Tag Archives: The Web of Fear

The One Show on Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes

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An informative 8 minute video from the BBC’s The One Show on the recovery and release of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear in October 2013. The segment features the First Doctor’s companion Peter Purves and the hunt for missing episodes. Of particular interest is the interview with Graham Strong concerning his collection of audio tapes of missing episodes.

Day 35 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 5 Serials You’d Swap for Missing Episodes

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The success on iTunes of the recently recovered Troughton era serials, The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, has conclusively shown that 45 year old monochrome Doctor Who can successfully compete against the best current release TV shows.  An article in the UK’s Mirror newspaper states that in the first three days after the release of the two stories 10,000 series pass downloads were sold.  Presumably this figure is for sales in the UK only. The article goes on to state that to date there have been 73,000 episode downloads.

The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear have only been released on iTunes in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Enemy is due for release on DVD in late November and Web is due sometime in the New Year. Rumours continue to surface that Marco Polo may have been recovered and is soon to be released.

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning - http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning – http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

In the light of Doctor Who’s missing episodes hysteria the Doctor Who Mind Robber today looks at 5 Serials that you’d swap for missing episodes. Even the most rabid of fans acknowledge that the output of Doctor Who has never been consistent.  Some stories are brilliant whilst others would have been best left unmade. As 97 episodes are still claimed by the BBC to be missing from their archives, which extant episodes would you willingly ditch for a recovered one?

5. The Sensorites

The Sensorites is the most unloved serial of Season One Doctor Who.  In a documentary included in the Special Features of the DVD release comedian Toby Hadoke described the serial in the following way:

The Sensorites.  Poor, unloved, The Sensorites.  Nestling, lost somewhere, down the back of the fans’ collective sofa.  There it lies at number 7 in the first heady year of Doctor Who.  It didn’t even have the decency to be wiped so we could all mourn its loss, and imagine how brilliant it must have been.  It’s not a story anyone really talks about.  We certainly don’t know that much about it …

Little more needs to be said.

A scene from The Sensorites

A scene from The Sensorites

4. The Ark

Although beautifully directed The Ark has undoubtedly the worst monsters in Classic Series Who, the Monoids. In my review I described the Monoids like this:

Also travelling on the spaceship are an assortment of animals and the Monoids, a peculiar mute race whose most distinctive feature is their one eye.  This single eye is in their mouths, or at least what would’ve been their mouths if they had human anatomy. These eyes are actually painted ping pong balls which the actors held in place with their mouths.  Now that’s ingenious small budget special effects for you!  On the top of their heads is a long Beatles style mop top wig, whilst the rest of their bodies are clothed in green ill fitting garb. They have webbed hands and feet and move slowly.

An unfortunate Monoid in The Ark

An unfortunate Monoid in The Ark

3. The Keys of Marinus

The Keys of Marinus is the second of two little regarded serials in Doctor Who’s first season.  The six parter was among the more expensive stories to produce as each episode took place in a different location of Marinus. Season 16’s The Key to Time is not dissimilar.  Unfortunately the variety of locations makes for a disjointed serial and the chief monsters, the Voord, are what young people today might best describe as “rubbish”. With wet suit clad bodies and swimming flipper feet their most redeeming features were their quite unusual heads.

A Voord with Susan in The  Keys of Marinus

A Voord with Susan in  The Keys of Marinus

2. The Space Museum

In my review of The Space Museum I discussed the DVD extra, Defending the Museum.  In it the writer Rob Shearman outlined his devotion to The Space Museum which rests solely upon the assumption that the story is a parody of William Hartnell era Doctor Who episodes. The aggressors, the Moroks, are little more than morons who invade a planet only to turn it into a museum for their past achievements. The rebels are excruciatingly bad.  Dressed in black polo neck jumpers, they look like students in a coffee bar.  Vicki starts a revolution only because she’s bored and the native Xerons don’t need a great revolutionary, just a locksmith! That The Space Museum can only be appreciated if it’s considered a parody says much for the low esteem in which it’s generally held. The serial is unlikely to be missed.

