BBC America shows animated Doctor Who re-creations

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television

BBC America premiered an animated re-creation of the lost 1967 Doctor Who serial “The Macra Terror” the day after Christmas.

“The Macra Terror,” starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor alongside Anneke Wills as Polly, Michael Craze as Ben Jackson and Frazer Hines as Highlander Jamie McCrimmon, aired Dec. 26 at 9/8 p.m. Central. It was followed by a repeat screening of 1980’s Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) serial “Shada,” which used animated segments to augment incomplete live-action sequences.

The “Macra Terror” reconstruction was recently released on North American DVD.

More animated re-creations of Second Doctor serials are expected to surface in 2020, including “The Faceless Ones” and “Fury From the Deep.” All because a shortsighted BBC didn’t see fit to archive many tapes from the First and Second Doctor era. Animated restoration is possible due to soundtracks that have survived or, in some cases, been recorded by fans off their televisions.

In the story, the Doctor 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 Macra Terror” isn’t just animated in black and white like the live-action 1967 episodes — there’s also a full-color version, and it may be the first time the Patrick Troughton Doctor’s distinctive title sequence can be seen in glorious “colour.”

Are you excited to finally be watching “The Macra Terror” in a complete form? Queue up your DVRs!

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Jayson Peters
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