The popular Fifth Doctor story gets the Special Edition treatment in this two-disc release which features newly remastered film inserts sourced directly from the camera negatives and an expanded package of extra features.
This story was originally remastered by us in 2003, at which point we replaced the film sequences which account for a large chunk of the running time with new Spirit telecine transfers of the insert prints. For this release we were asked to upgrade these sequences once again, this time going back to the AB-roll camera negatives for optimum quality. The neg rolls were ultrasonically cleaned and scanned at 2K on the DFT Scanity film scanner at Television Centre. The DPX files went to SVS for cleanup and the output to Digital Betacam, then graded back into a clone of the 2003 DVD master Digi by Jonathan Wood. The studio sequences were left as they were in 2003. There is a reasonable improvement over the original remaster, but it's not as obvious as the upgrade from the original transmission version might be. It's not helped by much of the film being rather underexposed on location (in order to avoid over-exposure in ever shifting lighting conditions on the day), so the black detail we might expect to pull out of the negs isn't really there. However, this was always one of the DVDs that suffered most from MPEG noise-pumping issues, which have largely been overcome by much better encoding these days, so the final result on DVD is a significantly more pleasant viewing experience than the original release.
• 4 x 25 mins approx colour episodes with mono audio. .
• Commentary with actors Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse, director Peter Moffatt.
• Film Trims (dur. 5' 32") - including extended / deleted scenes.
• Directing Who - Peter Moffatt (dur. 26' 13") - a featurette about the work of the director of this and several other Doctor Who stories.
• Writing a Final Visitation (dur. 12' 50") - an interview with the story's writer, Eric Saward.
• Scoring The Visitation (dur 16' 19") - Mark Ayres interviews composer Paddy Kingsland about his music for the story.
• Isolated Music – option to view the story with the isolated music score.
• Grim Tales (dur. 45’ 09” ) – cast
members Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton are taken on a trip back
to the filming locations used in the story by fellow TARDIS travelling companion
Mark Strickson. A slice of a very impressive cake awaits them at the manor house
in return for their memories of the time…
• The Television Centre of the Universe – Part One (dur. 32’ 12”) – Blue Peter presenter Yvette Fielding takes Peter Davison, Mark Strickson and Janet Fielding on a trip through BBC Television Centre, meeting up with old friends and colleagues as they reminisce on their time spent working in the iconic building. With film traffic supervisor Neville Withers, assistant floor manager Sue Hedden, costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux, production assistant Jane Ashford, make-up artists Joan Stribling and Carolyn Perry, BBC producer and writer Richard Marson.
• Doctor Forever – The Apocalypse Element (dur. 27’ 29”) – the latest instalment of our new series looks at the work of those who kept Doctor Who alive in the form of audio adventures following the TV’s show’s cancellation in 1989. With actors Colin Baker , William Russell and Lisa Bowerman, new series executive producer Russell T Davies, Big Finish executive producers Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs and Gary Russell, Big Finish producer David Richardson, BBC range editor Steve Cole, writers Mark Gatiss, Robert Shearman, Paul Cornell, Joseph Lidster and Justin Richards, AudioGO commissioning editor Michael Stevens. Introduced by Ayesha Antoine.
• Plus of course the usual PDF materials (including the BBC Enterprises Sales Sheet), Coming Soon trailer, Programme Subtitles, Subtitle Production Notes and Photo Gallery.
Copyright Steve Roberts, 4 July 2013. No reproduction allowed without written permission.