Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 5
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2014
Run Time: 602 minutes
The world of “Doctor Who” has many rules and technicalities to the storyline, no doubt adjusted to continue the franchise from generation to generation. Among these are the specifics behind the doctor’s changing appearance through the years since his arrival in pop culture in 1963. Apparently there are a certain amount of incarnations of the same doctor over the years, which explains the change in actors playing him. The episode, “The Time of the Doctor,” marked the departure of Matt Smith and the introduction of Peter Capaldi for the eighth season. Unfortunately, “The Time of the Doctor” hasn’t been included in this collection, despite past seasons making a habit of including the traditional Christmas special.
There are other traditions forsaken in this season, as well as rules bent or broken. Despite the departure of Smith, Jenna Coleman remains as Clara. This has been an area of contention for some fans, because there is clear lack of chemistry between Coleman and Capaldi. Part of this simply comes from the shift back to an older Doctor after the last four seasons of Smith’s youthful energy. Others will find this change refreshing, throwing back to the darker seasons of David Tennant over the more childish elements from Smith’s seasons. I suppose it is all a matter of preference, but “Doctor Who” fans are still likely to watch it. If nothing else, it gives them something to complain about.
As upsetting as it may be for some to accept that they must buy the Christmas special (and transition to new Doctor) separately, season eight comes with plenty of additional extras to soften the blow. What are included are the twelve season eight episodes on five discs, along with a ten-minute behind-the-scenes featurette for each, and a commentary tracks on four of the episodes. Additional extras include “The Ultimate Time Lord” and “The Ultimate Companion,” two TV specials hosted by Peter Davison about the two most important characters of the series in anticipation of the new Doctor. They promoted this change in the cast greatly, as seen by the featurette “Earth Conquest,” showing the 7 city tour over the course of twelve days. Additional media coverage is included, such as footage shot for pre-show and post-show coverage by Chris Hardwick, and a post-premiere Q&A in
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 8/10
Special Features: 9/10