Which Other Missing Serials Should Be Animated? (Part Two)

What a wonderful week: getting to experience The Power of the Daleks like never before.

As ever when it comes to looking at the past, we must look to the future too. So, if The Power of the Daleks is successful enough, which further missing serial should be animated for release as a download and/or DVD?

We asked our talented bunch of contributors which they’d like to see come back to life…

Katie Gribble: The Celestial Toymaker

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When we look at the vast tapestry that displays all Doctor Who episodes, near the beginning we find holes cut from the fading material. As lovers of nostalgia and in recognition of what has passed, members of the Doctor Who community, during our various marathon attempts, have endeavoured to patch up the gaps whether by listening to recovered audio of the stories or flicking through the photonovels on the Classic Doctor Who website.

If, when I first became a fan and learnt of the tragedy of the missing episodes, I was given the choice to pick only two stories that could be found again, my wish would have been for The Enemy of the World and The Power of the Daleks. The first wish came true back in 2013 and I am not afraid to tell you that at hearing the news I felt a mixture of relief and disbelief.

Now that The Power of the Daleks has been given the treatment it deserves and joined the ranks of other Doctor Who stories like episodes 1 and 4 of The Invasion, the question that remains is:

Which one next?

I have no idea how those in charge of these decisions go about, but if I were on that panel, I would favour The Celestial Toymaker.

I admit that my reasons for choosing this have been motivated in part by some of the other cast members who accompany our heroes.

Michael Gough as the Celestial Toymaker would be an intriguing character to animate and I would be interested to see how the animators were to bring this fine actor’s portrayal to life. However, my other reason for championing The Celestial Toymaker is based on my interest in the knowledge that the production team were thinking of swapping Hartnell out for another actor during this serial. I think it would be a wonderful story to have complete and to be able to watch this marvellous tale unfurl knowing how this nearly became Hartnell’s last story.

Christian Cawley: The Daleks’ Master Plan

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It has to be The Daleks’ Master Plan.

The fact that so much of this epic adventure is missing is so disappointing, it occasionally brings tears to my eyes. We’ve had various attempts to reconstruct it over the years, from telesnap recons to low budget animations and even a graphic novel. As much as these are fun and enjoyable, there’s something a bit special about having the audio remastered and matched to consistent character design and professional animation.

If Power of the Daleks is as good as everyone has been hinting, then it makes sense to stick with Dalek or Cybermen serials (Wheel in Space). To keep the momentum up, and press interest, I can see Evil of the Daleks coming next, but my preference is to see The Daleks’ Master Plan.

Simon Mills: The Highlanders… Or Not?

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I’d like to see an animated release of The Highlanders – purely because it introduces Jamie and also because it follows on directly from the other recently animated story, The Power of the Daleks, which would make it a nice continuation. Maybe, though, something like The Macra Terror would benefit from an animated release in order to better realise the on-screen appearance of the titular Macra? Yes, actually, I’ve convinced myself that The Macra Terror would be a much better choice, with its poison gases, iconic monsters lurking in the mists, mind control to make colonists willing slaves. Yes. Yes, that would be a much better animation!

James Lomond: Fury from the Deep

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This is tricky – it’s not quite the same as asking which missing episodes you would like to be found though my recovered and re-animated wish lists are going to fall in line… It’s a tight battle between Evil of the Daleks, The Abominable Snowmen, Fury from the Deep, and The Dalek’s Master Plan (purely because it’s so long – like a mountain of comfort food)… But I’m going with Fury.

Troughton in general tops my list – the “cosmic hobo” is my top Doctor and there’s no onscreen chemistry like him and Jamie. Fury is almost completely missing and sounds like it has some wonderfully sinister goings on. The animated Power of the Daleks has made me realise how much we’re missing out on some brilliant performances and, for me at least, Fury is a bit of a blindspot, having never listened to the soundtrack. It’s one of the lesser-known but nevertheless mythic stories that I’d love to discover. It also makes ample use of that panic-inducing heartbeat sound which would lend a great deal of atmosphere to any recreation.

Failing that, any of the missing Dalek adventures as they animate so well!

Philip Bates: The Macra Terror

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This is a really difficult question because it’s not about which serial we want recovered, but what we want animated. For the former, I might suggest The Smugglers because it’s Ben and Polly’s first trip in the TARDIS, it’s a lovely pure historical, and I’d love to see how the production team managed to do all that they did for this tale.

But the Cornish climes would be lost in animation. Similarly, the ambition shown for The Myth Makers, The Highlanders, and The Faceless Ones would be absent from an animation. No, what we need instead is something haunting, something atmospheric, something set in a holiday camp where everyone’s being controlled by massive crabs. If only there were a story exactly like that…

Look, I’m a big fan of the Second Doctor, Jamie, Ben, and Polly, and I really liked seeing the Macra in Gridlock. So I listened to the soundtrack for The Macra Terror: whereas I’d been assured (by the internet; it’s what people do on the internet, I assure you) that it was a tad naff, turns out it was brilliant, and the internet was wrong.

I’d like more people to know they’re wrong about The Macra Terror. And The Smugglers. And, while we’re at it, The Savages, The Wheel in Space, and The Space Pirates.

Tony Jones: The Evil of the Daleks

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If there is another animation to follow Power of the Daleks, it will depend on how well that title sells. The reality is, it costs money to make these and the BBC won’t make them just to allow a few fans to fill their shelves. On this basis alone I believe that means the next title will also be a Dalek story, and my hope is for Evil of the Daleks.

It’s easy to make a case for a Hartnell story such as Daleks’ Master Plan, but I think length is against that as it would take much longer to create, cost more, and have to retail for more. For me, it’s more personal; my parents tell me I used to watch some of Hartnell’s run, but the earliest stories I remember are Troughton’s. The first serial I am sure I watched is The Moonbase, but the one I most recall from the early years is Evil. I don’t think I understood precisely what was happening (not yet aged seven!) but I vividly remember Daleks transmatting, the human factor, the Emperor, and much besides. Will it happen? I’d like to hope so, but first I’ve just got the rest of animated Power to watch if you’ll excuse me!

Andrew Reynolds: The Daleks’ Master Plan

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If The Power of the Daleks is the success that I think – nay demand – that it should be (Seriously, it’s very good) then, even though my head cries out for The Evil of the Daleks, my heart really wants to see an ambitious animated reconstruction of The Dalek’s Master Plan.

However, there are numerous factors against it; cost, time, the unknown commercial appeal, and sheer volume of work required to bring it back in 2D glory; it’s not an easy task. Which is why, if The Power of the Daleks proves to be a monumental success, I believe that this rather large and sad gap in the First Doctor’s run should be next in line for an animated resurrection.

It would be easier to adapt The Evil of the Daleks – and you’d get no complaint from me if it was attempted – but Doctor Who has never lacked in the ambition department and while I’ve been blown away by just how well the team behind Power have captured the spirit of Patrick Troughton, I would love to see them bring the same care and attention to the First Doctor.

That’s what the DWC collective think, but which missing serial would you like to see animated?

  • TimeChaser

    While it’s not one of the “biggies” for sure in terms of story and prominence within the series, I would certainly vote for The Macra Terror. That one has always kind of fascinated me.

    • bar

      Yes, but I so want to see the real Doctor and Jamie having to do a song and dance routine to escape.