The Doctor hiding inside the casing of a Dalek exhibit is one of the best parts of The Space Museum

The Doctor hiding inside the casing of a Dalek exhibit is one of the best parts of The Space Museum

1. The Web Planet

I was so utterly bored by The Web Planet that I couldn’t even find the enthusiasm to review it. The best parts of the story are William Hartnell’s “Billy Fluffs” and when an extra ran slap bang into a camera and it wasn’t edited out. This fan made compilation clip, however, is brilliant.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Enemy of the World Region 4 DVD Release 27 November

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ImageThe recently recovered missing serial The Enemy of the World is set for DVD release in Australia and New Zealand on 27 November 2013. Although both The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear were released on iTunes Australia on 11 October, neither of the serials are available on iTunes in New Zealand.  Like Australia, New Zealand has purchased and aired Doctor Who since the very first story, An Unearthly Child, almost 50 years ago.  The BBC’s snub of New Zealand fans is deplorable. As The Web of Fear is not due for DVD release until sometime in the new year, New Zealanders still have a long wait to see the Brigadier’s debut. 

Details on what, if any, special features are included in The Enemy of the World have yet to be released.  The latest issue of the Doctor Who Magazine states that “Enemy is due to be released on DVD in November, along with special features yet to be confirmed”. The British Board of Film Classification appears not to have approved any special features to date. A basic release without special features has become known in fandom as a “vanilla” release.

The current edition of the Doctor Who Magazine with The Enemy of the World Cover.  This edition of DWM is also available with a special edition cover featuring The Web of Fear

The current edition of the Doctor Who Magazine with The Enemy of the World cover. This edition of DWM is also available with a special edition cover featuring The Web of Fear

Enemy is currently available for pre-order at both the BBC Doctor Who online store and the ABC Shop for $19.95.  As both retailers ordinarily sell new release Doctor Who classic series DVDs for $29.95 one wonders if the discounted price reflects a “vanilla” release. Alternatively, the reduced price may be based upon the assumption that purchasers have previously bought the release for $14.99 on iTunes.  Only time will tell!

A Radio Times produced retro poster for The Enemy of the World

A Radio Times produced retro poster for The Enemy of the World

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Missing Episodes – Has Marco Polo Been Recovered?

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In an article published in the Radio Times the writer of An Adventure in Space and Time, Mark Gatiss, has indicated that “moments of lost episodes ,.. like Marco Polo” have been recreated for the drama. The 90 minute production, which dramatizes the origins of Doctor Who, will be aired in November as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Stars of the show include David Bradley as William Hartnell (the First Doctor), Brian Cox as Sydney Newman (Doctor Who co-creator), and Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert (first producer). The two surviving members of the original cast of Doctor Who, William Russell (Ian Chesterton) and Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman) appear in small cameo roles as “Harry” and “Joyce”. Mark Eden, who played Marco Polo in the missing serial of the same name, appears in the drama as Donald Baverstock, the Controller of BBC One.

Mark Eden as Marco Polo. Pictured behind him is William Russell as Ian Chesterton.  Both Eden and Russell appear in An Adventure in Space and Time

Mark Eden as Marco Polo. Pictured behind him is William Russell as Ian Chesterton. Both Eden and Russell appear in An Adventure in Space and Time

Rumours circulating prior to the announced recovery of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear earlier this month speculated that Marco Polo was part of a three serial haul. So consistent were the rumours that an acronym circulated amongst fans for this alleged multiple story recovery – MEW (Marco, Enemy, Web). 

In our article on 21 October The Doctor Who Mind Robber mused upon the relationship between the revival of the Great Intelligence in Series 7 and the recovery of The Web of Fear, the second (and last) story in which the Intelligence appeared. In our humble opinion it appears that Doctor Who show runner, Steven Moffat, was aware of Web’s recovery and almost certainly resurrected the Intelligence to assist in the BBC’s marketing of the recovered episodes.

The Eleventh Doctor )(Matt Smith) with the Great Intelligence (Richard E. Grant) in The Name of the Doctor

The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) with the Great Intelligence (Richard E. Grant) in The Name of the Doctor

Given the precedent set by the Intelligence’s return, together with the long-standing MEW rumours, it’s at least arguable that Gattis’ recreation of elements of Marco Polo is a further example of a BBC missing episode marketing campaign. Should we anticipate an announcement on the return of Marco Polo not long after the broadcast of An Adventure in Space and Time? Let’s wait and see!

In the meantime, check out our gallery of brilliant promotional photographs for An Adventure in Time and Space here.

