Tag Archives: Doctor Who

The Tenth Planet episode four to be animated for DVD release

The Tenth Planet animated stillTHE TENTH PLANET – the Doctor Who story that marked the close of the William Hartnell era – is to have its missing fourth episode animated for DVD release, BBC Worldwide has confirmed.

Broadcast in October 1966, The Tenth Planet was the first story to feature iconic foes the Cybermen, the first to introduce the concept of regeneration and the last to feature the First Doctor as the series’s lead. The final installment of the story, episode four, has been missing from the BBC Archives since the mid-1970s and is possible the most sought-after of the lost Doctor Who episodes because of its historical importance to the show.

The missing episode four will be animated by Australia-based Planet 55 Studios, which used its patent Thetamation process to recreate the lost episodes 4 and 5 of Hartnell adventure The Reign of Terror for its DVD release last month.

Doctor Who range producer Dan Hall said: “It’s a real thrill to be bringing such an iconic Doctor Who episode back to life. Without the events established in The Tenth Planet episode 4, there would be no Doctor Who as we know it!”

The Tenth Planet DVD is set to be released in late 2013 and is expected to also include a reconstruction of the missing episode using existing telesnaps which featured on the VHS release in 2000.

A selection of stills from the new animation work-in-progress can be seen via a gallery on BBC Worldwide’s official Doctor Who 50th Anniversary website.

There is also a showreel available to watch on the Planet 55 website featuring a scene of the First Doctor stalked in the snow, inspired by The Tenth Planet.

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Lost Doctor Who footage and musical performances by the Spencer Davis Group unearthed

RARE behind-the-scenes footage from Doctor Who has been discovered.

The brief clip shows movie Doctor Peter Cushing preparing to battle arch foe the Daleks during the making of an early big-screen adaptation of the long-running sci-fi series.

The precious black and white footage, taken on the set of cult sixties film Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D., also captures director Gordon Flemyng — father of actor Jason — behind camera as he talks with stunt-men and plans out the movie’s climatic final scenes.

The material is the first to be uncovered documenting the 1966 film and forms part of a ‘lost’ TV show found recently in the possession of a collector living in Wales.

Though the BBC wiped the master-tape of A Whole Scene Going, a copy of the magazine show — also featuring an interview with Flemyng and musical performances by the Spencer Davis Group — was made and found its way on to the collector’s circuit.

Classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope, which recovered the unique 16mm film print in conjunction with the Tim Disney Archive, said the find will “delight” Doctor Who and vintage music fans alike.

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope said: “A Whole Scene Going is an exciting TV find on two fronts.

“For Doctor Who fans there’s a fascinating glimpse into the making of feature film Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D., showing Peter Cushing as the Doctor on the set along with director Gordon Flemyng and lots of Daleks.

“For music lovers there are priceless performances by classic British beat band the Spencer Davis Group as well as American singer/songwriter Judy Collins.

“Sixties pop shows were routinely shown live or wiped after transmission so it’s great to find one that slipped past the eraser’s magnet!”

Tim Disney of the TDA said: “How this print came into existence or found it’s way to a Welsh village, we’ll never know.

“However, one theory is that it could have been film recorded by BBC Wales from the network feed down the line from London for transmission at a later date.”

A Whole Scene Going was a short-lived TV teen culture show hosted by Wendy Varnels and Barry Fantoni.

The recovered edition, from March ’66, captures Flemyng at Shepperton Studios while directing an action-packed finale involving Horror icon Cushing and an army of Robomen thwarting a Dalek plan to drop a giant bomb into the Earth’s core.

Cushing played the Timelord — currently portrayed on TV by Matt Smith — in two Flemyng-directed films during the height of “Dalekmania”, also starring in 1964’s box-office hit Doctor Who and the Daleks.

Interspersed with the footage is an interview with Flemyng — who died in 1995, aged 61 — revealing that he preferred making “entertainment pictures”as opposed to more high-brow films, but “didn’t take them any less seriously”.

The emergence of A Whole Scene Going has also got music fans excited with the discovery of a rare interview with the Spencer Davis Group, who also perform chart-topping single “Somebody Help Me Now” in the studio.

Kaleidoscope and the TDA — who bought the film print privately from the collector — are currently in the process of returning a digital copy to the BBC Archive.

Eager fans will get the chance to see the recovered footage for the first time in more than four decades at Kaleidoscope’s next screening event, taking place in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on Saturday, June 9.

