Doctor Who – The Mind Robber [1968] [DVD]

Celebrating 25 years since The Five Doctors was originally broadcast, this brand new double disc special edition is a real treat for new and old fans of the show. For not only is the adventure itself good fun, but the special features package is exceptionally strong too.

The story – broadcast to celebrate the-then 20th anniversary of Doctor Who – brings five incarnations of the Doctor together. Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison return to their roles, while Richard Hurndall steps in for William Hartnell, and archive footage of Tom Baker is used to cover his decision not to take part in the story. The various generations of the Doctor are then, one by one, brought to the Time Lord’s home planet Gallifrey, where they encounter many of their old assistants, and many of their deadliest foes.

The story of The Five Doctors proves to be as much a battle about giving everyone something to do, but Terrance Dicks’ script does just that, and while it’s not one of the Time Lord’s very best adventures, it is an entertaining one.

The extra features package peaks with the assorted commentary tracks: there’s one that brings together a series of Doctor Who assistants, another that unites writer Terrance Dicks with Peter Davison, and a hidden Easter Egg commentary where David Tennant, Phil Collinson and Helen Raynor take the microphone. Each is a fascinating listen, for differing reasons.

The Five Doctors DVD is then rounded off with a wide selection of archive material, and a 50-minute documentary looking at Doctor Who’s birthday celebrations. And given the wealth of features there is to dig through, it’s a release that’ll be enjoyed for a long time after both the original and extended cut of the main feature have been viewed. A terrific release. —Simon Brew