Doctor Who-Series 1-Volume 3 (2005)

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Released 31-Aug-2005

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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 172:12
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Graeme Harper
Euros Lyn
Joe Ahearne
Keith Boak
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Christopher Eccleston
David Tennant
Billie Piper
Alan Ruscoe
Camille Coduri
Noel Clarke
Paul Kasey
John Barrowman
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Murray Gold
Murray Gold
Ron Grainer


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 his machine called a 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, this time Rose Tyler played by Billie Piper. This disc contains the next three episodes and the entire series is being issued on four separate discs. I also understand that they will be released as a box set sometime later in the year, possibly with some extras. I am enjoying Christopher Eccelston's work as The Doctor - his blank faced, tongue-in-cheek portrayal is lots of fun.

    This series just keeps getting better, with each disc better than the one before. The episodes on this disc are all at least very good with the last three being excellent.

    The episodes included here are:

  1. The Long Game (44:29) - The Doctor, Rose and their new companion, Adam (who they added in the previous episode) go to the year 200,000 and land on a news satellite orbiting Earth. The people who live and work on it transmit the news, however all is not as it seems. They are all desperate to be promoted to Level 500, which is the management area. Adam gets himself into trouble.
  2. Father's Day (42:56) - Rose's father died when she was very little and The Doctor agrees to take her back to visit him before his death on the understanding that she will not intervene. Unfortunately, things do not go according to plan and Rose causes a significant problem in Time. An excellent and very dramatic episode.
  3. The Empty Child (45:22) - This is the first half of a double episode, which may well be the best episode of the entire series. The Doctor and Rose are chasing something dangerous across space and time which is heading for London. Once they arrive they find they have landed during World War II and that all is not well. They see a young boy in a gas mask wandering around calling for his mother and meet a young girl who looks after street children. They also meet an RAF officer who turns out to be something different entirely.
  4. The Doctor Dances (42:56) - The conclusion of the previous episode which I cannot tell you much about without spoiling the story. The title refers to The Doctor and Rose having a dance during the episode. By the end of this episode they have a new crew mate. These two episodes are surprisingly spooky.

    Top quality science fiction television including drama, humour and adventure. Highly Recommended - the best disc of the series.

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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 also 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 on a grille at 39:47 in Episode 4.

    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.

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

Audio

    The audio quality is better than the first disc but still 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 for when there was music or sound effects playing when it sometimes became overwhelmed by the other sounds. This made it difficult to catch some words and sentences. I ended 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 for adding bass to the music and effects, however this is 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

    The best disc of this series which includes 4 episodes ranging from very good to excellent.

    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?)
Wednesday, November 02, 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)

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