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"Classic Who Blurays" Topic

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The H Man Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2018 4:10 a.m. PST

Just found out about these. Being done as season blue ray boxes. Thoughts?

Odd, I thought, doing BR now with 4k here and 8-16k just around the corner. But maybe that's the point.

Looks like an upscale (dah) with all the dvd extras and only a few more. Still about the same number of discs. Putting a SD season on one disc may have been better.

Still trying to get my head around it all.

Dynaman878921 Oct 2018 4:33 a.m. PST

Unless they put some good money into the first couple seasons putting them on bluray is overkill.

I've stopped buying physical videos of any kind. Video on demand is what I use now. There are a few that have been encoded poorly (Star Trek 2009) but most are very good.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2018 9:50 a.m. PST

I am a huge fan of the 1964-1980 Who era, but the William Hartnell episodes are not complete. There was a fire, in the early 1970's(?) which destroyed several episodes from the first few years of the show. I would love to be able to watch the early seasons, in sequence, though. Don't need to be BlueRay, but I'll take what I can get.

Are they released already? If not, do you have a date? Have a seller? Cheers!

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

Streaming and such is ok, until they stop paying for the show and, thus, stop having it available. And special features?

All classic Doctor Who is available on DVD. Less the remaining lost/not yet reconstructed eps. Maybe be 1 ep has not? Or was that Galexy 4,which is???

Spearhead from space and the 8th movie are on Blu-ray also as they were both shot on film. I think it was 16 and 34mm respectively??

I'm not sure about a fire, but the BBC did wipe loads of the first 3 doctors eps in the 70s, as tape was expensive and replays rare. Luckily shows were converted to 16mm film for foreign distribution to countries that did not have tape equipment. Luckily again many were not returned to the BBC, where they would have been tossed out. Again we have Lady luck on our side with collectors scabbing the film from the bins! All a long story short, but now most of the missing shows exist. That and us Aussies, and others, recording the sound from tv, making some of the only sound tracks available. Not to mention 8mm clips.

I did wonder if the power of the Daleks wasent a test for recreating more lost stories. (Watched the annoying CGI recreation, only then to find the VHS reconstruction in special features, doh!) Looks like it may have been a trial to see if people would buy an entire CGI story, meaning they can now release the complete show in HD (for cg and film at least properly, upscale for SD) and, dum da da dum, colour!!?? As power was released in colour, will the early shows be colourised?? I suspect, as an option, yes. But who really knows (pun intended).

As for this Tom Baker release. Anyone have it to put up a few words about? It looks to have the modern logo on the box, grr. BBC still desperate to try to convince people they are the same show, sad. Also it seems no cheaper than buying the DVDs. They are calling it limited edition. I doubt that. Yes, this release maybe, but if it sells well, they will more than likely rerelease it. With another 20ish seasons to go, I doubt they will be trying not to reach the full market and make the most money.

I never heard of any real call or expectation for these releases, although I did expect CGI and colourised early eps. I just wonder how many people will want to upgrade from the DVDs.

What do you think of all this?

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2018 12:06 p.m. PST


I think I was on to something. This mentions limited edition packaging. Thank goodness. Classic packaging may be on the way???

I also suspect this release to have annoying casing with card cover. Hopefully a future release will be standard plastic case.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2018 10:40 p.m. PST

Feel a twit adding to my own post so much. Anyway…

Just figured out why they are doing 4th and 5th first season blyrays and skipping the first 3 doctors. 1 and 2 were shot in lower resolution black and white (b&w itself not being the problem) and all (from memory) b&w and several 3rd doctor stories were wiped with only 16mm tele-whatsit versions existing. So 16mm film of low res tv= poor quality. They had enough issues getting them cleaned up, straightened out and colourised (3rds) for the DVDs, let alone trying to upscale grainy/merky (ie lovely) pictures. Sound was also poor (in comparison to later who's) as so much of what exists for the first two doctors is fan recorded off the tv with old style tape recorders.

Anyway, I hope this may clear up why they have not released the first 3 docs first seasons on Blu-ray…Yet. Assuming I got it right.

I also assume they will pace the season 1 releases so the new tat will have its first season fall in behind the rest, weather or not they rerelease the new stuff again on bluray to match is yet to be seen, but who cares about that.

Dynaman878922 Oct 2018 2:58 a.m. PST

When I buy a streaming title I expect it to last as long as Physical copies. Renting is another matter. Sure a site can lose rights to a title but then I expect a refund if I BOUGHT the title.

If the Tom Baker episode you are referring to is Shada – that was a serial that was not finished due to a strike or something and they used the CGI to finish it. It was a lackluster episode in my opinion.

There have been Animated sequences added to a couple of the second Doctor's shows to complete them and the animation is in black and white so I don't think they will try to colorize them.

