William Hartnell and Peter Davison return in two classic adventures for BBC’s July releases in their ongoing Doctor Who DVD releases.
“The Gunfighters” (Story 25)
Doctor Who routinely straddles and merges genres, so it’s rare for a story style to come from seemingly nowhere in such an eclectic series. Enter “The Gunfighters,” a four part serial that aired in 1966 and that essentially is a western with very little science fiction injected. William Hartnell stars as the First Doctor, arriving in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881 with a toothache. Of course, the TARDIS goes where it’s needed, and this time it locates one Doc Holliday, Tombstone’s local dentist, to cure the Doctor’s malady. While in town, the Doctor and his companions Steven and Dodo encounter many of the legendary gunslingers of the Old West, including Wyatt Earp and his cronies. The four episodes inevitably lead to the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral. These episodes don’t do much to further the ongoing Doctor Who mythology, but rather they drop the ongoing characters into the midst of historical events, liberally altered from the actual history.
The new DVD release collects all four episodes with digitally remastered picture and sound, and it also includes the great assortment of bonus material we’ve come to love in this line of classic adventures. The special features on “The Gunfighters” includes:
- Audio Commentary with Peter Purves (Steven), Shane Rimmer (Seth Harper), David Graham (Charlie), Richard Beale (Bat Masterson), production assistant Tristan de Vere Cole, and moderator Toby Hadoke
- The End of the Line – A 43 minute documentary about the third year of Doctor Who
- Tomorrow’s Times: The First Doctor – 14 minutes of press coverage
- Photo Gallery
“The Awakening” (Story 132)
A 1984 adventure told in two parts, “The Awakening” has the Doctor, Tegan, and Turlough heading to the English village of Little Hodcombe so that Tegan can visit her grandfather. When the TARDIS arrives, however, something definitely seems amiss. Villagers in 17th century garb mix with 19th century citizens, and the English Civil War appears to be bleeding into the modern reality, all centered on the small town. The Doctor and his companions investigate and soon become entangled in a centuries spanning plot that brings them face to face with a brand new Who villain.
The two episodes of “The Awakening” are collected in this new DVD release, both featuring newly remastered audio and video. Additionally, the DVD release packs in the following bonus materials:
- Audio Commentary with Michael Owen Morris (director) and Eric Saward (script editor), moderated by Toby Hadoke
- Return to Little Hodcombe – A 19 minute making-of featurette with the cast and crew
- Making the Malus – A 7 minute featurette on the visual effects and model making for the villain in this adventure
- Now and Then – Location report from the villages where “The Awakening” was produced
- From the Cutting Room Floor – 9 minutes of extended and deleted scenes
- The Golden Egg Awards – Peter Davison receives an award from Noel Edmonds
- Photo Gallery
Both “The Gunfighters” and “The Awakening” release on DVD on July 12, 2011.