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Doctor Who- Series 5 Blu-ray Review

Matt Smith shines as the Doctor in the fifth series of “Doctor Who.”

The Doctor is back only this time he has a new face (his eleventh regeneration to be exact) and two new companions (Amy and Rory) to join him in his adventures. In this 13 episode fifth season, the Doctor encounters old foes (Daleks, Silurians, Weeping Angels), vampires, an Alliance of baddies, River Song, a Britain spaceship, a prisoner, cracks in time, and Vincent Van Gogh. Oh yea, he also pretends to be a human.

As much as I was looking forward to Steven Moffat becoming the showrunner in place of RTD, the thing I was most excited about with this new season was Matt Smith as the Doctor. To me, the casting of a new Doctor is like a Christmas present. You just can’t wait to see it. As it turns out, Matt Smith exceeded any and all expectations I had. Taking over the role from David Tennant was unquestionably difficult, but he knocks it out of the park from the get go. Smith not only brings an interesting take on the character, but he also brings back the quirky, eccentric Doctors of old (such as Patrick Troughton’s second Doctor). I can’t wait to see more of his Doctor and I hope Smith sticks around for a few years.

As for the new companion characters, the lovely Karen Gillan (Amy) and Arthur Darvill (Rory) prove to hold their own with Matt Smith. To me, it was nice to see a different companion dynamic for a change. I liked that Amy and Rory were a couple as it made their scenes more interesting and provided some great drama.

Going back to Steven Moffat, I felt he did a fine job running the show in his debut season, but I do have to admit that none of these episodes compared to his previous scripted work for episodes like “Blink.” With that said, there are some great episodes here especially “Vincent And The Doctor” and “The Lodger.” ‘Vincent’ is arguably the most emotional and touching episode in ‘Who’ history. As a friend of mine said, “it’s the only ‘Who’ episode to make me cry.” As for “The Lodger,” this is a fun, comedic episode in which the Doctor tries to live life as a human to investigate a mysterious flat.

The only real downside to this season is the Silurian 2-parter (“The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood”) which fell completely flat. Not only was it a missed opportunity to bring back the Silurians in the new series, but the characters in this two parter are just insufferable.

Summary: Like the previous four series/seasons of the new “Doctor Who” series, the fifth season is a must-buy set.

The series is presented in widescreen 1080i. Despite the lack of 1080p, I can assure you the series still looks gorgeous. Just look at the colors and special f/x and see how much more refined they are than the broadcast versions.

As for the 5.1 DTS-HD audio track, it seems to be missing that extra something but it still delivers. The Sonic Screwdriver, the Daleks, and Tardis (de)materializing have never sounded better.  

Extras:
* 3 art cards.
* Trailers for “Sherlock,” “Torchwood,” “Hamlet,” as well as a bundle of teaser, episodic, finale and international trailers for the fifth series of “Doctor Who.”
* Additional scenes.  
* In-Vision commentary for “The Eleventh Hour” by Steven Moffat, Beth Willis, Peter Bennett. Basically, this visual commentary appears in the left hand corner of the screen. Some interesting facts here, but not the most engaging commentary.
* 3 video diaries containing behind-the-scenes footage and the cast members talking to the camera.
* In-Vision commentary for “Victory Of The Daleks” by Mark Gatiss, Nicholas Briggs, and Barnaby Edwards. A much livelier and more laid back commentary.

* In-Vision commentary for “The Time Of Angels” Karen Gillan and Steven Moffat. I liked hearing the behind-the-scenes info. on this particular episode.
* 4 Monster File featurette segments on “The Daleks,” “Weeping Angels,” “The Silurians,” and “The Alliance” featuring he cast and crew members chatting about the villains, the episodes they appear in, their mythology and characteristics, etc. There’s also some great set footage here as well.
* In-Vision commentary on “The Vampires Of Venice” by Toby Whithouse, Jonny Campbell, and Alex Price.
* In-Vision commentary on “Cold Blood” by Ashley Way, Alun Raglan, and James DeHaviland.
* In-Vision commentary on “The Big Bang” by Toby Haynes, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. Another fun, laid back track.

* 7 ½ minutes of out-takes which are actually quite funny. Where else can you see Weeping Angels doing the Macarena?
* 13 “Doctor Who Confidential” episodes which give an extensive behind-the-scenes look at each episode from pre-production to production. Always worth watching.

December 1, 2010 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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