Doctor Who-Series 1-Volume 1 (2005)

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Released 17-Jun-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 133:52
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (19:31) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Euros Lyn
Joe Ahearne
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Christopher Eccleston
David Tennant
Billie Piper
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Doctor Who is an iconic science fiction television show which was very popular during its original run from 1963 to 1989. During that time quite a number of actors played the Doctor himself including Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker & Peter Davison. Now, in 2005, the BBC has released the first new episodes of the show since 1989 (although there was a telemovie in 1996), this time starring Christopher Eccelston as The Doctor. I cannot admit to being a huge fan of this show as a youth, however, I was very interested to see and review this new series, which I am greatly enjoying.

    The series, as I am sure you are aware, concerns the adventures of a mysterious person who refers to himself only as The Doctor. He is a time lord from a planet called Gallifrey, who has the ability to travel through time in a machine called The Tardis, which is shaped like a police call box. Whilst travelling through time and space, he uses his skills to fight evil, usually with the help of a human assistant. During the first episode of this new series, he meets his new assistant. This new series is quite tongue-in-cheek and a lot of fun and I am enjoying Christopher Eccelston's work as the new Doctor. Billie Piper plays his new assistant Rose Tyler and she seems to spend just as much time getting him out of trouble as he does her. This disc contains the first three episodes and the other episodes in this series are planned to be released over the new few months on four separate discs. I also understand that they will be released as a set sometime later in the year.

    The episodes included here are:

  1. Rose (44:15) - Rose works in a department store in modern day London. One evening after the store closes she goes to the basement looking for a co-worker but instead is attacked by plastic mannequins who are in fact Autons, a race of plastic aliens. She is rescued by The Doctor and together after some missteps they set out to defeat the Auton plans for the invasion of Earth. She eventually agrees to travel with him. This is a great first episode which really draws you into the new series.
  2. The End of the World (44:46) - Rose and the doctor go forward in time 5 million years to the day when the earth finally dies due to the sun expanding. They join a viewing platform/spaceship for rich aliens who have gathered to watch the planet die, including the last remaining human (Zoe Wanamaker). They must try to foil an evil plan to sabotage the ship. Not quite as strong as the first episode but still very entertaining.
  3. The Unquiet Dead (44:51) - This time they travel back to Cardiff in 1869 where the dead at a particular mortuary seem to be coming back to life. Charles Dickens (Simon Callow) gets involved in the investigation by Rose and The Doctor. Another quality episode which contains a great one liner when Dickens asks 'What the Shakespeare is going on?'.

    This first disc of the new series has really got me interested and I am looking forward to future discs with great interest.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is disappointing for such a recent production.

    The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio or very close to it.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout although you certainly could not refer to it as crisp. The sharpness was affected by significant colour bleeding, especially from light colours. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was not spectacular with some areas being a little murky.

    The colour was fine from a vividness and richness perspective, however the aforementioned colour bleeding from light colours was annoying and seemed to be related to a generally slightly overbright picture.

    The only noticeable artefact was aliasing which was occasionally present, such as at 42:17 in Episode 1.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read, however were quite summarised compared to the spoken word.

    The layer change occurs at 19:31 in episode 3 and caused a slight pause.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is reasonable but suffers from a difficult mix.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was fine except when there was music or sound effects playing (i.e. most of the time) when it became overwhelmed by the other sounds. This made it difficult to catch some words and sentences. I ended up watching the show with the subtitles on.

    The original theme song by Ron Grainer has been modernised and the other incidental music is provided by Murray Gold. The music is of good quality and adds to the production.

    The surround speakers added quite a few directional effects and significant atmosphere. For a 2.0 track it comes across very well and sounds great except for the dialogue issue.

     The subwoofer was used to add bass to the music and effects, however this was function of my amp's bass management rather than the soundtrack itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu included an intro, music, and music. Nicely done.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc has been released in the same format in Region 2 and does not seem to have been released in Region 1.

Summary

    A fun and tongue-in-cheek new series of Doctor Who gets started with some quality episodes.

    The video quality is disappointing for such a recent production.

    The audio quality is reasonable but has a difficult mix.

    The disc has no extras at all.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, July 29, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - Richard G

Comments (Add)
Save your money on this one if you are a big Dr Who fan -
Extras -
Shame about transfer... - Nick (let's get bio!)
Video Problems - James O REPLY POSTED
Subtitles -
REALLY CHEAP BOX SET FROM AMAZON UK -