TMINE’s recommendations for last-minute boxsets for Christmas!

So those nice people at emailed me – and a few other bloggers – a while back to ask us for some recommendations for DVD boxsets released this year that would make nice Christmas presents. Taking a bit of a departure from the norm, rather than “Presents for Mum – she’ll love Miranda!”, “Presents for Dad – he’ll love Top Gear!”, “Presents for Sis – she’ll love The Vampire Diaries!” et al, which let’s face it, is never going to work for everyone or even the majority of people and would probably end up being offensive, I decided to go for three separate categories: drama, comedy and factual.

So decide what genre your relative likes then pick a gift: at the very least, you might introduce someone you love to something good.

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Review: Overseas Press Club – Exclusive! (1957)

Overseas Press Club

Overseas Press Club BoxStarring: Phyllis Calvert, Richard O’Sullivan, Peter Wyngarde, Robert Raglan, Peter Arne et al
Price: £19.99 (Amazon price: £13.99; Network price: £12.24)
Released: October 22nd 2012

So here’s the sales spiel:

A woman comes forward as one of several claimants to the Romanov fortune. Is she really the Grand Duchess Tatiana, daughter of the last Czar of Russia?

A pint-sized parachutist proves too tough for the USAF; he is a ten-year-old Polish orphan, wearing a sergeant’s uniform and found as a stowaway on a British cargo ship.

In post-war Naples, a young priest, Father Maggiore Borrelli, lives and works among the scugnizzi – wild street gangs of abandoned children and teenagers.

April, 1945: a war correspondent arrives in Munich in search of a world scoop. Instead, in Hitler’s home, he finds and reveals one of the war’s strangest exploits…

Just a few of the accounts brought to life in this anthology of thirteen individual dramas based on the adventures of famous foreign correspondents – witnesses to some of the most extraordinary stories of the twentieth century. First screened in 1957 and unseen for over fifty years, Overseas Press Club – Exclusive! features performances by, among many others, Phyllis Calvert, Richard O’Sullivan, Peter Wyngarde, Robert Raglan and Peter Arne.

Sounds desperately exciting, doesn’t it? Certainly, it did to me – tales of journalists doing derring do things. Yey!

Wrong. Unfortunately, that’s not what Overseas Press Club – Exclusive! is about at all.

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Review and competition: Doctor Who – The UNIT Files on DVD

The UNIT Files

BBC Shop BadgeStarring: Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen
Writers: Malcolm Hulke, Terry Nation
Director: Paddy Russell, Barry Letts
Price: £30.63 (Amazon price: £12.99; BBC Shop price: £22.25)
Released: January 9th 2012

It’s competition time again, you lucky people, courtesy of the BBC Shop throwing me a load of DVDs that I don’t really want. This time round, it’s your chance to win an entire box set: Doctor WhoThe UNIT Files. Now this contains one Jon Pertwee six-parter featuring UNIT and that has the word ‘Invasion’ in the title, as well as one four-part Tom Baker story featuring UNIT and that has the word ‘Invasion’ in the title. Can you guess what the stories are?

Yes, it’s Invasion (of the Dinosaurs) and The Android Invasion, written by two of Doctor Who‘s old reliables: Malcolm Hulke and Terry Nation. And for once, I’ve actually sat down and watched them. Well, not the DVD extras, of course – don’t be silly.

Find out what I thought of them and how you could win them on DVD after this shiny trailer:

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Review and Competition: Doctor Who – The Sensorites on DVD

The Sensorites

BBC Shop Badge Starring: William Hartnell, Carole Ann Ford
Writer: Peter R Newman
Director: Frank Cox
Price: £20.42 (Amazon price: £12.99; BBC Shop price: £12.99)
Released: January 23rd 2012

I have to confess that I’m not the most diligent of DVD reviewers. Give me something that I can watch in an hour or two and I’m fine. Give me something that lasts two and a half hours and that also has commentaries and epic amounts of extras and basically, I’m not up for that. Call it being busy, call it being lazy – it ain’t happening.

But sometimes, I’ll give it a try. In this case, the BBC Shop, in their infinite wisdom, sent me the six-part William Hartnell Doctor Who story The Sensorites to peruse. Now, I hadn’t seen this in about 20 years and beyond a slight reference to it at some point when the Ood popped up in modern Who, it had almost completely escaped my mind. Feeling semi-dedicated, I decided to give The Sensorites a go. See how I fared after this trailer and the jump.

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