Released by BBC Home Entertainment on March 12, 2013. SRP $34.98 (DVD)
Subtitles: English SDH 4:3 Mono (Main Feature)
The Ark in Space has been out on DVD for a long time. In the UK, it looks like it was the 9th title to be released in the range. As I mentioned in my review for The Aztecs, restoration technique and technology has moved on quite a bit since this title was originally released. When watching the stories in order, the quality of this story from the previous release stood out like a sore thumb mainly because it didn’t look as good as the other stories from Season 12 which were released later in the range. Now with a wonderful restoration, I am happy to revisit this loved story from Tom Baker’s inaugural season.
Doctor Who has been blessed with many talented designers over the course of its long history. Possibly one of the best is Roger Murray-Leach. The rising catacombs of the human race are inspired. It gives a tremendous feeling of height and the way the set is designed makes it look like that it’s just one room out of many with bodies that rise up. The room with the solar stack is tremendously atmospheric. The set is raised up from the floor which gives a nice metal gantry sound when humans walk on it. It’s nice to see a dark set with a great deal of shadows. Where there is light such as coming from the stack itself, it has a piercing glow that gives the room eerie feel. Then of course there are those corridors that also get a re-use in Revenge of the Cybermen. I love those corridors!
As stated at the beginning of this review, this is a 2-disc Special Edition release. Some of the extras are from the original 2002 release and some are new.
Audio Commentary: From the original release. Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and Philip Hinchcliffe. This is a nice commentary with some good insight from Lis and Philip. Less so from Tom but he jokingly says at the beginning that he doesn’t remember anything from it! There are a lot of pauses as I think they got caught up in the action of the program. It is a nice reminder on how important it is to have some kind of moderator. Of course, anything with Lis is nice to hear. It is still quite simply perplexing to me that she is gone.
Click on the picture below. When that picture shows up larger, there will be a bunch of smaller thumbnails below of the other pictures. Click on them to see up close the difference in quality between the 2002 release and the new 2013 release:
This is another cover by Lee Binding. It is a huge improvement over the original R1 DVD cover but I still prefer the original R2 DVD cover the best. That was really simple and just featured a Wirrn.
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