Monday, 8 November 2010

DVD & Blu-ray Round Up: Doctor Who - The Complete Fifth Series

Finally, five months after the series finale aired, the BBC have released a box-set of the complete Doctor Who Series 5. And wouldn't you know, you wait five months and suddenly 4 box-sets come along at once. Take your pick from the rather spiffy lenticular 3D cover to the left, available on DVD or Blu-ray, or the executive-looking Special Edition steelbook complete with collector's booklet, 4 illustrated artcards, and a host of the usual commentaries and extras, again on DVD or Blu-ray.

I've already touched on this Doctor Who series a few times on the round up, and made no secret of the fact that I loved it. Matt Smith stepped in to David Tennant's shoes and looked a natural right from the start, and the addition of the beautiful and brilliant Karen Gillan hasn't done the show any harm whatsoever.

All in all series 5 was a great success, from the charming opening to The Eleventh Hour, through the spooky Vampires of Venice, the petrifying Time of Angels to the quirkier episodes like Vincent and the Doctor, and the good old fashioned two parter of The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood, everything seemed to more or less click in to place.

A lot depends on the big finale to these series' though, and despite the obvious emotion on display for Tennant's big farewell, I felt that they dropped the ball slightly at the end of series 4. This time around was much better though; an epic love story between Amy Pond and Rory 'the boy who waited', pitched against the traditional threats of the end of the world/universe and potential demise of the Doctor. Of course it's all tied up nicely, disaster is averted, and the world is set back on the right track. Until the christmas special at least.

Elswhere, and on the other end of the scale, ITV have wasted no time releasing the first series of Downton Abbey. The Sunday evening period drama has been quite a success for ITV, and keen to strike while the iron is hot, they've got the DVD out just hours after the closing credits ran on the final episode last night.

Away from the TV releases though, the big film release seems to be Jim Carrey's A Christmas Carol, in which he plays Scrooge as well as the three ghosts, it's a surprisingly faithful adaptation, and should please both the fun-seeking kids and those old stick-in-the-mud Dickens purists. Some feat.

On Blu-ray there are, as always, some classics trickling out from the studios. They clearly have Christmas in mind too with releases like The Sound of Music 45th Anniversary Edition from 20th Century Fox, and Fantasia from Disney.

And did someone say Christmas? Ricky Tomlinson - Football My Arse.

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