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 Post subject: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 14:24 
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As a fan of the (20th Century) version of "Doctor Who", I've always fancied collecting all the LaserDiscs of it that were released (not all that many, just 8).

LDDB dutifully lists the five UK PAL releases. Strictly speaking I have to quibble with the note on "The Brain of Morbius" - "This is not the original 4 part version as shown on BBC1 but a heavily edited compilation version which was heavily censored to get it a low certificate rating." - it's true it's a heavily edited compilation, but probably just to keep production costs on the videotape release down. This was released before certification was mandatory in the UK.

Also it lists the two US releases, but also this (NSFW) one: Dr. Who (1993) [A0341] ...which isn't quite what I was expecting! I think that's probably what we fans would call "not canon".

What's missing from LDDB is the one that's also missing from my little collection - the Hong Kong release (rental only?) of the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie, starring Paul McGann.

http://www.timelash.com/tardis/display.php?678
https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/doctor-mega-paul-mcgann-laser-disc-465784906

I should add this myself but as I don't own it, I don't have a decent cover scan nor do I know the reference number. If anyone does know the reference, it might make my search for it easier..?
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 15:59 
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I don’t think Doctor Who (1993) is “non-cannon” I think it’s simply not Doctor Who. Coincidence, with no relationship implied. I could be wrong about that, but that’s what I always thought. In 1993 Who was at its absolute bottom of popularity and back then in HK you could probably get away with releasing a movie called “Star Wars” without any meaningful legal action.

I have one Who LD, the NTSC version of Day of the Daleks. I don’t really associate LD with Who since so few eps were release. VHS and DVD are where Who on home video was really good. I buy those cheap from used book stores when I see them, particularly the VHS since they are only a dollar or two and Who rarely loses anything even on VHS since the original tapes sucked anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 18:00 
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I wonder if Dr. Who in King Gong vs Mecha Kong had a grandchild and they are in Dr. Who (1993) [A0341] :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 18:43 
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It to be confused with Doctor Ho, who leads Dynaman.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 18:53 
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so is that really a US disc? it shows English as subs in picture and the cover doesn't look like an appropriate US p0rn0 LD
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 19:01 
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I just noticed its Japanese and not Chinese, I don’t know why I assumed Hong Kong.

It was likely VHS only in Japan so if it had any fans the super hardcore would really want this disc...whatever it is.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 20:36 
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signofzeta wrote:
I have one Who LD, the NTSC version of Day of the Daleks. I don’t really associate LD with Who since so few eps were release. VHS and DVD are where Who on home video was really good. I buy those cheap from used book stores when I see them, particularly the VHS since they are only a dollar or two and Who rarely loses anything even on VHS since the original tapes sucked anyway.

I'm not sure the original tapes sucked :-) the Pertwee era, from which "Day of the Daleks" hails, is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of the surviving master tapes, but "Day" itself survives on the original BBC 2" tape masters from the high quality 'tube' studio cameras used at the time - so get the (Region 2, 576/50i) DVD and it looks fantastic - and even the PAL LD looks good.

Of course, "Day" (and Doctor Who in general) will never look as good when viewed as an NTSC (480/60i) standards conversion - down-rezzing the picture and mucking about with the frame rate is never a good idea - and the NTSC "Day" LD is pretty poor picture wise.

Out of interest, everything from the Tom Baker years onwards exists on its original video masters, and the BBC has started releasing selected seasons on BD, 1080/50i in the UK, and 1080/60i in the US. Obviously the masters are PAL so there's no great detail improvements over the DVDs, but I understand the compression is less noticeable.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 20:48 
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Well for what it's worth, VHS resolution does hide the hokey special effects a lot of the time. Like the fact that the main villain in the old Hartnell era story Web Planet looks like a huge pile of shredded paper. When I originally watched that story, it was on dailymotion in what was obviously a very low resolution analogue source which hid many of the story's budgetary shortcomings and actually worked in it's favour in a way, but when I got the DVD they were incredibly obvious. Still can't fault it for lacking ambition though.

Laserdisc wise, I think more stories got released in PAL but then you've got that whole problem of some of them being analog and some of them being digital, and only the later higher end players could play both.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 02 Jan 2021, 06:43 
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I know this is an old thread, but I happened to see it, and as an original die hard Who fan since the late 70's when it came to America on PBS, I thought i'd throw my comments in. The only LD I have is The Five Doctors, which is really nice aside from a few very slight edits. The picture quality beats any DVD digitized remaster (especially the modern era redo with the "new effects", which I hate) or original VHS, and it looks exactly as I remember seeing it on TV in the 80's.

