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Judge Harold Gervais's Blog

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Foreign Dispatch vol. 1
October 27th, 2010 12:56PM

Welcome. Foreign Dispatch is your place to hear about what is going on in DVD & Bluray-land from across the pond and around the world. Since the titles discussed are generally ones I have purchased myself, or will purchase, the slant of the titles discussed will display a definite consistency. So bearing that in mind this first entry should probably be called Foreign Dispatch: Doctor Who Forever.

October has been a good month for fans of classic DOCTOR WHO. It started out with the REVISITATIONS 1 box set and concluded with the 4th Doctor story, "Seeds of Doom." REVISITATIONS is bascially a double dip box set that takes earlier DOCTOR WHO DVD releases and does additional improvements to the audio/video end of things while also loading up with new & improved features. The stories found in REVISITATIONS 1 are "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"/4th Doctor, "The Caves of Androzani"/5th Doctor and "Doctor Who: The Movie"/8th Doctor. Now if you were to ask your average Doctor Who fan to name their top ten stories "Weng-Chiang" & "Androzani" would probably make that list. So to say these new & improved version are welcome would be something of a understatement and while "Doctor Who: The Movie" would probably not make that top ten list it is still a highly sought after story since it is the only video appearance of Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor. It is also worth noting that while the first DVD release of "The Movie" took place years ago in the UK the failed Fox/BBC pilot has never been released legally in this country. That is about to change as whatever rights clearances that needed to occur have happened and "Doctor Who: The Movie", along with the new & improved versions of "Weng-Chiang" & "Androzani", is due to be released here in the US sometime next year, probably in the first quarter.

The other WHO story released is the season 13 story, "The Seeds of Doom." Now imagine Joseph W. Campbell's "The Thing From Another Planet" mish-mashed with DOCTOR WHO and throw in Tom Baker at the peak of his powers as The Doctor and you will find a smashing good story that at six parts holds up all the way through. The story is one of the show's best and it makes my personal WHO top ten. As with REVISITATIONs 1, "Seeds of Doom" should see a release in region one sometime early next year. You should expect to see a more in-depth look at "Seeds of Doom" soon.

Staying on with DOCTOR WHO and release schedules, it was announced recently that 2 Entertain, the home video arm of the BBC, would be adjusting the schedule so that the drag time between UK WHO DVD releases and those in the rest of the world would be getting much closer. So WHO fans not equipped with region-free DVD & blu-ray players should be dancing a jig. It's worth noting from my end that I will probably continue buying classic WHO from the UK because A) I greatly prefer the UK artwork, B) even a week or two earlier is still earlier in my book and C) the UK releases often end up being less expensive then their American counterparts. Looks cooler & cheaper. Yeah I know I'm shallow.

Other releases we should expect to see early next year are "Meglos"/4th Doctor, "The Mutants"/3rd Doctor and "The Ark"/1st Doctor.

And one more piece of classic WHO news to finish with, the line-up for REVISITATIONS 2 has been announced and the titles getting the extra loving are "Seeds of Death"/2nd Doctor, "The Carnival of Monsters"/3rd Doctor and "The Resurrection of the Daleks"/5th Doctor. No release date or timeframe has been given but late 2011 should be thought to be a strong possibility.

So here ends vol.1. Expect future posts to more actively review R2 and R3 discs as well as featuring news type items. Any feedback or ideas are most welcome. Thanks.

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