King Monkey22 Oct 2018 4:13 a.m. PST

The bluray releases are just another way for the BBC to make money out of the fans.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2018 6:25 p.m. PST

As discs could last for, perhaps, hundreds of years, they will out last any licence deal.
Unless a licenced product is physical, like a toy or disc, once a licence has elapsed the item cannot be sold by the lecencee, and thus the product disappears. Tv is another example, if the station does not pay for the show, they can't show it. I doubt there are many licencing deals for perpetuity. If a company had to pay back every customers purchase when they go bust or lose a licence, they are in for a rocky road ahead, that's for sure. Im sure I have over simplified things, but there you go.

No. Shada I did think of after writing the above, as it's the third classic Blu-ray release. However, that have recently released the first season of the 4th doctor and next the 5th doctor as Blu-ray box sets.

I agree it seems to be a money grab, as HD seems old hat with 4k out and 8k on the way. SD DVD will out last them all no doubt.

One thing I forgot to mention was that the actors who played the first three doctors have died (and I am talking about the main actors from the original runs, not the movies, stand ins or 5 doctors or new tat). While I doubt their passing would have stopped the release of their first seasons to Blu-ray (my reasoning for their absence is further up), it may suggest why that are doing this now. Tom Baker, for one, is not getting any younger, so I suspect wanting to have current interviews with remaining doctors may have been part of the push for these releases. Just a thought.

Dynaman878923 Oct 2018 2:37 a.m. PST

> As discs could last for, perhaps, hundreds of years, they will out last any licence deal.

Could, but never have at my house. Lost, ruined by family leaving them out of container, etc. So the reality is the streaming lasts just as long in my reality. Plus I had a number of things on VHS, then DVD, then Blu-ray…

Final bit is I'm out of room storing discs and looking to downsize. Even worse with my miniatures and boardgame collection since that can't be digitized. Not sure what I will do with that.

So to each their own at this point.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2018 4:55 a.m. PST

Yes, storage space is the big problem. VHS being the worst.

PaddySinclair23 Oct 2018 10:34 a.m. PST

The H Man wrote:

One thing I forgot to mention was that the actors who played the first three doctors have died (and I am talking about the main actors from the original runs, not the movies, stand ins or 5 doctors or new tat).

With the exception of David Bradley who played the First Dr in the 2017 Christmas special they're all dead as well now…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2018 3:53 p.m. PST

As someone familiar with the Doctor (thanks to a college friend who was an avid fan during the Tom Baker days), but having never seen a full episode (except for the 90s movie for American TV), I would love to find DVDs or Blu-Rays of the early doctors. But my searches have brought up a confusing array of "themed" collection sets and documentaries, or references to the modern series (apparently ignoring those which went before). Any advice on how and where to start getting the original series?
I'm aware of a streaming service called "Britbox," but I don't do streaming and would prefer DVDs.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2018 5:34 p.m. PST

Although all existing (except 1 ep???) Classic Who has been released on dvd, I have noticed some appear tio be discontinued, at least in region 4. Uk seems available, and good for region 2 and 4. Region 1 I am not sure of availability, although they have all been released in the US.

The box sets of classics can cause confusion, but are often the only way to but the stories within.

This Wikipedia worked for me in my early days of collecting. See under releases for a good list. It also says what is in what boxed set and the different regions.

If your really keen, pick up a copy of the classic doctor who dvd compendium. It's the go to book on the dvds, although there were a few released after it was printed. It has all the info you need.

These blyrays may be cheaper and easier to get, depending where you buy.

If your not going to start with the first doc (and why wouldn't you??), I would recommend the third, for many reasons (first in colour, first season on earth, adult professional companions, beat cliff hanger face, so on).

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 5:30 p.m. PST

Just thinking.

The New blyrays have upscaled studio and hd remastered exterior film.

Wow…Hd model shots, as they were film. I hate Hd, but am loving that.

Anyway. Does anyone know? Are these film remasterings done when they did the dvds, so most likely Hd at the time, then down scaled for the DVDs.

Or are they new remasterings, thus most likely 4-8k, down scaled for the blyrays.

If the latter, then a future 4-8k release would be likely.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

Thanks for the advice, H Man!

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2018 6:04 p.m. PST

New Who news!

Season 18 looks slated for end of Feb. Tom Baker's final. An odd choice, except for season 19 already being released.

That would make the release schedule about 1 every 3 months. So the best part of a decade to do them at this point.

I think they are really playing it safe with releasing the more popular seasons/doctors that are complete.

It will be interesting to see if they do the 3rd (his final 2 seasons only seem to have 1 ep each that needed fixing, with chromadot recovery applied) or 5th final season next. Or another??

It is sounding like most of these Blu-ray are just upscaling, even many location shots, as not all the film exists.

I am not happy with the choice of modern logo and design. Putting me off. Not sure what they are thinking, other than trying to trick people into buying it. Generic classic logo, please.

I also suspect the new special features will be soiled with mention of the latest abomination. As if all the modern stuff on the classic DVDs were not enough. Of course, I could be wrong on this, but once bitten.

