BBC Studios today announced the missing classic Doctor Who story “The Underwater Menace” will be animated with four new episodes in color and HD on DVD and Blu-Ray in Nov. 13, 2023.
The two-disc box set contains the fourth series story as well as special features. This classic series stars the Second Doctor Patrick Troughton and co-stars Anneke Wills as Polly, Michael Craze as Ben and Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon.
The original 1967 master recordings of all except episodes two and three of “Underwater Menace” were lost soon after the program’s original transmission. However, audio-only recordings of the missing two episodes survived and have been used to create a brand new fully animated presentation.
This story sees the characters navigate through adventures in the underwater city of Atlantis, where they meet with Professor Zaroff, who plots to destroy the Earth by draining the oceans. “Fans can expect a super jam-packed series bursting with unseen exclusive content. All episodes have been animated in color and black and white, whilst including original film elements,” BBC said.
The original Doctor Who TV series ran from 1963-89. Due to the BBC’s shameful early practice of throwing out their precious content, many early episodes are now missing or incomplete, 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 full, if imperfect, animation.
In addition to “The Underwater Menace,” animators have re-created the lost or incomplete Doctor Who adventures “The Evil of the Daleks”, “Web of Fear,” “Fury From the Deep,” “The Faceless Ones,” “The Macra Terror,” “Power of the Daleks” and “Shada.” When “Underwater Menace” comes out, the only remaining Second Doctor stories to not be re-created or animated for release in some reconstructed form will be “The Highlanders” and “The Space Pirates.” First Doctor missing adventures that have yet to be re-created somehow include “The Myth Makers,” “The Daleks’ Master Plan,” “The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve,” “The Celestial Toymaker,” “The Savages” and “The Smugglers.”
The Underwater Menace animation special features:
DISC ONE (Main Feature)
- Episodes 1-4 – Animation – Colour
- Episodes 1-4 – Animation – Black and White
DISC TWO (Special Features)
- Episode 1 – Reconstruction
- Episodes 2 & 3 – Original 1967 Episode
- Episode 4 – Reconstruction
- A Fishy Tale – Making of Documentary
- Australian Censor Clips
- The Man from Miditz
- Frazer Hines Introduction for Episode 2 as per the original VHS release
- BBC News Report (South Today)
- BBC Radio Solent Piece (audio only)
- Photo Gallery
- Animation Gallery
- PDF material including camera script