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Doctor Who Series 7, Part 2 Blu-ray Review

Doctor Who Series 7, Part 2 Blu-ray

The positives outweigh the negatives in the second half of series 7.

So as to not waste anyone’s time, I’m going to give a brief rundown of each of the 7 episodes that make up series 7, part 2. So, without further adieu…

“The Bells of Saint John” is ANOTHER re-introduction of Clara that involves deadly Wi-Fi, Spoonheads, and the Great Intelligence (again). It’s a middle of the road adventure, but it has its moments.

“The Rings of Akhaten”- As someone who tires of Earth stories, I was excited by the prospect of an episode featuring a new alien world with a wide array of alien races. While the costumes and production values are top notch here, the story leaves much to be desired due to an incessant amount of singing and an over-the-top ending.

“Cold War” is the first GREAT episode of series 7. Everything about this episode is simply pure “Doctor Who” magic. The Russian submarine setting, the clever 80’s references, and the new and improved Ice Warriors are enough to make even the most cynical Whovian giddy. The real scene stealer, however, is veteran actor David Warner. I stand by my claim that he should be companion (or even the Doctor) in the future.

“Hide” is an alleged haunted house story that turns into something else entirely. The convoluted and absurd story feels awkward from the get go. It constantly seems like we (the audience) wandered in on a story halfway through it. I hate to say it, but this is easily the worst of series seven.

“Journey to the Center of the TARDIS”- A TARDIS centric story may sound drool worthy for Whovians, but unfortunately, the concept is a wasted on a poorly written story involving a salvage crew boarding the TARDIS. The episode is littered with bad character moments (see “It was just a stupid joke!”) and unsatisfying room teases. You’d think a story about the TARDIS would offer up more than mere easter eggs if you will, but alas, that’s all we get here.

“The Crimson Horror”- Inititally, I expected nothing from this episode and yet it turned out to be the best of the entire series 7. This fantastical period piece sees the Doctor, Clara, Strax, Vastra, and Jenny investigating a string of deaths (of people with red skin) and a cult community (Sweetville) run by the mysterious Mrs. Gillyflower (wonderfully played by Diana Rigg). As you can probably guess, the two are connected. Between the great cast chemistry and the hilarious humor, “The Crimson Horror” is an absolute delight from start to finish.

“Nightmare In Silver”- While the inclusion of the two kid characters (Artie and Angie) and the jumbled story are a bit maddening, there is much to admire about Neil Gaiman’s second scripted episode. The abandoned space theme park setting, the new Cybermen, and Warwick Davis (who plays the character of Porridge) are all highlights here. The real star, however, is Matt Smith who acts his butt off here in dual roles (you’ll see what I mean).  

“The Name of the Doctor”- Last, but not least, we have the thrilling series 7 finale which offers up answers to the mysteries of Clara, Trenzalore, River Song, and The Great Intelligence. Add in an intense cliffhanger ending that will make you rue the fact that we have to wait til November to find out what happens and I’d say you have a fantastic episode on your hands.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080i. How does it look? Whether the action takes place in a submarine or in the TARDIS, the colorful episodes look crystal clear in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD How does it sound? The Cybermen, the Sonic Screwdriver, The TARDIS and everything in between sounds splenid here.

Extras:
* Trailers for “The Snowmen” and “Orphan Black.”
* “The Bells of Saint John: A Prequel”- A clever little piece with the Doctor talking to a young girl on a park swing about losing a friend. I won’t reveal who the girl is.
* “Clarence and the Whispermen”- A short featuring, you guessed it, Clarence and the Whispermen that leads up to “The Name of the Doctor.”

Summary: Series 7, Part 2 is worth buying just for “The Crimson Horror” and “Cold War” alone. Whether you’re a hardcore “Doctor Who” fan or a newbie to the Whoniverse, this set should be added to your collection.

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October 8, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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