First look at Doctor Who’s Galaxy 4 animation starring William Hartnell

Classic Doctor Who episodes starring the First Doctor are getting the animation treatment.

William Hartnell as the First Doctor

It’s good news for fans of Doctor Who: William Hartnell’s First Doctor is set to make a return in the just announced Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 animation.

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As most fans of the long-running series know, Galaxy 4 is the mostly missing fist serial of Doctor Who’s third season, which originally aired in four weekly episodes from 11th September to 2nd October 1965.

Like other BBC Studios and Big Finish animations before it, Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 is set to fill the gap in Doctor Who content long lost from the BBC’s archive. Despite most footage of the original Galaxy 4 episodes being lost, the audio-only recordings survived, and have been used in the upcoming animation, which means the late Hartnell will be voicing the Doctor.

BBC Studios has also released some first-look artwork ahead of the release, revealing the animation style and the artwork on the DVD box.

Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 animation starring William Hartnell
Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 animation starring William Hartnell

The new series will be available to purchase online and in-store in DVD, Blu-ray and a Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook. Ahead of its release on 15th November, there will also be a special screening of the four episodes at the BFI Southbank on 7th November.

Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 animation starring William Hartnell
Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 animation starring William Hartnell

Joining Hartnell’s Doctor will be companions Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) and Steven (Peter Purves). Galaxy 4 sees the TARDIS land on a planet drifting too close to the three suns it orbits, facing total annihilation – and a few classic foes, including the race of warrior women known as the Drahvins, as well as the reptilian Rills.

“The Drahvins want to steal the Rill spaceship to escape the planet’s death throes, and enlist the Doctor’s help, which he is forced to give when Maaga, the cunning Drahvin leader, keeps first Vicki and then later Steven as her hostage,” the BBC. “Even though the Doctor is determined to broker a peace deal between the two sides in this conflict and help everyone escape safely, Maaga doesn’t trust him, or the Rills.”

As well as the four animated episodes, both in colour and black and white, the two-disc release will include clips of surviving footage from episodes one and three, tele snap reconstructions of episodes one, two and four, audio commentaries from cast and crew, a making of documentary and more.

Big Finish boss Gary Russell said: “After a gap of many years, it is very exciting to bring the era of the First Doctor back into the animation world. Galaxy 4 is one of the most traditional adventures of 1960s Doctor Who and it’s been a real honour to work on this alternative version which hopefully reflects those technicolour thrills that sci-fi moves of the ’60s had but which Doctor Who’s monochrome TV limitations couldn’t yet achieve.”

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You can pre-order Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 Animation via Amazon ahead of its release on 15th November 2021. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our Sci-Fi hub for dedicated news or visit our TV Guide.