Doctor Who: Revisitations 3

The Doctor Who Restoration Team hops aboard its time machine to revisit three more classic tales

It’s a good time to be a fan of classic Doctor Who right now. Not only did we have the news about the rediscovery of two missing episodes at the end of last year, but the DVD range is also getting closer to the end, with fewer than 15 complete serials still awaiting release at the time of writing.

In the meantime, this latest boxset finds the Doctor Who Restoration Team revisiting three previously released titles, upgraded with improved transfers and brand-new extras. And unlike its predecessor, Revisitations 3 serves up a trio of bona fide classics – The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Three Doctors and The Robots of Death.

Picture: The Tomb of the Cybermen is the most obvious beneficiary of the improved image quality, simply for the fact that the four episodes have been treated to the VidFIRE (Video Field Interpolation Restoration Effect) technology that was developed after the original DVD release. This technique restores an original video look to material shot on TV cameras, but which now only survives on off-air film recordings. Further restoration has also been done fixing some of the damage that appeared in the source material and was present on the earlier DVD.

The Three Doctors and The Robots of Death are less noticeably improved in a visual sense, but both remasters look impeccable for TV material of their vintage. The former does have one interesting anomaly though: a black artefact that obscures Katy Manning and another actor's face during one scene – however this appears to be an authentic transmission problem stemming from the use of CSO (Colour Separation Overlay) in the scene rather than a technical glitch with the DVD itself. See the image below for a look at it in action.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: All three stories feature digitally remastered mono audio and sound perfectly fine giving the source material. There are no technical issues to be found (at least none that didn’t exist in the original recording) and while not exactly electrifying, they are at least wholly authentic.
Audio rating: 3/5

Extras: Unsurprisingly this five-disc set is absolutely overflowing with goodies. Each serial gets a commentary (two in the case of Tomb…), plus the usual excellent retrospective Making of… documentaries. Also included are a variety of ancillary featurettes (including a look at the female companions in the ‘70s, the VidFIRE process and the portrayal of robots throughout the classic series).

On top of this you can also add the usual roster of photo galleries, archival interviews and TV clips, continuity announcements, extensive PDF content  and even a Doctor Who-themed TV ad for Walls’ Sky Ray lollies!
Extras rating: 5/5

We say: A must-own boxset for any fan of this classic BBC sci-fi show, and a textbook example of how archival TV series should be treated on DVD.

2entertain Ltd., R2 DVD, £35 Approx, On sale now