Doctor Who Extended Media Review – The Complete History Volume #36

Doctor Who The Complete History was a series of hardback volumes which came out every two weeks and covered 3-4 stories each. These were in-depth volumes covering the production of each episode from the first in 1963 to the end of the Peter Capaldi era of the show. In addition to the extensive production notes there were also merchandise and publicity updates and actor profiles. The quality of each volume was exceptional overseen by several different editors. The volumes were only available in the UK and Ireland so were difficult to obtain in other locations. I am more of a Watsonian fan but if you are a Doyalist you will greatly appreciate these books. Even so I give the entire series a solid 8 out of 10. I will rate each episode covered below.

This volume covers the first three serials of the twentieth season of Doctor Who. This season had a returning monster or character in every story in celebration of the anniversary. The first story Arc of Infinity sees the Doctor and Nyssa returning to Gallifrey and encountering Omega with Tegan also returning to the TARDIS team. It was nice seeing The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa flying solo for a while as they make a great team. It is a shame we had to wait for Big Finish to see further adventures of the pair. Colin Baker as Maxil stole the show whenever he was on screen. The Amsterdam location shoots were not very necessary and the annoying Tegan’s return was met with a look of dread with both the Fifth Doctor and myself. 8 out of 10.

Snakedance sees the return of the Mara from the 19th season story Kinda. Martin Clunes long before his star performance in Doc Martin makes an appearance as the spoiled Prince Lon. The psychological horror of the Mara and Janet Fielding‘s performance make for a nice story 7.5 out of 10.

The Brigadier makes his welcome return in Mawdryn Undead. Although it was nice seeing Nicholas Courtney return to his iconic role I am disappointed that William Russell could not participate in the story as Ian Chesterton. The Brigadier is shoe-horned into the story that was obviously written for Ian, this resulted in the creation of the UNIT dating controversy. David Collings as Mawdryn is good but not as memorable as his turn as Ander Poul in the Robots of Death and subsequent audios. 8 out of 10.