Normally with DVD and bluray reviews, I’d tackle the “feature” first (the story) and then the special features but due to the nature of this set, I have chosen to address one of the serious issues about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection. And I do mean serious.
There’s such an appalling act of neglect going on here that it has to be addressed. You may well be surprised to discover what Doctor Who goodies have, in fact, been overlooked. Surprised and, possibly, very annoyed.
Most frustratingly, the BBC specials from the Culture Show, Blue Peter and CBBC are not present. Frustrating AND a massive shame. Me, You and Doctor Who, from historian and fan Mathew Sweet, was a terrific and beautifully crafted documentary whilst 12 Again featured stars such as Sylvester McCoy, Louise Jameson, Dan Starkey and Neve McIntosh and was heartening in the extreme; it deserved to be seen by more and preserved for posterity.
Although terrible, the BBC Three live “After Party” should have been included for completion, as should Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor (only available on the Deep Breath release). Bizarrely, the deleted scene from The Day of the Doctor, which was included on its original release, is not available here. So, completists will have to fork out more if they want everything.
I’m not finished, however. You’ll be found wanting if you’re hoping to see the BBC One ident interruptions. Or The Doctors Revisited series. Or any audio commentaries. Or, as some wanted, the 3D version of The Day of the Doctor. And there’s nothing about or from the Doctor Who Celebration which took place over three days in London during the anniversary weekend. Galling in the extreme.
As you cans see, what Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection lacks is astounding. What the BBC were thinking with this set is anyone’s guess. (Well, I think we all know what they were thinking. #ker #ching)
What it does have is The Name of the Doctor which, it has to be said, is an odd inclusion given all the stuff that this set excludes. If this episode is seen as part of the 50th celebrations (which, technically, you could say it is), then so are all the items listed above. It baffles me why this is here at the expense of more interesting and relevant material. It should also be noted that this is now the third time this particular story has been released. There’s also The Day of the Doctor (and its rather fab cinema introductions), Night of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor (just the second releases for those guys), An Adventure in Space and Time (first time on bluray) and, for a home video premiere, The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.
There are more extras: Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, The Science of Doctor Who, Doctor Who Proms 2013 (not the full concert though), The Last Day (again previously available), The Day of the Doctor readthrough (unfortunately, not the whole readthrough of the entire script and only brief clips of it are used), behind-the-scenes videos from the main eps included (and, again, previously available) and BBC America’s Tales from the TARDIS and Farewell to Matt Smith (both available on the 2013 Christmas Special set).
As you can see, most of this set is not new. Worse still is the fact that, going by reports from other fans, the
packaging of this box set left a lot to be desired – often being damaged
So, if you’re a fan, you probably already own almost everything on this boxset. The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection could have been SUCH an amazing set encompassing everything that was wonderful and joyous about 2013. Instead, BBC Worldwide have come off looking like rip-off merchants, capitalising and taking advantage of fans who feel the need to buy everything.
This is most definitely NOT a complete collection and leaves a bad taste in the mouth and a hole in the pocket. It has thoughtlessly been put together with no consideration for true Doctor Who fans. A waste and a great shame