(BBC, M) – by Chris Gardner (@chrisgardnernz)
That was a long wait.
Doctor Who fans had to wait six weeks for the release of the second half of Series 9 on DVD and Blu-Ray.
It feels in stark contrast to the week or so fans had to wait for the first half of the series.
Since these six stories aired in the last quarter of last year it’s emerged that as well as being 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi’s second series, 9 may we’ll be his penultimate.
The Zygon Invasion and The Zygon Inversion is a wonderfully paranoid two parter that sees the return of many favourites. The ultimate Whovian, in UNIT scientist Osgood (Ingrid Oliver), returns with UNIT boss Kate Lethbridge Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) to investigate the breakdown of relations between the people of Earth and the shape changing Zygon refugees assimilated into human culture.
The Doctor is furious at the break down and Capaldi is at his absolute best as this story reaches its natural climax.
It’s a real cracker, strong enough to make Doctor Who fans stand tall.
Sleep No More stands alone as one of the most unusual episodes ever to air . . . and that’s saying something. The creation of a creature formed from sleep dust is an inspired idea, but unfortunately its execution leaves a little to be desired.
Face The Raven sees the death of Companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) although it, like her first appearance in Asylum of the Daleks in 2012, is premature. The Doctor’s standing by as the impossible girl dies makes little sense to me, although it does set things up nicely for the two part finale.
Oscar winner Capaldi proves he’s worthy in Heaven Sent as the Doctor is sent to his own personal hell. It’s a story that needs watching time and again for all the nuances to sink in. But essentially this is a single character story. If it doesn’t win awards there is no justice.
Hell Bent finishes the season with the rescue of Clara in the moment before her death combined with a showdown between the Doctor and his people the Timelords. There’s a nice symmetry to this story as it contrasts nicely with the Dalek two parter at the beginning of the series.
The whole package is rounded off with about 40 minutes of behind the scenes features.