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Stripped for Action: The First Doctor (2008)
Season 1, Episode 1
1/10
A Comic doc about Strips
6 July 2008
Wow, here we go again, we have just had the worst documentaries from Pheonix Media how is it these people are still even in business. Whilst Stripped for action was not perhaps the worst DVD extra I have ever seen it certainly ranks up there with the "how boring can we make an interesting topic" category. This doc was actually pretty dire throughout in many ways but most notable was the hideous music that was used it was so painful to listen to. It appears that after failing dreadfully on Key to Time DVD Marcus Hearn and Anthony Caufield wanted to be given a second chance and they failed again, I wonder how many more stinkers the Doctor Who DVD Executive Producers will allow through before they get the message that these people simply cannot make documentaries. I suppose on the other had its not all bad, if we ignore the poor technical quality of the work and look at the content its a pretty interesting topic but actually even the people they interviewed looked a bit bored didn't they? Its a real shame this production company cant learn that in order to tell a good story it must be of a high standard, entertaining and technically fine and thats the basic message so I'd say if you are going to purchase this DVD then don't do it if you are buying for extra's you'll be disappointed.
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The Tunnel Effect (2007 Video)
10/10
Title Sequence
6 July 2008
This documentary was simply wonderful. A huge improvement on the last "Title Sequence" documentary, he we are presented with a chap called Bernard Lodge whose career is talked about briefly and then we get on with the meat of this short feature. We get an actual demonstration of how the title sequence is achieved which lets face it is the only way this could be done to make laymen like myself understand it. Lovely graphics here with an interesting story well told. We need this demonstration to really understand how these complex title sequences of yester-year were created. I actually hope there is a doc on each of Lodge's title sequences as he came across here as interesting and compelling. Well done to the producer Brendan Sheppard here who really made this once dull topic new modern and fresh!
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Celebration (2008 Video)
7/10
Editing = Perfection
6 July 2008
Steve Broster has a gift. Its a gift that not all producers on this range have and where Broster is concerned he could do with doing some edit teaching on this DVD range. This documentary looks at the Five Doctors and the celebration period that surrounded it. It has to be said that the DVD of The Five Doctors is simply excellent It was nice to see that Broster in many ways has looked at some of the other producers who use specially made backgrounds and in a sense has copied what's been done. I think when, like me, you buy all the releases no matter what, you see how in the last year or so how this range's extra's has grown in Production Value. I think since Davros Connection's appeared the anti has well and truly be raised and Broster has stepped up the plate brilliantly. What Broster does edge ahead in is his story telling and he manages somehow to make it all entertaining. As far as I am concerned so long as Sheppard and Broster are working on this range we'll never have a dull moment. Brilliant doc, wonderfully presented by Colin Baker, my only question is - what was that building he was standing in front of? Plus perhaps a little less use of the 'fan' department would be nice! Well done to the production team.
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5/10
The Dalek Creator
6 July 2008
This documentary had so much potential. All it had to do was tell us something interesting about Terry Nation and it pretty much failed on all counts. I really learnt nothing about the man. This piece was clearly well researched but weaving this into an entertaining story appeared to bewilder the production team that made it. Why were they so obsessed with pretty much just covering Terry's Doctor Who career although it did move off this some questions had to be answered like: Where did the bloke grow up? What were his parents doing? How was his life? these seem like obvious documentary questions that for some reason were just plain ignored. Really bad and actually I found myself sleeping toward the end.
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10/10
Main Documentary Time Warrior Sontarans
6 July 2008
Wow, here is the second dish served up by producer Brendan Sheppard, this again brought a lovely fresh feel to a DVD range that was getting a tad stale. At last we are taken away from the boring black backgrounds and we are presented with some lovely location filming. Sheppard clearly has a nack for getting good stories out of people and the lovely graphics with people appearing on walls and clips presented in windows and such are simply lovely. Note also this is written by Karen Davies whose voice over read beautifully Simon Ockenden is brilliant and really sells this documentary. I note also the great choice of music that was used and I wonder was this specially composed for the feature as it fitted like a glove. So all in all 10 out of 10 for this and the CGI that goes along with this DVD is simply wonderful really enhances the story, especially Pertwee's blue beam that comes from his box of tricks really wonderful.
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Davros Connections (2007 Video)
10/10
Davros CGI Biography
6 July 2008
This is the third and I believe the most successful documentary ever made about Davros. All I have to say to 2entertain the company that financed this is please bring this out on DVD by itself as it is worth every penny. I bought this expensive box set and was thrilled to watch this documentary. I was surprised just by how many contributors it had and the professional level of its visual effects I mean how much did all this cost? It had production values that were worthy of the new series of Doctor Who. I note that this was directed and produced by the DVD range's "safe pair of hands" in Brendan Sheppard. It was extremely informative and entertaining but I think the gem in the piece is the new CGI sequences featuring never before seen footage of Davros in full flow. Sheppard has proved again that he is without doubt the best producer this DVD range has. The story was written expertly by Karen Davies whose nack for writing dialogue has proved such that she is so versatile in her approach and shows an expert level of writing. If I see an old downside it would be Terry Molloy as both Interviewee and VO that didn't really work but if that is the only bad thing then this doc is a stand out smasher and worth the money alone for this outstanding box set.
