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January 29th, 2014 28 comments

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Review – Why Classic Who DVDs are the Best

dvd-review-2Review – Why classic who DVDs are the best

By Jake young

Hi all, this is my first article/review for this site, so thanks doctor who site for publishing it! (*winks*) .

If you already didn’t tell from the title (if you really didn’t, you might need to see the a Doctor), this page is going to define some of the best classic who DVDs out there.

Yes, not just the story’s, but everything included like extra’s ect.

There will be 3 episodes for each category, and at the end I shall reveal what my personal all time favourite classic who DVD is….so far!

The main points I am going to be looking at in order to tell some of the best classic who DVDs out there and Why classic who DVDs are the best “Ha, he said it!” are as follows:

  • The story’s
  • Extras
  • Packaging
  • Price

So without any further boring adieu from me, let’s begin…


Good story’s are usually the episodes you want to watch in your bed at 10/11PM in the evening as you are relaxing and are nearing sleep. Doctor who and the Silurians is a perfect example of this, as I find myself falling asleep most times I watch it. (Not out of boredom, but out of relaxation.)

I got The Moonbase yesterday, and am planning on watching it tonight. (just putting it out there).

Out of the hundreds and hundreds of classic episodes I have seen, I must say that my top three story’s for this category are Doctor who and the silurians, The robots of death and …


Yes, that’s right, underworld, I said it! If you haven’t noticed by now, i am a 70s fan. The effects and acting might not be star wars, but hell, pretty much every story between Spearhead from space and the invasion of time is just, well, brilliant.

Out of the hundreds of potentials ones, you could have predicted I would have said The robots of death as that is a who classic. You might have even predicted the Silurians even though that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But I choose Underworld as my 3rd and final choice for this category because like the other 2, I just find it a relaxing, simple, entertaining story.

Doctor who and the Silurians 8/10

The robots of death 10/10

Underworld 8/10

The extra’s

Extra’s extra’s extra’s. People usually underrate the extra’s don’t they? I find that these are sometimes the best parts of the DVDs. There’s just such I wide range of extra’s from commentaries to making offs, trailers to documentary’s and conventions.

The best DVD for extra’s would have to be The war games, as that is just loaded with extra’s, including the rather devious “Devious”. If you’re counting whole box sets like the key to time or trial of a time lord, then Invasion of the dinosaurs has a healthy dose of documentary’s on it, including the recoloured episode 1. If you’re going to count physical things as extra’s, then Tom Bakers awesome 4th doctors time capsule box set comes at number 1.

4th doctor time capsule set 10/10

The war games 8/10

Invasion of the Dinosaurs 7/10


dvd-review-3The packaging

It’s sad, I know, when the best parts of the DVDs are the packaging. But the packaging is the selling point. (Well, apart from the content) It is what attracts people into buying it. If it’s not got good, and there aren’t even any special features on it and the price is pretty high, this is when people start watching movies using less legal ways (trust me, I know).

Fortunately though, classic who has a rare advantage where the packaging is always good, whether the story is good or bad. Thanks to the wonderful work of Clayton Hickman and Lee Binding , we have some of the best artwork on the shelf’s at the DVD store. dvd-review-4aAn example of this is the regenerations box set. I think only a couple of those regeneration episodes are actually good. However, because of the absolutely stunning packaging, I rank it as the most hansom and best packaging for anything I have ever gotten. Go look it up on YouTube if you’ve got the time. Coming at a close second is the time capsule from above. Again, go to YouTube to see how it opens up, but they are both just superb.

The final best packaged release is a normal box set (well, sort of). It is a bit controversial, as in some people don’t consider it part of the range, and I see why. It’s the 2 Peter Cushing movies from the 60s. Not the 2006 twin pack, but the Limited edition Blu-Ray twin pack released in May last year simply entitled “DOCTOR WHO”. Pictured right, it looks simple enough. However, when in hand, it has a very nice glossy feel to it and is slightly bumpy in places. This is a bit hard to get hold of now, with some scalpers on Amazon and EBay looking from £30 to £200!

Regenerations: 10/10

Time capsule 9/10

60s movies 9/10

The price

Now, when it comes to the price, it varies. Massively. I mean, The ark in space (original edition) is, at the time of writing, £5.80 on Amazon. But at my local HMV, it is a whopping £19.99! My advice is if you can, buy the DVDs online, preferably stores like Amazon, BBC shop, Galaxy 4, and rarely EBay.dvd-review-5 (Use EBay only as a last resort, as it is a hit and miss with the quality) The reason I say it is better to get them online is the price is generally a lot cheaper than on the high street stores like HMV.

