“Galaxy 4,” the 1965 Doctor Who serial starring William Hartnell that was scrubbed from the BBC archives like so many others after its original TV presentation, will be re-created as an animated release on Blu-ray and DVD.
The Doctor and his travel companions, Vicki and Steven land the TARDIS on a planet which is on the verge of total annihilation, as it drifts too close to the three suns it orbits. Trapped on the planet with them are the Drahvins, a race of warrior women, and the Reptillian Rills.
The Drahvins want to steal the Rills spacehip to escape the planet’s death throes, and enlist the Doctor’s help, which he is forced to give when Maaga, the cunning Drahvin leader, keeps Vicki and Steven as hostage. Even though the Doctor is determined to broker a peace deal between the two sides, Maaga doesn’t trust him, or the Rills…
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UK collectors can get “Galaxy 4” on Nov. 15, 2021. (Yanks will get it eventually.) The First Doctor adventure is the mostly-missing first serial of the third season of Doctor Who, which originally aired in four weekly episodes from Sept. 11 to Oct. 2, 1965. The animated restoration of this story is because audio-only recordings of all four episodes have survived from this classic story, and have been used to create a brand new, fully animated story, filling the gaps alongside the original surviving Episode 3 and over five minutes of original footage from the otherwise lost Episode 4.
This two-disc release (which will also be available as a steelbook special release in the UK) will include special features:
- Remastered surviving original of Episode 3
- Remastered surviving clip from Episode 1
- Telesnap reconstructions of Episodes 1, 2 and 4.
- Audio commentaries
- A Making Of documentary
- A Finding Galaxy 4 documentary
- Photo gallery
- Production subtitles
“After a gap of many years, it is very exciting to bring the era of the First Doctor back into the animation world,” said Gary Russell, executive producer from Big Finish Creative. “‘Galaxy 4’ is one of the most traditional adventures of 1960s Doctor Who and it’s been a real honor to work on this alternative version which hopefully reflects those technicolor thrills that sci-fi moves of the ’60s had but which Doctor Who’s monochrome TV limitations couldn’t yet achieve.”
The original Doctor Who ran from 1963-89. Many early episodes are missing or complete, mostly from the Second and First Doctor eras of Troughton and William Hartnell. Recently restorations have progressed from telesnaps — still images over surviving soundtracks — to animation.