Tuesday, 11 March 2014
First of all, apologies for the lack of posts over the last week. I have actually been celebrating my own half century, and so have been in various states of inebriation.
The week before, I was at a bit of a loose end as far as what to watch one evening. There was nothing on telly, and nothing in my relatively extensive DVD collection really grabbed my interest. Usually, under these circumstances, my default position is to stick a Doctor Who on. But which one? A B&W? Classic seventies? A Tennant?
As I perused the collection, I started to think about the extras - or Value Added Material as some folk term them these days ("Extras I calls 'em..."). Some of them I have only ever watched once, when the DVD was first bought. I realised that there were a lot of documentaries and features that I would really like to see again - the "Tomorrow's Times" features, the "Stripped For Action" ones, the big "Era Overview" docs, individual Making Of's, the wonderful tributes to Delgado, Courtney, Letts...
Again, which one to watch? One of the very best documentaries ever is "Genesis Of A Classic" - on Genesis of the Daleks. Tom Baker answering his mobile - a call from his first wife - whilst being filmed. Lis Sladen saying "arse" (you have to watch it until after the end credits...).
Bottom line (no pun intended) I decided to watch all of them - in order. It's the ultimate "Making of Doctor Who" documentary - especially now that there is only one final DVD release in the pipeline that we know about for certain.
Should you wish to follow me, start with the 55 minute "Origins" documentary on The Edge of Destruction. There are a couple of drawbacks. The missing stories are only fleetingly touched upon. Some stories don't have a "Making of" at all. You start to see where the same interview footage has been reused. Terrance Dicks tells the same stories. There is utter garbage such as the "Doctor's Strange Love" pieces.
On the whole, it is a very rewarding experience. Some of it has been quite moving - seeing the great and the good who are sadly no longer with us. When John Levene, on the "UNIT Family Part 2" doc, starts to lose it remembering Roger Delgado, I was losing it with him. We just lost the lovely Christopher Barry a couple of weeks ago. His love and pride for his work on the programme shines through in all the pieces he features on.
One of my favourite pieces (so far, having reached the earlier Tom Baker era) has little to do with Doctor Who at all. It is the interview with Philip Hinchliffe (the interview conducted by his daughter) discussing his remarkable career since he left the programme (on The Android Invasion DVD).
Personally, I have just been watching the extras on their own - leaving the actual adventures themselves to a future re-viewing.
It's an experience I am thoroughly enjoying - and would whole-heartedly recommend.