So the news broke just recently that the animated feature reconstruction that is being released in the world of Doctor Who is The Evil of the Daleks, the seven-part story which concluded the fourth season of the show, back in 1967.
(Daily Doctor Who #224)
This isn’t as good as if we’d found that the missing episodes were found again, but it’s still pretty cool. The animated re-creations of missing Doctor Who stories use off-air recordings of the original program, and they give fans like myself the chance to have as close as possible to a “full viewing experience” of these long-sought after adventures.
The Evil of the Daleks, by former script editor David Whitaker, is an oft-celebrated story which was intended to be the Daleks’ big send-off from Doctor Who, as their creator and rights-holder, Terry Nation, was intending to make big money off the concept in America. That never came off, but in the meantime we got this Dalek story on TV. Additionally, it introduced Deborah Watling’s Victoria Waterfield to the show, as a new companion alongside Patrick Troughton’s Doctor and Frazer Hines’ Jamie.
Now, whether The Evil of the Daleks is actually “that good” is a matter of debate, which may never be fully satisfied (if the episodes are never recovered). But I for one am excited to have the chance to watch it, in any form really.
So by my count, once this is out, that leaves 15 stories that one cannot watch completely, as either the original episodes or in animated re-creations, or with a combination of both:
• Marco Polo (all seven episodes missing)
• The Crusade (two out of four episodes missing)
• Galaxy Four (three out of four episodes missing)
• Mission to the Unknown (one episode, which is the entire story, missing)
• The Myth-Makers (all four episodes missing
• The Daleks’ Masterplan (nine out of twelve episodes missing)
• The Massacre (all four episodes missing)
• The Celestial Toymaker (three out of four episodes missing)
• The Savages (all four episodes missing)
• The Smugglers (all four episodes missing)
• The Tenth Planet (one out of four episodes missing)
• The Highlanders (all four episodes missing)
• The Underwater Menace (two out of four episodes missing)
• The Wheel in Space (four out of six episodes missing)
• The Space Pirates (five out of six episodes missing)
In addition, there’s The Abominable Snowmen, which is missing five out of six episodes. I didn’t think that one had been animated but just as I was looking all this up, it seems that one is due to be released sometime soon.
Some of these are stories that I’d otherwise been pretty indifferent about–I’ve never heard any one desperate to watch The Space Pirates, for example. But if it were suddenly available, I’d definitely be excited.