Doctor Who is the world’s longest-running sci-fi series. As the show has stacked up over 800 stories in its 60 years, it’s also built an impressive legacy of home media. The classic Fourth Doctor story Revenge of the Cybermen was the first adventure to make it into fans’ homes. But in 1983, it was a major investment to own a single Doctor Who story on Betamax, Video 2000, or VHS. Jump forward 40 years, and the BBC’s flagship genre show has embraced high definition and box sets.
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Doctor Who wasn’t produced in high-definition until 2009, when the year of special episodes that completed David Tennant’s time in the TARDIS as the Tenth Doctor jumped up in quality. That doesn’t mean fans are stuck with watching stories made before then in standard definition. The BBC has employed upscaling, remastering, and animation to release classic and modern eras in the best possible quality. The show’s 60th anniversary is the perfect time for fans to top up their collection with complete series sets throughout its history.
All Of Time & Space
Doctor’s Who has embraced high-definition releases, but that’s just one benefit of collecting the saga on Blu-ray. The Complete Collection sets come with a wealth of special features that have fans of other sci-fi franchises looking on in envy. With every release, Whovians are spoiled by a core group of talented fans who help colorize, restore, and provide in-depth background features on the show’s classic era.
Doctor Who is entering a new phase with its 60th birthday, with the newly coined Whoniverse promising a wealth of new series and spin-offs broadcast on BBC and Disney Plus. Fans can expect even more ways to watch the show, as well as the impending release of collections that haven’t yet made it to Blu-ray. Fans who aren’t Prime members but are looking at picking up a set from Amazon can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Prime to stand the best chance of receiving it before the 60th anniversary.
Why are there seasons and series of Doctor Who?
Generally, the use of season and series means the same thing: a sequence of episodes transmitted sequentially. In British television, a series is usually more appropriate, as that sequence often numbers fewer than 10 episodes, unlike a seasonal broadcast.
This is true of the modern era, where each series collects between eight and 13 episodes. However, classic Doctor Who was broadcast over a longer period, often covering half a year with story serials broken up into episodes, so those units are historically referred to as seasons. The change of lead actor explains the different numbering of collected sets in different territories.
Can you watch Doctor Who in 4K?
As with many TV series, Blu-ray will likely remain the high-definition standard (1080p) for Doctor Who due to broadcast quality. While a few episodes of classic Doctor Who were recorded on film, most were taped on video, which makes upscaling a problem.
But this doesn’t mean fans can’t experience adventures in time and space in ultra-high-definition. While not part of the TV continuity, the colorful 1960s Dr. Who Dalek movies are available in stunning 4K at Amazon and other retailers. Of the modern era, the Twelfth Doctor’s swansong, Twice Upon a Time, became the first story to be released in the UHD format in 2018, and is available in a single-disc set. See the available 4K sets and where to buy them above.
Will every Doctor Who season be released on Blu-ray?
It’s safe to say there are plenty of Blu-Ray collections to come, most probably completing the full sequence of Doctor Who back to 1963. The major challenge isn’t that earlier episodes were transmitted in standard definition but that many 1960s episodes were systematically junked.
It was a time when nobody considered home media releases or even broadcast repeats. However, the BBC has steadily filled those gaps with animated reconstructions. As with the Season 2 Collection, early Blu-ray sets featuring the First and Second Doctors will likely include those.
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