My main issue is, with 4k discs out, 8k TVs on sale and broadcasting in Japan ready for the Olympics and a fancy 16k screen unveiled, why did they bother with HD? If it's mostly just up scaled, better to do it for 4k at least, or HD 4k combo packs. With all the restoration work, even 16k upscaling sounds easy.

Also I still wonder what form the existing film scans take. HD or 4-8k? If the latter, later releases on newer discs is almost assured.

At this point, I suspect they may be doing major work on the first two doctors. I suspect colour (as an option, please) and major picture work and upscaling. Time will tell.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2018 4:43 p.m. PST


I picked up the sontaron experiment Blu-ray that was going cheap, as the seller had obtained the replacement disc that had a few technical issues fixed.

Yay. So I have had a quick look at it.

The main thing that bugs me about the classic DVDs is the looooong time it takes to get to the menu when you first put the disc in the machine.

I had mind of evil to hand. This has all the hurdles including audio navigation option. All up 1.08 mins. The blue ray took 1 min. Conclusion, better, but still not great, as some other DVDs have less options so should be as fast or faster.

Speaking of time to the menu.

The Blu-ray starts with a pick of cgi? Console room with words over top and Tom Baker speaking the disc title. Next it's some BBC blurb written on a black screen. Then a new? BBC animated logo with pins (I am not a fan, the older coloured ones looked better to me). Then (cue death march music) the current modern new animated logo, groan. This is followed by the cgi room again with Mr Baker voicing the audio navigation option. Sounds funny, but I miss that lady's voice, as much as I may like to strangle her (come on, how many times have I had the same dialogue, every time I watch an episode. Now the poor doctors will cop some ill will).

This brings us to the menu, which pops up quickly after the other guff, with no prior animation. It is of the cgi console room, moving around it. Across the top of screen is the modern (hack, spit) logo. Across the bottom is the options, with the purple Tom Baker face from the cover art at bottom left of the menu options. When you click on an option it just appears sitting above the menu options and you select from there. There are no other menu screens.

I'm still in my analogue days, so have not much idea if the show looks better, buy will try to get around to comparing to to the DVD, maybe on a friend's HD set.

I am also yet to check the new special features.

I hope this is of help to people considering if they should buy the Blu-ray.

joedog25 Dec 2018 10:13 a.m. PST

Not the BluRays, but did pick up the Capaldi set on DVD (as it was less expensive than picking up the last season and holiday special. which I didn;t already have). My primary DVD player won't recognize it, but the small one I bought to sometimes take to my classroom plays it fine.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2018 3:34 p.m. PST


Region 1?

I suspect the disc region is not the same as the first player you tried, and your smaller player is region free (will play all regions, often called region 0).

Check the disc box and back of players for region codes.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2019 4:56 p.m. PST

Still baffled by the new Blu-ray releases.

Sounds like new 8k tvs can do decent ai upscaling from Sd, HD, 4k. Why on earth they are not going 4k??? Unless, of course, it's a quick cash grab before they do.

I much prefer the DVD menus over the Blu-ray cgi, not to mention (as I have) the packaging and disc printing. Such a slap in the face to the classic series.

I also wonder about the new upscaled 16mm. I would think sd film would look clearer than HD of 4k. As you have a pixel of film colour, as opposed to film colour and grain, dirt. If you know what I mean. Thus sd should look nicer when upscaled than HD,4k as it's not upscaling the grain or dust and defects apparent on a better quality scan. If so, sd would look nicer than HD when upscaled to 4-8k. Unless I'm wrong??

Also, I assume we are not seeing later doctors, at least 7th, probably 6 also, as they were all video in origin. Thus must be all upscaled with no film elements. Again, unless I'm wrong. The movie was of course film, however the current Blu-ray is upscaled video, I believe.

joedog12 Jan 2019 7:53 p.m. PST

The H Man

Region one disc and player.

The player is from around the 2000 time frame, and does this with some newer DVDs.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 4:53 a.m. PST

I have heard of this happening.

I would think a software update, if possible, may solve it.

Otherwise, you could unlock the region on the player. This will make it region free (actually, it will be all regions). It may, or may not help.

I am sure there will be a trick to get it playing.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 5:17 p.m. PST

In addition to my ramblings above.

The BBC picking the fourth and fifth doctors to spearhead the classic Blu-rays could also be because they may be the next to leave us and it may be a last chance for new interviews. This is hogwash, as they could still do New interviews for later release. Being around to help push the release, however…

I am keen to see how they handle season crossovers.

Season 4 has the last 2 first doctor stories, in a second doctor dominated season.

The 5 doctors special falling between 20 and 21.

Season 21 is the fiths last, yet also has the sixths first with the twin dilemma.

Do they stick to the doctor, or the season? Or double up by including the episodes in mention in both seasons boxed sets? And which season may the 5 doctors fall? Or is that to be a seperate release?

Questions, questions…

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