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Doctor Who: The Monsters Collection brings together two stories from Classic Doctor Who and the new series, showcasing the first appearance from a classic adversary and the one of the more recent ones. Of all of the adversaries that have attempted to destroy the population of Earth and/or rule the universe, none have had the cunning, ruthlessness or as sharper tailor as the Time Lord who could have once been a meddling monk and even The Doctor's brother – The Master!

From the outset, Roger Delgado's Master established his intentions and didn't take any shit from anyone...

TERROR OF THE AUTONS:A series of mysterious events is taking place - the Nestine power unit procured by UNIT at the end of the last Auton invasion is stolen; a radio-telescope has been attacked and a Colonel Masters has taken an interest in a plastics factory. The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) immediately suspects that something is very wrong and he is about to face not only another Earthly invasion by the Autons, but also a confrontation with an old adversary...

With Terror of the Autons, writer Robert Holmes returned to craft a script that took what had gone before and built upon the initial premise, fleshing it out in ways that had younger viewers fearing much more than just shop-window dummies; but Holmes' master-stroke for Terror of the Autons came with the introduction of a character that would be Moriarty to The Doctor's Holmes - The Master.

If ever there was an actor born to play the witty, suave, urbane nemesis of The Doctor, it was Roger Delgado. Delgado had been slumming it earlier in his career, appearing in several Butcher's B-pictures whenever they needed a foreign-looking "heavy" to provide international intrigue, and his vaguely Middle-Eastern looks (along with his solid performances) helped him to get numerous villainous roles in various ITC shows. From the very second he appears on the screen at the start of episode one, Delgado's charisma is magnetic, and every bit as sharp as it would be throughout his time on Doctor Who - none of that fumbling around with the character that often takes place when an actor first gets to play a particular long-running role, Delgado had The Master down pat right from the beginning. "I am usually referred to as 'The Master'" is his opening line (which one of us often quotes in a pretty good impersonation of Delgado) and from there onwards, a fully-formed adversary takes his lofty place in the pantheon of great Doctor Who villains. Though Delgado never played The Master with his tongue in his cheek, he always seized the opportunity to inject some appropriate humorous moments, usually playing up some of the intentional humour in the scripts, and with Robert Holmes penning the first Master story, he started off on a good footing.

Robert Holmes' script takes the already intriguing premise that was used in Jon Pertwee's debut story and expands it beyond the mere realm of having killer mannequins roaming the country, showing various other ways in that extraterrestrial life-forms that inhabit living plastic vessels can help poor unsuspecting sods meet their respective makers much sooner than they ever counted on. One could quite easily imagine Holmes (puffing on his pipe) and script editor Terrance Dicks sitting down in an office somewhere over a bottle of whiskey, gleefully thinking up the most perverse ways to kill people in this story in manners that would profoundly terrify a young audience. Deadly chairs, homicidal troll-dolls, killer policemen, murderous telephone wire, they're all there. If memory serves, the BBC was asked by the police not to make police officers an object of fear for children, but they went ahead and did it anyway, providing a memorable cliffhanger for episode two, which probably saw a decrease in kids asking coppers the time for a while, in the same way that the killer troll-doll sequence was one that would ensure that kids across the country would think twice about taking their beloved teddy bears to bed with them for a good few weeks.

The high level of violence perpetrated by all things plastic ensured that the show became the subject of close scrutiny of those who objected to such things; the concept of watching seemingly innocuous objects come to life and kill people can be seen as disturbing to younger minds and Terror of the Autons remained the high watermark for the amount of violence and subsequent governmental/watchdog scrutiny for Doctor Who until the Hinchcliffe era. Though the plot about killing off a large number of people through by having Autons in comedy outfits handing out lethal, plastic-squirting daffodils as a way of diverting public attention from a Nestine invasion force is a little convoluted, it was certainly a good way of pushing up sales of real flora; you can imagine the potential ad campaign - "when a man you've never met before suddenly gives you flowers... drop them and run screaming!"

If there is one area that seems out of place and whimsical for this story, it's the way that one of The Doctor's fellow Time Lords (played by David Garth) briefly appears to warn The Doctor of the arrival of The Master; a pinstripe-suited and bowler-hatted Gallifreyan is heralded by the TARDIS materialisation sound, swiftly followed by a plopping noise as he appears, floating in mid-air. It's a moment of levity that doesn't chime with the rest of the story and it is one of the rare times (in our opinion, anyway) that Bob Holmes misjudged the use of humour in his scripts.

