DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SERIES (2010)
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series (2010)
Actors: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston
Format: NTSC, Color
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Warner
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
Run Time: 655 minutes
Meanwhile in the Tardis: Newly filmed
scenes written by Steven Moffat, exclusive to DVD
and Blu-ray, telling what happens between the
Doctor Who Confidential: An inside
look at each episode
Monster Files: Get under the skin and
inside the minds of the new Doctor's most
takes one a few episodes to get used to Matt Smith, who at 26 is the
youngest actor yet to play the so-called Doctor, a flamboyant and eccentric
alien who travels across time and space in a blue telephone booth that is
larger on the inside than on the outside. (Note to nitpickers: we know it
isn’t technically a phone booth, but a police box that were quite common in
Britain in years gone by. They were used to phone the police in emergencies
and you couldn’t use them to dial up your granny or anyone else except for
The young actor is the 11th actor to have portrayed the 900 year-plus old
time traveller in this British TV show that seems about just as old. (The
BBC series ran from 1963 until 1989 and was successfully revamped in 2005.
Initially Smith only seems to be doing his best David Tennant (the
hyperactive actor to have previously played the role) impersonation, but
gradually the role becomes his own.
In addition to the new lead actor, this fifth season also marks the arrival
of a new executive producer and chief writer in the guise of Steven Moffat
who takes over from Russell T. Davies, the brains behind the 2005
re-imagining (to use a tired Hollywood phrase). Moffat takes no major
departures from the formula laid down by Davies, but still manages to stamp
his own mark on the proceedings.
The 13 episodes of this season found on this disc may have the same
strengths and weaknesses of previous Who episodes, but the tone is jokier
and there is less focus on the Doctor’s love life. Some episodes are still
pretty much over-the-top (Spitfires in space!) while the overt emotionality
of an episode such as Vincent and the Doctor (in which the Doctor meets up
with Vincent van Gogh to battle a space monster) may tie into the show’s
larger mythos however veers into mawkishness.
Episodes are however lighter in tone and there is even time to joke about
the Doctor’s over reliance on his, er, sonic screwdriver, a plot device
which performs more magic than Harry Potter’s wand.
Once one however gets used to the new lead actor it is time for the show’s
finale appropriately titled Big Bang which brings things to a satisfying
conclusion as long as you don’t try to apply plot logic to it.
In all, Doctor Who is still one of the best science fiction television shows
out there and by the end you’d wish that this season ran longer than a mere
13 episodes. Intelligently scripted, well-acted and fast-paced; one can only
hope that the show really runs for 900 years . . .
WORTH IT? If you’ve been worried about the new leads and creative
team, then relax: Doctor Who is still worth checking out.
RECOMMENDATION: Fans should check it out. Newbies should preferably
start with the 2005 season.