Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Doctor Who Series 1-7 Bluray Boxset Clarifications

Region A. We still don't know what Region B looks like
The Doctor Who Series 1-7 Bluray boxset has had a dizzying amount of questions surrounding it, a fair few being answered in our previous post here but I also sent off more than twenty questions to BBCWW to find out more. While the answers were useful and straight to the point, the answers were mostly not what any of us wanted to hear.

Lets start with content. So we all know that it has all the New Who live-action episodes release up until this point alongside the already released extras and a couple more. Unfortunately, there is nothing more. I specifically asked about the TARDISodes (the prequels for all of series 2), deleted scenes, blooper reels, trailers, Dreamland, Infinite Quest and previous musical celebrations like the first concert and the first proms. None of these are added to the set. The only version of the Prom that is included is 2008 60 minute version, as hosted by Freema Agyeman, which is on the exclusive Region B bonus disc. There are no other extras.

On the mistakes/problems front, it's not any better, to the point where they were unaware there was even any mistakes. For example, I asked about both the Children In Need 2005 special and the Vincent and The Doctor audio track. Both responses were wondering what was wrong with it.
The Davies era episodes will be the same as on transmission so the music will keep it's rather bombastic feel, which is a rather subjective matter. The next time trailers for series 5 will still be missing.

Onto the technical questions now. Firstly, the releases will be region-coded, so make sure your BD player is compatible before ordering foreign copies. VC-1 versions will remain VC-1 as they're using existing stock, however all SD material, including extras, will be re-encoded to a codec with higher efficiency than MPEG2 (probably AVC).
The upscaling itself was done by Deluxe Digital (New York), who used the original TX tapes. The special effects haven't been re-rendered, which was to be expected.

And saving the best till last, the frame rates. That's right. Plural. Series 1-4, the new upscaled content, will be 24p, presumably for it to be used as a global master. This means that the upscales will be slowed down (and deinterlaced) from 50i to 24p, with pitch correction applied to the audio so people don't notice the difference. Series 5-7 will remain 50i as they are from existing stock. The Next Doctor (the first and, until now, only upscale) will remain as 60i as they are using the existing stock there too, so complaints of having a jagged picture may continue. Everything else (i.e. the HD specials) will be at 50i, presumably changed to match the existing HD episodes.
Please note, I am unaware exactly what Region A will be, but presumably it will be the same for the new content, with the reused BD discs for the rest, like Region B.

But what's all this "using existing stock" about? This is a phrase that I personally do not quite understand since the disc count released for this set does not match the previously released sets. How can they use existing stock with different numbers?

Finally, BBC Worldwide have no plans to either release the individual series separately, or re-release afterwards including the 50th/Christmas Special. Having said that, plans can change.

If you have any further questions, just let me know by tomorrow, where I shall be sending my response.


whopix said...

even if I had a Blu-Ray, from what you've said I wouldn't buy it.

The_Silent_Shadow said...

So... Should I get it? Little bonus material sounds bad. If I'm getting this, I will sell the series I currently have. I'm not sure if I should get it. Is the picture and sound good?

Imoscar.com said...

I don't have a blu ray player. If they could release all 1-7 episodes in HD on regular DVD's, that would be awesome.

Andy said...

There's no way the US releases will be 50i, as most US blu-ray players can't handle 50i. Those will be presumably converted to 60i (as the existing releases) or to 24fps.

Andy said...

"If they could release all 1-7 episodes in HD on regular DVD's, that would be awesome."

Clearly, you don't know what HD means. DVD is a SD (standard def) format. HD isn't possible on DVD. The current DVDs probably look as good as they're ever going to.

Murray said...

When you say no deleted scenes and bloopers are included, do you mean no additional ones have been created, or the existing ones won't be ported across?
Just wondered cause you also say just above that already released extras are included. Thanks.

Luke Foord said...

what haha? do some research.

Connor Cahill-Hayes said...

I wasn't aware the "bombastic" feel of S1-4 was a problem. Also, are the original special features (i.e. Confidential Cutdowns) being kept?

pcjonathan said...

It is a very subjective problem, however one that has been complained about. Personally? I don't mind it.

"alongside the already released extras."
Yes, it'll include the cutdowns.

pcjonathan said...

"alongside the already released extras."

Yes, everything that already has been released, is included. The problem there is the amount of content that wasn't actually included first time round.