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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Drama > Monster > Time Travel > Outer Space > British > Animation > J > Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet (1966/Story #29)/The Moonbase (1967/Story #33)/Inferno (1970/Story #54)/The Mind Of Evil (1971/Story #56/BBC DVDs)/Marine Boy: The Complete Second Season (1966 - 1967/Seve

Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet (1966/Story #29)/The Moonbase (1967/Story #33)/Inferno (1970/Story #54)/The Mind Of Evil (1971/Story #56/BBC DVDs)/Marine Boy: The Complete Second Season (1966 - 1967/Seven Arts/Warner Archive DVD Set)/The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale (2013/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: C/C/C+/C+/C+/B- & C Sound: C+/C+/C+/C+/C+/B & B- Extras: B-/B-/B-/B-/D/C Main Programs: B- (Swan: C-)

PLEASE NOTE: The Marine Boy: Complete Second Season set is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a new set of children's programming releases, but most exceed that idea here...

We start with four early, even key Doctor Who adventures. The Tenth Planet (1966/Story #29 with William Hartnell as The Doctor) and The Moonbase (1967/Story #33 with Patrick Troughton as The Doctor) have our hero in his earliest battles with The Cybermen, one of the most successful and creepy nemesis in the entire history of the franchise. Well done and now classics of the franchise, they were more human-looking in their debut before going a little more metallic in a look that stuck. I agree with Anneke Wills that something was lost a bit in that change and in my opinion, only vaguely returned during Tom Baker's early encounters with them. Some of the old monochrome videotape was lost for both sets of episodes, so new black & white animation has been created to substitute, but I am not a fan that approach.

Jon Pertwee is The Doctor for Inferno (1970/Story #54) where our hero lands up traveling into a time warp where he finds a fascist variant of UNIT compete with strange doppelganger versions of the regulars and then some as a drilling project deep into the earth may cause irreparable damage. The teleplay pulls no punches about the dark side of that ideology and this includes smart Orwellian references. The Mind Of Evil (1971/Story #56) involves a robot machine that has a mind of its own and is deadlier than anyone might expect, but all is complicated when Who's nemesis counterpart The Master (Roger Delgado perfect as the best actor ever in the role) is up to no good as has plans of his own. A solid story arc that ls worth catching up with.

That makes all four of these installments worth going out of your way for.

Extras on all four Who releases include PDF downloadable article clippings on their respective episodes (Inferno has a 1971 Who Annual, while Evil adds a Sugar Smacks cereal campaign), Audio Commentary tracks, text fact Production Notes Subtitle commentary throughout all shows if you choose and Photo Galleries. Planet adds a VHS reconstruction of Episode 4 with stills that I prefer over the monochromatic animation, brief Hartnell interview clip (3 minutes), Anneke Wills featurette (13 minutes), a 10th Anniversary look at the show on the BBC children's hit Blue Peter and three more featurettes, Moonbase adds a Making Of featurette called Lunar Landing, Inferno adds four featurettes including The UNIT Family - Part One, Pertwee Years Intro, Deleted Scene that survived in U.S. copies & a nice 6-minutes-long vintage Visual Effects promo film and Evil adds a Now & Then look at the locations used for this set of episodes, a Making Of featurette called The Military Mind and a vintage featurette from 1971 with Norman Tozer called Behind The Scenes: Television Center running 24 minutes.

Marine Boy: The Complete Second Season (1966 - 1967) concludes the fine basic set of the Seven Arts/Japanese-produced TV animated series Warner Archive issued the first season of at this link:


This series of shows has as much colorful fun and energy as the first and the with the same voices that dubbed Speed Racer, but I give the makers credit for quitting while they were on top. With Gatchaman and Casshan arriving on Blu-ray (both reviewed elsewhere on this site) and looking so good, nice to see the quality of the prints here also looking good. Like those series, they have hardly been seen by U.S. viewers and deserve serious rediscovery.

There are again, sadly, no extras. Maybe if Blu-ray edition(s) arrive, Warner could add something.

Richard Rich's The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale (2013) continues a franchise that is aimed at very young ladies and is quickly becoming repetitive. We have not covered hardly any of the releases save one for a holiday release, but this CGI romp is loud, tired, shrill and not the kind of thing I would show my young daughter if I had to choose. This one has an adopted child of the royals being kidnapped and hidden in the forest. Good thing there is magic and talking animals, but worse, there is no real script with any point or entertainment to enjoy. Maybe some fans of previous installments will like this one, but I was surprised how weak and redundant it was.

Extras include a soft fuchsia miniature crown in the cellophane our discs came in, while the discs add 2 Sing-Along Songs and Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices of the film.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Swan Blu-ray is the best presentation here, but by default as the CG can lack detail and seem stilted, which is worse on the anamorphically enhanced DVD version also included and lands up as soft and poor as anything on this list. The 1.33 X 1 color image on Marine Boy is actually more colorful if not up to the overall Swan Blu-ray's definition, but the only other limits are slight flaws in the film prints used and the limits of the animation used. It really is no simpler than Swan, when you think about it and more challenging when all is said and done.

All the 1.33 X 1 images on the Who DVDs (save the newly added monochromatic animation) are all sourced from PAL analog videotape, with the earlier two shows in black and white, plus Inferno here for the first time in color, as tapes in color were found since they made the featurettes for it (see how poor the black and white footage in all of them are). Even the outdoor 16mm film is from PAL tape transfers at the time. Tenth Planet and The Moonbase also show how rough this footage is, tying for last place with the Swan DVD as the poorest performers here.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Swan has the best sound here that can be a little loud at times, but surprisingly has a consistent soundfield. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 version of the mix on the DVD version is not as good, but is as good as it will ever bee in that lesser codec. The rest of the DVDs are here in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono presentations and all sound good for their age, even more than I expected.

You can order both seasons of Marine Boy and much, much more from Warner Archive by going to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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