Tag Archives: Doctor Who Restoration Team

Power of the Daleks Re-imagined

THE first episode of a fan-made re-imagining of lost Doctor Who story The Power of the Daleks has been released online.

The unofficial remake of the 1966 Patrick Troughton adventure has been produced by the same team responsible for successful stage versions of other missing classic Who stories including Evil of the Daleks and The Dalek Masterplan, with support from TNT films.

The production features Nick Scovell as the Doctor, reprising the role some 15 years after his debut as the Time Lord in acclaimed 1997 fan production “The Millennium Trap”, and guest stars Barnaby Edwards, Nick Briggs and Lisa Bowerman. Music has been provided by regular Big Finish Productions composer Martin Johnson.

Episode two of the three-part remake will be released online on July 14, followed by the final installment in September.

There will be a chance to see all three episodes together as a high-definition ‘movie’ version (with added post-production effects) at special charity convention Power: Reimagined, taking place in Fareham on September 1, 2012. Confirmed guests include the Doctor Who Restoration Team, Michael Troughton and Anneke Wills, who appeared in the original Power of the Daleks serial as companion Polly.

Tickets are available now and proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK and Children In Need. For more information visit www.power-convention.co.uk or the Power of the Daleks Facebook Page.

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Doctor Who Story The Ambassadors Of Death Restored Back To Colour

CLASSIC DOCTOR WHO adventure The Ambassadors of Death is set to be seen in colour for the first time in 40 years.

Restoration experts are in the final stages of converting all seven episodes back from black and white, and hope to deliver the recolourised copies to the BBC “within weeks”.

A DVD release of the 1970 story, starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, is expected to follow.

Though originally made on two-inch colour videotape, six episodes of Ambassadors were only retained in the BBC archives as inferior 16mm b&w film recordings.

New technology, however, has revealed that these and some other black-and-white telerecordings still retain information that can lead to the restoration of the missing colour.

Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, an independent group contracted by the BBC, has been overseeing the painstaking process of unpicking the colour signal and bringing one of the Time Lord’s vintage stories back to life.

Speaking to Wired magazine, Roberts, 35, said: “It seemed almost impossible. But when they made the black-and-white recordings, they didn’t filter off the colour carrier, which for the last few decades has been nothing more than an annoyance.”

The technique, developed from an idea of James Insell, a preservation specialist at the BBC’s Windmill Road archives centre in west London, has already been successfully applied to episodes of Dad’s Army, Are You Being Served? and another Doctor Who story – episode three of Planet of the Daleks.

But recolouring episodes 2 – 7 of The Ambassadors of Death (tx March 21 – May 2, 1970) has proven the Restoration Team’s biggest challenge to date.

With much dedication and skill, team member Richard Russell used the weak signal on the films, appearing as a pattern of faint ‘chroma’ dots, to reverse-engineer raw colour pictures that could then be retouched frame by frame.

“It’s very, very labour intensive – several hundred man hours’ work every episode,” said Roberts, who is the team’s supervisor and a BBC senior engineer.

He adds that a new “quadrant editor” is helping them to produce better source material upfront and that they hope to deliver the Ambassadors episodes to the BBC “within weeks”.

A DVD release is expected to follow, though it is not currently on schedule for 2011.

Prior to 1978, the BBC junked many vintage episodes of Doctor Who featuring actors William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee in the lead role.

Today, 108 episodes are missing.

Episode one of Ambassadors is the oldest episode of Who surviving on its original transmission tape.

The only remaining copies of the other six episodes were b&w film recordings and poor-quality domestic colour NTSC recordings made from a US broadcast in 1977 and severely affected by a rainbow-coloured pattern of interference.

Now that Ambassadors has been restored, only seven episodes from the Pertwee era remain in black and white (The Mind of Evil 1 -6 and Invasion of the Dinosaurs 1).

READ ON: Read the original Wired story – Time-travel TV: The mission to regenerate Doctor Who in colour. The Doctor Who News Page has also covered the announcement – The Ambassadors of Death DVD developments. Learn more about the colour restoration process on Wikipedia.

You can see an example of the rainbow interference present on the domestic colour copies of The Ambassadors of Death below:

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Filed under Doctor Who, Restoration, Science Fiction, Television

Wiped! Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes

A NEW book examining how episodes of Doctor Who came to go missing, and then turn up again, is released this September.

Wiped! Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes is written by Doctor Who Restoration Team member Richard Molesworth and published by Telos Publishing.

You can find out more about the book, including a brief interview with the author, over in the Out Now section.

Here’s the official blurb:

In the 1960s, the BBC screened 253 episodes of its cult science fiction show Doctor Who, starring William Hartnell and then Patrick Troughton as the time travelling Doctor. Yet by 1975, the Corporation had wiped the master tapes of every single one of these episodes. Of the 124 Doctor Who episodes starring Jon Pertwee shown between 1970 and 1974, the BBC destroyed over half of the original transmission tapes within two years of their original broadcast.

In the years that followed, the BBC, along with dedicated fans of the series, began the arduous task of trying to track down copies of as many missing Doctor Who episodes as possible. The search covered BBC sales vaults, foreign television stations, overseas archives, and numerous networks of private film collectors, until the tally of missing programmes was reduced to just 108 episodes.

For the first time, this book looks in detail at how the episodes came to be missing in the first place, and examines how material subsequently came to be returned to the BBC. Along the way, those people involved in the recovery of lost slices of Doctor Who’s past tell their stories in candid detail, many for the very first time.

No more rumours, no more misinformation, no more fan gossip. The truth about Doctor Who’s missing episodes can now be told in full!

  • Wiped! Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes, by Richard Molesworth, is out September 2010, priced £15.99 (+p&p). You can order a copy from Telos Publishing.

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Filed under Books, Doctor Who, Releases