Terror of the Autons was also notable for introducing one of the most popular companions in Doctor Who history - Jo Grant. Her predecessor, Liz Shaw (played with an arched eyebrow by Caroline John) was deemed to be too smart and made it harder for a younger audience to identify with her and she was too intelligent to use the "what is it, Doctor?" line that had become a requirement for most companions. This decision about the character of Liz Shaw (coupled with the fact that the actress was pregnant and wanted to leave anyway) meant that a new companion was needed and would very much be in the more traditional mould. From the very moment she arrives, "ham-fisted bun-vendor" Jo Grant causes chaos for The Doctor, wrecking one of his delicate experiments and proving herself to be academically light-years behind Liz Shaw (not even passing General Science at O-Level), but what endears her to The Doctor (and would also be the case with many viewers) is her unorthodox resourcefulness and her almost limitless enthusiasm; the sort of almost father-daughter relationship that would develop between the two had not been seen since the Hartnell era of Doctor Who.

Sometimes a Tissue Compression Eliminator is just a Tissue Compression Eliminator...

Jon Pertwee is particularly good in this story, allowing him to show a more human and fallible side to his Doctor; when trying to make his discrete getaway in the TARDIS after stealing The Master's de-materialisation circuit, he emerges from his still-inoperative ship in a cloud of smoke (in much the same way as he did in Spearhead From Space) and with a sheepish look on his face - he then petulantly kicks the door of the TARDIS, hurting himself in the process and his childish behaviour is brought up by Jo. In all of Pertwee's stories as The Doctor, it is this one that shows the most number of facets to his character, from the childish (Tom Baker's Doctor would later say "there's no point in being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes"), to the anti-authoritarian (which late producer Verity Lambert said only really existed in Hartnell's Doctor) and Pertwee was arguably never better in this story, with that twinkle in his eye never more visible.

Richard Franklin makes his Doctor Who debut in this story as the dashing Mike Yates, a Captain in UNIT who makes for a nice bridge between Nicholas Courtney's Brigadier and Jon Levene's Sergeant Benton. Franklin would remain in Doctor Who until Jon Pertwee's final story, Planet of the Spiders, but not before bowing out full-time when Yates is exposed as a traitor in Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

The rest of the UNIT family are now decked-out in their more familiar green fatigues, and all of the actors do their thing very well as usual; Nick Courtney still plays The Brig with a wry smile on his lips whenever it comes to getting up the Third Doctor's not-inconsiderable nose (though Courtney probably had to smile wryly in a careful fashion, else his fake moustache would fall off) and there is almost a sense of relish when he witnesses The Doctor's horror at being landed with a new companion that initially seems to be the personification of calamity.

Terror of the Autons also benefits from having a great guest cast, including the man-who-would-be-Davros Michael Wisher as Rex Farrell, the headstrong (and possibly unhinged) son of the boss of the plastics factory who is eager to step out of his father's considerable shadow, but like so many other Doctor Who lower-grade power-craving underlings, he realises too late just how deep he has gotten himself; Harry Towb is great as McDermott, one of the senior workers at the plastics factory, who meets a sticky end at the hands (or should that be arms?) of a plastic armchair - Towb possesses one of those fabulous Northern Irish accents that you can't help but love and was a great character actor, and even though McDermott is only in the first two episodes, he certainly makes an impression her (and presumably in the armchair).

The influence of producer Barry Letts' love-affair with Colour Separation Overlay is very much in evidence here, with numerous scenes having CSO backdrops, even some of the more mundane sequences such as the inside of a museum, showing the cast acting in front of a photograph and having inches shaved off various body parts. CSO might have been a budget-saver for the production by reducing the amount of location work (not to mention set construction), but it was still too primitive at the time and detracts from the drama in quite a big way. It's worth noting that there is no director credit on any of the episodes of Terror of the Autons - Barry Letts directed this story, but presumably didn't get credited as director because of some union or BBC rule about producers not being allowed to direct their own shows.

The Havoc stunt team are front-and-centre in this story, especially in episode three where there is some great action by Havoc (couldn't resist that!), including a cool sequence that puts Captain Yates literally in the driver's seat when he drives a car at speed into an Auton and sends it rolling down into a quarry (well, it IS Doctor Who...), and when it reaches the bottom, it immediately gets up and starts to climb back up after our heroes - it's a great sequence that shows the unstoppable nature of the Autons.

