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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

DOCTOR WHO The Movie Special Edition
DVD review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:  86 minutes, two audio commentaries, making-of documentary, various fetaurettes, alternate takes, VFX tests, BBC trailers, PDF material
VIDEO:   1.33:1 (Full Frame)
AUDIO:   English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles:  English

STUDIO:   BBC/ 2|entertain/ BBC Worldwide/ Universal/ Warner Home Video
RELEASE DATE:   2-8-2011

The DOCTOR WHO 1996 TV movie gets a bad name for too many reasons.  it has it's faults, but sometimes the movie does get it right.   The TV movie which was a co-Production between Universal Pictures, FOX TV, and BBC Worldwide was a struggle of getting new DOCTOR WHO on the air after seven years of fighting with the BBC who didn't care about the show they cancelled back in 1989 and various scripts with too many people mixing the pot.   The British way of creating TV is more driven by the creator where sometimes you get mixed or terrible results when Hollywood gets it's hands on a foreign property.    Paul MCGann does a brilliant job in his only appearance as the Eighth Doctor while Eric Roberts overacts as The Master (one of the many archenemies of the Doctor).   I wish they could bring back McGann for an episode of the new series.

The TV movie wasn't a success and it made the show to become quiet for a few years more until the BBC brought it back to continued success.   The TV movie was ahead of it's time as it foreshadowed some of the elements that would become commonplace in the new series.   the Doctor become more romantically involved with people in the new show where just a couple of kisses in the 1996 TV movies caused a stir among a few fans.

The TV movie enjoyed release elsewhere for several years on VHS and DVD due to the mix of rights involved in the USA.   All the right issues with Universal finally were sorted out which finally resulted in the TV movie seeing it's overdue release on DVD in North America.

Disc 1-
Two audio commentaries:
commentary 1 by director Geoffrey Sax
commentary 2 by actors Paul McGann (Doctor 8) and Sylvester McCoy (Doctor 7) as moderated by Nicholas Briggs

THE SEVEN YEAR HITCH-  a documentary about the problems that caused the TV movie to take so long to get made.
THE DOCTOR'S STRANGE LOVE-  fans talk about where the TV movie gone wrong, what it got right, and how it shares some stuff with the new series

5 minutes behind-the-scenes featurette along with the original Electronic Press Kit from 1996.   Producer David Segal gives a tour of one of the coolest TARDIS sets ever.   Also on the disc is the original Paul McGann screen test that features scenes from an earlier script for the TV movie which features some things about The Master that were thankfully cut from the final script.   Two VFX tests are nice to look at.
WHO'S PETER 1989-2009-  the second part of a series where the TV series Blue Peter helped keep Doctor Who alive as Blue Peter is a show about fandom in a way.
THE WILDERNESS YEARS- a focus on all the various material that kept DOCTOR WHO alive between 1989 and 1996 through books, magazines, CDs, and video.   the same stuff kept it alive after the TV movie until the new show in 2005.
STRIPPED FOR ACTION: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR-  a focus on the various comic strips that featured Doctor number 8 that ran through DOCTOR WHO Magazine and to a smaller extent RADIO TIMES.
TOMORROW'S TIMES- THE EIGHTH DOCTOR-  all about the press coverage

FINAL ANALYSIS:   The 1996 DOCTOR WHO TV movie gets a bad rap undeservedly, and it is a good piece of the DOCTOR WHO cannon to watch again to witness some of the things that would become commonplace in the new series.   The great wealth of extras including the fascinating making-of documentary make this one of the best DVD releases in the DOCTOR WHO series.

this DVD review is (c)2-28-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com