Following from Doctor Who #37: The Tomb of the Cybermen...
As usual, these are all wonderful DVD packages that include an audio commentary by surviving cast and crew, dense production note subtitles, brand new making of documentaries and photo galleries.
Doctor Who #45: The Mind Robber (David Maloney, 1968)
Starring the 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. A very different Doctor Who story, it takes place in the Land of Imagination where characters from fiction all share a common space. It's got some wonderfully surreal elements, and Gulliver speaking words only found in his book, but some will find it rather silly, especially the German comic book character (prefiguring the painted-on muscles of modern superhero films). DVD extras include a pretty funny Basil Brush sketch starring a Yeti from Doctor Who and a look at Frazer Hines' career (from Jamie to I guess that farm soap).
Doctor Who #46: The Invasion (Douglas Camfield, 1968)
Starring the 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. What's wonderful about The Invasion isn't the anachronistic appearance of the Cybermen in modern day London, but rather that the 2 missing episodes have been rendered in animation. These look great, and make me hopeful that other missing stories will one day get the same treatment. The story itself introduces UNIT and is a template for the 3rd Doctor's early adventures and works mostly thanks to the villains of the piece. No, not the robotic zombies. I mean the Vaughn/Packer double act. DVD extras include a feature on the biggest geeks in Who fandom - the guys who would record the shows on audio before the days of VCRs. Man, I think I was a bit like that myself.
Doctor Who #48: The Seeds of Death (Michael Ferguson, 1969)
Starring the 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. Until they animate the missing episodes of The Ice Warriors, this will have to be our introduction to the Martians on DVD. An enjoyable enough introduction to T Mat (the Whoniverse's version of transporter technology) with sibilant Ice Warriors and a big foam machine as the antagonists. And that Miss Kelly is rather hot, isn't she? Still not the best in the series, plodding along for too many episodes. And the foam of course. DVD extras on this release include clips from lost shows now all found on Lost in Time, so it's become a bit of a disappointment in that regard.
Doctor Who #51: Spearhead from Space (Derek Martinus, 1970)
Starring the 3rd Doctor, Liz and UNIT. The first 3rd Doctor story, all on film (no video) because of some labour strike at the BBC (business as usual, apparently), not only introducing Jon Pertwee in the role, but new companion Liz Shaw, the new color format, the Doctor's car Bessie (since he will now be trapped on Earth), and the Autons, animated mannequins that mean us no good. Spearhead is very enjoyable, though it suffers from bad sound (the strike again, no doubt) and Pertwee sometimes indulging his comedy background, pulling some silly faces and such. Liz is a smart companion with plenty of attitude and the Autons are some of the best "zombies" seen on the show. DVD extras are more sparse than usual (this was an early release), but still include a UNIT recruitment film which is a hoot.
Doctor Who #54: Inferno (Douglas Camfield, 1970)
Starring the 3rd Doctor, Liz and UNIT. Inferno is Doctor Who's answer to Mirror, Mirror, and alternate universe where the good guys are bad, the Brigadier wears an eyepatch, and Liz is a fascist vixen. Please don't mind the plot about toxic waste at the Earth's core turning people into green werewolves, but do stick around for the cool "evil versions" and nice stuntwork which marked this era of the show. Sadly, it's a goodbye to Liz, who was too smart for her own good - she doesn't even get a farewell scene. Ah well. The DVD goes into detail as to the whys, and also includes features on UNIT, a visual effects promo film and a rare deleted scene. Sadly, the famous story about Nicholas Courtney turning around and seeing everyone with an eyepatch does not come with relevant footage.
But what did YOU think? Next: Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos to Robot.