Terror of the Autons builds to a satisfying climax, strongly reflecting the anti-establishment nature of both The Doctor and writer Robert Holmes; Pertwee is on top form, with newcomer Katy Manning starting as she means to go on, along with solid support from the UNIT family. Roger Delgado makes a magnificent debut as The Doctor's opposite number, cementing The Master as one of the quintessential Doctor Who adversaries - though he was over-used during the Pertwee era and the actor's tragic demise meant that he was robbed of a proper exit from Doctor Who, Delgado's Master is always a delight to watch, especially in a story as good as this one.

A rare moment of fear from The Master...

THE END OF TIME: Christmas came to Doctor Who once again in 2009, with all the certainty of The Radio Times sporting a festive cover, and like that much-loved publication, this time it was to be a double issue for the Feast of Stephen - but the subscription was about to be cancelled for someone in particular. Please note that this review is not intended as a thorough dissection of the entire story, rather a look at some aspects which tipped the balance of the show one way for the other on the scales of enjoyment.

Brooding over the loss of his mouthiest assistant, The Doctor finds himself without a companion and lacking a sense of purpose. Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) has been seeing pieces of the forbidden past, and recovering such memories is enough to trigger recollections in Donna Noble, but blissfully unaware that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, he occupy his time trying to find The Doctor, even roping in fellow senior citizens to uncover the “legend of the blue box“. Billionaire Joshua Naismith has gotten his hands on the Immortality Gate, and plans to use it for selfish purposes, intent on resurrecting the one person who can repair it.

Meanwhile, the Ood are experiencing dreams of The Master returning , signifying the end of time itself, and through the ancient, mystical Time Lord power of the flashback, The Doctor shows them just who his mortal enemy is and how the last story with him ended. Before you know it, The Master’s wife has supplied interested parties with genetic material -the kind which requires neither a spatula nor the cry of “I just want a shower” - and The Doctor’s Moriarty is back in business once again, insanely hungry for food… and anything else which will satiate his appetite. His plans include a pretty novel way to restart the Time Lords here on Earth, but more senior members of the ancient race have bigger ideas. It’s just a pity that the obscure prophecies of Gallifrey neglect to mention that Romana almost certainly survived the Time-War….

Anyway, The Master is brought back in a manner which the latter Hammer Dracula films might have baulked at, where his genetic imprint from the lips of his wife is taken and used to reconstitute him. Most cosmetics companies can’t even live up to their promise of a 24 hour lipstick, let alone traces of saliva staying put for God knows how long. Going back to this part of the story and the feminine presence during it, there is something about the women Nu-Who depict in positions of power, where they often have an air of smugness combined with superiority, and there are a couple of prime examples to be found here. It’s a fine line when writing strong female characters, as it’s all too easy to make them come across as utter bitches, even though they are not intended to be that way.

The sight of The Master on wasteland/dump dressed like a chav and suddenly gaining superhuman powers is either bizarre or galling, depending on just how cherished your memories of the original characters are. It must have been his Darth-Vader-esque funeral pyre which bestowed on him such Sith-like powers, including the ability to project lightning from his fingers to wake up the under-tens, should all that atmospheric writing stuff be putting them to sleep. Add to that an organic version of Tony Stark’s repulsor technology and you can practically see the merchandising possibilities creating themselves, and all because the reboot of a classic villain was so ill-conceived from the start that attempts to try and change it just made the situation so much worse. If the location of - essentially - a quarry was any attempt at either satire or a comment on the nature of the original series is open to debate, but to use it on Nu-Who as an Earthly location really just looks like just like it is.

Oh Christ - literally...

Naismith’s grand plan for the Immortality Gate, a piece of technology he’s acquired from the fall of Torchwood which allows cellular regeneration, from which he hopes to keep his beloved daughter alive from the ravages of both age and death. Naturally, the Master wants it for even bigger things, and won’t let a puny human’s almost twisted affection for his own daughter stand in the way of getting the Time Lords back into circulation. As Naismith, David Harewood seems to come from the very same “fart-under-the-nose” school of facial-expressions from which Don Warrington graduated with honours, but to us, letting John Simm into the Immortality Gate would be disastrous for the entire world, not only because everyone across the globe being made into The Master, but an entire planet of Simm’s overacting could generate enough energy to split the very Earth apart.

