Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series review

All bets are off as we say goodbye to two companions and hello to an 'impossible girl'

The good, the bad and the ugly are all on display in these 15 episodes from the BBC's sci-fi smash – and we're not just talking about the freaky aliens the Doctor regularly encounters.

The episodes themselves serve to highlight the highs and lows of this incarnation – but the good news is that for every The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe or Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, we have likes of The Snowmen, Asylum of the Daleks, The Angels Take Manhattan (sob) and The Crimson Horror to more than make amends. And then there's The Name of the Doctor; a brilliant love letter to the show's history, capped with the most thrilling cliffhanger imaginable.

Picture: Colour reproduction impresses across the AVC 1.78:1 1080i encodes, particularly when it comes to the ease with which they handle the bright primaries that regularly dominate the show's photography. The sharp hi-def visuals also help showcase the increasingly brilliant costume and makeup effects.

That said, it's not quite perfect. As with the previous series there are still a few minor issues with regards to aliasing and banding. Not to mention the occasional less-than-black black level caused by the heightened contrast.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: It's been a while coming, but Doctor Who's 5.1 mixes finally make the leap from DTS-HD HR to DTS-HD MA with this latest boxset.

Surround separation is appreciable across all of the episodes, finding plenty to keep the rear speakers engaged. At the same time the LFE channel proves to be particularly bold and powerful. Not only does this make the onscreen action more immersive and impactful, it also works wonders with Murray Gold's expansive scores.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Don't expect too much in the way of behind-the-scenes material with this set. While almost all of the episodes get dedicated mini-featurettes, they tend to focus on just one single aspect of the production.

More useful in this regard are the set's four audio commentaries. Production designer Michael Pickwoad teams up with art director Paul Spriggs for a chat about the making of The Snowmen. Writer Mark Gatiss, visual effects supervisor Murray Barber and visual effects producer Jenna Powell give their thoughts on Cold War. Matt Smith provides his first commentary for the series as he joins director Jamie Payne to discuss Hide. Finally, actors Catrin Stewart, Neve McIntosh and Dan Starky are on hand to chat about the fun they had making The Crimson Horror.

Spread throughout the set are a host of short episode prequels and short sketches, plus the five-part Pond Life web series. Also included is a video following the cast at Comic Con 2012 and three BBC America documentaries looking at the science behind the show, the Doctor's companions (at least those since the show's return) and the episodes that have been set and/or shot in the US.
Extras rating: 3.5/5

We say: Not the Doctor’s finest hour(s) – but still a fine hi-def set with some entertaining extras

Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series, BBC Worldwide, All-region BD, £50 Approx