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Doctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season Three (1976 - 1977) - Blu-ray Review

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Doctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season Three

Eight discs, six stories, and 650 minutes of classic science fiction.  That’s what fans get with the BBC’s latest Doctor Who release which features the fourteenth season of classic Doctor Who, constituting the third trip around the sun for Tom Baker in the titular role as everyone’s favorite human-loving Time Lord.  It is the fourth and probably the most famous incarnation of the beloved character and now, thanks to the BBC, all twenty-six episodes have been remastered and, as is the case for The Talons of Weng-Chiang, brand-new special effects.

"This release is CLASSIC Doctor Who and it shows with its timeless, science fiction quality"


 

As I stated previously in my other reviews of Doctor Who, while I have fond feelings for the other actors (and actress) and their portrayals of the character, Tom Baker is MY Doctor.  His stories and his portrayal of this curious alien gave me every reason to stop channel surfing when I was a kid with a plate of mac and cheese in front of me.  In the years since his portrayal, I am able to understand that what he brought to the role of Doctor Who gave the character a relatability that continues to propel the role forward as the rebooted show continues with Jodie Whittaker.  

With producer Philip Hinchcliffe as the show’s guardian and Robert Holmes as script editor, this arc of Who - with Baker being both subtle and whip smart in how he related to Sarah (Elisabeth Sladen) - gives us a lot of offbeat humor and gothic horror with stories like The Masque of Mandragora, The Deadly Assassin’s wildly twisting wilderness, and a possessed Sarah Jane in Hand of Fear.  Doctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season Three

And, with the six serials offered on these discs, we can see Baker cruise to an all time high as the creativity and the ratings of this classic show were perfectly in sync to create some unforgettable adventures and one of the saddest goodbyes in the Doctor Who universe as Elisabeth Sladen parts with her role as Sarah, one of Doctor Who’s most beloved companions. This release is CLASSIC Doctor Who and it shows with its timeless, science fiction quality.

The remastered stories featured on the set are The Masque of Mandragora (four episodes), The Hand of Fear (four episodes), The Deadly Assassin (four episodes), The Face of Evil (four episodes), The Robots of Death (four episodes), and The Talons of Weng-Chiang (six episodes).

BBC continues to offer fans of Doctor Who a reason to upgrade their library with the release of Doctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season Three!

5/5 beers

Doctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season Three

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: BBC
Available on Blu-ray
- August 4, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; eight-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

In 1976, Doctor Who took a dramatic new turn, electrifying audiences with changes in format, companion and appearance of the TARDIS. Season 14 saw the departure of the Doctor’s long-term companion Sarah Jane Smith, and the introduction of Leela. The season contains some of Tom Baker’s most iconic serials, with intrepid investigations in Victorian London, deadly robots in a murderous whodunit, a return to the Doctor’s home-world, and one of the saddest goodbyes in Doctor Who history.  Producer Phillip Hinchliffe led Doctor Who through a creative high, joined by Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, Louise Jameson as the Doctor’s captivating new companion Leela and guest stars Tim Pigott-Smith, Stephen Thorne, Peter Pratt, Pamela Salem, David Collings, Christopher Benjamin and Trevor BaxterDoctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season Three is now available to own on Blu-ray.

Video:

With an upgrade in sound and in vision, this television show, presented here in its third season with Tom Baker at the controls of the TARDIS, looks almost new again.  It sure beats the previous DVD releases as clarity has been pushed forward, shadows deepened, and lines/edges much more defined as the transfers - all in 1.33:1 - have been upconverted to 1080i.  Colors, too, are more pronounced – especially the greens and reds which used to be bleached out – and the special effects get a bit more polish to some of the details.  Fans can even chose to watch the series with enhanced special effects with this remastered and restored special edition release of Tom Baker’s third year as Doctor Who.

Audio:

While most of the sound is offered via a strong DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono, The Deadly Assassin gets the choice of a robust DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Tom Baker and Matthew Sweet on selected episodes of The Face of Evil and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

Special Features:

This set is loaded with hours of information that Doctor Who fans are going to dig.

  • Behind the Sofa – New episodes with Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Philip Hinchcliffe, plus companions Sophie Aldred and Peter Purves.
  • Our Sarah Jane – Elisabeth Sladen Tribute – A feature-length look at the life and career of Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladen.
  • Whose Doctor Who Revisited – Toby Hadoke meets the producers and grown-up stars of the very first Who Documentary.
  • In Conversation – Matthew Sweet chats to producer Philip Hinchcliffe.
  • Blu-Ray trailer – Louise Jameson has trouble with her new home assistant.
  • Brand new interviews
  • Rare archive material
  • Convention footage
  • HD photo galleries
  • Scripts, costume designs, rare BBC production files and other gems from our PDF archive

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4.5/5 stars

Doctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season Three

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