Doctor Who: Series 1 - Volume 3 (2005)
By: J.R. McNamara on August 3, 2012  | 
BBC | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 172 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Directors: Brian Grant, Joe Ahearne, James Hawes
Starring: Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, John Barrowman, Bruno Langley, Albert Valentine
Writers: Russell T. Davies, Paul Cornell, Steven Moffat
Country: UK
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There have been many great scifi TV shows made in the history of mankind: Misfits of Science, Star Trek, and Blake's 7 to name but a few, but the only one that really stands out for me is Doctor Who, an English sci-fi show that premiered on TV the day after JFK's assassination and has endured as a TV show; novel; comic; and less successfully, video game series since then. Doctor Who tells of a wanderer through space and time who picks up companions along the way, gets them into regular batches of great deals of trouble, and then gets them out again. Oh, and occasionally he saves the galaxy. He travels in a machine disguised as a 1950s London Police Box, which is dimensionally transcendental (which meas it is bigger on the inside than the outside) and whenever he outlives a body, he regenerates into a new one… PHEW!

This series of Who stars Christopher Eccelston (28 Days Later) as the 9th Doctor and ex-popstar Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, companion extraordinaire!!

The Long Game sees the Doctor and Rose, along with Adam who joined in the Dalek episode, visiting Satellite 5, a 'TV station' in the future that uses cybernetic technology to adjust its journalists so they can write the news as it happens. The Doctor however feels like something is anachronistic about it, and believes the news may not be written by these journalists, but is actually controlled by something else… something alien. The only cool things about this episode are the guest appearances by Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) and Tasmin Greig (Black Books). Thankfully, the useless Adam is dumped at the end of this episode

Father's Day is the first of many sooky lala Doctor Who's that honestly almost turned me off 'new Who' completely. Rose and the Doctor travel to 1987 and bear witness to the death of Rose's father. Of course, Rose interferes (this had been her plan all along) and saves her father, but this causes dramatic ramifications for time itself and creatures called 'the Reapers' appear to clean up. This episode unfortunately, in addition to turning Who into crybaby Buffy crap, has some pretty dreadful creature design realised by some pretty bad CGI.

The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances are parts one and two of a story that tells of a zombie army that rises during World War 2 in London whilst the blitz is happening, but these aren't ordinary zombies, they appear to be possessed by the spirit of a young boy in a gasmask who is looking for his 'Mummy'. Throw into the mix a time travelling bisexual named Captain Jack (who becomes quite important as the next series progresses) and a crashed spaceship and you have some crazy Doctor Who styled shenanigans. This is certainly the best story on this disc, but it still doesn't rise above mediocre.

These episodes really float around in the middle ground of Who stories. None of them are stand-outs with Daleks or Cybermen in them, but they do work as reasonably entertaining science fiction nonetheless. The problem for me is they are just not interesting enough to be truly memorable; they are entertaining while you watch them, but don't have the substance to be talked about afterwards. The other thing that, retrospectively, annoys me is the flourishing of what becomes the big 'love affair' between Rose and the Doctor in later seasons, a story development I was never entirely comfortable with. Thankfully Eccelston's performance shines through every episode and is one saving grace.
All 4 episodes are presented in their original broadcast 1.78:1 aspect ratios with 16:9 enhancement. The image is fine, without being outstanding.
Just a Dolby 2.0 track, but it is a loud and clear.
Extra Features
Bugger all. When Roadshow released these discs initially they saved the extras for the inevitable overpriced boxset, and those of us who couldn't wait for that release, which invariably came much later, brought these single bare bones discs first and double dipped later.
The Verdict
More middle of the road new Doctor Who here, but the 'Bad Wolf' hints become more and more apparent, so that means you really need to see these episodes to appreciate how the season ends. Other than that though, they are fairly unspectacular.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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