Thursday, June 18, 2015

Doctor Who: The Daleks DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
The Daleks—the fan-favorite mutant creatures and the Doctor’s greatest enemy—are about to make life miserable for the Time Lord and delightful for Whovians. Take a trip through time and space as the Doctor and his companions battle the most feared race in the universe in this amazing collection of iconic Doctor Who episodes, which includes an adventure with each of the modern Doctors. Bonus materials include Genesis of the Daleks, the extraordinary 6-part Classic Doctor Who story starring Fourth Doctor Tom Baker, and Dalek Origins, a new documentary chronicling the history of these iconic monsters.
Show (5 out of 5 stars)
In this compilation of Doctor Who episodes, The Doctor and his companions take on the Daleks and save the Earth again and again. The salt and pepper shaker Daleks are my favorite of the Doctor’s enemies. They are ruthless and say very little. You always know when you hear “Exterminate” that they are on their way. I liked that the compilation included the current Doctors, and of course, my favorite 10th Doctor. Every episode included is an episode I have seen numerous times and enjoy every time.

Doctor Who is one of those shows that you either love or hate. I don’t think there is an in between. Episodes with the Daleks are always the best ones, no matter how cheesy the Daleks seem to be. They always progress the story of the Doctor and keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. As strange as they look, they are still terrifying when you hear them coming or when the Doctor realizes he has to fight them once again.

This compilation includes five episodes starring the modern Doctors. They are listed below.

Disc One
  1. “Dalek” – The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) venture into a museum of alien artifacts. When they are captured by the owner, Van Statten, he takes The Doctor to his special lab and introduces him to his pet Dalek. While The Doctor engages with the Dalek, Rose is sent along with Van Standt’s assistant, Adam, who takes her to see the Dalek after The Doctor is finished. When Rose touches the Dalek, she awakens it fully and it escapes from its chains and seeks out The Doctor looking for revenge.
  2. “The Stolen Earth” – The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and companion Donna Noble land on Earth only to see it disappear before their eyes. As they figure out what’s going on, the Daleks arrive and take over the planet. It’s up to the Doctor and his group of companions and friends, Rose Tyler, Sarah Jane Smith, Martha Jones and Captain Jack Harkness, to team up, defeat the Daleks and save the Earth.
  3. “The Journey’s End” – Continuing on with the events from The Stolen Earth, The Doctor and his companions (except for Martha Jones who is on a special mission for U.N.I.T.) surrender to the Daleks and are taken to the ship. Donna is trapped in the TARDIS when the Daleks send the TARDIS to be destroyed. But destroying it is not that easy. Donna uses the energy of the TARDIS to create another Doctor and together, the two of them try to save the Earth, the Doctor and his companions and once again destroy the Daleks and send them packing. When the dust settles and everyone is returned to earth or their respective dimensions, Donna begins experiencing side effects and the Doctor realizes that in order to save her life, he has to give her up and return her home with no memory of him or of their adventures together.
  4. “Asylum of the Daleks” – The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and companions Amy Pond and Rory take on the Daleks in this episode. Finally captured by the Daleks, the Doctor, Amy and Rory are taken to a Dalek ship where they are asked to save the Daleks. After finding out the Daleks intend to send them to their prison planet to find out what’s causing the strange sounds (music), the Doctor talks to a mysterious girl, Oswin Oswald, and goes to save her. But after making it through the army of Daleks, fighting off the nanotech which is changing humans into Daleks and trying to save Amy from becoming one herself, the Doctor discovers that Oswin isn’t exactly who she thinks she is and the Doctor has to leave her behind.

Disc Two
  1. “Into the Dalek” – During a fight between her ship and the Daleks, Journey Blue somehow ends up on the TARDIS and demands the Doctor take her back to her ship. The Doctor complies and returns her to her ship only to be met by her Uncle. The Doctor is taken to a dying Dalek and told to fix it, but he refuses until the Dalek indicates that it wants to be good and destroy all the bad Daleks. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS and goes to pick up Clara, who is teaching at a private school and has just met Danny Pink, a new teacher at the school who was once in the Army.  Clara asks him out for drinks, and at first Danny says no, but then changes his mind and agrees. Once the Doctor picks up Clara, they return to the ship and agree to help the Dalek. In order to do that, though, they must become miniscule and enter the Dalek’s system. The Doctor, Clara, Journey Blue and other soldiers enter the Dalek and find the source of the problem. Once fixed though, the Dalek reverts and the Doctor is satisfied in knowing that there is never going to be a “good” Dalek. Clara reminds him that it’s possible and the Doctor tries to restore the memory that made the Dalek good in the first place. Once back to their normal size, the Doctor returns Clara to the school just a few seconds before he picked her up and Clara talks with Danny and they go on their date.

Video (4 out of 5)
The picture on the “Doctor Who: The Daleks” is pretty good. Because it’s DVD, it wasn’t as clear as if it were on Blu-ray, but there were no visible issues with it. The colors and the transitions between scenes were good. What brought it down a bit was my disappointment in the picture for “Genesis of the Daleks.” Because this was an episode from the 1970s, it wasn’t as good as the modern episodes. I thought it could have been improved a bit since it’s now on DVD.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
The audio for the DVDs was really good as well. Everything was intelligible and the sound was even. Sometimes the audio on the Daleks was a little loud, but not to the point where it was bothersome. Again, it wasn’t much different than watching on television, but I still enjoyed it. Subtitles in English are available if needed. 
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
The special features consisted of one special feature and another episode. I think the episode didn’t need to be included in the special features section; it could have been included with all the other episodes. The other feature – a background on the Daleks – was okay. The special features could have been a little more interesting.
  • “Genesis of the Daleks” – The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) takes on the Daleks in this six part serial from the 12th season. The Doctor and his companions, Sarah-Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) are called by the Time Lords to the planet Skaro, where the Doctor has been tasked to prevent the evolution of the Daleks into the enemies they become. The Doctor and Harry are captured by the Kaleds a Nazi-like military and Sarah-Jane is left outside to fend for herself. When Sarah wanders into the “Mutos’” camp, she learns Mutos are people who have been mutated by the early chemicals from the war between the Kaleds and Thals, and left in the wild. Sarah-Jane and the Mutos are captured by the Thals, and become their slaves. While the Doctor and Harry try to escape, they come across the supreme head, Davros, who is working on creating the Daleks. The Doctor and Harry meets Dr. Ronson, a scientist who discovers the Doctor is alien and tries to help them. Meanwhile, Sarah-Jane is working for the Thals as they prepare a bomb that will destroy the Kaled dome. After the missile is launched and dome is destroyed, the Doctor, Sarah-Jane and Harry join the Thals in order to destroy the Daleks. However, Davros has declared the Kaleds all dead and the Daleks and begins assembling the Daleks. As the Daleks become more ware, they kill Davros and claim to be the superior race. The Doctor and his companions leave Skaro believing the Daleks have been changed and will not evolve into the enemy they actually become.
  • Dalek Origins – Just under 30 minutes of background on the Daleks – who they are, what they do and what makes them so dangerous. The feature also includes an explanation about the parts of the Dalek and what makes them so unique.

Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
The only reason this is scored lower than it probably should be is because of the special features. It was really only one feature and a bonus episode that could have been included in the episode list. Still, it’s a great compilation for anyone. There are no spoilers, so anyone can start watching at any time. These discs will definitely sit on my shelf and be watched over again.

Order your copy today!

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