Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series review

Ignore the naysayers, this new Who is every bit as good as it ever was

Last year saw the BBC's popular Saturday evening sci-fi series undergo another period of transition, introducing a new actor in the lead role. Unsurprisingly, Peter Capaldi's spiky portrayal of The Doctor upset some fans, but it was clearly a calculated move on the part of showrunner Steven Moffat, shaking up the status quo to keep the series feeling fresh and unpredictable.

The result is a collection of 12 episodes that finds Doctor Who confidently testing the limits of what it is capable of in its latest incarnation. Yes, there are a few missteps along the way (Peter Harness' bafflingly stupid Kill the Moon and Frank Cottrell Boyce's forgettable In the Forest of the Night), but the highs (Moffat's provocative Listen and newcomer Jamie Mathieson's sensational double-header of Mummy on the Orient Express and Flatline) more than make up for these occasional lapses in quality.

Picture: Each episode is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC 1.78:1 1080i50 encode – and, befitting a show with so many cinematic aspirations (including the hiring of accomplished filmmakers Ben Wheatley and Rachel Talalay to helm a couple of episodes each), the results are absolutely wonderful.

While the stories may get a little darker in tone this year, the imagery remains as richly coloured and punchy as you could hope for. Edges are sharp and black levels are uniformly deep. The only minor imperfections stem from budgetary issues concerning the show's VFX.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: These DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes do a fine job of supporting the stylish visuals. Directional effects are convincing and extend naturally into the surround speakers, while dialogue is clean and prioritised. And, although not reaching Jurassic Park levels, the LFE channel is regularly engaged and has plenty of impact. Really rather impressive.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: Enjoyable bonus bits include commentaries on four episodes, two 45-minute TV specials (The Ultimate Time Lord and The Ultimate Companion) hosted by Peter Davison, 12 behind-the-scenes featurettes and a 45-minute 'World Tour' video that focuses primarily on fans around the globe and their Who-related creative endeavours.
Extras rating: 3.5/5

We say: Quality extras and excellent AV make this latest incarnation a sci-fi stunner on Blu-ray

Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series, BBC Worldwide, All-region BD, £50 Approx