Doc, You Meant Harry?


It’s one of the little pleasures stemming from the ever-increasing output over the last few years – we’re finally getting to see some well researched, well produced documentaries on our DVDs.

The best of which recently has been Endgame on the Survival DVD, which looks at what would have happened had the series continued beyond Season 26. Fascinating in its ideas, its revelations (sorry fanboys… there was no masterplan) and its interviewees (particularly with Peter Creegan – the man who swung the axe), the doco benefits greatly from focussing on a relatively recent period of time, and includes pretty much all of the key players.

Other notable successes have also been the various New Beginnings docos (when did we EVER think we’d see footage of Tom Baker throwing tantrums on set!), the Invasion animation presentation, and the ‘how it all began’ on the Beginning box-set, which is the model for how to make a documentary interesting when there really isn’t much to show.

This is a far cry from the first DVD documentary that I saw – the talking head-fest that was the Seeds of Death retrospective. Sssssssnore. Essentially a group of talking heads, it sits at a bloated 40-something minutes, when a tight 15 would have been of much more interest.

Luckily though, it does seem like the DVD team have sorted themselves out and we’re now getting more than just a collection of cobwebbed anecdotes. Personally, I’d love to see an indepth Season 23 one, perhaps tied in with a Trial box set, and how about some focussing on the early years, such as the tumultuous season 6, or a certain aspect of the show like console room design, or even the history of that stalwart of Doctor Who production – CSO!

They don’t need to be long… they just need to be good.

JP – creator of the most groan inducing heading ever.

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