Have been curious about "Day Of The Daleks" (the only other US LD I believe), but every time I came across one, it was way too pricey. It wasn't one of the best stories of the Pertwee era, but cause i'm a fan would love to own it on LD just to have it.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 02 Jan 2021, 07:37 
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jmpmusic wrote:
I know this is an old thread, but I happened to see it, and as an original die hard Who fan since the late 70's when it came to America on PBS, I thought i'd throw my comments in. The only LD I have is The Five Doctors, which is really nice aside from a few very slight edits. The picture quality beats any DVD digitized remaster (especially the modern era redo with the "new effects", which I hate) or original VHS, and it looks exactly as I remember seeing it on TV in the 80's.

Have been curious about "Day Of The Daleks" (the only other US LD I believe), but every time I came across one, it was way too pricey. It wasn't one of the best stories of the Pertwee era, but cause i'm a fan would love to own it on LD just to have it.


Over the years I have seen NA releases of classic Who and I can tell you the quality is poor. The source is higher resolution.
A lot of NA versions the colours don't seem exactly right sometimes and there's a more blurry look generally speaking.

Admittedly I have never watched a classic Who NTSC LD, but before BD releases I'm not aware of any NA versions that looked just as good as PAL. Having more frames means nothing in this case.
I guess the 1996 movie may possibly have equivalent quality VHS/DVD NA versions (or better perhaps) because it was filmed in NA, but I have never considered that movie classic Who myself.

Of course if you want to view these stories the way you saw them broadcast in NA then I guess NTSC LD may possibly be the closest thing to what you remember. But imo you should seriously consider watching classic Who PAL versions. It might look better than what you remember but that was the way it was intended to be viewed, not NTSC.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2021, 10:27 
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I saw this thread and I felt I had to pop in and add, ask, and just in general get an updated opinion on this Hong Kong (NTSC) release of Doctor Who: The TV Movie starring Paul McGann.
Back 1996 when this Universal/BCC made TV movie aired, I was a newb to Doctor Who, but I knew of the show’s existence. Luckily I had a college friend give me a crash course on the 7 actors to play the character during the original 26 Season run before the movie aired on Fox (BTW, it was filmed in Canada similar to how X-Files had originally started out).
If memory serves, the UK managed to release a mere 6 stories in PAL format of the classic series run on Laserdisc. The US released 2, of which 1 the UK did not even get a release; that one being the show’s 20th Anniversary Special, ‘The Five Doctors’, a 90 minute one part story that aired in 1983 and starred Peter Davison as the 5th Doctor, the ‘then’ current lead role.
They tried on cancel the series after Season 22 but fan backlash instead had the BBC put the series on an 18 month hiatus. When the show did return, the show made probably one of its biggest SNAFU’s ever in the show’s run; it was decided that Season 23 would be one ginormous 14 part story called The Trial of the Time Lords. Needless to say a story arc that wide was too much for even the best of the Whovian fan base and the series was almost dead by the end. The BBC decided to fire the 6th Doctor, Colin Baker after 2 seasons and replaced with Sylvester McCoy for 3 more seasons before the show quietly slid off the air waves in 1989.

Now, with all that said, when the US showed interest in the putting out their own version, it was briefly going to be a bit of a reboot rather than a continuation, but that idea was abandoned early on, which I think is a GOOD thing!
Now here it is, 2021 and the new series just finished its 12th Series, with a very questionable Series 13 filming, but unless something major is down by the powers that be, the show may once again vanish into the time vortex.

Anywhoo...since your eyes are possibly bleeding, I will lose but not before I ask, has anyone actually SEEN this enigma of the 8th Doctor Laserdisc episode? Does anyone have one they wish to sell? I started collecting the Doctor Who DVD releases when they began September 11, 2001, (no, the date is NOT a typo). I currently have ALL the episodes released on DVD and only took 20 years to do it.
Also, I do have an extra ‘The Five Doctors’ (Story 130) Laserdisc release I’d be willing to part with if it would help me get the Hong Kong release of the 8th Doctor’s TV Movie. It’s the one and only disc format release that I do not own and honestly, I’ve been kind of afraid to ask if anyone had it to purchase. I’m not sure that it is particularly rare, just as anime wasn’t that rare, it was just that you had to have contacts in Japan to get a lot of the titles, and I’m not sure if those were even bi-lingual.
So if anyone has this HK release of Doctor Who, could you please reply about it, even if you aren’t looking to part with it, I’d love to own it as my most favorite title from WAY ‘across the pond’.

Thanks for the ramble and have a great night/morning. I hope to hear from anyone on this...even if you aren’t looking to sell.

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2021, 15:39 
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jmpmusic wrote:
I know this is an old thread, but I happened to see it, and as an original die hard Who fan since the late 70's when it came to America on PBS, I thought i'd throw my comments in. The only LD I have is The Five Doctors, which is really nice aside from a few very slight edits. The picture quality beats any DVD digitized remaster (especially the modern era redo with the "new effects", which I hate) or original VHS, and it looks exactly as I remember seeing it on TV in the 80's.

