Most American Doctor Who fans are most familiar with the Tom Baker Who. There is no question he added a flair to the role. In this 10th Anniversary special episode we get to see the first 3 Doctors in action. John Pertwee was the current Who. He teams up mostly with 2nd Doctor Patrick Troughton. The first Doctor was played by William Hartnell and was limited to view screen images as he was quite aged and ill. The idea would occur again with the 5 Doctors to celebrate 20 years of Doctor Who. The story is a bit contriv…d even for a Doctor Who episode. The Lava Men are quite laughable. I approached this episode mostly from a historic perspective. In that light it is quite fun to watch.
This is a pretty minimal Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The production values were nothing spectacular to begin with. Everything is clear at least. Expect nothing dynamic.
Doctor Who was filmed in the standard full frame format and that is faithfully preserved here. Colors are inconsistent. Any fan of the series knows that there is a tremendous difference between set shots and exteriors. The later shots have always been overexposed and washed out in color. Set shots are a bit better, while still a bit soft. The transfer detail is impressive in that you pretty much get the best transfer possible when you consider the source material. Let’s face it. Doctor Who was never about big budget production. If that bothers you, this series is not for you.
This disc is loaded with some memorable extras…
- A commentary track by actors Katy Manning, Nicholas Courtney, and producer Barry Letts is mostly filled with some wonderful reminiscences.
- “Pebble Mill at One” is a 1972 TV interview with Patrick Troughton and monster maker Bernard Wilkie. This extra is notable for the collection of Who villains wandering around the studio grounds.
- “Blue Peter” is another BBC interview program from 1972. It features Jon Pertwee and his infamous Whomobile.
- “31Who Interviews” is an anniversary program dedicated to the first 31 years of Doctor Who.
- “Panopti Con ‘93” is a panel discussion with John Pertwee, Katy Manning and Nicholas Courtney from a British sci-fi convention.
- Production notes and a photo gallery wind out this generous release.
Doctor Who is one of those quirky shows you either get or you don’t. If you’re a fan then The Three Doctors is a notable addition to any Who collection. If you’re not a fan, none of this will make any sense, so stay away. Doctor Who is about to begin again with a new as yet unknown 8th Doctor. Rest assured, “As long as he does the job he can wear any face he likes”.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary by Actors Katy Manning and Nicholas Courtney and producer Barry Letts
- Interviews with actors Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Nicholas Courtney and writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin
- Photo gallery