Having said that, one little glimmer of what Simm might have done with the role should a firmer hand and less flashy influence been at play comes with the line: “The human race was always your favourite, Doctor…” as he gives a much more subdued delivery, one where you can easily imagine Roger Delgado saying it, with the inflection put into the name of his adversary the same. Along the same lines, the sight of and entire block of flats entirely occupied by Simm is at first disconcerting, but then bigger questions begin to generate themselves in your mind. Is the Master’s plan some form of restoring the white race to even the lowliest of boroughs, where Arian supremacy is the way towards an idealised future? It even crosses the mind that the image might even be a comment of the amount of inbreeding on council estates. Or was it just something cool and a bit creepy to have?

With Tennant about to cash in his chips being no secret, it eternally bugs us that Nu-Who has always had too much telegraphing of impending death, feeling the need to cast prophecies about any members of the cast who happen to be leaving, as though the splashing of said news across the tabloids isn’t enough to key everyone in. It wouldn’t be so bad if death was a finality in the Nu-Whoniverse, but they die only to live again, particularly when ratings are needed. Remember the old days where if a companion was killed, the fucker stayed dead? OK, so Peri was an exception, but it really has gotten to the point where we hope that Rose Tyler gets shot with a 50-cal gun, nuked with a Thunderbolt missile, stuffed into a box of salt, doused in petrol, burned and the ashes banished to the furthest confines of E-Space. That’ll fuck her.

Speaking of endings, we all know that the Doctor has gone out like a punk before, usually when the lead actor gets fucked over by the powers-that-be, but this one really takes the biscuit. Be it dropping a hot cup of tea on your Chinese rug, pissing into the fridge or falling asleep with a fag in their hand and burning your sofa, old people really can’t help doing stupid things which really piss you off, and having Cribbins wandering into the chamber threatening to flood with a lethal dose of radiation is deeply annoying. We assume that he had drank too much milky tea and thought it was a handy port-a-cabin to relieve himself in. Before you can say “Wrath of Khan”, a beloved sci-fi character is doomed to die before being reborn - well, not before he gets to wander off on a self-congratulating tour of Tennant’s time on the show of almost pornographic proportions.

The amount of time and pretension spent around said regeneration is directly proportionate to the love the production has for itself and all it has done. Here the Ood sing the Doctor to his death, and whilst we were always disappointed that Matt Smith wasn’t heralded by a chorus of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, the emotion being forced onto the audience is almost at gunpoint - “You WILL feel sad and curiously elated…” and your senses almost rebel at such pressure to emote. Music plays a major part is getting the tear ducts to do their thing, and you wonder if every instrument in Murray Gold’s orchestra had a Post-It note stuck to it reading “Piu Forte”. The great Geoff Love would have taken an entirely different approach, we’re sure.

"When I get my hands on my hairdresser..."

It‘s always a privilege to have a guest actor of genuine stature in Doctor Who, and the inclusion of Timothy Dalton as Rassilon even trumps the mighty Michael Gough for the honour of top guest thesp. From the moment he reads out the opening monologue, you know that his presence in the show is really something awesome for the Christmas special - no giant Cybermen or gimmicky snowmen, this is an actor delivering a mesmerising performance in enviable tones. Be it an advert for Brains Faggots - “In a rich, West-country sauce”, a turncoat Nazi - “I want that rocket, Eddie” or Rassilon giving us a potted history of Gallifrey, Dalton really does deliver the goods with real panache. The fact that we played a couple of his henchmen in Hot Fuzz in no way influences our opinion, of course…

It dawned on us that we had forgotten just how much the tenth Doctor overplayed it in the latter part of his Tennant-cy. With material including his deflowering of the Virgin Queen shoved in front of him, it becomes almost understandable how he succumbed to the temptation to really play it to the back row. Combating such exuberance is some really nice interplay between Tennant and Cribbins as they sit watching the world from above the atmosphere, crystallising the Doctor’s feelings towards humanity, and just why he has such affection for them. It’s one of the most honest pieces from Tennant in his entire run, presumably due to his realisation that the most fortuitous times of his career was coming to an end. As further evidenced later on, they have a dynamite chemistry together, pondering the nature of death and war in a mature fashion, something which might be suicide for the youngest of viewers, but provides the best moments for those old enough to appreciate the raw nature of the sentiment.

