The Daily Mirror reported today (2nd January) that the BBC plans to release more ‘lost’ Doctor Who episodes in animated form. The BBC have not confirmed this at time of writing.
To mark the sci-fi show’s 60th anniversary this year, two stories from the 1960s are to be drawn and released on Blu-ray and DVD.
The two episodes being reported with all-new animation are William Hartnell’s penultimate story The Smugglers, and Patrick Troughton’s third adventure, The Underwater Menace.
Both four-part stories were originally transmitted by the BBC, before film prints were sold overseas, and the original tapes were destroyed. Episodes two and three of The Underwater Menace have been recovered, but only brief clips from The Smugglers story exist.
An insider told The Daily Mirror:
“Fans have been delighted as the show’s fourth season has been slowly restored through animated episodes. Only 10 of the 43 broadcast episodes still exist, so we’re getting to see the missing classics.”
Last year, the BBC ended the release of animated versions after BBC America stopped funding the restoration of early stories. But new funding has reportedly been arranged.
The Daily Mirror also reported that BBC bosses plan to colourise certain stories from the Hartnell and Troughton eras (1963-69), for broadcast later this year. This is likely to include the very first story, An Unearthly Child.
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