Tim Disney of the TDA added: “Dr Who was not the primary draw for us in recovering this programme, but the content of the programme as a whole — the exciting period of popular culture it reflects and it’s place in the history of British television.

“Thankfully, after the collector discovered he had a unique TV recording he was keen to ensure it would be returned to the BBC archives, turning down silly money offers to deal instead with Kaleidoscope and the TDA.”

To see a clip from the recovered show visit www.timdisneyarchive.com. For more information about the screening visit www.kaleidoscope.org.uk.

Click here for full contents of the recovered episode of A Whole Scene Going.

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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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COLLECTOR TAKES THE MISSING MICKEY: WEEKLY ROUND-UP

PRESENTING some stories of interest from the past week . . .

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Filed under Animation, Doctor Who, Early Audio Recordings, Restoration, Weekly Round-Up

Pathfinders in Space finally comes to DVD

The Pathfinders in Space Omnibus DVDINFLUENTIAL early sixties TV sci-fi series Pathfinders is to be released on DVD for the first time after the one missing episode was discovered – in the ITV archives.

Until recently it was long thought that episode 1 of Pathfinders to Venus, “SOS From Venus”, was lost save for the soundtrack.

But earlier this year the entire eight-part 1961 serial was found complete within the archives and will be released this December by Network DVD along with earlier series Pathfinders in Space and Pathfinders to Mars.

One of ITV’s earliest dramas written specifically for children, Sydney Newman’s Pathfinders series has been described as the “missing link” between seminal BBC radio show Journey Into Space and Doctor Who, the latter of which Newman also created.

Over three series broadcast during 1960 and 1961 the Pathfinders journeyed to the moon and other worlds, facing drama at every turn – from space hazards to Venusian dinosaurs.

With intelligent and engaging scripts by Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice, and a strong cast including actors Gerald Flood (Conway Henderson) and George Coulouris (Harcourt Brown), the series proved tremendously successful with the viewing public and even got into the regional top ten – unheard of for a children’s programme.

In addition to all 21 episodes, The Pathfinders in Space Omnibus DVD also features an image gallery and production booklet by noted archive television historian Andrew Pixley. It is released on December 31, 2011.

READ ON: PATHFINDERS ON TELEVISON by Andrew Pixley.

 

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New Doctor Who Recon Trailer For Wheel In Space

WHEEL MEET AGAIN: A promotional photo from The Wheel in Space showing the Cybermen and new companion Zoe (Wendy Padbury).

A NEW CGI trailer for classic Doctor Who story The Wheel in Space has become an internet hit.

The clip imagines what the sixties adventure would have looked like if made by Alien director Ridley Scott.

Lasting two minutes, the “creepy” black and white animation features scenes of popular Who foes the Cybermen set to the soundtrack of Scott’s acclaimed 1979 horror film.

The video has had thousands of views on YouTube since being uploaded on New Year’s Day and shows how far reconstructions, or ‘recons’, of missing Doctor Who episodes have come.

Animator Iz Skinner made the trailer as a ‘taster’ for a forthcoming recon of the Patrick Troughton story and says she was trying to reinstate the “scariness” of the episodes.

She said: “When I read that Ridley Scott had actually worked for BBC Television in the 1960s, I thought it would be fun to imagine how he might have made a trailer for this great story.

“I felt that the Alien soundtrack in some way reinstated the scariness of this episode for the modern generation who might not know how terrifying and exciting these stories were when they were first broadcast.”

Originally broadcast from April 27 – June 1, 1968, only episodes three and six of this six-part story are currently held by the BBC.

Telesnaps and fan-made audio recordings of all episodes, however, do survive and have been utilized by Iz and fan-group Loose Cannon Productions to recreate as much as possible the look and feel of the show.

“The trailer is made up of a small selection of the clips I’ve been animating for the upcoming Loose Cannon release,” said Iz, who has based her work on continuity stills and the “expert advice” of fellow LC members Derek Handley, Dean Rose and Russ Port

“I do think a semi-photo realistic episode is entirely doable,” added Iz.

“I say semi-photo realistic because for the most part I’d say that you would still know it was CG, particularly with the characters.

“I now have a motion capture set-up in my living room which allows me to act out scenes and give a more natural movement to my characters.”

READ ON: Iz Skinner has also made a CGI trailer for Doctor Who story The Web of FearDoctor Who trailer recreated with CGI. There is a full set of telesnaps to all six episodes of The Wheel in Space over on the BBC’s Classic Doctor Who website.

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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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