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Autism from the inside


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Doctor Who – Series 5,6 & 7 – Blu-ray Review

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Note: This is the Full Blu-ray Boxset 

OVERVIEW

This is the the 11th Doctor’s Full Tenure as The Doctor from Series 5 to 7 which is three separate boxsets with extras.

PLOT

Matt Smith dons the mantle as the 11th Doctor thick and fast with a giddy and promising quirkiness that shows that “Who” is going into different direction and it certainly was. I have stated in the the review of the Series 8 the level of complex story arcing and dovetailing (in typical time bending fashions) comes thick and fast through the series tenure River Song’s timeline is expanded upon, and her origins revealed. Then Amy & Rory’s dynamic story and ultimately bittersweet storyarc as both a being married couple and travelling companions this certainly is a different tone.

I could use words like “mature” and “dark” however it is much more than that the serials come across more thriller-esque possibly due to the  drastic changes in production and overall direction, the humour is less apparent and that lends to more serious and times depressing impact. I feel the with each serial the stories and tone and overall atmosphere progressively change for example compare Matt Smith’s first series with his final and you will see what I mean.

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SPECIAL EFFECTS

I viewed this TV serial in HD (1080i 50fps) Doctor Who – Series 5, 6 & 7 The picture quality is top notch vivid colours, vast amounts of detail and a great leap in special effects making full use of the technology to make vastnand incredible worlds. The audio is mastered in HD with amazing bass and full dynamic range.

CONCLUSION

It really did grow on me and I am somewhat sad I missed out on Matt Smith’s outings as the infamous timelord the first time around, however viewing his full outing as the Doctor has made me appreciate that change is good, atmosphere and storytelling are fluid whichcan take you to the further reaches of space much like the traveller himself. Highly Recommended


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Doctor Who – Series 8 – Blu-ray Review

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OVERVIEW

This is the beginning of the 12th Doctor’s first series which in the order of the “new” series 8 which consists of the original TV run of episodes plus extras.

PLOT

Peter Capaldi is spearheaded into the London for his first adventure, the overall tone and quality is very dark in terms of content, plotlines and direction, atmospheric camerawork, lightening and for his first feature long series and tenure as the doctor he has a mysterious, gritty and sometimes quite frightening quality to him. The dynamic of his changing relationship with Clara is rather moving the overall story arc is not about obvious common theme in fact it much about people finding love, acceptance and a place in the world. The dots do however come into place in the final episode with the “mastermind” being the fellow timelord Missy who was The Master in previous incarnations the Doctor has always faced a moral agenda and paradox but I feel this is the first series to go beyond touching upon it and using it a spiritual link between the episodes.

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SPECIAL EFFECTS

I viewed this serial in HD (1080i 50fps) Doctor Who – Series 9  which has some rather striking photography and set pieces, one notable effect which is amazing the half-face man in the first episode a splendid achievement which has a true “movie quality”, colours are deep, full of contrast and crisp detailn. The audio is also mastered in HD with deep bass and dynamic range.

CONCLUSION

I really enjoyed this Series with its many twists and turns a surprisingly mature and gritty ambiance that runs through from the story to story which I would say are at times deeply philosophical, smatterings of humour are well placed but my only concern (if you can call it that) is the nature and maturity of the storylines may polarise some people nevertheless this is bold step and a well-executed one. Highly Recommended


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Dr Who – Revisiting The 11th Doctor

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I have recently gone back into the world of Dr Who the infamous and bold alien time traveler – after David Tennant left the show it was oddly difficult as he brought our family together on Saturday evenings in way that had only happened with game and talk shows. Matt Smith was for the moment hard to digest like a biscuit that had not been drenched in a  warm cup of tea.

I have since grown on his bizarre idiosyncrasies, neologisms and endless quirks through contrasting storytelling arching and swaying, moving me to tears and making me laugh this certainly is a darker doctor akin to what Sylvestor Mccoy was trying to do (but the BBC and the audience didn’t understand) I am thankful to re-visit oddball Matt in more objective widing lense.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Dr Who – The Invasion – DVD Review

 

This DVD is a 2-Disc Edition of The Invasion with two missing episodes which have been animated 

PLOT

The is an “Earth Story” and this would become a staple of the 3rd Doctor Era the title suggests the main plot of the story aliens that are preparing for a global invasion starting with the United Kingdom.

The main plot is an expansion on themes used in the Troughton “cyberstories” which includes the dangers of technology and how this has an effect on people, communication devices such as video links are used throughout preempting such devices that we take for granted now, as well as the political dangers of single force wanting to control the world. The cast are colourful, deep and imaginative with enigmatic performances, tight dialogue and atmosphere.

