Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series

It's makeover time for the Doctor and some of his oldest enemies...

Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series saw two major changes in the popular sci-fi series, with the arrival of both a new Doctor (Matt Smith – quickly shaping up to be the best since Tom Baker) and new showrunner (Steven Moffat taking over from Russell T Davis). That said, neither change has made much of a tonal difference to the show itself, which continues to please kids of all ages with its magical mix of whimsical storytelling, scary monsters, daft jokes and crowd-pleasing special effects. And despite the odd dud like the redesigned Daleks, it’s easily the most consistent series since Russell T Davis’ first year running things. Roll on the Christmas Special.

Picture: As usual with 2entertain’s TV Blu-rays, Doctor Who’s fifth series comes to Blu-ray sporting VC-1 1080i50 encodes (framed at 1.78:1) – and they’re rather spiffy ones at that. Okay, so a little aliasing can be found here and there (it’s most evident around the domes of the redesigned iDaleks), but overall the encodes are very pleasing indeed with excellent colour reproduction backed up by superb contrast levels and crisp delineation. Check out the close-up of Amy’s eyes in Chapter 5 of The Eleventh Hour to see just how good it gets.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: From the opening shot of an out of control Tardis flying above London accompanied by the sound panning from right rear to the front of the soundstage, you know that this set’s collection of DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1 are going to really deliver the goods. Everything, from spitfires zooming across the soundfield as they attack the Dalek spacecraft in Chapter 7 of Victory of the Daleks to the tight and beautifully precise presentation of Murray Gold’s rousing music on each episode is a real joy to behold.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Apart from the pricing (£80 for 13 episodes!), the only other complaint to be had about this six disc set is the rather disappointing collection of extras – especially when compared to the work being put into creating supplementary material for the classic Doctor Who DVD range. Six episodes have picture-in-picture commentaries by cast and crewmembers (not BonusView, but burnt into a separate encode of the episode in question), then there’s a trio of video diaries, four Monster File featurettes, 22 trailers, cut-down versions of all 13 of this season’s Doctor Who Confidentials and two new ‘Meanwhile in the Tardis’ additional scenes (the second is particularly cute with its ‘leather bikini’ gag) that fill in a couple of plot holes.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: A decent Blu-ray boxset slightly undone by too few extras and an unreasonably high price.

2entertain Ltd., Region B BD, £80 approx, On sale now