However, if you have one near you, I would always check the deals they sometimes have on, as at this moment, my HMV has the “The time of the doctor and other Christmas specials box set” for £9.99 on DVD, and £12.99 on Blu-ray (compared to £9.99/£14.99 on the BBC shop).

Of Course, for the single DVDs the prices are generally cheap, but as you get into the box sets/limited products, the price gets increasingly annoying. The complete Davros collection, 1 of the only box sets I don’t actually own which I wish I did, is a perfect example of this. I nice big box set, with only 10,000 copy’s ever made. Most places have run out by now, but the ones that do still have them on sale go for £100+. Although you might be lucky and find one cheap at a DVD shop. It has been known.

I personally think that rather than sticking to one 1 retailer, you must shop around to look for the best deals. The top 3 retailers I think do the best deals currently are:

Now this is usually down to opinion. But if we take into account all the above; and try and add them together, what do we get?I’ll give you some hints.dvd-review-6 It’s a box set that contains 3 legendary story’s.

It’s filled with extra’s and was released in 2012. The price is relatively low, and the art is very attractive (even if it has hardly anything on it). Okay, I give up.

It’s the Re-visitations 3 box set! You might be baffled by the choice, but it fits all the category’s above which non others do. If you haven’t already got it, I extremely suggest you go and get it, as it is still very cheap. Seriously, go buy it, you won’t be sorry! (Well, you might if you were saving up for something much better)

Final thoughts

This is just for all of those who flicked down the down the page, then read the last couple of lines of the article and pretends to have read the whole thing in the comments. Go buy the re-visitations 3!

And to all those who actually read it, this is sort of a pilot review, and if I get positive feedback I might make more like this. If I get negative feedback, I will still make more just because I like watching you lot in the comments suffer. Also please tell me what your favourite classic DVDs are. I’ll leave you all with some words of wisdom a wise young man once said (I think it was me): Power corrupts, but ultimate power is kind of cool 😉

Categorised under: Reviews



  • Adam Clark

    February 2nd, 2014 - 3:53am

    I think one point that has been overlooked about what makes these great is the excellent and lovingly done restoration work. The episodes weren’t simply taken from the archive and bunged on a disc, like other companies do with their releases.

  • AlzieWhozie

    January 31st, 2014 - 2:08pm

    Where can one begin? Look at loads of other programme DVDs and their “extras” are minimal at very best, but for Doctor Who we’ve been very well served over the years. I love listening to the commentaries and how they’ve changed over the years – and of course the sadness that so many have since passed away after doing them (Anthony Ainley, Verity Lambert, David Maloney, Caroline John, Elisabeth Sladen and Nick Courtney all spring to mind) – how amazing to get Tom and Janet Fielding on Logopolis together. Some brilliant makings of…….

    • AlzieWhozie

      January 31st, 2014 - 2:17pm

      ….the CGI effects, the continuity announcements, coming soon trailers, the animations. I could go on and on.

      But most of all, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone involved in the productions of the DVDs over the year and heck yes, thanks to fellow fans for buying and helping ensure we see crystal clear episodes.

  • Anonymous

    January 30th, 2014 - 8:25pm

    Awesome review

    Is that you in top pic

    • drjakeyoung

      January 30th, 2014 - 9:18pm

      Yea, with all ma DVDs.

  • Justjeulin

    January 30th, 2014 - 4:41pm


    That is all.

    • Matthew

      January 31st, 2014 - 12:17am


      Now, that is all

    • Anonymous

      May 16th, 2015 - 1:29pm

      Handsome. Now that is all.

  • Doctor Five

    January 30th, 2014 - 2:51am

    My favourite DVD release being Talons SE, because apart from it being my favourite story in all of time and space and potatoes, it has heaps of different special features. I loved the Terror of the Zygons DVD release, for its extras, and the story itself. I have no idea why sales are decreasing each year for classic DVDs! This review shows that the classic series, which may be perceived by new series fans as shoddy because it’s old, but it’s the best 26 years of television ever!

