Ring the cloister bell, it’s finally happened: lost Doctor Who episode Mission to the Unknown will finally be seen on screens.
Well, sort of. Although original footage of the 1965 episode featuring the Daleks is still lost to the time vortex, a team of students, graduates and staff from the University of Central Lancashire have reconstructed the lost instalment.
Set to premiere on the Doctor Who Youtube Channel at exactly 5.50pm BST on Wednesday 9th October, the episode will feature modern voice of the Daleks, Nicholas Briggs, plus Peter Purves, who played First Doctor companion Steven Taylor.
But who will play The Doctor himself? Nobody. As Whovians will know, Mission to the Unknown is one of the few episodes of the show not to feature the Time Lord (played by William Hartnell at the time). The 25-minute standalone episode instead follows Space Security Agent Marc Cory (Edward de Souza) as he tries to warn Earth about the Daleks’ latest plot – a scheme portrayed in 1965 story The Daleks’ Master Plan.
Alongside the episode itself, Mission to the Unknown will premiere with a special making of documentary created by YouTuber Josh Snares.
Luke Spillane, Digital Publishing Manager for Doctor Who at BBC Studios, said: “It is such a fantastic recreation, made lovingly with real craft and expertise by everyone at the University of Central Lancashire.
“I hope audiences around the world can imagine that it’s tea time on the 9th October 1965 as they rather excitingly watch a black and white episode of Doctor Who premiere on their television sets, mobile phones and tablets.”
Andrew Ireland, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Digital and Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire, added: “It is such a loss to our cultural heritage that so many episodes of 1960s Doctor Who are missing from the BBC archives.
“This project presented us with an exciting opportunity to address that, to explore a new way of bringing these missing slices of TV history to life, and in the process, help students learn their craft by comparing contemporary production methods with historical approaches.
“The project gave so many people great experiences, and it is wonderful to see the Daleks menacing a black and white jungle once more.”
Mission to the Unknown will debut on the Doctor Who Youtube channel 5.50pm, Wednesday 9th October