Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain
Written By: Dennis Spooner
Release Date: 4th February 2008
Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online
Review Posted: 1st February 2008
The Doctor Who DVD range has been a bit Hartnell-light over the past year, but now with the release of The Time Meddler, we're back on form with a great story backed with some fantastic features.
The Commentary is rich with guests from the serial; Verity Lambert (Producer), Barry Newbury (Designer), Donald Tosh (Script Editor) & Peter Purves (Stevan). It was lovely to hear Verity, almost speaking from beyond the Grave on her final Doctor Who episode as Producer. Kudos to Clayton Hickman, who directs the course of the Commentary with seamless skill, and his bountiful knowledge of Classic Who.
The main batch of features kicks off with an extremely fitting Verity Lambert Obituary that pays homage to Doctor Who's first Producer. This is cushioned with the next feature in the form of a Verity Lambert Photo Gallery, which offers some unseen images of Verity throughout her Doctor Who tenure.
'Stripped for Action: The First Doctor' takes a look at the Doctor Who Comic strips featuring William Hartnell's Doctor. With interviews from John Ainsworth, Jeremy Bentham, Alan Barnes, Gary Russell and Bill Mevin, it looks at some of the characters, monsters, and design processes that went into the strips.
'The Lost Twelve Seconds' features 12 seconds of footage depicting the killing of two Viking Warriors by the Saxons, accompanied with audio and script extracts, it helps make the serial feel that bit more complete.
Although the story hasn't benefited from the VidFIRE technology, the episodes have been noticeably cleaned up and given a bit of a polish for this DVD release. The 'Restoration' feature shows us some good examples of this from the original VHS transfer to that of the DVD release, thus detailing a clear differentiation between the two.
The Photo Gallery offers some great shots of the set as well as behind the scenes and promotional images. It is accompanied by a good choice of music from The Time Meddler score.
The 'Coming Soon Trailer' features a new take on the trailer format, voiced over by Paul McGann and accompanied with some cgi titles. I can't help thinking that the special features should also be promoted to help sell the disc, especially with the quality and hard work that goes into so many of them.
As always with the BBC Doctor Who DVD's you get the original Radio Times listings included as a DVD ROM extra.
Also worth a mention is the stunningly fitting DVD cover design which is once again produced by the fabulous Clayton Hickman.
Overall, a great package with a lot more bang for your buck at just £12.99.