Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Doctor Who - The Doctors Revisited: One - Four

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, BBC Home Entertainment is releasing the best serial from each of the eleven Doctors. The first release features the first four Doctors, William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, and Tom Baker, from the years 1963-1981, each in one classic episode, The Aztecs, Tomb of the Cybermen, The Spearhead From Space, and Pyramids of Mars.

My introduction into the world of Doctor Who was when the episode "Rose" aired on the Sci Fi Channel (now known as SyFy) in the spring of 2006. I was aware of the previous series that aired from 1963-1989, but I had never watched an episode before, though I had watched the Peter Cushing's version, Doctor Who and the Daleks and Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., so I was eager to watch the four-disc set, which I received free of charge from BBC Entertainment in exchange for my honest review.

Each episode can be watched in its original four-part version or as a feature presentation with an introduction by Steven Moffat. For a bonus, there is a profile special on each doctor.

The Aztecs stars William Hartnell as a grumpy version of the Doctor, who travels across time in the TARDIS with his granddaughter, Susan Foreman, and their companions, Barbra and Ian. They arrive in the 15th Century Mexico, where the TARDIS get trapped inside a tomb. Barbara gets mistaken for the reincarnation of High Priest Yetaxa by the Aztecs, so she has no other choice but to assume the high priest role, but the High Priest of Sacrifice, Tlotoxl, is not fooled by her arrival and demands a sacrifice to be made.

Doctor Who - The Doctors Revisited: One - Four, The Aztecs, Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) in the ceremonial robes of Yetaxa

The Tomb of the Cybermen stars Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor. The serial is currently the only intact serial from Troughton’s first two seasons. Along for the adventure are his two companions, Watling and Victoria. The TARDIS lands on the planet Telos, where archeologists have uncovered a secret entrance in a mountain, which is the remains of the Doctor's enemy, the Cybermen, are located. Everything is fine, until the Cybermen are unleashed from their prison cells.

Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited, Tomb of the Cybermen, Cybermen

There are several big firsts in the serial Spearhead From Space, as it is the first of the series to be broadcast in color, it is the first full episode with Jon Pertwee playing the Doctor, and it introduces the new villain, the Autons. After being regenerated and exiled to Earth by the Time Lords, the Doctor is recruited by UNIT to help stop an alien invasion.

Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited, Spearhead from Space, The Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

Tom Baker stars as the scarf-wearing Doctor in Pyramids of Mars along with his companion, Sarah Jane Smith. The TARDIS lands near the Scarman family home in England, now owned by an Egyptian, Ibrahim Namin, who can command mummy robots from their tombs by using a powerful ring. The Doctor and Sarah Jane stumble upon something more sinister than the mummies; it seems an upright sarcophagus is actually a space-time portal, where the last of the alien race Osirian, named Sutekh, is waiting to end all life.

Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited, Pyramids of Mars, The Doctor (Tom Baker)

Similar to the original Star Trek series, the early years of Doctor Who had low-budget sets and special effects. I never knew the first doctor was grumpy and somewhat clueless at times. He wastes most of his time flirting with an Aztec woman, when he could have been helping Barbra. The Cybermen's suits are silly, but they are still fun to watch as the second doctor tries to stop them. The Spearhead From Space is my favorite out of the four as it introduces the Autons who later appear in "Rose" and the Doctor is forced to stay on Earth. I know the fourth doctor is a fan favorite, but the plot in Pyramids of Mars is a little silly, though the Doctor's chemistry with Sarah Jane makes up for it. Overall, I had a blast watching the origins of Doctor Who and I recommend it to old or new fans.

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