The missing episodes of Galaxy 4 are reportedly being animated for release on DVD and Blu-ray, the first First Doctor serial to be given this treatment since 2013.
For many years, Galaxy 4 was a missing and often-forgotten story, owing to the fact that no telesnaps were taken, so we could only gather what the story might’ve looked like via publicity shots, the Target novelisation, and surviving audio recordings. Six minutes of footage from the opening episode, Four Hundred Dawns, also exist, salvaged from a number of different programmes that used clips from the four-part adventure.
Then the third episode, Air Lock, was discovered and (seemingly begrudgingly) released on DVD by the BBC as an extra on The Aztecs Special Edition. Even this, however, was incomplete: a break in the film meant it misses out the closing credits and the last 27 seconds of footage.
So rumours of Galaxy 4 being animated are certainly welcome!
This is especially because it’ll be only the third First Doctor serial to be animated, after The Reign of Terror and The Tenth Planet; since those, a range of Second Doctor tales have been animated – including The Power of the Daleks, The Faceless Ones, and The Macra Terror – and two more (The Evil of the Daleks and The Abominable Snowmen) are apparently due to be released in late 2021 or early 2022.
The report comes from The Mirror — yes, a tabloid paper and those are frequently wrong. However, The Mirror has a history of getting things bang on the money, including recent regenerations and gap years, so this is pretty likely.
Galaxy 4 is, nonetheless, a curious choice: it opened Season 3, which remains a substantial victim of the BBC’s former junking policy. Mission to the Unknown, The Myth Makers, The Daleks’ Master Plan, The Massacre, The Celestial Toymaker, and The Savages are all missing in Season 3; compare this to Season 2, which just has two episodes of The Crusade lost in time, while Season 1 only has Marco Polo missing. Animating those would surely be more profitable, seeing as BBC Studios could then package those seasons up as installments of The Collection…
But heck, we’re happy with any Doctor Who!
What do you think, DWC readers? Is this report likely? Or do you think the animation team’s efforts are better spent elsewhere?