A few weeks ago, Character Options announced they would be revisiting classic Doctor Who for a series of B&M (a UK retailer) exclusive toys. More recently they unveiled the complete line to include new Doctor/Dalek packs, Doctor/TARDIS packs and figure 3-packs. Then, to my surprise, a package from Character Options arrived with a pair of these upcoming releases to check out – today we’re looking at Fourth Doctor and his TARDIS from the episode ‘Shada’. Of course ‘Shada’ is an episode name that every fan of classic Doctor Who knows, it was the story that was partially filmed but never completed due to a labor strike, but ended up providing the footage of the Fourth Doctor and Romana that was used in ‘The Five Doctors’. Now released in many formats, the story is no longer a mystery – but has provided the inspiration for this set.
I covered the new look of the packaging in my Sontaran Figure Spotlight, but I think it’s even more effective in this larger box. The same elements are all present, the new logo, the TARDIS illustration, the exclusive sticker…the biggest difference is an extended description of the episode on the back of the box. Check the packaging out below.
With these toys now safely out of the package (spoiler alert – you need a small screwdriver), we’ll look first at the Fourth Doctor figure. Now, at this point, I have a lot of Fourth Doctors..and, I’m totally ok with that. I’m pleased to say that this new figure is different than the others in my collection – here his coat is more brown than others. The styling of the outfit is similar to the ‘Pyramids of Mars’ Fourth, but now with a much darker coat. No sonic screwdriver is included with this Fourth Doctor.
Now we’ll turn our attention to the TARDIS. I’ve read articles about the subtle changes in the TARDIS appearance story-to-story and season-to-season and the attention to detail in the Character Options TARDISes is why I can have as many as I do. This specific TARDIS appeared in the back half of season 17. It’s distinguishing features are the rounded blue light on the roof and the red tinted windows being mixed in with the frosted clear ones. Both of these elements are captured perfectly on this new release. As with the other TARDISes, this one does feature opening doors and the release button on the TARDIS floor that closes the door after being locked open. A battery compartment remains in place, but this release has no electronics. As with all the other Character Options TARDIS releases, the detailing of the sculpt and deco are perfect.
This ‘Shada’ set, along with the ‘Sontarans’ set were the two items in the line-up for the new Character Options Doctor Who figures that I absolutely had to have (some of the Dalek sets are right behind them). I’m thrilled that the Shada set does not disappoint at all and fits right in with my TARDIS collection. There’s a part of me that’s still in awe that these sets even exist, and I’m thrilled that B&M took a chance on new Classic Doctor Who toys. While there isn’t any word of any US availability of these sets, I’m hoping that the demand gets noticed and these make their way stateside…these sets are fantastic.
Thanks to Character Options for providing this set for review.