Doctor Who Season 35 (Peter Capaldi, 2015)

U.S.


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
Canada


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
U.K.


NEW for
March 7, 2016.
Blu-ray U.S.


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
Blu-ray Canada


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
Blu-ray U.K.


NEW for
March 7, 2016.

This 5-disc DVD box set includes the 2014 Christmas Special "Last Christmas", the subsequent 12 regular episodes of Season 35 [or "Series 9"], the 2015 Christmas Special "The Husbands of River Song", and loads of bonus features such as audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews, prequel and deleted scenes, and trailers.


DVD / Blu-ray Extras include:

  • Audio commentary on "Last Christmas" (63 min.) by director Paul Wilmshurst and producer Paul Frift.
  • Audio commentary on "Under the Water" (45 min.) and "Before the Flood" (44 min.)
    by Sophie Stone (Cass), writer Toby Whithouse, and producer Derek Ritchie.
  • Audio commentary on "The Woman Who Lived" (47 min.) by Maisie Williams (Ashildr / Me) and producer Derek Ritchie.
  • Audio commentary on "Sleep No More" (47 min.) by Reece Shearsmith (Rassmussen) and writer Mark Gatiss.

  • 9 "Doctor Who Extra" featurettes covering most episodes (between 6 and 20 min. each)
  • Sublime Online featurette (23 min.) with a segment for most episodes

  • Prequel Scenes for "The Magician's Apprentice":
    • Prologue (2 min.)
    • The Doctor's Meditation (6 min.)
  • Deleted Scenes (26 min.)
  • Writing Who behind-the-scenes featurette (15 min.) with "Face the Raven" writer Sarah Dollard.
  • Dalek Devotion featurette (6 min.)
  • Clara's Journey featurette (19 min.)
  • The Adventures of River Song featurette (10 min.)
  • Trailers (8 min. total)

  • Wil Wheaton interviews Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman (42 min. - extended version)
  • Comic Con panel 2015 San Diego (59 min.)
  • Fan Show Finest (16 min.)

Buyers' Guide Season Review

by Martin Izsak

(In-depth analyses, containing "SPOILERS" and intended for those who have already seen the 2015 season, begin with "Last Christmas" (story no. 258).


It is only fitting that I congratulate the makers of Doctor Who for putting out a substantial improvement over their previous year's output. This is by far one of the most solidly decent seasons we've seen for a long time. Although not everything that needed to be fixed did get fixed, a good number of the improvements that I wanted to see were tackled and achieved here. This is a good year.


The first of the two best and biggest improvements was the structure of the season, marching in solidly with a succession of substantial stand-alone two-parters - stories that might finally be called "full length" in the terms of the classic series. This one simple thing automatically had a knock-on effect producing several subsidiary improvements: Suddenly we had the breathing room to develop guest characters in ways that could capture our interest. Questions about the narrative had time to grip us while we tried to work them out. The dramatic qualities of the adventures went up a few notches. And this type of story-telling is just so much better for Peter Capaldi's Doctor specifically. Applause all-round.

Another huge improvement is the fact that this season pretty much ditches all the subplots about the companion's domestic life. Although there's a place for this in Doctor Who, it had taken up far more focus in previous years than was interesting. It is so wonderful to just get back to seeing the Doctor and his companion throw themselves wholeheartedly into one huge adventure after another. We're back in balance again. Great stuff.

Sadly, these adventures don't quite settle on as many alien planets as you might think. Still, not bad, and the season does remain satisfying none-the-less.

The season's stories see the triumphant return of the base-under-siege story format, which is used to good effect many times. Unfortunately, the stories in general still seem to give elements of fear and horror too high a priority. I'd have preferred if priorities had been more diversified, and fear only cropped up when it would actually make sense.


Closer to the end of the run, we still seem to be getting episodes in pairs, but the connections between them are more nebulous. In essence, we mainly revert to the concept of separate entries extending an overarching saga, which is the next best way to structure a season and is still highly satisfying, as many of my season 32 reviews attest to. I'd have to classify many of these episodes as single stories in themselves, but I suspect many people may be lumping them together under one umbrella, as indeed some of the bonus features have done when talking about them.

Peter Capaldi's Doctor has also settled in quite nicely by this point. He is much better focused on problem-solving and the many other things that work well for him, and he gets much better things to do from the scripts. I was quite pleased to see his Doctor working so well during this season.

For my money, I don't quite think any of these stories really topped the level of excitement I felt when watching last year's "Flatline", but at the same time, none of them were really as bad as the lower end of last year's "Decent" category of the rankings, much less as bad as last year's absolute stinkers. There's a much more even quality on display here.

As I revisit my rankings of each season of New Millennium Doctor Who, I find Peter Capaldi's second year here currently duking it out with David Tennant's final season for a position. And I have a feeling that Capaldi's second year may grow on me as I get a chance to see these stories again and appreciate them better.


The New Millennium seasons ranked, from favourite to least favourite:

  • Season 28 (David Tennant, 2006, "Series 2")

  • Season 32 part 1 (Matt Smith, 2011, "Series 6 part 1")
  • Season 33 (Matt Smith, 2012-2013, "Series 7")
  • Season 30 (David Tennant, 2008, "Series 4")
  • Season 35 (Peter Capaldi, 2015, "Series 9")

  • Season 31 (Matt Smith, 2010, "Series 5")
  • Season 29 (David Tennant, 2007, "Series 3")

  • Season 32 part 2 (Matt Smith, 2011, "Series 6 part 2")
  • Season 30 Specials (David Tennant, 2009, "The Complete Specials")

  • Season 27 (Christopher Eccleston, 2005, "Series 1")
  • Season 34 (Peter Capaldi, 2014, "Series 8")



This season has become available on DVD and Blu-ray.


Season 35 Box Set
11 stories in 14 episodes
U.S.


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
Canada


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
U.K.


NEW for
March 7, 2016.
Blu-ray U.S.


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
Blu-ray Canada


NEW for
April 5, 2016.
Blu-ray U.K.


NEW for
March 7, 2016.



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Our series of in-depth analysis reviews for this season begins with "Last Christmas".


Check out the latest releases and recommendations on our Doctor Who page.



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