A few months ago I made a big purchase on amazon.ca. They had a sale and classic Doctor Who was going ridiculously cheap. I bought a whole bunch of Tom Baker’s and got everything that I was missing to complete my Classic Doctor Who collection. From 1963 to 1989, I have everything I can get (at least until more of the missing episodes turn up) except for three. Three of the last four stories in the series had been discontinued in North America, Ghost Light, Battlefield and Curse of Fenric.
Even though this is really a #FirstWorldProblem, the plight of those stories has gone undocumented for the most part. They were discontinued around January 1st, 2013, with zero notice or fanfare. If you weren’t paying attention (like me at the time) you wouldn’t have even known that 30 to 40 stories suddenly dropped off of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment’s active catalogue. The range of discontinued stories starts with some Hartnell’s and Troughton’s and goes all the way to the aforementioned McCoys. I think Tom Baker is the Doctor least affected, probably because he’s freaking Tom Baker and who would dare discontinue any of his stories?
Not everybody had their head in the sand like I did. Those who noticed were quick to start making a buck on it. Take a look for Ghost Light. It’ll set you back $200 for the North American version compared to $10 for R2 version.
Anyway, when I first became aware that there were Doctor Who stories I needed among those no longer available, I went straight to amazon hoping to find them and for a reasonable price. In January I ordered Curse of Fenric and Battlefield from the website. Even though I was told that they were out of stock, I was still allowed to order them and my order has stayed active for the past 5 months. Toward the end of every month I get an email which states amazon is still trying to source my order.
Today I got an email with an estimated delivery date of July 7th for Curse Of Fenric. That’s right, just over a month from now my wait might be over and my Still Need list could be down to two!
So if you were in the same boat as me, if there’s a discontinued Classic Doctor Who dvd you still need to purchase, wander over to amazon. Maybe, just maybe, you might get lucky like I have. Or like I hope to be. Until that dvd is actually in my hands I will remain skeptical.