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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Doctors
The Pat Troughton Years
Behind the Scenes Vol. 1


Presenter: Nicholas Briggs
Distributor: Reeltime Pictures
5 030994 055217
Certificate: E
Release Date: 07 February 2022

Doctor Who fandom has a long and pretty illustrious history. In fact, fans have been so spoilt with quality content – magazines, events, DVD extras etc – that it’s easy to forget contributions. And perhaps the work of Reeltime Pictures falls into this category.

Their sterling work at interviews of cast and crew from the classic years created a detailed and quiet remarkable library of VHS cassettes, which are now being reissued on DVD. And what a welcome return they make, although I do wish some noise reduction had been added to the video as it looks a little ‘tired’ in parts. Technicalities aside, this double disc set contains some splendid material – all related to the Patrick Troughton years.

The interview [originally released in 1998] with Shaun Sutton, one-time head of drama at the BBC, is the standout. It’s as much about vintage TV as it is about Doctor Who and is an absolute treat. The chat with script editor Derrick Sherwin is also good value. Both men deliver a good story and there are some nice insights, too. No offence to Victor Pemberton but his contribution to the TV series was one script – a very good one, mind – so he’s not as interesting a subject as the previous two, although perfectly charming.

Where things start to fall apart are the convention panels on disc 2... which are for diehard fans only. Yes, they do include producers Innes Lloyd and Peter Bryant, Michael Craze (Ben) and a bunch of other guest actors. But the production values are not great and the panellists don’t deliver much beyond cheerful anecdotes. It’s nice to watch once, I guess, but I found my attention wandering quite a lot.

So it’s a mixed bag, overall, albeit one with some very nice stuff in the mix. However, even for me – a confirmed Troughton fan – I found it all a little plodding in the end. It’s nice to know it’s out there but I won’t be giving this a repeat viewing any time.


Anthony Clark

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