Doctor Who: The Complete Eleventh Series Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews Doctor Who Season 11, the further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer known as the Doctor, a Time Lord/Lady who can change appearance and gender by regenerating when near death, and his/her human companions.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89

Details:

Studio and Year: BBC – 2018
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 510 minutes
Genre: TV/Sci-Fi

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.00:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill
Directed by: Various
Music by: Segun Akinola
Written by: Various
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: January 29, 2019

“Meet the New Doctor. The Universe Just Got More Interesting”

Synopsis:

“The dazzling Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker, Broadchurch, Wired) falls out of the sky just in time to thwart an alien huntsman who is stalking human prey. With little time to spare and the population of Sheffield (and Earth!) at risk, the Doctor recruits three new friends – gentle Ryan, no-nonsense Yasmin, and Ryan’s step-grandfather, Graham – who soon feel more like family than companions. Join the foursome in ten fresh and enormously thrilling roller-coaster adventures across time and the universe.” – BBC America

My Take:

The Doctor is an alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through all of time and space in the TARDIS with friends. Instead of dying, the Doctor is able to “regenerate” into a new body, taking on a new personality with each regeneration.

I have never seen Doctor Who but, I have friends that are fans of the British TV series and highly recommend it. When I was approached about reviewing the Blu-ray release of Season 11, which also featured the first female Doctor Who, I was all in. The series is a sci-fi adventure that with each season introduces a “new” Doctor/supporting characters that assist he/she in various storylines that play out over the course of the season.

I am definitely a fan of the genre and was immediately smitten with the show’s narrative approach, sense of adventure and charming cast. Each episode takes the Doctor and her new recruits on a new adventure where they encounter situations that require the Doctor’s particular set of skills in order to thwart diabolical invasions of Earth, time traveling ex-con’s seeking to upend the rise of civil rights in 1955 Montgomery Alabama, demons in 1947 India, 17th Century Witch Trials, a present day arachnid problem in Yorkshire, and tangles with extra terrestrials in a galaxy far far away.

Doctor Who: The Complete Eleventh Series is a well spun serial that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t speak to how well Jodie Whittaker compares to actors from past season that have played the iconic character but, I found her energetic take to be charming and complimentary to the show’s thematic tone. I found that her chemistry with the three actors that portray her recruits was spot on, with each of them carrying their share of the load with aplomb. As each episode played out, I found myself looking forward to the next, finding the finale to be solid as it lived up to the events that preceded it.

I am pleased to say that Doctor Who has found another fan and, I look forward to the next installment as well as trying to catch up on some of the show’s previous seasons.

Here is Season Eleven’s episode list:

  1. The Woman Who Fell to Earth
  2. The Ghost Monument
  3. Rosa
  4. Arachnids in the UK
  5. The Tsuranga Conundrum
  6. Demons of the Punjab
  7. Kerblam!
  8. The Witch Finders
  9. It Takes You Away
  10. The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

Replay Value:

Parental Guide: 

The series contains sci-fi action and thematic elements.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Doctor Who: The Complete Eleventh Series comes to Blu-ray Disc from BBC America featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This 2.00:1 framed video presentation offers appreciable high definition resolution that has a satisfying glossy aesthetic. Images are stable and sharp with plenty of discernible texture and revealing fine detail during close-ups. Many of the show’s sequences are shot in uneven and low lighting. Shadow delineation and depth is quite good. Blacks are deep while exhibiting appreciable dynamic range with stable yet slightly elevated contrast that never infringes upon fidelity. Colors are snappy and bright and sullen and muted where appropriate. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialog, robust dynamics and a subtle, yet enriching surround sound mix. I was pleased with its use of spatial dimension and directional cues to create an apropos and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with show’s music, and active sequences to build tension and drive its thematic elements. I thought it sounded quite good.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary
  • Closer Looks
  • Cast Video Diaries
  • Becoming the Doctor
  • Regenerating Doctor Who
  • Directing Doctor Who
  • Friends of the Doctor
  • Everything You Need to Know About TARDIS
  • Making the Theme Tune
  • Best of Social

Final Thoughts:

Doctor Who: The Complete Eleventh Series is an entertaining and well-crafted TV series that I enjoyed quite a bit. It comes to Blu-ray from BBC America featuring excellent high definition audio/video mated with a fan friendly assortment of supplements that are worth exploring. I am pleased to say that Doctor Who has found another fan and, I look forward to the next season as well as catching up on some of the show’s previous seasons.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems 

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