The animated treatment of the (mostly) missing Second Doctor serial The Faceless Ones now has a release date!
According to this article, it will be released on plain DVD, Blu-Ray and SteelBook on the 16th of March. That’s the Region 2 version, of course. No word on Region 1, and Amazon.com hasn’t updated their listing of it so I assume it’ll be delayed until at least November or December like The Macra Terror was.
Nevertheless, the article mentions the serial is being presented in color (not sure if they’ll offer an alternate black-and-white version as they did with Macra) and will include extras such as a telesnap recon of the missing episodes along with the surviving two, audio commentaries, etc.
There’s also a link in the article to preorder the DVD on Amazon.co.uk.
EDIT: According to the listing on Amazon.co.uk, it seems there will also be a black-and-white version of the story in addition to the color one.
I recently got my copy of The Macra Terror on DVD and sat down to watch it. I decided to write up a little review. Note that I just have the plain old DVD set, not the Blu-Ray one. I don’t think there’s too much of a difference in extras, though.
I’m not going to do a review of the actual story as lots of fans before me have already posted their thoughts. The animation itself was very well done. The likenesses of the Doctor and his companions are quite good and their movements (as well as that of the other people) seem very natural. I know fans have complained that their movements looked quite stiff and unnatural in previous animations, especially in The Power of the Daleks and The Ice Warriors. I’ve noticed that myself and I think they’ve improved it quite a bit in this one.
The intro starts off at the end of The Moonbase, and this is in black and white on both the black-and-white and color versions of the animation (more on that later). Interestingly, they’ve got Polly with her cropped haircut here instead of where it shows up the first time after her “shampoo” early in Episode 1. I assume they did it for simplicity’s sake though, and to save a bit of time. Such was the case for the omission of the scene where the Doctor gets his “makeover” and then gets his old look back, as well as Ben and Jamie getting their “treatments.” Fortunately, we can still see this scene in the original episode reconstructions that are provided as an Extra on the set. I also noticed that Jamie is wearing his light-colored turtleneck shirt which he started with in the beginning of the episode instead of changing into that odd uniform like Ben. Again I assume it was done to save time and for simplicity, and perhaps for emphasis on Ben being brainwashed by the Macra.
As an aside, one thing I hate about the story being missing is that we didn’t get to see Jamie doing his “Highland Fling.” They did recreate this for the animation, though, and part of me wonders how close it is to the original. 😉
As for the extras, there is a good selection of them on this set. First, I like the fact that you can choose to watch in color or the original black and white. The audio commentary is quite good, too, featuring Frazer Hines (Jamie), Terrence Lodge (Medok), Maureen Lane (one of the majorettes in the dance scenes), Anthony Gardner (Alvis) and the director John Davies. Frazer reveals that his and Michael Craze’s uniforms were actually orange and not blueish (as they were here), with tight Bermuda shorts. He also did a quite funny impersonation of Patrick Troughton during a scene or two featuring the Doctor and Polly. Terrence Lodge shared some interesting info on the motivation for his portrayal of Medok, namely that he’d done some pretty high-brow theater earlier on and so made Medok overly dramatic at times.
There are two photo galleries: One with set photos and photos of the guest cast taken during production of the serial; and the other an animation gallery showing character sketches and pictures of various scenes from start to finish. There’s a little film called Animatics, basically showing how the animation came together. The “behind the scenes” film is a little “Follow that Dalek” type silent production made circa 1967 that’s basically a tour of various props from different Doctor Who stories, including the Macra, with some more recent narration. The surviving footage which had been previously included on the “Lost in Time” DVD set is included here as well, featuring cuts that had been made for Australian TV broadcasts from Episodes 2 and 3 (of note, Ben and Polly grappling with the Macra, and Jamie encountering the Macra down in the mines).
Finally, there’s the “mini episode” from The Wheel in Space. It’s basically about 11 minute’s worth of Episode 1 of this story, featuring the Doctor and Jamie. I thought this was very well done, although the animation (especially the look of the characters) is a bit rough and rudimentary compared with that of The Macra Terror. I’m assuming they fine-tuned it a bit for the latter. If something similar were to come of this if they ever decide to animate the missing episodes of The Wheel in Space, I’m all for it.
All in all, it’s a good set. I found it very interesting how they tried to recreate this missing story from just the soundtrack, production photos, short deleted scenes and the telesnaps. I think they did a very good job. Now we’ve got The Faceless Ones and Fury from the Deep to look forward to. Hopefully the treatment they receive will be just as good as this one.
First, apologies for having gone so long without updating this blog. Work has had me insanely busy, plus the fact that the Tumblr folks haven’t been giving me grief and marking my posts as adult content has given me less motivation for importing more of my posts here. Finally, I was waiting until I finished “The Wheel of Ice”, the book I’m currently reading before writing a review … I’m almost at that point, so it should be forthcoming.
Now to get to the main point of this post: There is news of another Doctor Who serial to be animated! The Second Doctor story “The Faceless Ones,” of which only two episodes out of six exist, is going to be animated and released on DVD next year. Go here for more news and a video teaser.
From what I’ve seen it seems that it’s going to be similar to “The Macra Terror” which was just recently released. I still don’t have my copy as it’s not going to be released in Region 1 until October (*sigh*), but I have seen it and would like to write a little “review” of what I’ve seen. I’ll try to do that as soon as possible.
