Audio Review: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection Two – 1965-1966
PUBLISHED: 16:16 23 February 2011
THE systematic dumping of old video recordings was common practice at the BBC until the late 1970s, when the value of these archive programmes came to be reassessed. But although many missing series were recovered over the following years, a large collection of Doctor Who episodes are lost forever, with off-air amateur audio recordings the only legacy of these absent adventures.
This second collection of soundtrack recordings, complete with additional linking narration by some of the show’s leading actors, features four stories from the reign of the First Doctor, William Hartnell.
The Daleks’ Master Plan was an epic 12-part story spanning time and space which pitted the Doctor against his deadliest enemies in a battle which would cost him the lives of two companions, while The Massacre focuses on the slaughter of the French Protestants on St Bartholomew’s Eve in 1572 Paris, and reveals how futile it is for the TARDIS crew to attempt to alter established historical events.
The next story, The Celestial Toymaker finds the Doctor and his friends caught in the fantasy games of the malevolent extra-dimensional Toymaker, and we wrap up with The Savages, set on a planet where ruthless Elders are sucking the life force from innocent Savages. As an added bonus, the set includes an extra CD which tells the story of what happened to these missing episodes.
Although it would be any Doctor Who fan’s dream come true to watch these stories in a completed form on DVD, this is undoubtedly the best alternative, and provides a fascinating insight into the earliest years of the long-running series.