We’re probably reading far too much into this, but the Wilf’s band of Silver Surfers, out locate Gallifrey’s finest, is almost like the old guard of fans trying to find The Doctor in the midst of the all the modernism heaped upon the character. Whimsy aside, with too many cups of weak tea inside them on a rather bouncy bus, this group of senior-citizen sleuths would fast become golden surfers if not careful. It brought a smile to our collective lips to see June Whitfield and Hi-De-Hi’s Barrie Howard as one of said motley crew of pensions, as we remember seeing him as The Narrator in a production of The Rocky Horror Show at The Marlowe Theatre in 1993, where we batted out every audience partic-i-pation line in the book. Mr Howard really wasn’t happy at us shouting out the “describe your balls” prompt, dutifully replying with the appropriate “heavy, black and pendulous” response, directly shooting us the most baleful look he could muster, whilst eliciting howls of laughter from the audience. Ah, memories…

Some aspects of The End of Time really grated, and none more so than the most obvious rip-off of them all. We all know that JJ Abrams’ main gambit for his Star Trek reboot was to make it “…more like Star Wars”, but there is no doubt that they tried a little of the same thing with Tennant‘s final outing, where they shamelessly rip off the beloved “gun-port” sequence for George Lucas‘ seminal opus. Christ, even Glen A Larson would have trouble trying to defend a charge of similarities between them! If you want plain old errors, then there must be something going in with the temporal balance in the universe, as little ripples seem to be affecting things. Witness when Donna’s mother opens a saucy Christmas card, braying like a castrated donkey at the sight of a buff Santa - this same card is seen a good twenty minutes earlier, leading us to suspect that time itself starting to come apart, with little occurrences leading to bigger events later on. Either that, or there was a sale on at the local branch of the Card Factory, and the woman herself was just too pissed to realise the same card was on her kitchen counter earlier on.

Obviously there is an unmistakable urge to bring all things to an end, but to do it with one particular thing is really irritating. “Allonsy” was just a crap, contrived catchphrase when it was conceived, and the reverential use of it this time round just comes across as self-congratulating for something not worthy of such praise, like buying a toddler an choc-ice because they didn’t set fire to the cat. Ditto with the piece near the end where a fed-up looking John Barrowman is given the name of a hot piece of boy-tail opposite him, which just happens to be “Alonzo”. Did you see what they did there? Jesus, even Morbius would have seen the mechanics of that one way in advance.

What's worse than one John Simm overacting...?

With death at the forefront of the writing, the goal was clearly to give Tennant the biggest send-off they could concoct, even if certain laws of physics, biology and the writer’s bible are blatantly ignored for the sake of exciting spectacle. Having the Doctor jump out of a spaceship in mid-flight through a glass roof, and easily surviving it pushes the credibility line far too much, even in the arena of science-fiction. Jesus, a much smaller fall was enough to kill off Tom Baker at the end of Logopolis, and lets not forget that it was crashing thorough a roof of similar material which left poor old Emu without a hand to stick up his Khyber.

We’re probably walking into a digital bear trap on this one, but to criticise Murray Gold’s music has become a form of blasphemy in certain quarters of the internet, but many of the accusations thrown in his direction are validated here. Whilst trying to make the score both new and exciting, there are times where certain themes are a little out of place, almost as though a conscious pastiche of 1940s adventure movies, without the verve John Williams employed for the Indiana Jones series. We all know that kids respond to archetypes, but there is a certain smugness which wasn’t there during Christopher Eccelston’s tenure, and read further on for how this intersects with the climax to the story.

There is certainly enough to balance out what either annoys or doesn’t work, this time around. For instance, this really is a show which helps to cement the position of the denizens of Gallifrey, including a deeply impressive shot of the Time Lords at the finale of the first part, where only a Thespian of Dalton’s calibre can deliver a block of dialogue with such utter conviction that you ignore the huge wad of spittle he ejects mid-speech. We also get to see plausible evidence that the Time Lords could be an absolute bunch of bastards, living right up to the famous speech make by Colin Baker during his trial. Visually, the production design of Gallifrey and the effects employed to achieve it all are really quite spectacular, even if a one particular area bears an uncanny resemblance to the senate chambers in the Star Wars prequels. Whilst there are those all too quick to “tut” that it jars with what has been seen before, it’s something we all had to swallow ever since Sylvester McCoy sat eating jelly babies in his souped-up version of the TARDIS back in 1996.