Radio Times produced retro poster for The Web of Fear

Radio Times produced retro poster for The Web of Fear

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Missing Episodes – Let’s Discuss Coincidences

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In my review of the recently released The Ice Warriors DVD on 3 September I posited that there may be a relationship between the resurrection of seemingly deceased Doctor Who monsters and the sale of Classic Series DVDs. Only four months prior to The Ice Warrior’s DVD release an Ice Warrior emerged for the first time in 39 years in The Cold War. Similarly, the last Fourth Doctor DVD to be issued, The Terror of the Zygons, coincidently found its way onto retailers’ shelves but a mere six weeks prior to the Zygons much anticipated reprise in the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor. Should we anticipate the return of the Fish People soon given the impending release of The Underwater Menace, I asked.

The Ice Warriors DVD Cover

In retrospect, the recovery of The Web of Fear is now obvious considering the story arc which commenced with the 2012 Christmas Special, The Snowmen.  At the time the return of the Great Intelligence, a formless mass first encountered in The Abominable Snowmen and last seen in The Web of Fear 44 years earlier, was a incredibly bizarre decision by Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat. Of all villains to resurrect, why choose one who only appeared in two missing serials over 40 years previously? Not that this was the first time that a monster seemingly lost for all time had been reimaged.  The Macra reappeared in the 2007 Series 3 episode Gridlock having last been seen in 1967’s The Macra Terror.

A snowman from 2012's The Snowmen

A snowman from 2012’s The Snowmen

The Great Intelligence’s revival was not limited to a single episode, however.  It went on to appear in two further Series 7 episodes, The Bells of Saint John and The Name of the Doctor and was the series’ major protagonist.  Which leads us to further coincidences.  Were the Snowmen who accompanied the Great Intelligence in The  Snowmen a substitute for the Intelligence’s first tools, the Yeti? Should we anticipate the recovery and issue of The Abominable Snowmen sometime soon? Moreover, is this image taken from the 50th Anniversary trailer perhaps a hint that The Abominable Snowmen has indeed been returned.  The snow capped mountains in the background clearly represent Tibet and the stone block building could readily be a monastery.  Is the Second Doctor playing his recorder as if to summon the missing episodes home? Only time will tell, however one thing is certain.  Henceforth the revival of any monsters and villains from lost 1960’s episodes  will be scrutinized and speculated upon by fans as evidence of recoveries.  Let’s see what the 50th Anniversary and Christmas Specials, together with Series 8, brings forth!

A screen capture from the BBC trailer for the 50th Anniversary Special, The Name of the Doctor

A screen capture from the BBC trailer for the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 44 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 5 Reasons to Celebrate the Return of Enemy and Web

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With the momentous missing episodes recovery news of last week The Doctor Who Mind Robber can now celebrate the return of nine episodes.  The six part The Enemy of the World is now complete with the recovery of episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.  Episode 3 was already in the care of the BBC and was released on the triple DVD set Lost in Time. The Web of Fear, also six episodes long, is now only missing episode 3. Episode 1 had previously been released on Lost in Time and episodes 2, 4, 5 and 6 have been recovered.  

In no particular order we now reflect on 5 Reasons to Celebrate the Return of Enemy and Web.

Professor Travis is confronted by Yeti in The Web of Fear

Professor Travis is confronted by Yeti in The Web of Fear

5.  THERE ARE NOW ONLY 97 MISSING EPISODES

Since the recovery of Airlock (episode three of Galaxy 4) and episode two of The Underwater Menace there have been 106 missing Doctor Who episodes.  The return of the aforementioned episodes in December 2011 were the first recoveries since episode two of The Daleks’ Master Plan (Day of Armageddon) in January 2004. With only three episodes returned in the 21st Century prior to 2013, the haul of nine recently recovered episodes brings to a dozen the episodes found this century.

For the first time the number of missing episodes is in double figures.  How long will it be until there are less than 97 missing episodes?

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning - http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning – http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

4.  COLONEL LETHBRIDGE-STEWART IS INTRODUCED

Although Nicholas Courtney appeared as Bret Vyon in The Daleks’ Master Plan, it is in The Web of Fear that his iconic character of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart made its Doctor Who debut. The Doctor Who Mind Robber has waxed lyrical about the promoted Brigadier here and here.  Unfortunately, however, it is the very episode in which Lethbridge- Stewart appears for the first time that is missing from The Web of Fear.  Episode three is yet to be recovered however it has been very ably reconstructed by the BBC and has been released with the serial’s other five episodes on iTunes.

