Friday, December 3, 2010

Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series Blu-ray Review

Release Date: Nov. 9th, 2010
TV-Rating: TV-PG
Region: A

Disc 1 Episodes:
01. The Eleventh Hour
02. The Beast Below

Disc 2 Episodes:
03: Victory of the Daleks
04: The Time of Angels

Disc 3 Episodes:
05: Flesh and Stone
06: The Vampires of Venice
07: Amy’s Choice

Disc 4 Episodes:
08: The Hungry Earth
09: Cold Blood
10: Vincent and the Doctor

Disc 5 Episodes:
11: The Lodger
12: The Pandorica Opens
13: The Big Bang

The Video
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series’ debuts on Blu-ray with 1080i VC-1 video presentations for all 13 episodes. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the high-def release, but after watching all 13 episodes I have to say I am very impressed.

The show is visually stunning in high-definition, which is strong in pretty much every aspect. The presentations may be in 1080i, but the detail and quality definitely surpasses the high-def look of many TV shows on Blu-ray.

Detail is especially strong and colors are rich and vibrant throughout. Blacks are solid and generally very inky. The overall clarity is fantastic; there is no confusing this presentation for a DVD whatsoever. There is also a nice layer of grain throughout.

If there is anything negative it is that the special effects are brought out much more in high-definition, meaning they can look a bit cheesier and obvious than they would in standard-definition. Fans of the show will definitely want to watch Doctor Who on Blu-ray. 9/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD HR audio track is included for all 13 episodes. Optional English subtitles are included.

While we don’t get English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks for this release, the results are close enough. Thankfully, the studio has opted to go with DTS-HD HR audio tracks over standard Dolby Digital audio tracks, and the difference is clear.

Dialogue is easy to understand throughout, although there were a couple moments which were a but muddier than the majority of the audio presentation. The show’s audio effects make good use of the surround speakers, as does the show’s music.

At times I did think the music was a bit too loud in comparison to dialogue, but it was hardly an issue. I really don’t have much to complain about with this release. The audio tracks get the job done nicely and generally impress. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc) (27.7 GB):

In Vision Commentary (PiP) (Picture-in-Picture)
For episode 01: “The Eleventh Hour”

Additional Scene (3:17) (HD)
“Meanwhile in the Tardis”

Video Diary (9:39) (SD)
Go behind-the-scenes of production with this video diary.

Disc 2 (Blu-ray Disc) (25.8 GB)

In Vision Commentaries (PiP)
For episode 03: “Victory of the Daleks”
For episode 04: “The Time of Angels”

Monster File – The Daleks (10:14) (HD)

Video Diary 2 (9:16) (SD)
Go behind-the-scenes of production with this video diary.

Disc 3 (Blu-ray Disc) (37.0 GB):

In Vision Commentary (PiP)
For episode 06: “The Vampires of Venice”

Monster File – Weeping Angels (10:29) (HD)

Additional Scene (3:54) (HD)
For episode 05: “Flesh and Stone”

Disc 4 (Blu-ray Disc) (37.3 GB):

In Vision Commentary (PiP)
For episode 09: “Cold Bold”

Monster File – The Silurians (9:15) (HD)

Video Diary 3 (10:06) (SD)
Go behind-the-scenes of production with this video diary.

Disc 5 (Blu-ray Disc) (40.5 GB):

In Vision Commentary (PiP)
For episode 13: “The Big Bang”

Monster File – The Alliance (10:17) (HD)

Out-Takes (7:35) (HD)
This is a humorous gag reel featuring the entire cast.

Disc 6 (Blu-ray Disc) (38.8 GB):

Confidentials (HD)
A behind-the-scenes featurette is included for all 13 episodes on disc six and are included in high-def:
  • Episode 01 – Call Me the Doctor
  • Episode 02 – All About the Girl
  • Episode 03 – War Games
  • Episode 04 – Eyes Wide Open
  • Episode 05 – Blinded by the Light
  • Episode 06 – Death in Venice
  • Episode 07 – Arthurian Legend
  • Episode 08 – After Effects
  • Episode 09 – What Goes on Tour…
  • Episode 10 – A Brush with Genius
  • Episode 11 – Extra Time
  • Episode 12 – Alien Abduction
  • Episode 13 – Out of Time
Trailers (SD)
Teaser Trailers
Episodic Trailers
Finale Trailers
International Trailers

There are plenty of extras to be found on this release and I really enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes featurettes included. Almost every episode includes a Picture-in-Picture video commentary which is a nice addition. Overall I am very impressed by the features included. 8/10.

The Season
Doctor Who is back with a brand new face in ‘Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series.’ I have always enjoyed the Doctor Who series throughout the years and throughout the different lead actors, so I was definitely excited for the reboot.

The new series stars Matt Smith (who replaces David Tennant), who is the youngest lead yet, but becomes surprisingly likeable in the lead. The series starts off strong, but my enjoyment for the season grew more and more with each episode.

Joining Matt Smith is Karen Gillan who plays a crucial character throughout the season named Amelia Pond, Amy for short. The two make for a killer duo and create some memorable moments throughout the Doctor Who series as a whole.

The storytelling is fun and I loved the various characters met along the way, including several historic faces. Episodes are easy to sit down and watch, whether it be one episode a week or a few mini-marathons.

The show has some cheesy moments, particularly with certain production values, but I find it somewhat fitting. There are a couple of weaker episodes throughout the season, some consider the two part season-finale slightly disappointing, but I am still very excited to see what happens next.

Doctor Who may have changed throughout the years, but the show still manages to remain true to the series with certain similarities that never change and thankfully so. Those who have enjoyed previous seasons of the Doctor Who series will quickly fall in love with the latest reboot. 8.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series’ is a great reboot with a fantastic video and audio presentation. The extras are also very enjoyable and there is plenty to see. Overall this release is easily ‘Recommended’ to all.

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