They also go out of their way to give credence to the sound of the Master’s tormenting drums, making it part of the storyline. All because of a song which Russell T Davies presumably heard in a club somewhere. Should the show have been made fifteen years earlier, we would have presumably been bombarded with lines of dialogue like: “Don’t you see, Doctor, the evil that dwells within me has no limits” - cue the Earth under attack to the sounds of 2-Unlimited. The rewriting of… sorry, further explanation of the “drums” being a coded signal in the sound of a Time Lords’ heartbeat is actually quite clever, and further makes the rest of Rassilon’s lot to be a bunch of ruthless, amoral bastards to have The Master’s entire existence be to retrospectively preserve their race. You really have to love the use of putting the TARDIS “one second out of synch” to keep it from being discovered. This would have buggered up many stories from the original run had it been thought up then…

There is stuff stuck right between the two extremes of opinion, and as we’re pretty confident that anyone reading which would be more than familiar with the outcome of the story, so it’s probably OK of us to say that the conclusion is a bit of mixed-emotion generator. For all of the irritation through the writing/characterisation/performance of The Master, the right decision was made to have him partially redeem himself at the end through stopping the plans of the Time Lords, echoing the uneasy alliances of stories past. The problem is that it’s all rather similar to tales firmly embedded in the public consciousness, with memories of Saruman and Wormtongue or Vader and Palpatine bring triggered by The Master personally killing Rassilon.

The End of Time was big, bold, flashy and featured an incarnation of The Master which they didn’t know what to do with. That it went from broad laughs to high-level emotion in a manner which would make a Bi-Polar Disorder sufferer take issue with it pretty much encapsulates Tennant’s run on the show, so it can be argued that it was a fitting swansong for the Tenth Doctor. As a story, it has some pretty impressive ideas, as well as some still being itemised by the police, but once Tennant has cut out all of the gags and gets down to channelling emotion, it gives us a tantalising glimpse of how stratospheric he and his tenure could have been. Dalton is tremendous, Simm is Simm and who would have thought that Bernard Cribbins could have brought so many lumps to the throat to a generation raised on The Wombles? We might have some problems with it, but to have the Time Lords feature as prominently as they do and in a story of this scale, it’s pretty impressive

Oh, for fuck's sake - they turned him into Emperor Palpatine...

Video


TERROR OF THE AUTONS: The transfer used here for appears to be the same one that was used when it was first issued on DVD in 2011. Put simply, it looks as good as it possibly can on DVD without the benefit of the original PAL master; the colours and strong, but have a little of the "smearing" effect that is often present with PAL-NTSC conversions. The colours are also remarkably stable (apart from a couple of VERY minor wobbles near the start of episode four) and there is a fair amount of textural detail on faces in close-up.

THE END OF TIME: The two episodes look really rather nice, with bold colours, pleasing black-levels and some degree of sharpness, whilst not being artificially so. If there is one little niggle, it’s that there are some compression problems where banding is noticeable, but apart from this there are no real complaints to be had, and you’ll be getting a decent presentation of these significant episodes.

Audio


TERROR OF THE AUTONS: Nothing to complain about here - it all sounds good to us. The monoaural soundtrack delivers the goods and you can never fail to miss-hear any of Roger Delgado's pithy quips.

THE END OF TIME: The Nu-Who episodes come with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and whilst there was a dip in the quality of the remixes, The End of Time registers at the decent end of the spectrum, with rich, full-bodied soundtracks containing oodles of spot-effects from the rear channels and ball-busting bass. If you haven’t experienced them in 5.1 before, you and damn-well in for a treat.

Extras


Not a bloody thing – like all of the entries in this collection. A mini documentary contextualising The Master and his place in Doctor Who history would have been nice.

Ah, the classic pose of the original and the best Master of them all...

Overall


The Master may have gone through several incarnations and iterations over the years, but the key elements have remained the same (even if RTD came perilously close to royally fucking up the character) and the two stories here provide contrasting portrayals over everyone's favourite sharp-suited Time Lord.

The A/V quality is very good, but it's a pity that an exclusive documentary wasn't included to persuade die-hard fans to part with their money – original content is always something that interests avid Doctor Who enthusiasts. These sets will at least help draw New-Whoers into watching the Classic Series and that's no bad thing in our opinion.


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