Review: It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that we were all excited for the season 12 collection, which was released last year. Since then we have had season 18 and 19 and now we have season 10, which is the first set of episodes to feature Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor, who is arguably just as iconic as Tom Baker’s 4th Doctor Who. Season 10 was Pertwee’s third series of episodes and it was also the season that brought us the 10th-anniversary episode ‘The Three Doctors’. But also gave us a number other classic stories as well, which we’ll get to a little later.
Now as many will know. All of the episodes on this set have been served very well by the DVD range. Two of the stories have even had special editions. So we have to ask what more can be added to this Blu Ray set to entice fans into double or triple dipping in order to have the collectors set. I mean as far as extra content goes. This is made tougher by the fact that so very few of the actors, writers, and producers are still around to create new content. We don’t have an interview with the leading man, nor anything with Nicholas Courtney, Barry Letts or Derrick Sherwin either.
Such limitations have not phased the creative minds behind this release. If anything it seems to have improved the package somewhat by forcing them to think outside the box. Luckily there is plenty of archived interviews and material that they can trawl through, but they also manage to generate some new content by celebrating the Director of ‘The Three Doctors’ as well as giving us a new documentary that celebrates the Pertwee era.
As with the previous releases. This Boxset is absolutely stunning with more terrific artwork from Lee Binding. Early released images of the set caused some concerns due to the image looking like it had been flipped somehow, but the actual release has been corrected and looks absolutely stunning. The sets image sees Pertwee’s Doctor joined by Daleks, Omega, Draconians, and Ogrons. The back of the set features a snapshot of the Tardis as it is about to collide with an Earth ship and the interior art is a shot of the Doctor, and Jo on Spiridon.
As you open the image up again. You are treated to a really nice interior shot of the tardis taken from ‘The Three Doctors’ and if you look carefully. You will notice that first Doctor William Hartnell is featured on the tardis viewscreen.
The menu screens also take inspiration from the third doctor’s Tardis console. In fact, the love and attention paid to this set is just a wonderful treat. The team behind these sets have done wonderful work here.
The Three Doctors: The stories featured in this set include ‘The Three Doctors’, which features the triumphant return of Patrick Troughton’s second Doctor as well as the last ever performance from William Hartnell as the first Doctor. It also serves as the introduction of Omega, who provides us some very important backstory about the Doctor’s people and how they came to be able to time travel.
Carnival of Monsters: The second story is Carnival of Monsters, which was written by Doctor Who legend Robert Holmes and features the drashigs, which was apparently an anagram of Dish Rags and illustrates what a clever man Holmes was. This isn’t really my favorite story on the set. If anything I skipped right by it due to the fact that I wanted to go straight to Frontier in Space, which is the one story featured on the set that I have not seen.
Frontier in Space: The third story ‘Frontier in Space’ plays out like a clever political thriller and features the final appearance of Roger Delgado as the very first incarnation of The Master. It also introduces us to the Draconian’s, which is an alien race from the series that we have not seen much of since. The story is a clever cold war type set up in which the Earth and Draconia have an uneasy peace, which The Master is trying to destroy with some help from the Ograns and various bits and bobs of technology. The ending of this story ties directly into ‘Planet of The Daleks’.
Planet of the Daleks: This adventure sees the Doctor and Jo helping the Thals liberate a planet from the Daleks, who are using the planet as a staging area for a massive galaxy-wide attack. This story features the fairly new colourized third episode, which was originally a black and white episode due to the color print having been lost. And it also features the option to have the visual effects updated.
The Green Death: This final story needs very little introduction. It is the final adventure for Jo Grant who leaves at the close of the episode, but it is also a great story with a strong ecological message, which is still relevant to this day.
As always we get all the features from the original DVD releases as well as new features, which include Behind The Sofa, which continues to give us a mix of personalities who take a gogglebox approach to watch the various episodes.
But for my money. The standout features on this set are ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’, which reunites Katy Manning with Stewart Bevan as they return to the various locations in the village of Deri in South Wales where ‘The Green Death‘ was shot in 1973. This is a fabulous film, which highlights the impact that filming Doctor Who had on the small mining village. It also allows for some poignant moments in which the two actors reconnect and see how the village has moved on since the series was filmed there.
The second standout feature is a film titled ‘Looking for Lennie’ in which Toby Hadoke sets out on a mission to find out more about director Lennie Mayne, who sadly passed away before Doctor Who fandom became so invested in learning about the shows various creative teams. Mayne directed ‘The Three Doctors’ and several other stories for the series. His last story being ‘The Hand Of Death’, which was from the 13th season. Hadoke manages to uncover a lot of information about the director, which previously wasn’t public knowledge. From the director’s early career as a dancer to his transition into directing for television. Hadoke interviews various people who knew Lennie Mayne on a personal level. This is a wonderful film by Hadoke who rightly and respectfully celebrates one of the shows most unrecognized heroes.
Of course, the big draw is the new version of ‘Planet of the Daleks‘ with updated effects. This is a story have only seen the one time and that was back in the 90s when it was shown on BBC 2 and episode three was in black and white. So for me personally. It was a thrill to see the newly colorized episode three.
Rounding off the new features is the new documentary ‘Doctor Who and the Third Man’, which celebrates the Pertwee era. This new documentary features interviews with Katy Manning, Steven Moffat, and Mark Gatiss. They all talk to Matthew Sweet about Doctor Who of the early 70s and the huge changes that took place as the series transformed from Black and White to Colour film.
This is a wonderful set, which is well worth the money for the amount of content you get. I’ve loved revisiting all of these episodes and getting to see ‘Frontier in Space’ for the first time was a real treat.