2019 see's the biggest ever range of 5 inch Doctor Who figures as B&M Stores exclusives, and also includes the first collaboration with Big Finish to produce three Doctor & Dalek 2-packs based on the Big Finish audio series.
The 2019 B&M sets carry a new packaging design that is essentially a deep blue box intersected with silver inserts that are illustrated as the TARDIS. The sets use the new Who logo, but in a silver colour. The figures themselves are presented in a window that wraps the top and right flaps of the box. The window is perhaps a little undersized and the Dalek is partially obscured by the left hand wrap of the box. Under the window sits the character names as the Eigth Doctor and the Dalek Interrogator Prime.
The Big Finish sets are a step up on the other B&M sets thanks to their gorgeous artwork on the left hand side, taken directly from the Big Finish cover designs. On the back of the box we have the actual CD cover art for the story on which the set is based (In the Garden of Death) as well as an in depth overview - albeit with some punctuation and grammatical errors.
"THE EIGHTH DOCTOR: THE TIME WAR - IN THE GARDEN OF DEATH"
"The universe is burning - and the Doctor refuses to join the deadliest battle it has ever seen. He skirts around the edges of the Time War, doing what he can to save the lives of those who may die in a conflict they are unaware of, on another level of reality.
With his companion, Bliss, the Doctor and another Time Lord, the Twelve, are captured by the Daleks and kept prisoner on a jungle world. The trio have their memories wiped as they are kept for interrogation.
Prisoner Alpha's fears that he is "the most evil man in the universe" as he is held in isolation. He and the rest of the inmates have no memory of who they were or what they might have done.
The inmates' memories of who they and their captors are, only returns when they arrive before the Dalek Interrogator Prime - and Prisoner Alpha remember he is the Doctor..."
The figures are accessed via the top or bottom flap and slide out in an inner plastic tray that is then sat into a cardboard insert. This cardboard insert carries an impressive space battle from the Time War featuring Dalek ships attacking a planet. The figures are held in with cotton white twisty straps - and the Dalek appendages are taped into place.
Paint & Sculpt 3/5
The Dalek Interrogator Prime is a new series Dalek, and uses the more modern shape with the more accurate base proportions. The blue base colour with silver dome and panels looks brilliant on the new shape and is well executed throughout - apart from one roundel on the base that seems to have been very badly touched up. I've seen this before on other Dalek models ad wonder if this is where they are held while painted and touched up by hand afterwards?
The Doctor is not necessarily from the "In the Garden of Death" episode as he wears a Prison Uniform for most of that, in stead this is the Dark Eyes outfit that the 8th Doctor sports for a period of time in the Big Finish audios. To achieve this Character have simply uses the body of a 9th Doctor and the head from the recent Night of the Doctor release.
The costume does work, although if we are being picky the collar is too big and should be up and the Doctor should also be carrying a satchel. Putting that side the coat is a deep blue with gold buttons, and the trousers have been painted with a denim effect.
The head is not great, and is arguably worse than the 2015 version thanks to very basic and cartoonish paint apps for the eyes and mouth.
There are no accessories in the set, a shame as a satchel bag (one was available from the Connor Temple Primeval figure) would have been great - as would a sonic screwdriver to fill that shaped right hand which is sculpted to hold one.
The Doctor has the standard 16 points of articulation for a Who figure. These do remain the basic plug and socket joints with the joints clearly visible around the knees and elbows. Posing is limited with neutral stances only.
Head : neck post swivel
Body : waist post swivel
Arms : shoulder post swivel, bicep swivel, jointed elbow, peg wrist
Legs : T-Joint hips, thigh swivel, jointed knee
The Dalek weighs in with a ball joint sucker arm and weapon. The eye-stalk is a pivot and moves up and down. There is no other articulation as such on the Dalek - not that it needs anything else - and it moves freely via two fixed wheels and a rotating wheel on the base.
The Eight Doctor and Dalek Interrogator Prime is a set with great potential and just a little bit of detail away from being a brilliant release. The Dalek looks great, the blue and silver a nice departure from the usual Bronze Daleks.
The issues all lie with the Doctor. Another costume option for the 8th Doctor is always welcome, and the re-use of the 9th Doctor body is a clever one. The accuracy could have been ignored if they had given us the Dark Eyes Doctor's satchel - a key component of this outfit - and a sonic screwdriver. And to give us an Eighth Doctor head sculpt that is painted worse than one from 4 years ago is a disappointment.
I score the Eighth Doctor and Dalek Interrogator Prime a 3 out of 5.