Part two focuses on the technical aspects of this classic collection…
Video and Audio
As with the later seasons presented on Blu Ray so far, the picture quality is about as good as can be expected considering the source material. The picture improvements here are perhaps more subtle when looking at the DVDs, but the audio presentation is typically impressive as Mark Ayres has provided new 5.1 surround sound mixes for all fourteen episodes on this release, both broadcast and extended.
Season 24 maintains the established packaging as a stylised fold-out book with a compartment for the booklet and a stack of disc trays. The exterior artwork by Lee Binding is colourful and features the now well-established collage of monsters alongside the Doctor as he appeared in the season. We also get another insightful booklet with retrospective writing by Pete McTighe.
The Special Features
Season 24 is full to the brim with extras, and impressively so. For starters as mentioned before every episode from this season is presented in either its broadcast form or as an extended version, incorporating scenes and sequences that were excised due to time constraints amongst other aspects.
The result is that some stories and their wines here are allowed to breathe more, especially with Time and the Rani and Delta and the Bannermen, and I’m glad to see they were included here.
These discs are host to a selection of already impressive legacy extras including documentaries, commentaries and television snippets. On top of this, Delta and the Bannermen gets a new making-of, we get another round of Behind the Sofa segments, which are both insightful and rather tongue-in-cheek thanks to the Who veterans sharing the screen.
This time we get three groups: Bonnie Langford, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, Sarah Sutton, Peter Davison and Janet Fielding and finally Colin Baker and Michael Jayston. The latter pair especially had a lot of praise for the season and shared some great back and forth.
A new In Conversation feature is also included here from Matthew Sweet, this time featuring Sylvester McCoy, who is full of charm but also a frank earnest nature about his time on Who and storied career. There’s also a new edition of The Doctor’s Table featuring McCoy alongside Sophie Aldred, Bonnie Langford and Clive Merrison which is lots of fun.
The definite highlight for me though is the new feature-length documentary Here’s to the Future, which covers the troubled production of Season 24 and how those involved with the production gradually started to mould the series into what it would become in Season’s 25 & 26.
Looking ahead we currently don’t have another release confirmed for The Collection range, but speculation currently lies around another Tom Baker Season, possibly from the Graham Williams era, being next. If so I’d hazard a guess at season 15 of 16, but would happily take a Black & White season like 2 or even another 80s season like 20 or 22.
3.5/5 – Season 24, despite what its reputation suggests, is a breath of fresh air and full of energy, though is also tonally uneven and flawed in places. The highlights throughout come from the new set of writers and their ideas, and not being afraid to try something different, even if it didn’t always work.
Look back at Part One of the review for more detail on the stories included.
By HW Reynolds
Images provided by BBC