The generally cracking second half of Doctor Who series 9 is available to buy now. The two-disc set gives a bumper package of some of the most talked-about episodes of Doctor Who in a good old while.
A revisit of these episodes on DVD is particularly welcome as there’s so much crammed into this two-disc set. On disc one we have the welcome return of UNIT scientist, Doctor superfan and all-round top girl, Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) in the Zygon two-parter, which also saw Jenna Coleman put in a stonking double turn as Clara and her evil twin Bonnie. There’s also the hotly debated found-footage experiment Sleep No More written by Mark Gatiss.
Watched in one sitting, disc two feels more like a continuous story as we see the wonderfully clever trap street story, the return of two important characters in the world of Doctor Who – Flatline’s Rigsy (Joivan Wade) and the immortal Ashildr/Mayor Me (Maisie Williams) – and Clara’s terrible death/non-death in Face The Raven. And of course, there’s the extraordinary and sublime Heaven Sent, topped off with the Spaghetti Western styled Hell Bent, which gave Clara her proper send off.
Sleep No More and Hell Bent have been two of the most unique and ambitious episodes in Doctor Who history, with varying results. The DVD extras here are especially interesting in giving a behind the scenes view of the plan for each episode.
The Doctor Who Extra episode for Sleep No More provides truly interesting views from everyone involved with the episode from its concept to its execution. It’s fascinating to see how genuinely excited everyone involved was about the making of Sleep No More – from writer to actors to crew – and the challenges they faced. So much so, that it’s worth a re-watch of the episode after seeing this extra.
As you’d expect, the DVD extras have input from the main cast as well as show-runner Steven Moffat, but there are some little gems from lesser-known crew, such as Tom Wilton’s take on playing a Zygon and camerman Mark McQuiod on the many challenges of filming Sleep No More.
One of the great joys in the extras is the input from the exceptional director of Hell Bent and Heaven Sent, Rachel Talalay. Without giving too much away, her delight at being able to bring her vision for Heaven Sent to life is worth the price of the DVD alone.
Overall, Series 9 Part 2 is an impressive set of stories. From that speech in The Zygon Inversion to the completion of Clara’s journey in becoming more and more like the Doctor as she flies away in her own stolen TARDIS, this is a worthy addition to any collection.
Blogtor rating: 9/10
The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion
Sleep No More
Face The Raven
Heaven Sent/Hell Bent