It’s hard to decide what to buy the people in your life for Christmas. Gift guides can be useful, but only if they are specific to the person you are shopping for, and are generally only useful if made by fans of the thing being recommended.
As Doctor Who mania seems to be sweeping the United States, making the long-time British hit popular on this side of The Pond, too, I thought a Doctor Who gift guide might be a valuable tool, especially because the BBC has so many great, new products out this holiday season.
Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set
First of all, how can one be a true Doctor Who fan without having watched the series? The Limited Edition Gift Set packages together the first six series of the 2005 reboot with DVD specials, art cards, a comic book, and a 11th Doctor sonic screwdriver toy. The price is hefty, but for everything you’re getting, it’s pretty worth it.
I like this set because it does bring together most of the episodes, save the latest few, which would have to be purchased separately. If you’ve got someone who has only dipped their toe in the water, and wants to watch from the beginning, this is a good suggestion. The extras that come with it are interesting, though not an especially big draw. This set is recommended more for the adventures themselves.
The drawback with this release is if the fan you’re buying for already has several of the seasons, it might make more economic sense to just buy those that they currently don’t own. Also, the new Doctor Who installments are also on Blu-ray, which is a great way to experience the very exciting visuals and sounds of a special effect-laden show, but this Gift Set is only available in standard DVD edition.
Monopoly: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
If you like Monopoly and you enjoy Doctor Who, why not combine the two? From the cards to the cash to the properties to the game pieces, everything has been customized to fit with the classic British sci-fi show.
The pluses are numerous. The game looks very cool. Each set of properties that are connected by color feature similarly themed episodes, so continuing stories are found together. It will be fun for those who are fans to remember the serials represented in this game. Also, once you have the game, it might be a good way to familiarize non-fans with the show, and recruit them.
It may even help open the door to fans of the new reboot to look into the classic series, which, despite cheesy special effects, given the budget and time period, hold up pretty well, because the stories told are so good. I’ve viewed a number of the old serials, and have found very few that lack high quality writing.
My complaints stem more towards the budgetary and the practical. It is understandable that the number of episodes represented must be limited, based on the constraints of the game board, and the way the game is played. However, I am disappointed that only six tokens are available. They are relics, rather than characters, and only cover six of the eleven Doctors. Would it have been that hard to have manufactured five more, so that each Doctor is represented, even if the game can’t be played by all eleven at once? I mean, some classic versions of regular Monopoly are already sold with up to twelve of these tokens. Going with only six seems like an avoidable mistake.
Doctor Who Tardis vs Dalek Salt and Pepper Shake Set
OK, this one does verge a little towards the kitschy side of things. My wife isn’t exactly thrilled to bring a sci-fi television show to our dining room table. But even she can’t argue that these look sweet. They’re ceramic, easy to fill, and small enough to be unobtrusive.
That being said, they aren’t the easiest things in the world to use. There are only two or three small holes in the top of each one. Thus, they are more aesthetically pleasing then actually useful. Plus, some fans (like myself) will be a little annoyed that the TARDIS is the same size as the Dalek, instead of much bigger, which it should be, were scale respected.