The then-Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is first introduced to Doctor Who in The Web of Fear

The then-Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is first introduced to Doctor Who in The Web of Fear

3.   THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD IS THE FIRST COMPLETE SERIAL RECOVERED SINCE 1992

For the first time since the recovery of all four episodes of The Tomb of the Cybermen in 1992 a complete serial, The Enemy of the World, has been returned to the BBC Archives.  Long-term fans still recount stories of the joy experienced when Tomb resurfaced in Hong Kong. There’s little doubt that the recent finds will become part of the mythology of Doctor Who.

The Cybermen emerge from their icy tombs in this iconic image from The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Cybermen emerge from their icy tombs in this iconic image from The Tomb of the Cybermen

2.  THE YETI

The Yeti have obtained mythical status in the world of Doctor Who despite having appeared in only two serials, The Abominable Snowmen and the Web of Fear. Until the recovery of four of Web’s six episodes only one was held in the BBC Archives.  A single episode is all that remains of The Abominable Snowmen.  With a reconstruction of the missing third episode of Web and the release of all six episodes on iTunes, fans can experience one of the greatest monsters in 1960s Doctor Who for the first time in 45 years.  Now Jon Pertwee’s oft quoted phrase “Yeti on the Loo” may begin to make sense to current era Doctor Who fans.

The Yeti invade the London Underground in The Web of Fear

The Yeti invade the London Underground in The Web of Fear

1.  DOCTOR WHO’S FIRST HELICOPTER AND HOVERCRAFT SCENES

Synonymous with the tenure of the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, chase scenes were unheard of during the first two incarnations of the Doctor.  Except, of course, for The Enemy of the World. It is in episode one of this story that the first helicopter is seen, together with a hovercraft. A helicopter subsequently made an appearance in the still lost Fury From the Deep, the companion Victoria’s last story.  The Enemy of the World was incidentally the first time that the legendary Barry Letts worked on Doctor Who.  Letts was the producer of Who during the Third Doctor’s tenure.

The first hovercraft to appear in Doctor Who was in The Enemy of the World

The first hovercraft to appear in Doctor Who was in The Enemy of the World

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

MARY PEACH IS ASTRID

Mary Peach as Astrid in The Enemy of the World

Mary Peach as Astrid in The Enemy of the World

SALAMANDER SWEPT INTO THE VORTEX

The Doctor's evil doppelgänger, Salamander. is swept out into the vortex soon after his face-to-face confrontation with the Doctor in The Enemy of the World

The Doctor’s evil doppelgänger, Salamander. is swept out into the vortex soon after his face-to-face confrontation with the Doctor in The Enemy of the World

DEBORAH AND JACK WATLING APPEARING TOGETHER

The father and daughter team of Jack and Deborah Watling first appeared together on screen in The Abominable Snowmen.  Watling Snr reprised his role of Travers in The Web of Fear

The father and daughter team of Jack and Deborah Watling first appeared together on screen in The Abominable Snowmen. Watling Snr reprised his role of Travers in The Web of Fear

TINA PARKER IS ANNE TRAVERS

Tina Parker played the role of Anne Travers, the daughter of Professor Travers in The Web of Fear.  She almost reprised her role in The Invasion

Tina Parker played the role of Anne Travers, the daughter of Professor Travers in The Web of Fear. She almost reprised her role in The Invasion

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Doctor Who Tops iTunes Top TV Chart

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Following the release of the two newly recovered Doctor Who serials on iTunes earlier today, The Enemy of the World is currently charting at number one in the Australian iTunes Top TV Seasons List.  The Web of Fear is holding down the second place in front of three seasons of Breaking Bad. Who’d ever have imagined that 45 year old black and white Doctor Who serials would be the hottest sellers on iTunes!

To give viewers a taste of what to expect from the two serials the BBC has released a trailer for each, together with five other short clips.  Earlier today The Doctor Who Mind Robber posted the trailers and we now provide for your viewing pleasure two of these clips, one each from The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. 

The Doctor Goes for a Swim – The Enemy of the World

The Doctor reactivates a Yeti Sphere – The Web of Fear

Vivien Fleming