Classic Doctor Who companion Peter Purves helps recreate lost episode Mission to the Unknown

The actor who played companion Steven Taylor is helping students in Lancashire recreate the missing Doctor Who episode

Doctor Who Mission to the Unknown

Doctor Who actor Peter Purves has announced that he is taking part in a student-led remake of missing Doctor Who episode Mission to the Unknown.

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The actor, who played Steven Taylor, companion to the first Doctor (William Hartnell), revealed that he was involved in recreating the classic Doctor Who adventure with help from students at the University of Central Lancashire.

The project involves a three-day multi-camera shoot, designed to replicate the lost episode in its entirety.

“The sets are built, the costumes made, the three day multi camera shoot begins this morning at 08.30,” he tweeted on 20th February. “It is hoped the BBC will release it on DVD. This is serious painstaking work.”

He then continued to update his followers on the progress of the shoot.

“Three scenes completed and all looks very authentic,” he wrote. “The jungle scenes are shot tomorrow so here is the set.”

Mission to the Unknown is one of 97 episodes from the first run of Doctor Who (between 1967-78) which has been lost or deleted from the BBC archive. It is one of the only episodes not to feature any of the regular cast; instead, the episode centres around space security agent Marc Corey as attempts to warn earth about the Daleks’ plans.

Purves added that actor Edward de Souza, who played Marc Corey in the original episode, and ‘voice of the Daleks’ Nicholas Briggs are also involved in the project.

“This mini-marvel, long since exterminated by Tapewipers Anonymous, must have once caused furrowed brows up and down the land,” Radio Times reviewer Mark Braxton wrote in the Doctor Who story guide.

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“Neither the Doctor nor his companions appear for so much as a second (something RT warned readers about in an introductory Mission to the Unknown feature). This makes it unique within the ‘classic’ compendium, as does the fact that it comprises a solitary episode.”

Doctor Who story guide: Mission to the Unknown

09.10.1965 article
Original Radio Times introductory feature for Doctor Who’s Mission to the Unknown (Radio Times)