.
up we get Unearthly Child - a trip back to the last
Ice Age where a group of cave dwellers are trying to discover
the secret of fire. The Doctor, Susan and her abducted school
teachers, Ian and Barbara, fall foul of a power struggle between
clan leaders, although over these four episodes nothing much
actually happens aside from some grunting about making flames
- it's a dull affair that lends a whole new meaning to 'slow'
and 'repetitive'. Get captured by cave men, run away, get
captured, run away...
It's the next story that really kicked the series off - Dead
Planet (aka The Daleks). Dragged in as a last minute
replacement for a story that was cancelled, these seven episodes
turned Doctor Who into a runaway success. The story
is so well known that it's easy to overlook just how good
much of the narrative structure actually is. It is too long
and at times very slow but there's actually few genuinely
bad scenes or moments total padding. And of course the Daleks
The third story in this set, Edge of Destruction, is
just two episodes in length but even at that truncated time
scale it's still too long. Once again it's a filler story
and this time it shows. Yes, it does add to our understanding
of the four central characters but it would have been nice
to have had a story to support things. Instead we get a load
of old tosh about the TARDIS being under threat, it trying
to communicate things are wrong to its trapped inhabitants
and a whole load of other odds and sods which generally make
What really makes this three disc set worth buying - Daleks
aside - is the extras. An all too brief photo reconstruction
of the missing story Marco Polo is excellent, the photo
galleries are also very good and the multiple documentaries
are spot on, although once again a little static.
also get the pilot episode - in full and re-edited - and a
splendid 5.1 remix of the original theme by Mark Ayres, who
has also worked wonders on cleaning up the audio on the individual
episodes. The picture quality is tremendous considering the
age and properties of the source material and the on-screen
production notes and commentaries are all we've come to expect.
Top marks all round.
the very first episode and The Daleks actually stand
up to repeat viewings but as a package this set is quite simply
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