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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Hey, I'm Seth. (and The Regenerations Box Set)

Hey folks. This is Seth, and I'm gonna be chipping in here and there, probably mostly talking about classic Who. Not that the new series isn't something I like, but Ley's already doing such a good job doing that.

Ah, yes, the black and white Tom Baker era
and its infamous sepia-toned scarf.
So let's start by talking about the Regenerations Box Set that was announced recently, and coming out in June. It's not so much a box set as it is a coffee-table book that happens to contain DVDs, being touted as containing "superb photography from across the era and features detailed and informative accounts of every regeneration", which is to say screencaps from episodes and behind-the-scenes minutia anyone interested in this probably already knows. There's no mention of how new any of this content is, which is odd. I'd think that'd be a selling point. As it is most trivia worth pouring over is already on featurettes in the individual releases these serials got.

The set itself contains all the swan-song regeneration episodes, which is to sayyou get to see each Doctor's life end. (The only exceptions are for 6 and 7, because neither of their final serials contain the regeneration. This is the only reason Paul McGann is in the set at all.) I'm not entirely sure why you wouldn't want both ends, and it seems odd to release a collection of finales rather than a collection of premieres. (Well, mostly finales, as mentioned.) It also means that Matt Smith is here for about two minutes, and it seems odd that they would go the route that would mean ommitting a Doctor with a fairly big fanbase.

So, now that I'm done whining about the gimmick, let's get down to the actual contents. What serials is this thing giving us? For one thing, we'll be getting The Tenth Planet, complete with an animated reconstruction of the final episode, preempting its individual release later this fall. No doubt some die-hards will want this set just so that they can get this well in advance of everyone else. Me? Well, I'm not overly fond of it. Due to health issues William Hartnell isn't even in most of it. It's a decent story but an exceedingly (and unavoidably) poor send-off.

In addition to that, we'll be getting some of my favorites--The War Games, Planet of the Spiders, and The Caves of Androzani, in addition to a variety of others that range from "meh" to "why would I spend a dime on that crap"? And the thing is, these are all available individually. Why would I pay $70 for three serials that I could get for...oh. Huh. The War Games alone is $50.

I mean, in fairness, The War Games is also a three-disc set studded with bonus features--including, cough cough, a documentary on regeneration--but I suppose if you're fond of most of the stories in the Regenerations set and don't care a lot about extras, than that might be the one for you. As near as I can tell, the book is the only extra here (made exceedingly likely be the presence of only five discs.) So, yeah. If you really just want info on this one topic, and don't mind getting a little crap mixed with the series highlights, this might be worth your money. Go for it.

I'd probably wait if you just want The Tenth Planet, though. I can't see it costing more than $25.

You can find Seth's Tumblr here. He reblogs a lot of Doctor Who stuff. You should follow him.

Doctor Who: Regenerations Box Set will be available June 10th in the UK and can be pre-ordered here.