Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor and Dalek Alpha by Character Options

As much as I bitch and moan about the demise of the 5-inch line of Doctor Who figures, the truth is that CO is still managing to deliver some product to the hands of us collectors. One little sputter of activity has been the release of a whole slew of Doctor and Dalek two-packs. While seeming to be mere repacks, each one of these sets actually does feature some form of new figure, either repaint or re-sculpt. While I will no doubt eventually collect all of these sets, some have garnered more attention and excitement from me than others and the one I’m looking at today was the one that had me quite excited indeed. Why? Because of it, I finally added the Eighth Doctor to my shelf!

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The window box here should be familiar to anyone collecting the line. It’s compact, collector friendly and it displays the figures quite well. You get a very vintage style Doctor Who logo on the front as well as the Doctor Timeline on the bottom. This set is somewhat unique in that the inspiration isn’t pulled from a TV story, but rather the comic strip “Children of the Revolution” which was published in Doctor Who Magazine. It makes sense, since Eight only made a single TV appearance (ok two if you count “Night of the Doctor”) so virtually any new set featuring Paul McGann as the Doctor would have to come from a comic or a Big Finish audio production. Oddly enough, the box doesn’t tell you anything about who Dalek Alpha is nor does it give you a synopsis of the comic, so I’ll step in here: To put it succinctly, Alpha was one of three Daleks genetically altered with a human element, a concept that dates all the way back to the Second Doctor story, “Evil of the Daleks,” and he was encountered by the Eighth Doctor in the comic.  Let’s bust open this set and start with a look at The Doctor.

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As far as I can tell, Eight has only been available in figure form by buying the huge Eleven Doctors set. As much as I wanted him, I wasn’t prepared to pay $100+ and get minor variations on all the other Doctors to do it. Yes, I am indeed the same person who twenty years ago would have sold one of my kidneys for Doctor Who figures and now I’m bitching about buying variants. There’s just no pleasing some people! Nonetheless, I decided to play the waiting game to see if CO would release him again later on down the road. They haven’t and that’s why this figure is such a welcome addition to my collection. Of course, he’s not the same figure that came in the box set, but at least I finally have Eight on my shelf.

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I haven’t read the comic, so I don’t know exactly what his costume looked like in it. This figure, however, gets by with a convenient repaint of the figure from the previous release. It’s the same Elizabethan style suit with a cravat, double buttoned vest, and a long overcoat. The coat this time is painted blue, the cravat is a sort of ochre, the vest is brown, and the trousers are tan. All in all the costume is sculpted quite nicely and the paintwork is all clean right down to the chain on his fob watch. I like the costume here well enough, but it’s worth mentioning that the paint on the original Eighth Doctor figure is much more interesting and dynamic.

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The portrait is certainly a passable likeness of Paul McGann, although I think it’s one of the weaker efforts among all the Doctor figures. I’m not saying it’s bad, I can certainly tell who it’s supposed to be, but it just isn’t a total slam dunk to me. Nonetheless, the hair is quite good and as with the rest of the figure, the paintwork on the face is top notch.

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Eight features the standard articulation for this line. The arms rotate at the shoulders, swivel at the biceps and wrists, and are hinged at the elbows. The legs are hinged at the hips for universal movement, swivel at the thighs and are hinged at the knees. Both the head and the waist can swivel. The Doctor’s right hand is sculpted to hold a sonic screwdriver and since he didn’t come with one, I leant him one from one of my many Fourth Doctor figures.

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Moving on to the Dalek, I have to once again confess to not having read the comic, so I can’t really vouch for how accurate this guy is, but he is certainly a cool looking piece. Alpha looks like he’s a repaint of one of CO’s “Destiny of the Daleks” figures with a new eyestalk and one of the original Dalek guns swapped on. For someone who has been a fan of the show for nearly 30 years, you’d think I’d be better at telling my Daleks apart. The deco on this Dalek is very striking. He’s red and silver with black sensor domes and skirt and I really dig finally getting a Classic-style Dalek with some color to it. He also as a silver Alpha symbol painted on his dome right beside his eyestalk. I’ve had a few issues in the past with the paint quality on my Daleks, but this one is done very well. There’s virtually no slop or bleeding and the silver and red paint on the mesh between his slats is downright impressive.

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In the end, the only downside to this set is the price tag. I got mine for $40 and I was lucky to get it for that, because of all these Doctor-Dalek sets, this one seems to be the hardest to find. My regular retailer sold out of it almost immediately, but I was able to get in on a second shipment that they received. At twenty bucks per figure, these two certainly aren’t cheap, but they’re quite unique and I don’t feel at all squeamish about dropping $20 each on figures from my all-time favorite property. Just the fact that figures like this exist still blows my mind, so I’m not going to quibble about the price.

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