Doctor Who: Animating the Lost Episodes

I watched an old episode of Doctor Who tonight – part 2 from the episode “The Moonbase” from season 4, early in Patrick Troughton’s era. Episode 1 has been lost, although the audio survives. A great many episodes from the early years of Doctor Who – and in particular from Patrick Troughton’s time as the Doctor – have been lost or damaged so as to be unwatchable. This is unfortunate, since the Second Doctor was the one to really develop the Doctor’s comical side, in a way that would inspire Tom Baker and, more recently, Matt Smith.

But just because the episodes have deteriorated or destroyed and been lost, that doesn’t mean that there is no way for the lost episodes to “regenerate” and have a new life. One approach is to animate them. Here’s what one fan has done to restore part 1 of “The Moonbase.”

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I suspect that, when animating them, it would be possible to also introduce color, update the appearance of the cybermen, and in various ways improve the special effects beyond what was possible in a live action show in 1967.

If this were to be done, and done well, I could see children today appreciating the older series. I could see early Doctor Who “regenerating” and developing a young fan base.

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  • Steve Caruso

    I must admit, I rather enjoyed the flash animations. I think they were done by the same group that did The Scream of the Shalka (with Richard Grant playing the voice of a non-canon 10th Doctor).

    If I remember correctly, there was also an attempt to re-create some of the lost episodes in 3D, but that was a fan-based project that washed away.

    In either case, it was a lot of fun. :-)


  • Steve Caruso

    Erm make that a non-canon 9th Doctor. Blah.


  • Just Sayin’

    Patrick Troughton was a great actor and the best of the Doctors in my opinion.  His Doctor is more eccentric than comic, at least that’s how I remember him.  William Hartnell was excellent but too severe, not a character to whom kids (like me at the time) could warm.

    Have you seen the two Peter Cushing films?  They are very charming.  The Dalek one has a young Bernard Cribbins in it, who has reappeared recently, in the David Tennant era, as an old man.

    By the way, did you know that Tennant is the son of a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland?  Here’s a David Tennant quote: “I always have that Presbyterian voice in my head,saying, ‘Could do better’,
    but I quite like that.”

  • James F. McGrath

    That’s fascinating about Tennant. Even though they are perfectly fine when taken on their own, I can’t enjoy the Cushing films as much as I might have been able to because they turn the Doctor into a human scientist and have people call him “Doctor Who.” 

  • Michael Hickerson

    Most old school Dr Who fans (this one included) are happy to see the animations being done for the DVD releases and by fans.  But I would prefer the new animations look like the original episodes as much as possible and not be cleaned up or given more modern looking Cybermen.