PICTURE 

The picture is sharp, detailed with a good deal of contrast and saturation although at times the picture is a tab soft probably due to age . I viewed this in HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second. Overall there is  higher clearer definition of picture quality.

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ANIMATED EPISODES

The animated episodes are well done with excellent attention to detail, sharp background contrasts, faithful character design and animation lends to the atmosphere of the serial in turns of camera direction which feels less cinematic and more faithful to how it would have looked and excellent job by Cosgrove Hall.

AUDIO

The audio is clear with few hisses and artifactual noise this is something that I have noted in Hartnell and Troughton era that attention by the Restoration Team is paid not only to the image but also the quality of sound which is of course is restricted by technology at the time.

CONCLUSION

This is really classic Troughton at its best a tight another tight endearing story by  Kit Pedler about technology, fabulous direction with stunning visuals and atmosphere, great memorable and enigmatic performances. One of my favorites.  Highly Recommended.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Dr Who – Tomb of the Cybermen – Revisitations DVD Review

 

This DVD is a 2-disc Special Edition of Tomb of the Cybermen with upgraded video and audio as well as new special features.

PLOT

The plot is a dark and brooding entry for the infamous cybermen instilling a sense of dread as an expedition has found a dormant tomb that holds creatures from a distant past who are slumbering. The characterisation is at times dated but the overall composition of technology gone awry is potent in this story, human greed, selfishness and sacrifice are themes as the doctor who in his sage wisdom warns them of the dangers of tampering with technology that they do not understand. A metaphor in itself.

  

PICTURE 

The Revisitations DVD is a worthy upgrade from the earlier edition with a sharper picture, deeper colour saturation, minor enhancements to the images when the the title are overlaid is a worthy mention too. I viewed this in HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second. Overall there is  higher clearer definition of picture quality.

AUDIO

The audio is clear with a few artificial hisses and pops here and there overall a worthy and crisp audio considering its age dialogue is clear as well as the nerve jangling and atmospheric score which is a treat to hear.

CONCLUSION

With polished and ambitious story  and script by Kit Pedler with high tension and plenty of bite to a worthy video and audio upgrade as well as a host of extras this a must see for fans of classic Who. Recommended

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Dr Who – Power of the Daleks – DVD Review

 

This DVD is a treat BBC Animation team have wonderfully restored via animation The Power of the Daleks which Patrick Troughton’s first serial as the Doctor.

PLOT

The plot starts off at the end of The Tenth Planet a mysterious new figure emerges from the floor looking rather different, both the companions are confused and shocked by this new person who doesn’t look nor act like “their doctor”. The have landed on a planet called Vulcan with an earth space colony settlement already established there.

I have to say the plot is well crafted, eerie, ambitious, dark and full of melancholy with a tremendous amount of deep clever exposition within the story the new doctor, the whodunnit style back story, the power conflicts between primary characters and the introduction of  daleks that are far more devious, deceptive and clever  than in previous serials this is a really mature and adult which is both refreshing and well-suited.

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ANIMATION & PICTURE 

The animation is superb it is filmed in a 16:9 frame (rather than the conventional 4:3 of the time). I viewed this in HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second.  The intros are retained in film and the credits faithfully restored. The animation itself is shot in black and white with a mixture of 2D and 3D animation which is faithful to the story, the sets and the actors who appeared in them.

AUDIO

The audio (from the original serial) matches perfectly with animation all the set and character idiosyncrasies are perfectly retained. It is a clear a lot of love and care had gone into the recreation and it shows. I choose the 5.1 downmix and it has a lot of activity, detail and depth with good bass and a cinematic feel.

CONCLUSION

With an amazing video and audio display and a hefty lot of extras this is truly and must buy for any Doctor Who fan or science-fiction buff. This shows off what the BBC restoration team can do for future “lost episodes” in the future.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Tom Baker – The Fourth Doctor – Top 10 Stories

Tom Baker’s performance as the the Fourth incarnation of The Doctor is an impressive, quirky, odd idiosyncratic performance her is my person list of my favourite stories.

  1. Ark in Space
  2. Genesis of the Daleks
  3. Planet of Evil
  4. Pyramids Of Mars
  5. Hand of Fear
  6. The Deadly Assassin
  7. The Robots of Death
  8. The Leisure Hive
  9. The Keep of Traken
  10. Logopolis

Paul Isaacs 2015