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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Time Travel > Aliens > British TV > Apocalypse > Drama > Romance > Doctor Who: Seeds Of Death + Resurrection Of The Daleks (Special Editions/BBC DVD Sets)/Perfect Sense (2010/BBC Films/IFC Blu-ray)/The Sarah Jane Adventures – The Fifth Season (2011 – 2012/BBC DVD)

Doctor Who: Seeds Of Death + Resurrection Of The Daleks (Special Editions/BBC DVD Sets)/Perfect Sense (2010/BBC Films/IFC Blu-ray)/The Sarah Jane Adventures – The Fifth Season (2011 – 2012/BBC DVD)


Picture: C+/C+/B-/C+     Sound: C+/C+/B-/C+     Extras: B-/C-/C/C+     Main Programs: B-/C+/C/C+



Now for some more science fiction, this time from the BBC on TV and in theaters…




Doctor Who: Seeds Of Death (Story No. 48) is a Patrick Troughton series from 1969 about the Doctor and two helpers fighting a Martian attack which somehow seems like an older show, while Resurrection Of The Daleks (Story No. 134) takes place in 1984 with Peter Davison in a set of shows that make a joke of the killer robots in a story that revives them, but they are a joke, pointless, silly, goofy and shows how the show was in freefall with the departure of Tom Baker.  No wonder Davison made a career of playing bad people later.


It is so bad that it reminded me of The New Avengers episode Return Of The Cybernauts? Which mocked the killer robots that had effectively appeared in two seasons of the Diana Rigg original Avengers, though that was somehow worse (see the reviews elsewhere on this site).  Why make anything that mocks fans unless it is an outright spoof?  These sets are for diehard fans only and have plenty of extras including audio commentary tracks, PDF material, trailers, stills, featurettes and isolated music scores.  At least they are as well rounded as usual.



Ewan McGregor and Eva Green (both of whom I like) play a couple who try to get together and might even have a romance if an apocalyptic virus would just get out of the way in David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense (2010) that BBC Films recently made and is now coming to Blu-ray in the U.S. with a good concept and some ambition, but the problem is that despite the likable actors, we have seen all this before and this becomes more of a melodrama and clichéd romance film than anything like hard science fiction despite the technology and some interesting moments.  It needed more science and action, but settles for drama and that flattens out a very promising project.  Now you can see it for yourself, but this apocalyptic storyline in general has played itself out.  A featurette and trailer are the only extra.



Finally we have The Sarah Jane Adventures – The Fifth Season (2011 – 2012) which is the last season only comprised of six episodes as Elisabeth Sladen died during production and it is a very sad loss.  Debuting her character early in the original series, this is a rare belated spin-off show of any kind and rarer still by becoming a hit.  She was looking just fine and healthy until the last scenes here, but BBC has ended the show and her work on a high note to their credit and fans will likely enjoy this.  The only extra is a featurette called Goodbye Bannerman Road – Remembering Elisabeth Sladen worth your time as well.


For more on the end of the show and the too-early loss of Sladen, go to this link for the last season on DVD:






The 1.33 X 1 image on the two Doctor Who sets are different, but are even as the older Death show is in black and white with some detail issues, but the mix of PAL video (looking poorer than expected) with film (why did the series abandon outdoor PAL video like they used on the Tom Baker Who shows for film again?) on Daleks looks more aged than it should and mixes very badly.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Sarah is as soft too, despite being a very recent production, but I bet a potential Blu-ray set would improve on this.  That leaves the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Sense which is the best-looking of the four releases here as expected, but noise and style choices hold back its depth, detail and overall fidelity, so it is not as consistently fine as it could have been.


The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the old Who shows and Stereo on Sarah are also about even, though you can tell Sarah is a newer recording, yet it is not as dynamic as it could be, so we’ll see if some lossless sound on a potential Blu-ray will confirm that the recording is better.   That leaves the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Sense, but it is dialogue-based and has its share of purposely silent moments, so the soundfield is purposely inconsistent.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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