BBC Studios continues to offer Doctor Who fans the opportunity to build their own home archive on Blu-ray with arguably one of the classic series’ finest collection of episodes from the 1980’s. Debuting on Monday 23rd December (Pre-order now) is the acclaimed final season from the series’ original run, Season 26, starring the legendary Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred.
In 1989, Doctor Who was on a creative high, with the adventures of the mysterious Seventh Doctor and his trouble-making teenage companion Ace revitalising the programme for a new generation. Season 26 featured the duo in four epic adventures, traversing a future Britain invaded by inter-dimensional knights, a strange Victorian house haunted by ghosts from Ace’s past, an alien world populated by Cheetah People and a 1940’s army camp under siege from monstrous vampires. To this day, it remains one of the best run of episodes the show has ever produced.
With guest stars including Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Jean Marsh, Nicholas Parsons, Anne Reid, Ian Hogg, Sylvia Syms and comedy duo Hale & Pace, this fondly-remembered set of stories saw the end of an era for Doctor Who, yet simultaneously set the stage for its hugely successful revival in 2005.
All 14 episodes (Battlefield, Ghost Light, The Curse of Fenric and Survival) have been newly remastered from the best available sources, whilst the Blu-ray boxset itself contains hours of extensive and exclusive special features including:
- Rare Restored Extended Cuts: Both Battlefield and The Curse of Fenric can be enjoyed in feature length form via the Extended VHS Version and the feature-length DVD Special Edition.
- 5.1 surround sound & isolated score on all 14 broadcast episodes, plus 5.1 sound on all extended versions of The Curse Of Fenric and Battlefield.
- Behind the Sofa: New episodes of the popular Gogglebox style feature featuring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, plus companions Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Anneke Wills and Jodie-Whittaker-era writers Pete McTighe & Joy Wilkinson.
- Showman – the Life of John Nathan-Turner: A feature-length look at the life and career of Doctor Who’s longest-serving producer, who fought to keep the programme on-air during the 1980s. Contributors include Peter Davison and Colin Baker.
- Making ‘The Curse of Fenric’: A brand new documentary featuring actors Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Tomek Bork, Nicholas Parsons, Cory Pulman, Marek Anton, Writer Ian Briggs, Script Editor Andrew Cartmel, Composer Mark Ayres and radio presenter Ian Collins, plus unseen behind-the-scenes footage and photographs.
- In Conversation: Matthew Sweet chats to companion Sophie Aldred.
- The Writers’ Room: Writers Ben Aaronovitch, Marc Platt, Ian Briggs, Rona Munro and Andrew Cartmel discuss their work on Season 26.
- Becoming The Destroyer: Actor Marek Anton and prosthetics designer Stephen Mansfield recall the creation of one of Doctor Who’s best ever monsters.
- Blu-Ray Trailer: A specially shot trailer featuring Sophie Aldred back in character as Ace.
- PLUS: Brand new Ghost Light extended workprint, unseen studio footage, rare archive treats, convention footage, HD photo galleries, Script PDFs, costume designs, rare BBC production files and other gems from the BBC’s PDF archive.
The seven-disc box set also includes hours of special features previously released on DVD, including commentaries, documentaries and deleted scenes.
On Saturday 23rd November, the BFI Southbank will be screening a preview of Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric (from the Special Edition Blu-ray) and holding a Q&A with actor Sophie Aldred and script editor Andrew Cartmel. Tickets are available from the BFI on the following dates:
- Monday 16th September – BFI Patrons and Champions
- Tuesday 17th September – BFI Members
- Tuesday 24th September – Public booking
To further whet your appetites, check out the excellent launch trailer below: