Doctor Who Legacy Box Set
It feels like they are cleaning out the closets at
the BBC and this set represents at once a boon and a bit of a letdown
for die-hard Doctor Who fans. So in the spirit of putting things that
have no relation to each other together and putting them In a box set
the BBC presents Shada: The Lost story and Doctor Who: More than 30
years in the Tardis. Together at last.
For literally years Whovians have been wondering what
the BBC will do for the release of Shada the “Lost” Doctor Who story.
It was 1977 and Doctor Who was on a high of
popularity although not the critical success it had been when Robert
Holmes and Philip Hinchcliffe were running the show a recent addition
of the writing staff had kicked the show into a higher gear. Douglas
Adams a lifelong Doctor Who fan who would later go on to be one of the
most famous authors in the world through “The Hitchhikers Guide to the
Galaxy” had been made script editor for this Doctor Who’s 17th
year on the air. The season had started with the ok Destiny of the
Daleks but moved on to the classic “City of Death” now Douglas was about
to unveil his new script to the world, it was actually in production and
he was really happy with it. But then…..
Industrial action (What else?) stopped the whole
thing with most of the story filmed and ready to go.
This meant that the serial was canned with nearly 80%
of it finished. Location filming was done, most studio filming was done.
They had to do just one more studio block and the special effects work.
And so this is what we get, together with linking narration from Tom
Baker (and directly off the 1994 VHS release).
The Doctor and Rommana come to see the Doctors old
friend Professor Chronotis who is a fellow Time Lord and who has been
teaching at Cambridge for the last 400 years. Coincidently a criminal
names Scagra is on earth looking for something. When the professor
admits to the Doctor that he stole a dangerous book from Gallifrey,
which then goes missing the Doctor and Romanna go on a chase that leads
to a secret Time Lord prison.
Reviews of Shada are mixed, on one hand it’s a better
story than most of what we got in this season, it has good dialogue (the
scene where the Doctor and Rommana take tea with Professor Chronotis)
and it’s full of interesting ideas. On the other hand it chances Doctor
who cannon and history not always in ways that people like. On the
balance it would have been better if it had been transmitted but it’s
perhaps not as great a “lost” story as we would have liked.
Audio: About as exciting as two channels of mono can
Video: The video is pretty good.
Fantastically we get the 2006 animated remake of
Shada that was done with most of the original cast but with Paul Mcgann
as the Doctor, wow I’ve been wanting to see this for ages! I’ll just put
it in my DVD player……wait….it’s not playing…wh…oh. It’s flash only so it
will only play on a flash enabled computer that has a DVD drive.
Well done BBC, I mean how hard can it be to put this
on a disc? Not impressed.
Taken Out of Time: A fairly good making of.
Now and Then: One of
those annoying tours round a place where Doctor Who once went, it’s
Cambridge so it hasn’t changed at all.
Strike! Strike! Strike!
: A look at industrial action and it’s affect on Doctor who which hasn’t
always been negative.
Being a Girl Women in
Doctor Who: I’m sure I’ve seen this before.
Courtney: About time a good solid tribute to Nick Courtney came out, but
why isn’t this on a story that he was actually in? Like Terror of the
Doctor Who Stories –
Peter Purves: Sure.
The Lambert Tapes – Part 1: Since seeing Part 2 I was
really looking forward to Part 1 and Verity Lambert doesn’t disappoint,
she’s really good.
Special Features: 3/10
Doctor Who 30 years in the Tardis:
This special came out in 1993 in time for Doctor
Who’s 30th anniversary. As a look back at the classic series
it is fantastic and will probably wet the lips and appetite of Nu-who
fans who might not have seen much of the old series. Narrated by
Nicholas Courtney featuring Jon Pertwee and Colin Baker as well as a
raft of companions like Elizabeth sladen it’s actually really well done
especially considering it was done when Doctor Who’s popularity was at
However I’ve seen where it is claimed that this is an
“extended edition!” of 30 years in the Tardis. Its’ not. It’s a great
documentary and has many moments that will have been difficult to see
anywhere else but it is just as it was released on VHS nearly 20 years
ago. Sure some of the inserts are a bit naff and unlike documentaries
these days they can’t just tell the story they have to have another
story going on in the background but it’s not bad at all.