I’ve mentioned before that I can only purchase the various Classic Doctor Who DVDs in Region 1. This kind of sucks because a lot of good titles are out of print in Region 1 and very hard to find (and really expensive if you can find them). Also it seems that some titles aren’t going to be released in Region 1 either. It’s not feasible for me to get a multi-region player at the moment. I’ve got a blu-ray player and a Region 1 DVR/player that’s only a few years old, so I’m not looking to get rid of it just to replace it with a multi-region player (and I highly doubt they make any that have a built in hard drive anyway).
Well, I just discovered I can play Region 2 DVDs on my desktop computer’s DVD-ROM drive. A friend sent me a movie on DVD for my birthday, which she had to order from the UK as it hasn’t been released Stateside. It’s in Region 2 and natch, as soon as I popped it into my DVD player, I got the region error. I remember reading an article online which claimed that you can play other region DVDs on your computer if you have VLC Player (which I do). I wasn’t sure if this was actually true, so I popped the DVD into my drive, chose to play it in VLC Player and it worked! I honestly wasn’t expecting it to because I don’t always believe everything I read, and I can’t count how many times I’ve read how you can do this and do that and it ends up not working (especially those articles about how to make your player region-free. Nope, tried that, never works).
I’ve got a handful of 1st Doctor stories, all of the 2nd Doctor ones, and a few for the 3rd Doctor all in Region 1. But I’m thinking of getting some of the hard-to-find ones in Region 2 to play on my computer. Plus there’s also the special edition version of The Enemy of the World that was released last year in Region 2, which I highly doubt will ever be released in Region 1. The extras alone make me want to grab that one.
So, long story short, this was a nice discovery. If anyone in Region 1 is thinking of purchasing Region 2 DVDs and doesn’t have a multi-region player, this may be a good option.
Update: It seems VLC Player can play DVDs from other regions, but your DVD drive could still be region locked. I discovered that I can only change the region of my DVD drive 5 times before it locks on the last one. I did manage to find a way around this so if anyone is interested, leave me a comment and I’ll fill you in.
I can’t wait to get this. Unfortunately I have to wait until October when it comes out on Region 1 (nope, can’t get a multi-region player as it’s not feasible for me right now), but that will make it all the more sweeter.
There are some details on the extras and some cool cover art here.
The unaired pilot episode for An Unearthly Child is so dark and unsettling that it seems to have been trying to set the stage for a fundamentally different show. Not to mention dr. who is so thoroughly unlikable in the unaired pilot I did a double take, thinking isn’t this how you introduce an antagonist? gosh every time I rewatch it I get shocked by this all over again
Yes and I’m not sure how close the TV movie “An Adventure in Space and Time” to actual events but watching that unaired pilot I can see why Bill Hartnell would have had problems with the Doctor’s portrayal there (where he said something to Verity about him being too grouchy and asking “Where’s the twinkle?”).
I’m not sure if it’s up on Dailymotion or anything like that, but you can find it on the Blu-Ray version of “An Adventure in Space and Time.” There’s an extra disc that has the whole “An Unearthly Child” serial on it, along with the unaired pilot. Not sure if any other DVD sets have it, but it’s definitely on that one.
I would love for them to do that. I’m not sure if they’d actually do it, but I can see them doing at least several. There was a rumor a couple months ago that they were going to release “The Macra Terror” and “The Wheel in Space”, possibly as an animated recreation (at least for the first one). It seems “The Wheel in Space” will be released on DVD but it’s the BritBox reconstruction.
It would be nice if the rumor panned out, although I agree that I’d love to see “The Dalek’s Master Plan” and “Evil of the Daleks” get the animated treatment. I thought they did a good job for “Power of the Daleks” and even the animation for the two lost episodes of “The Invasion.”
There’s a forum where they discuss the lost stories that’s got some good speculation and discussion on it. It’s here if you’re interested. 🙂
Same here. I’ve been trying to get The Two Doctors on DVD for some time and the cheapest I can find it is close to $200! The Made on Demand DVDs idea would be a great one for them to consider.
@junkyardbluebox wow! You’d think considering the Sixth Doctor’s reputation you’d think it be cheaper. Also I never in my wildest dreams that the “The Three Doctors” DVD would be out of print.
Agreed! It almost made me wonder if they’d stopped manufacturing them due to that fact alone. That story itself is a guilty pleasure for me, though, mainly due to the Second Doctor and Jamie being in it. I was surprised to hear about “The Three Doctors” being out of print. I’m glad I got it when I did. A while back I came upon an online store that had a huge list of the DVDs, most of them that had been out of print for a while. I was so disappointed to find out about 99% of them were already sold out. 😦
Does anybody else have a lingering suspicion that Classic Doctor Who DVDs in America are becoming harder to find as away to “entice” people to sign up for BritBox? I mean I used to walk into a Barnes & Noble and there would be dozens of Classic Who titles in the DVD section and now there’s scarcely any left!
That’s a good question. I haven’t shopped in Barnes & Noble in ages (there are hardly any nearby anymore) but I used to find a good selection of them at Best Buy…not recently, though. I mostly purchase mine from Amazon and have no trouble finding them there, but the thing that always bugs me is how expensive some of them are in Region 1, due to having gone out-of-print. I’d get the Region 2 ones but I don’t have a multi-region player and it’s not really feasible for me to purchase one at the moment.
Interestingly I recently saw The Wheel In Space (Zoe’s first serial) up on Amazon as a “coming soon” title and read somewhere that they were going to offer the BritBox reconstruction version on DVD.