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An Adventure In Space And Time Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review

An Adventure In Space And Time Blu-ray-DVD Combo Pack

“An Adventure in Space and Time” is a rewarding BBC drama special.

For those that are unaware, “An Adventure in Space and Time” is not a “Doctor Who” episode. Instead, it’s a 90 minute fictional account of the origins of “Doctor Who.” The film begins by showing how BBC executive Sydney Newman and legendary producer Verity Lambert helped make the series a reality as they struggled to get the pilot (“An Unearthly Child”) just right. The narrative then essentially switches over to William Hartnell’s point-of-view as we see how the character of The Doctor changes his life and career. Obviously, there’s a bit more to it than that, but I’m not going to spoil everything!

After an uneven and overly whimsical opening half hour, the 2013 teledrama eventually settles in and wins you over little by little. By the time the ending rolls around, you’ll be hard pressed to keep the tears back. To say “An Adventure in Space and Time” is an emotional viewing experience is an understatement, but then again, I say this as a Whovian. To the non “Doctor Who” fans, I’m not sure how this film would play. Granted, Mark Gatiss has written an exceptional screenplay, but if you didn’t know anything about the classic sci-fi television series, I’m not sure the film would have the same emotional impact. If you are a fan of DW, however, you’ll be in heaven watching ‘Adventure.’ Between the easter egg cameos from current and past crew members (like Nick Briggs) and the powerful final scene, there’s no question that this a loving and heartfelt 50th anniversary tribute to “Doctor Who.”

As memorable as the screenplay, direction, and production values are, it is actor David Bradley who makes the film work so well. His portrayal of William Hartnell is nothing short of award worthy. Seeing Bradley’s transformation (as Hartnell) from a crotchety actor to a man with a renewed career to an aging man with declining health to an actor who doesn’t want the role of a lifetime to end is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Even if the film sensationalizes the life and times of William Hartnell, the film honors the legendary actor and First Doctor so well.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? ‘Adventure’ is a beautifully shot TV movie. The colorful period and “Doctor Who” set recreations look even more astonishing in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD. How does it sound? From the sound f/x to the music, this DTS track is lively.

Extras:
* “Doctor Who,” “Orphan Black,” and “Ripper Street” ads.
* The title sequences for “An Unearthly Child” and “An Adventure In Space And Time.”
* 2 deleted scenes.
* “The Making of an Adventure” contains cast and crew interviews, set footage, clips, discussions about the real history and people that this special is based on, recreating scenes, etc.
* A special bonus DVD containing the very first  “Doctor Who” story “An Unearthly Child.” While it would have been great to see a Blu-ray release of this story, it’s still a fantastic extra feature as it is the perfect companion piece to “An Adventure In Space And Time.” Note: The pilot episode is included here.
* “William Hartnell: The Original”- A touching 5 minute tribute to William Hartnell.
* “Reconstructions”- A collection of scene recreations with the cast of “An Adventure In Space And Time” titled “Scenes From An Unearthly Child And The Pilot,” “Regenerations,” “Farewell To Susan,” and “Festive Greeting.” The highlight here is seeing Mark Gatiss as the Third Doctor.
* Still gallery, info text, a theme music video (with 3 audio options), 4 comedy sketches (including the hilarious “The Pitch of Fear” and “The Kidnappers”), the pilot episode studio recording (with optional commentary) for “An Unearthly Child.” Also included here is commentary on episodes 1 and 4 of “An Unearthly Child” by Verity Lambert, William Russell, Gary Russell, Warris Hussein, and Carole Anne Ford. Note: They don’t all appear together.

Overall Thoughts: Pick up “An Adventure in Space and Time.” You will be glad you did.

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June 30, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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