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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > Adventure > Action > Time Travel > British TV > Doctor Who – The Snowmen + Doctor Who – Series Seven: Part Two + Doctor Who – The Complete Seventh Series (BBC Blu-rays)

Doctor Who - The Snowmen + Doctor Who - Series Seven: Part Two + Doctor Who - The Complete Seventh Series (BBC Blu-rays)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B- Episodes: B

Doctor Who has been has pleasing audiences for decades now; through countless dimensions, various time periods, and even a number of Doctors.

Here under review are several BBC Blu-ray releases of Doctor Who. The first of which is Doctor Who: The Snowmen, the 2012 Christmas Special and the others being two separate releases of Doctor Who: The Seventh Series.

Doctor Who: Complete 7th Series + Series Seven: Part 2

Well, as can be surmised; Series 7: Part 2 is housed within The Complete Series (as is the hour long Snowmen special reviewed below). So my feelings on the entirety of this 3rd Series in the new incarnation of the insanely popular Doctor Who British series will be conveyed below.

Doctor Who: The Complete 7th Series is very well done with all 15 episodes being engaging; to say the least. There are huge changes this series that I won’t ruin here for those who have yet to view it; but let’s just say the second half of the series will have big changes not many saw coming.

The Doctor and his companion find themselves battling aliens, traveling to Victorian Yorkshire, facing off against an army of upgraded Cybermen, getting to the heart of the Tardis, doing some ghost chasing, and much more. And though these adventures are exciting, it is the great story telling and the ability of Matt Smith to engage an audience that has us all coming back for more.

Doctor Who is certainly a guilty pleasure for many nerds out there but for 3 series now (since its 2005 return) Doctor Who has struck a chord with viewers with its infusion of history, fantasy, and sci-fi on a serenely perfect level. The CGI is goofy at times and the stories are certainly 'out there,' but doesn't matter as the writers have managed to assemble a cast and crew like no other having audiences continually coming back for more.

Those who have a problem with Matt Smith's quirky portrayal of the good Doctor won't see any ground breaking changes in this series set; but (in this reviewer’s opinion) he continues to bring an odd sense of humor and intrigue to the role that not many have accomplished. The days of a stuffy, Sherlock Holmes like Doctor are gone and the relationship that The Doctor has with his surroundings and his companion take an emotional center stage like never before.

Viewers will find themselves on a time traveling, emotional rollercoaster as we say hello to new members and goodbye to others. The writers managed to keep the series fresh with these changes, but that is not say it was an easy pill to swallow. New comers like Jenna Louise Coleman fit the series well and propel stories along.

Doctor Who: The Snowmen

The Snowmen bridges Doctor Who: The Seventh Series Parts 1 & 2. The hour long episode starts with a young boy in 1842 building a snowman; his parents wishing he would make friends, but the boy sees no need. We are then transported ~50years later where the young boy has grown into the miserable Dr. Simeon. Dr. Simeon has started The Great Intelligence Institute where at the current moment he is mysteriously enlisting down on their luck men to gather snow from different regions of London. Simeon promises to feed the men if the fulfill all tasks assigned, but not all things are as they appear.

Concurrently to the snowy endeavors of Dr. Simeon we see The Doctor (Matt Smith) recovering/mourning after the events of Series Seven: Part 1. Life is changing for The Doctor and as he becomes accustomed to some major changes, we (the audience) join him for those growing pains.

This hour long special is not the best episode, but remains intriguing as the multifaceted plot helps us transition from 7: Part 1 to 7: Part: 2. The Doctor versus scary Snowmen can never be a bad thing and is done in a manner that could only be believed in The Doctor Who universe. Even Sir Ian McKellen makes an ominous appearance as a voice actor as The Great Intelligence.

The technical features on Snowmen and Series 7: Part Two of these releases are the same/very comparable as they were most likely rendered at the same time; whereas The Complete Series 7 is a slight upgrade. The Blu-ray releases of Snowmen and 7: Part Two are in presented in a 1080i 1.78 X 1, whereas The Complete Series 7 is an upgraded 1080p. In all honesty I don't see an extreme (if any) difference between the i to p upgrade. Both have nicely displayed colors, contrast, and black levels. Detail and depth are presented with ease and though not the best, certainly better than previous seasons' DVD releases. My only major gripe are some of the 'cheaper' CGI moments that look all too fake and forced; though this is an ongoing issue with the series that may be a budget issue, not a Blu-ray issue. The audio is a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 MA (Master Audio) mix on all three releases. Overall, the sound is well balanced with crisp, clean dialogue throughout. This BBC release manages to utilize the entire soundstage though mostly dialogue driven the series comes heavily from the front. In the more action packed episodes/sequences sound does surround the viewer giving that extra level of depth/intensity that make Doctor Who so much fun.

Extras are as follows:

Snowmen -

  • Clara's White Christmas

    • A making of Featurette

  • Two Prequel Sequences

    • Vastra Investigates

    • Children in Need Special: The Great Detective

Series 7: Part 2 –

  • The Bells of Saint John

    • Prequel

  • Clarence and the Whispermen

    • Prequel

Series 7: The Complete Series

  • Behind the Scenes

  • Doctor Who on ''The Nerdist''

  • The Science of Doctor Who

  • Doctor Who in the U.S.

  • The Companions

  • Doctor Who at Comic Con

  • Prequels

  • Commentaries

  • Featurettes

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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