  • gordon

    January 30th, 2014 - 12:46am

    Great review and overview on the classic dvd range. Quite simply the best classic tv range out there. No other tv show gets the love care and attention of the classic range. Some fans complain about the quality of some extras and some of the choices made (no animated shada, airlock being on a reelease, pairing terror of the autons with a spearhead se, extras free web and enemy to name a few) but we are truly blessed by the work Steve Roberts Dan hall peter Crocker mark Ayres Jonathan wood and everybody else involved over the last 15 years.

    • VespiformsSting

      January 30th, 2014 - 8:37pm

      Shame recent efforts have been ruined by the decision to hold back Underwater Menace ……

    • gordon

      January 30th, 2014 - 10:41pm

      Well it wasn’t their fault that the animation team postponed the animation to work on more imminent and higher paying projects

  • Cyberleader1010

    January 29th, 2014 - 9:45pm

    Great review! Some of my personal favourite classic who DVDs would be The Aztecs (SE), The Ice Warriors, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Terror of the Zygons and Vengeance on Varos (SE). I also really like the Lost in Time boxset!

  • josh smith

    January 29th, 2014 - 6:50pm you can buy classic DVds with free P&P for like £3 sometimes but average isa like £5-£12 and ver good servive so ishop on amazon and play for Dvds

  • WFK DVD Collector 14

    January 29th, 2014 - 6:44pm

    At the moment I have every single classic DVD released, apart from The Moonbase.

    However, it is very likely that I’ll order that off of Amazon tonight! 🙂

    • WFK DVD Collector 14

      January 31st, 2014 - 9:23pm

      Ok, bit later then I thought but last night I ordered the Moonbase from Amazon and it was posted today!!! 🙂

      Now I wait…

    • drjakeyoung

      February 1st, 2014 - 3:23pm

      Hope you get it soon!

  • Cynon Hodson

    January 29th, 2014 - 6:29pm

    I think the classics are best because of the covers and extras, the great thing about DVD is that you can fit a lot of extra information about a story on the disc so, if you wish, you can find out more about a story which can be very interesting .the audio commentaries are also great, Peter Davison is always very amusing.
    I like all Doctor Who stories, classic and new but ones that stand out are Genesis of the Daleks, Caves of Androzani and Robots of Death

  • dalek eternal

    January 29th, 2014 - 6:01pm

    one of the best things about the classic stories is that they never feel rushed they usually are about 3-6 episodes long and set the scene and the characters up perfectly before things really kick off in them. I sometimes feel in the new series that some of the episodes should be two parters such as the time of the doctor because it felt rushed especially for his last episode

    • josh smith

      January 29th, 2014 - 6:07pm

      inferno seems rushed it could do with 4-5 more epsides

    • WFK DVD Collector 14

      January 29th, 2014 - 6:49pm

      I think Inferno should have been maybe a 10 parter, and The Daleks could have done with maybe 8 or 9 episodes instead of 7.

      However other stories are too long. I always thought that The Web Planet would of done so much better as a 4 part story!

  • Dr KIAN

    January 29th, 2014 - 4:41pm


  • 100000BC

    January 29th, 2014 - 3:33pm

    UNDERWORLD!!!!!!! 😀

  • drjakeyoung

    January 29th, 2014 - 3:01pm

    Thanks for posting this booboo! And thanks for all the comments guys!

  • Dalek the Supreme

    January 29th, 2014 - 2:10pm

    I rate Classic stories and New Series stories about equally, but as far as packaging, price, and special features go, I’d have to say I agree with you on the Classics. Let’s face it, the most interesting New Series DVD covers are Series 7 Part 1, Series 7 Part 2, and the Christmas special DVD’s. The box sets usually just have the Doctor and the companion, and sometimes just the Doctor. With Classic DVD’s, you get a cool poster on the cover, and at $10-$25 per single DVD if you were to buy them online, I’d say the Classic DVD is the better deal.

  • CG

    January 29th, 2014 - 1:12pm

    Great review!
    I own the davros collection and it is worth getting if you can find a reasonably priced one.

  • 76 Totters Lane

    January 29th, 2014 - 1:12pm

    Great review. At least someone loves ‘Underworld’, even though I can’t share that opinion.

  • Doyouhearthem

    January 29th, 2014 - 1:04pm

    It’s nice to see how others enjoy my favourite TV series- and to re-acknowledge that there is brilliance in every. single. episode.


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