Have been curious about "Day Of The Daleks" (the only other US LD I believe), but every time I came across one, it was way too pricey. It wasn't one of the best stories of the Pertwee era, but cause i'm a fan would love to own it on LD just to have it.

I don't know which particular version you own but it's worth pointing out that The Five Doctors was the first DVD release done by the Doctor Who Restoration Team, and they've had both a lot more experience and a lot better technology since then. Their 25th Anniversary Edition rerelease of it, which includes both the originally aired and 'special edition' versions, makes use of these newer techniques, including the use of the "Transform PAL decoder" which is documented here (I wonder if someone could use these techniques these days to make a good software-defined comb filter for Laserdisc watching purposes!), and the many location shots (shot on film, remember) transferred using the Philips SDC-2000 'Spirit' Datacine. Frankly with all this care and attention put into maximising the quality of the newer DVD releases of Doctor Who in particular, if you still think the Laserdisc looks better I suspect there's something wrong with your DVD-playing setup!

See some side-by-side comparisons between the broadcast version and the newly remastered version here http://www.impossiblethings.net/restora ... sRedux.htm
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2021, 12:14 
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Although there have been no posts for a long time, I will apnu her. I finally saw Doctor Who and was absolutely thrilled! I expected less, but it turned out to be quite a worthy work.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2021, 14:30 
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Getting back on this topic, I have mixed feeling about WHO, some are fun but some are just sci-fi versions of bad Sherlock Holmes to me.

BUT I've seen a massive DVD box set on ebay, is that worth the risk or is it just junk???
I really want and need to stay away from TV series box sets as I never actually watch them just get excited and buy them
but I may sort of watch Who????


Edit: the box is a strange bootleg that says its complete but doesn't have early seasons or doctors.


Last edited by rein-o on 09 Jul 2021, 00:05, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2021, 17:31 
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I don’t know what box set you’re talking about but yeah, you probably should give it a shot. You’ve got the mind for it. Start at the beginning. The older the better with Who, on average. If you aren’t looking deeply into it by the time it goes color just quit.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2021, 19:00 
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I used to love the show but hadn't seen it in years, there is the Who channel on Pluto that I watch from time to time but I'm not
really into it as much as I feel I was in the past.

I just think series in general are turning me off, maybe my attention span, too many phone games or who knows what but
its hard to get into anything more than 10 episodes and it has to be older.

Guess if I were to watch Who as the mini story runs like they used to mention with the episodes on 3 or 4 at a time I would be OK??
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2021, 19:53 
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Old Who had...I don’t know. Maybe 5-7 parts per story? They move very quickly. The nice thing is that you usually get a complete change of scenery for every one. Other than the TARDIS and UNIT headquarters they rarely go anywhere twice. The music changes, the bad guy is new, location/set design is totally different. This is in contrast to stuff like Trek where you see the same bridge for half of every episode, sometimes the whole episode. And it’s different than modern Who because everyplace in modern Who is the same, computer graphics. Mars, the North Pole? St Martin's College of Art, London, November 6th 1975? It all looks the same. That farmed out CG b******t. In Classic Who they literally drive to some place else and shoot every half dozen episodes. Not to get texture maps and green screen BG, to shoot the show. Sometimes it’s on stage, sometimes it’s in Paris (OK, once), sometimes it’s space mummies in Mick Jagger’s house. Who consumes props faster than Sentai.

I think for you in 2021 half the enjoyment is going to be in analyzing the show for its place in sci-fi history and in 20th century pop culture history. Seeing it progress, comparing it historically to other works. The actual stories are only great on their own occasionally. It’s the whole package that makes it great. Therefore I suggest you give it some dedicated watching, either chronologically or by sampling some of the better stuff and then going to the beginning if you like it.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2021, 11:09 
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signofzeta wrote:
Not to get texture maps and green screen BG, to shoot the show.

Except The Underworld which is almost entirely chroma key. :mrgreen:

Personally, I find classic Who's strongest asset the format; because they had to make the most out of the sets they'd built, stories had to be stretched across multiple episodes, but it also meant that you spent more time with the supporting characters who ended up as far more fleshed out thanks to the additional screentime. I find myself far more emotionally attached to characters like the crew of the mining vessel in Robots of Death or the chief operator of the nuclear plant in The Hand of Fear than practically anybody in nu-Who.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2021, 13:44 
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Who was great because world class acting is cheaper than any FX.
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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Who
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2021, 18:23 
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Yeah, a friend of mine once said about Pertwee's second season - the one that gave us Roger Delgado as The Master - was that even when the stories were a bit naff, like Claws of Axos, they were still tremendously enjoyable squarely thanks to the screen presence of the principal cast. And I don't think I can disagree with that sentiment.
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