The Day of the Doctor (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan Tuck, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    Didn't see a topic for this, so I thought I'd start one. This just came out today as a Best Buy exclusive, a week ahead of its wide release.

    For anyone else that picked it up, is it just me or has the special been slowed-down to 24p? The sound has certainly been altered in some way, as there is some really strange phasing on some of the sound effects and music in spots.

    Was this possibly shot at 24 (taking into account the cinema showings), and then sped up to 25p/50i for the UK broadcast (which then would have been transferred to 59.94 for NTSC markets)?
     
  2. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    No way. It was shot at 25p so that it could be broadcast in the UK's 50hz framerate. Since there's no allowance for 25p in the HD specification, it gets converted to 1080i/50 for UK broadcast (and blu-ray releases).

    To release it in the US, the BBC had two choices: slow down the 25p footage to 24p (allowing it to remain progressive), or convert the interlaced 1080i/50 masters to 1080i/60 (which is what was done for the stand-alone US Doctor Who blu-rays from The Specials to Series 7, as well as Torchwood).

    I personally don't understand why slowing down footage is preferable to having it play at the correct speed, all for the sake of progressive vs. interlaced, but that's what they decided.

    All this 24p stuff is supposed to be pitch-corrected (so that it doesn't "sound" slowed-down), but I guess pitch correction still doesn't fix the music not sounding quite right.

    Glad my blu-ray player and TV can handle 50hz (I buy the UK releases exclusively).
     
  3. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    If that's the case, it was a bad decision. If nothing else, the music does sound terrible in places, and it's very difficult to make Murray Gold's music sound terrible. Thanks for the info.
     
  4. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Bryan, did you watch it using the TV audio or by selecting the stereo option?

    I just saw a comment where someone reported the 5.1 mix was fine to them but that the stereo mix was messed up. Just curious if this could be related to your issues.
     
  5. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    This article suggests it was shot at 24fps, or at least the excellent 3D edition was, that is the version the cinemas got.

    http://library.creativecow.net/kaufman_debra/Doctor-Who-50th-Anniversary-VFX/1

    From that article.

    In fact, Cohen calls himself a convert to stereo 3D. "Being a person of a certain age with leanings towards 24 fps film, I now love 3D," he says. "But while we were working on Doctor Who, the BBC announced that won't be doing any more stereo projects. And I'm sad that they won't."
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    Wonder if there's a foolproof way of figuring out whether something is native 24 or 25 frames per second, without being told what it is.

    The only way I have been able to figure out if something is slightly slowed down or speeded up, is if the notes from a particular piece of music sound slightly off. (ie. Does a middle C note sound slightly off? )
     
  7. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Someone on another forum said that the UK blu-ray for The Day of the Doctor is 24fps (for the episode, not the bonus features), just like the US edition. Apparently, Blu-ray 3D content has to be 24fps. The episode content is 24fps for both versions as per the US disc (meaning the UK viewers are getting shafted by not having the as-broadcast 1080i/50 version on the UK release).

    Now, whether the special was shot at 24p (or the usual 25p), I don't know, but I think certain UK fans who saw the broadcast and saw it at the cinema said they felt the cinema presentation was slowed down, rather than the TV version being sped-up.
     
  8. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Isn't it like most discs in that there is not a separately-selectable stereo option, just that if you don't have a 5.1 setup, the audio is supposed to "downconvert" to stereo, and it's this downconversion that has 'screwed the pooch'?

    On Roobarbs, several people have noted that the Blu-ray simply doesn't sound right on systems without 5.1, and have felt it necessary to write the BBC to complain/ask for them to issue a replacement (after all, the BBC have issued replacement discs for far less-bad screw ups, like the 1-second black screen/sync problem on the ending of an episode of The Daemons). These same people said the BBC1 off-air recordings and the DVD release sound just fine, it's only the Blu-ray that has the problem. I guess we shall see whether they do anything or not.
     
  9. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    At times I wonder whether the BBC (and some other movie studios) has been intentionally treating the bluray versions as an "afterthought".
     
  10. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    I think it could go either way. Some releases offer separate selectable stereo tracks if one was available. Those that don't would be subject to a downconvert if the output setup couldn't support anything better. I've never checked on the more recent Doctor Who releases since I have just gone with the default upon playback
     
  11. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I have the recording, i'll check later and see what it says as far as frame rate goes.
     
  12. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I think the question everyone is unsure about is whether the special was shot in 24p (because of it being produced in 3D), or if it was shot in the usual 25p and then converted to 24fps for cinema/3D, worldwide Blu-ray use.

    The UK television broadcast was 1080i/50.

    I, personally, suspect it was shot at the usual 25p.
     
  13. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I was just using the TV speakers. However, as Andy said, there's only one audio track (the 5.1), and it should downconvert to stereo without it sounding so muffled.

    To be fair, the slowed-down framerate is not immediately noticeable, but it actually does drain some of the energy out of the actors' performances and certainly makes the music less exciting (again, quite an accomplishment).

    I really hope BBC is not planning to use this method going forward. Most TVs these days will deinterlace fairly efficiently; of course, it's not the same as true progressive video, but it's certainly preferable to having the show run slow.
     
  14. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    True, it should. But that leaves open the possibility that the 5.1 track plays fine for those of us that use surround systems and that it is only an issue to those that downconvert it. I'm just trying to see if it is safe for me to buy now or if I should wait a while for a future release that may also include the upcoming Christmas Special and any fixes.
     
  15. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Me too. Hopefully this is just an artifact of already having to prepare a 24p version for cinemas/3D. The Blu-Rays for Series 5-7 are converted 50i to 60i for North American release and they play great. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  16. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Since they converted the Series 1-4 and Specials to 24p for the US (instead of 60i), I'm afraid it might be their new policy. If you want to have it changed for the future, you should email BBC America Consumer Products so that they can pass it along.

    I have emailed them recently to request a US Blu-Ray for An Adventure in Space and Time (since the UK division have decided a firm "no" for the UK market). I got a very speedy reply saying that they hadn't made a firm decision yet for the US and would pass my request to the people in charge!
     
  17. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Does this talk of a slow-down indicate that all of the previous seasons have been slowed down for their remastered releases in the seasons 1-7 BD box set?
     
  18. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I actually checked my "Complete Seventh Series" set and it was slowed down to 24p as well. So series 1-4 and series 7 in the 1-7 BD box set are definitely slowed down. Not sure if they remastered the David Tennant specials and series 5 & 6 for 1080p with the slow down or simply included the previous 1080i60 discs.
     
  19. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Since I have yet to buy any of the revival series, it looks like I'll be gettiing the old 1080i editions. Not sure why everything must be 1080p. There are frame rates greater than 24 frames per second, BBC.
     
  20. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    The advertising seems to suggest that the entire series has been "remastered" at 1080p, so they've probably ruined Series 5 & 6, too. I was seriously considering buying that set, but I certainly won't now.
     
    Lromero1396 likes this.

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