With the departure of David Tennant as the star of the BBC’s Doctor Who, BBC America and Warner Home Video have released Doctor Who: The Complete Specials. Featuring five specials (The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and the first and second parts of The End of Time) over five DVDs, the box set features a wide array of features, commentary and documentaries and is available to own on DVD and Blu-Ray now after their February 2 release.
For hardcore fans of the series, this collection is a great sendoff to the current Doctor and showrunner Russell T. Davies, whose classic interpretation of the characters and the show have been well-received by fans and critics. The series, in addition to being a ratings success in the BBC and a staple of BBC America’s lineup, has inspired comic book spinoffs in the US and the UK and has led to interest in a US remake of the program. It’s a continuation of the BBC’s late ‘60s-late ‘80s run and has inspired a popular, Davies-helmed spinoff, Torchwood.
For more casual fans or those looking to acquaint themselves with the ideas of the show, this particular box set is a decent enough jumping-on point; Tennant has been widely praised as possibly the best Doctor ever to be featured on the show, and obviously the series finale (“The End of Time”) would be a decent enough lead-in to what’s currently a great jumping-on point for them, though: the introduction of a new Doctor (Matt Smith, introduced in part two of that story) with the new season. The show itself isn’t for everyone; the continuation of the old show is not only story-wise, but technically as well; it looks just like it did in the ‘60s, and has the very analog special effects and costuming of that era. Featuring a number of big-name guest-stars, the specials are an enjoyable, if campy, peek at the show.