The 5-disc set includes all thirteen episodes which have already been released in two volumes.
The review set we were sent contained discs labeled with the volume disc numbers (i.e. Volume One: Disc One, Volume One: Disc Two, etc) which contain the episodes, and a fifth extras disc.
Selected episodes contain commentaries with cast and crew.
The extras disc includes deleted scenes from eight episodes (eps 1 – 5, 7 8 and 9) and six minutes of outtakes, most of which result from the cast’s inability to deliver their lines without laughing.
There’s also a 7 minute series of storyboards from various episodes and a fan photo gallery which has to be the oddest extra I’ve seen on any big name commercial release.
Do buyers of a DVD really want to see photos of other people’s cakes, replica costumes and dressing up sessions?
Presumably the producers solicited the photos. Given how dreadful some of them are, I can’t imagine how bad the rejected one were.
The biggest extra, and the one which gives the release any sense of value, is an 18 minute ‘making of’ feature containing contributions from cast and crew.
The producers of the series often compare it to Doctor Who – see the ‘making of feature – but I’ve never been convinced of the comparison.
This release certainly doesn’t feel as comprehensive as Who’s, which tend to be able to demand a higher selling price thanks to a richer extras set.
That said, as with all TV boxsets, this is likely to sell primarily to those who already like the series.
The single volume releases can still be found retailing for around £12 each while the DVD boxset is available for around £25.
So for pretty much the same price as the standalone volumes you get an OK-ish set of extras and a nice looking box to store the discs in.
But it’s hard to get too excited about what is a pretty standard release.
Our verdict: 3.5/5