Having written recent extensive recaps of over a thousand words apiece on each of the episodes contained within these Blu-rays (you can find them at Vulture by clicking here), I’m not going to rehash that dialogue once again. Indeed, in rewatching all nine of these episodes, I found my opinions haven’t changed much at all. The Christmas special, “The Snowmen,” is flawed, but ultimately saved by a group of enjoyable protagonists (Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Victorian Clara remains a major
The eight episodes contained within the “Series Seven, Part Two” set remain –
for me anyway – a largely strong run of stories, several of which rank among the very best of the
Moffat era. Clearly, fan opinion is divided on that assertion, and you probably
already know whether or not you agree with me. Having said that, if you’re a
fan and you didn’t care for what you viewed over the past couple months, perhaps it wouldn’t be an entirely
bad idea to give them another go, with the heavy burden of expectation divorced
from the viewing experience. high point
Originally, all nine of these episodes were announced for release in a single set. That quickly changed when, I guess, the bean counters realized that could make a few more bucks by releasing “The Snowmen” separately as they have some of the previous Christmas specials. Only problem is, “The Christmas Carol” disc offered up an entire Proms concert as an extra, and “The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe” included three, 45-minute talking head docs. In both cases, they were nice extras that went quite a way toward justifying entirely separate releases. Not so with “The Snowmen,” which offers up less than 10 minutes of bonus material. There’s a brief making-of entitled “Clara’s White Christmas,” and two prequels to the episode: “Vastra Investigates,” which premiered online; and “The Great Detective,” which debuted on Children in Need. Absent and very much missed is the online short “Demon’s Run: Two Days Later” which explains how the Sontaran Strax was brought back to life (or rather how he wasn’t actually killed in the first place).
As always, these discs are nice and sparkling crystal clear, with fantastic 5.1 audio tracks. There’s no better way to experience these episodes than on Blu-ray, which certainly trumps viewing them on BBC America with commercials. Though a DVR can alleviate that problem to a degree, one still ends up with tiny little breaks in places where they don’t belong. Doctor Who simply isn’t designed to be cut up in that manner. Obviously we’ve all been down this road many times before – you can either buy these now, or you can wait six months for the full Season Seven collection, which, as I understand it, will also include “The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe.” Personally, I’m extremely happy to have these for summer viewing, and would hate to be without high def versions of these episodes as I wait patiently for the 50th anniversary special.