The killer, when reviewing Doctor Who DVD releases, is the VAM.
How to address these additional features? Should you always have to account for the fact they’re put together on a tiny budget, and convey more verve and imagination than any other ‘extra’ material on any other range? Should you approach them with a sense of gratitude? Have that mitigate any criticism? It’s a tough one (although the implicit answer, of course, is “no”).
From my point of view, most of the extras on the DW range are solid and, from any sensible standpoint, they deliver. And, while we’re lucky to have them, there has been some money involved – even if it’s a pittance. Plus they appear on product that we pay for, and that alone means I think they should be subjected to a fairly robust appraisal. But I do still marvel that they exist.
Back! Back! Back! On a bit of a drive to increase my freelance output, I asked Tom and Peter if DWM had any work going for me. Much of this review was written on a train journey, returning from Glasgow to London. Until that point, I’d been struggling to join up the metaphorical dots in the piece, but then – mainly because I had little else to occupy my time – I kind of cracked it.
Tom, upon receiving it, told me, “I’m very happy with that one!” (which, I always think, implies he’s not so keen on my other stuff) while Peter said it was the best review I’d written for them. That was nice.
When DWM #449 was published, online someone opined: “I thought the Graham Kibble White review of Death to the Daleks was dreadful. It felt like it was cut and pasted from a larger article and ended up in the magazine as disjointed paragraphs , it seemed very odd.”
While Gary Gillatt was busy with the Mara boxset, I snuck back into the DVD reviewing pages with this.
Reviewing the three stories in the format I opted for here took a small leap in imagination, chunking it up into three mini-reviews rather than one narrative. Since then, where possible, I’ve inserted lists and the like in the copy, cos I think it’s good to break up the flow.
This is from DWM #433 and presented here with an additional joke about Toby Hadoke, which was excised from the finished piece presumably due to grounds of quality (ie. lack of). Continue reading →
From DWM #417. A textbook, nonsense, delaying-writing-about-the-actual-story opener, here. And I remain puzzled to this day as to why Eckersley isn’t a more-loved character in DW lore. Continue reading →
From DWM #415, then, and, like my review of The Keys of Marinus, here’s a longer draft than the one I ultimately submitted to the magazine. I think it’s the last instance when I kept an older version of a piece before hacking it back to meet the word-count. After this one, I grew less precious about striking through my own work. Which is a good thing. Continue reading →