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Doctor Who - First New Classic Who DVDs of 2009 Announces War, Doomsday

Serials with William Hartnell and Peter Davison arrive on January 6th

Posted by David Lambert
BBC Video and Warner Home Video have announced that January 6th will see the North American DVD releases of two more classic Doctor Who stories. William Hartnell stars as the 1st Doctor in Story #027: The War Machines (notable for new Companions "Polly," played by Anneke Wills, and "Ben," played by Michael Craze), and Peter Davison stars as the 5th Doctor in Story #118: Four to Doomsday (notable as Davison's first story to be filmed, although it was his second one in the actual airing order). Each serial's release has a list price of $24.98 for a single disc running approximately 95 minutes for 4 episodes per title.

According to Warner's specs on the announcements, each one comes with full frame video (The War Machines should be in the original black-and-white), and with English mono audio and English subtitles. The audio and video have naturally gone through the painstaking clean-up processes of the awesome group at the Restoration Team (and we hear that they had a tough job with the Hartnell story, a revisit to one of their earliest VHS-based efforts: click here for details and a trailer, and look for the on-disc featurette about the restoration!). Following are the studio descriptions of the titles, followed by the list of extras per the Restoration Team, and at the very bottom is package art for both, one right after the other. Enjoy!
  • Doctor Who - Story #027: The War Machines
      London, 1966. The TARDIS materialises in the shadow of the newly-completed Post Office Tower, and the Doctor senses a strange energy in the air. He instinctively knows that evil is at work nearby. Posing as a scientist, the Doctor and his 'secretary' Dodo gain access to a suite at the top of the tower and meet the driven Professor Brett. His life's work, the thinking computer WOTAN, is about to be linked up in a problem-solving network with many other machines around the world.

      But the Doctor is concerned. How can WOTAN possibly know the meaning of the word 'TARDIS' and about the Doctor's travels through time and space? What is the strange control that WOTAN can exert over humans via a mere telephone call? Andwhat is the computer's link with the deadly robots being assembled in Covent Garden warehouse?
  • Bonus Material:
    • Audio Commentary: Anneke Wills ("Polly") and Director Michael Ferguson
    • "Now & Then" Featurette: Revisits the London locations used in the story, to compare them as they are now, with how they were back in 1966
    • Blue Peter Segments: A compilation of related articles from the popular children's magazine show: Valerie Singleton shows new stamps of the Post Office Tower; Christopher Trace goes to visit the tower and shows viewers how to build a model of it; a War Machine visits the Blue Peter studio; Schoolchildren bring in a Dalek they built at school
    • One Foot in the Past Segment: Politician and ex-Postmaster General Tony Benn investigates the history of the Post Office Tower, and is allowed up to the now-defunct revolving restaurant and onto the roof, in this extract from the BBC2 show
    • "WOTAN Assembly" Featurette: Explains how the story was pieced back together from disparate sources for the DVD release, after falling victim to overseas censorship in the '60s
    • Photo Gallery
    • Coming Soon trailer
    • DVD-ROM: Radio Times Billings PDF. "War Machine" Design Drawings PDF
    • Program subtitles
    • Subtitle Production Notes
    • Easter Egg
  • Doctor Who - Story #118: Four to Doomsday
      Peter Davison's recently regenerated Fifth Doctor is burdened by the most irritating trio of companions in the history of the show (Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan) when the TARDIS materializes inside a vast starship with a multiracial crew from Earth's distant past. Downloaded into computer chips are the memories of the 3 billion survivors of the Urbankan race, and the Earth is to be their new home. Meanwhile, Monarch, a giant green frog-thing, wants to travel back to the Big Bang to meet God, who he is convinced is himself.
  • Bonus Material:
    • Audio Commentary: Peter Davison ("The 5th Doctor"), Matthew Waterhouse ("Adric"), Sarah Sutton ("Nyssa"), Janet Fielding ("Tegan") and Director John Black
    • Studio Recording: Peter Davison's first day in the studio as the Doctor is documented in this unique studio recording recovered from the personal archive of the producer, the late John Nathan-Turner
    • Saturday Night at the Mill Segment: - Peter Davison's appearance on the Saturday night magazine program on Boxing Day, 1980, interviewed by Bob Langley, with a brief appearance by Davison's then-wife Sandra Dickinson
    • Theme Music Video: A brand new remix of Peter Howell's version of the theme music for the series, exclusively remixed from the original multitrack master (option to listen to the music in either the default stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1 surround versions); this was on 'Castrovalva' in the 'New Beginnings' Boxset, but the 5.1 mix was inadvertently omitted
    • Photo Gallery: Production, design and publicity photos from the story
    • Coming Soon trailer
    • DVD-ROM: Radio Times Billings PDF
    • Program subtitles
    • Subtitle Production Notes
Doctor Who - Story #027: The War Machines box art

Doctor Who - Story #118: Four to Doomsday box art

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