Another lost Doctor Who classic serial is being regenerated for release as an animated re-creation of missing material.
“The Macra Terror,” a spring 1967 release during the Second Doctor era of Patrick Troughton, no longer exists on film in any form, but a complete audio recording of all four episodes survived the BBC’s shortsighted destruction of its own content.
March 18 will see the first release of “The Macra Terror” since its original broadcast so long ago.
“Now, 52 years later, the four episodes will be brought back to life through the power of animation in both colour and the original black and white,” the BBC announced.
“I can’t wait to see this adventure and how gratifying to have a little more of Ben and Polly’s time with the Doctor available to be seen by new generations,” said Anneke Wills, who played the Second Doctor’s (Patrick Troughton) companion Polly alongside Michael Craze as Ben Jackson and Frazer Hines as Highlander Jamie McCrimmon.
In the story, the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions arrive on a human colony in the far-flung future. The colony appears to be a giant recreational complex – a holiday camp for rest and relaxation. Everyone looks happy and carefree but all is not as it seems. The colony has been infiltrated and brainwashed by a race of giant parasitic crab creatures called the Macra.
The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) would face the Macra 40 years later (our time) in 2007’s “Gridlock” episode of the rebooted series, which started in 2005 and continues today with Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.
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.
The DVD and Blu-ray coming in spring 2019 will include special features such as an animation gallery, behind-the-scenes film and audio commentary tracks. A digital download will be available and physical editions will have a special edition steelbook option. In addition, the British Film Institute will screen “The Macra Terror” in London on March 16.