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Doctor Who - Series 3 Vol. 3 [2007] - £11.98

Among the very finest episodes broadcast since Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005, this collection of "Human Nature", "The Family Of Blood" and "Blink" surely adds up to the best single DVD release of the show to date.

Let's start with the best. "Blink" is an episode where the Doctor takes a back seat. Yet while this approach resulted in one of Doctor Who's worst ever episodes in season two, here it generates one of the very finest in the history of the show. It's from the pen of Steven Moffat, the man behind the best stories since the show's return, and manages to be clever, frightening and intricate in a way that will easily reward repeated viewers. To tell any more would be to spoil it. So we won't. Just know that while the BBC is happy to wheel out the `hiding behind the sofa' cliché, this is one episode that may have you doing just that.

Nearly matching it for sheer quality is the superb double header, "Human Nature" and "The Family Of Blood". Here we find the Doctor being hunted, and thus converting his biology to that of a human. With no knowledge of his real identity, it's down to the Doctor's assistant, Martha, to unravel what's going on.

Again though, there's plenty to lift these two episodes above run of the mill. Creepy scarecrows, even creepier schoolkids, a moving wartime setting and the willingness to take their time and build up the story all pay major dividends. The end result? Just terrific.

With not a weak link to be found, these three episodes find Doctor Who in outrageously strong form. And the season three finale is coming up on the next DVD release, too... --Simon Brew

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
If you only ever buy one Doctor Who DVD... : There may be some argument as to whether these three episodes have been the best since Russell T Davies and his team resurrected the programme...but possibly not much. For my money, they are definitely the best three (though I also liked Gods and Monsters from the last series, which I realise wasn't everyone's cup of tea) - and they're all handily on the same DVD.

Paul Cornell, author of the first two, is someone who I actually know. We used to write for a fanzine called Cygnus Alpha when we were teenagers (I hid my identity in those days with the pseudonym Denis Richardson...Paul was always totally upfront). I'm told Davies was a subscriber. It's great that the fans of yesteryear are now making the programme, something which went horribly wrong with the remake of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) but which has made Doctor Who a favourite with a whole new generation.

Paul's two episodes, in which The Doctor becomes a human being and completely forgets his past life, preferring instead to teach in a boys' school on the eve of World War I, is marvellous in its nuances...Martha's incongruity as a maid who seems to know a suspiciously large amount about medicine being a case in point. The finale, at a memorial service many years later, is genuinely moving. Oh, and the walking scarecrows are pretty terrific, too, though I gather from the extras that they weren't originally Paul's idea!

That said, Blink, the final episode on this DVD, is better still. It is everything a Doctor Who episode should be: scary, mysterious, clever, touching...I'd go as far as to say it is the best single episode of the programme I have ever seen - and I grew up with Jon Pertwee playing The Doctor, so I've seen a few!

Rating: 4:
Not much of the Doctor for Doctor Who! : These 3 episodes r ok but the only problem is that the Doctor is not in them enough!
Though the storylines r good especially in The Family of Blood.
When i watched the first few scenes of Human Nature i knew that The Doctor was not going to be in that episodes much.
Oh Well, but don't get me wrong, this is a good choice if your a Doctor Who fan, just like me!

Rating: 5:
Freema comes into her own : It is with the episodes on this volume that the fabulous Freema Agyeman comes into her own and fulfils the potential that was already apparent in her debut.
She practically carried Human Nature and Family of Blood on her own, a tremendous responsibility, and that she did so with such ease is great credit to an actress we are going to hear much more from.
Many will never accept her because she had the temerity to be Rose's successor but any objective eye can see what a great performance she gave here in particular and on series 3 as a whole.
Conversely, the episode she is hardly in, Blink, is also well worth the price of the DVD on its own. Creepy isn't the word, this is downright scary for a prime time TV show.

Rating: 3:
Best of a series marred by the worst assistant yet. : Freema Agyeman really is enormously out of this franchise's league. She is a dull actor who can only do the very basic emotions and one the highest points of the series was hearing she was leaving at the end (well, semi-leaving).
David Tennant is as great as ever, and the contrast between him and Aygeman only makes her seem even worse.
"Blink" was one of the best episodes of the modern series. I had one problem though: if the Angels only send you back in time, why do they need fangs?

Anyway, a reasonable 3 episodes.

Rating: 5:
Doctor Who Series 3 Vol 3 : This is one of my favourite DVDs ever! OK, lets not be shy; "Human Nature+The Family Of Blood"-brilliant, superb, excellent, fantastic, great. Think how great something could be and then add another bucket-load full of great. But I'm not so keen on "Blink", I love the idea, I love the Weeping Angels. But...

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