Doctor Who lost story The Underwater Menace to get animated revamp
The 1967 serial is partially missing from the BBC's archives, but will be restored with new animated visuals.
The partially missing Doctor Who adventure The Underwater Menace is set to be restored with new animated visuals.
Out of 253 episodes from the show's first six years, 97 remain lost in their original form, due to the BBC's policy of junking archive programming between 1967 and 1978.
However, audio recordings of all episodes exist, with The Underwater Menace – a 1967 serial starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor – being the latest story to be given new life by way of animation.
All four episodes will be animated in colour for a new DVD and Blu-ray release – though the second and third episodes do exist in their original live-action form and these will also be available on the set, along with the option to watch the animated episodes in black-and-white.
A teaser for the release can be watched below.
The Underwater Menace sees the Doctor and companions Jamie (Frazer Hines), Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) arrive in the underwater city of Atlantis where they meet with Professor Zaroff (Joseph Fürst), who plots to destroy Earth by draining the oceans.
The new release will be a two-disc set, with the first disc featuring the animated episodes and the second featuring the original surviving episodes, reconstructions of the missing episodes one and four, as well as the following special features:
- A Fishy Tale - Making of Documentary
- Australian Censor Clips
- The Man from Miditz
- Frazer Hines Introduction for Episode 2 as per the original VHS release
- BBC News Report (South Today)
- BBC Radio Solent Piece (audio only)
- Photo Gallery
- Animation Gallery
- PDF material including camera script
The animated revamp of The Underwater Menace follows a similar treatment being afforded to other classic Doctor Who serials including The Abominable Snowmen (1967), The Evil of the Daleks (1967) and Galaxy 4 (1965).
The head of TV archive Kaleidoscope recently suggested that several 'missing' episodes of Doctor Who are known to still exist, but remain in private collections.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Chris Perry - CEO of Kaleidoscope - said it is "very likely" that more lost episodes will be recovered in the future.
"We know where there is missing Doctor Who out there but the owners won’t return it at the moment," he revealed.
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Doctor Who: The Underwater Menace is available to pre-order on DVD, Blu-ray or Blu-ray Steelbook from Amazon and will be released in November 2023.
Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Episodes of the classic series can be streamed on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.
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