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What Lies Beneath (2008 Video)
6/10
Interesting, entertaining but lacking something..
6 July 2008
Ahh! What is this documentary lacking? I cannot quite put my finger on it, perhaps its the people that have been interviewed it somehow just doesn't work! Here we combine the brilliant Steve Broster trying to tell a story that really just isn't there. On the other hand, its presented to us in such a way that kept me watching until the end and thats the reason why cannot tell you why I don't really like this. I suppose as a fan of Doctor Who the last thing I like is these spin off documentaries that essentially tell you nothing about the programme and more about whats going on at the time, my question is why was this documentary made? What relevance has it on the release? I'm probably missing the point, because the style was pacing, entertaining and not at all bad. Anyway, well done for keeping me watching until the end but suppose as I type its the topic that didn't really appeal.
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A Matter of Time (2007 Video)
4/10
Graham Williams....?
6 July 2008
Its funny, when you watch a special feature I think this reviewer likes to be educated, entertained and informed. Her we have a rather botched DVD Documentary and I have to say it slightly lowers the standard of this otherwise excellent range. It is the longest and most drawn out of documentaries and in places I actually started falling asleep. What is lacked in entertainment value it made up for in the educational department but I think there has to be a healthy mixture of both and her it was all fact fact fact and no entertainment. Now I happen to think that Williams era was actually not that bad and seeing here all the troubles he had this man was not to be envied. Here Ed Stradling shows his inability to make documentaries that viewers can watch, enjoy and stay with I actually found myself fast forwarding through bits I suspect this Producer doesn't know how to edit properly a skill he'll need to develop. The writing was pretty fluid and it started with a very "As Time Goes By" title sequence which was pretty weak even though the production values where high. But all this said it was not the worst thing about the extra's on this Key to Time Box Set, however it is just as well we are not buying this set for its extra's which I note Stradling had a lot to do with showing his inexperience as a producer.
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Doctor Who: Origins (2006 Video)
10/10
Crowning Glory
6 July 2008
Without doubt the finest documentary made about the series of Doctor Who. This cleverly constructed and obviously well researched piece charts the programmes conception from a thought to screen. Its lovely to see so many contributors both in archive form and new interviews and all credit here goes to the talented Richard Molesworth and to Steve Broster both of whom have done a sterling job on this all right. It is so refreshing not to see people in dreary black backgrounds and this helps bring the fresh feel to the DVD Range of which I am becoming a great fan. Its funny that the production values, whilst obviously being a cheap documentary, doesn't compromise the over all feel. Well done DVD Producers more of this please.
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The Ties That Bind Us (2008 Video)
9/10
Doctor Who anniversary
6 July 2008
Every DVD needs a little feature like this, its funny, exciting, fresh and the Computer animation is simply wonderful. Rob Semenoff did the graphics here and they are pretty fantastic it must be said - how come this guy isn't working on the new series? I think the best thing about this doc is the wonderful montage at the end of the piece, I have watched it about 7 times and actually manages somehow to make you laugh, make you sad and teary eyed! How was this achieved? I think my favourite clip that was used is the one at the very end - the one with Patrick Troughton explaining why we are all here! Wonderful! All praise to Sheppard and Davies who are really upping the anti on this smashing DVD Range.
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Rogue Time Lords (2007 Video)
1/10
Pure drivel
6 July 2008
So you buy a really expensive DVD Box Set and you expect perhaps not the greatest special features but you do expect some degree of professionalism What was this we are presented with, now I'm not true Doctor Who fan but it feels to me this documentary left some gaping big holes, no mention of Rogue Time Lord Morbius for example In short this was dreadful, I mean look at the graphics really really bad the writing felt like they had all of ten minutes to write the thing. Where they all interviewed in the Shepherd's Bush public toilets? This was terrible and made the team that made it look so unprofessional it was not even funny. The interesting thing is that the Dr Who DVD range always had a half decent stuff on it but this is just sheer embarrassment, don't even bother to grave your DVD with this feature. It was poor story telling that wasn't even researched how did Marcus Hearn and Anthony Caufield get away with this?
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2/10
Utter Rubbish
6 July 2008
This documentary was basically two people sat in front of a white screen telling you how a complex title sequence was made. There is no way this could be effectively done, you look at the sister feature with Bernard Lodge on the Robot DVD and you see these two are miles apart. First up the only thing that carried this quite dull documentary was the music item and what did they use? An old BBC Programme THAT DID A DEMO of the music!! What it needed here was Balance and we needed to see Sutton actually showing us how it was done a bit like the afore mentioned Lodge. All in all poor editing, poor backdrops, quite dull interviewees and another Example of producer Ed Stradling's inexperience as a documentary maker. Sorry but not very good at all.
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