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Sylvester McCoy stars as the seventh and final Dr Who in this 1988 production. This production was a major event for fans of the programme as it marked the first appearance of the Daleks since the 1970’s. The story starts off with the Doctor returning to Earth with companion Ace (Sophie Aldred). Strange things start happening, and it soon becomes obvious that peculiar forces are lurking. However, even the Doctor cannot forecast the arrival of his long term enemy, the Daleks. They have arrived on Earth with the aim of obtaining the Hand of Omega.  The Hand of Omega would allow the Daleks to perfect their own time-travel capabilities. As the story progresses we realise that that there is also a different Dalek faction seeking the Hand of Omega and so the battle begins.

Dr. Who : Remembrance Of The Daleks
Many people believe that this particular production should never have been made. Sadly I have to agree with them. Compared to older series, this production has a poor storyline and uninteresting characters. Sylvester McCoy is the weakest actor to play the Doctor. I found him to be extremely irritating and excessively sarcastic. I realise that the Doctor is supposed to be eccentric, but McCoy goes too far! Special Effects are also a let down. Considering that the production was made in 1988, I would have expected more. Some of the effects look no better than some of the 70’s programmes.  

There are some interesting scenes, but these cannot save the episodes. The final scene in episode four is exciting and there are also dalek scenes which could be exhilarating for young audiences. Overall though this is a hugely disappointing production, which probably should not have been made.

Dr. Who : Remembrance Of The Daleks
Video
This disc is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. Surprisingly the disc is NTSC, so before you purchase it check that your equipment can cope with the NTSC signal. Overall picture quality is perfectly acceptable. It is certainly far from perfect, but colour levels seem to be correct and clarity is generally quite clear. Flesh tones seem accurate and black levels are concise. The picture can sometimes seem a little grainy, but these moments are few and far between. There appears to be no damage to the print and I could see no noticeable MPEG artefacts

Audio
The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 and like most TV series it does the job reasonably well. Dialogue is clear and precise. Only the left and right speakers are used but the overall atmosphere is still brought to the screen sufficiently. A fair, but unspectacular effort. There is also a commentary provided for anyone who is interested in finding out more about the programme.

Dr. Who : Remembrance Of The Daleks
Extras
The recent Doctor Who releases have received a reputation of being extra-packed. Well I am glad to report that this disc is no different. There are enough extras here to make any fans of the series content.

First up are Extended and Deleted Scenes. There are over ten deleted/extended scenes included on this DVD. Most of them have actually been extended, and only true fans will notice the extended footage. Each scene is preceded by a brief description of what you are about to see. You are also told why the scene was originally cut. Some scenes only last for about ten seconds but others are considerably longer. Scenes very from brief discussions about where the Doctor has come from, through to a long debate about choosing sugar for your coffee. We are told that the sugar conversation was one of Sylvester McCoy’s favourite scenes, and that he was disappointed that it was cut from the final programme. These scenes are spread over the four episodes. This selection of deleted scenes has to be one of the larger choices on DVD so far. Overall the section runs for about fourteen minutes.

My favourite extras on the disc are probably the BBC1 Trailers. There are two trailers which can be selected. The first is called ‘BBC1 Trailer Episode one’. It lasts for about thirty seconds and is a good reminder of how the BBC used to be. I can remember watching the series the first time it was shown and the caught my attention. The second trailer is called ‘BBC1 Trailer Episode two’ This also has a running time of about thirty seconds but is a little more interesting than the first.

Dr. Who : Remembrance Of The Daleks
Probably one of the best and most under-used extras on DVD is alternative angles. When I first bought my DVD player I was interested in seeing alternative angles on films. Sadly this feature has not been used very much over the last couple of years. This disc has two scenes for which you can view alternative angles. The first one is called ‘Chemistry Lab’. It is a scene showing Ace beating up a dalek with a baseball bat. One of the camera angles shows a close up shot of the damage to the dalek. The footage is just over a minute long. The scene ends with Ace jumping through a window. The second scene is entitled ‘Gate Explosion’ and that is what you get! The multiple angles allow you to see either a close up view of the daleks blowing up a gate or a distance shot. Neither scene shows the final footage seen in the episodes, as they both include stuntmen and cameramen.

The out-takes compilation is also worth watching. This extra lasts for about three minutes and includes lots of footage with actors messing up their lines. You also get to see actors falling over. The footage shows Sylvester McCoy in a different light. When he makes mistakes he is actually quite funny. Also included on the disc is a ‘Who’s Who’. This provides eight detailed descriptions of the main characters. The descriptions range from the Doctor through to the daleks. This section provides some interesting information, like the fact that the Sylvester McCoy once trained to be a priest and that the Daleks were first seen on screen in 1963. Finally the photo gallery is also worth a visit. There are over sixty photographs. There is a wide range of shots. The most interesting ones are the aerial shots of the filming location. They show that the filming area was very compact and the BBC made good use of a small area.

Dr. Who : Remembrance Of The Daleks
Overall
I consider these episodes of Doctor Who to be sadly lacking compared to previous episodes. However fans of the Doctor and these episodes in particular will love this disc. The BBC has once again provided a extra-packed release of Doctor Who on DVD. The visual and audio aspects of the disc are perfectly acceptable. This has to be one of the best one disc (non special edition) releases on DVD so far. There are so many extras included that it will take you a lifetime to watch them all!


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