Lost Doctor Who story The Macra Terror resurrected as animation
Lost ‘Doctor Who’ story ’The Macra Terror has been resurrected as an animation.
The four episodes of the 1967 serial - starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor - were originally part of Doctor Who’s fourth season, most of which was erased from the BBC archive before the organization realized the value of such shows and it is one of the most sought after storylines for fans.
No full episodes of this serial are known to have survived on film but a complete audio recording of all four parts did still exist along with still photographs and clips of the story and they have been used to create the animated adventure over 50 years later.
The plot sees the Doctor and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) and Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) arrive on a human colony in the far future. Although the colony appears to be a giant holiday camp for rest and relaxation it has actually been infiltrated by a race of giant parasitic crab-like creatures called the Macra who have brainwashed the people to serve them and create a special gas they need.
The Macra have only returned to ‘Doctor Who’ in one other story when they featured 40 years after their debut in the 2007 episode ‘Gridlock’.
The story saw the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and his companion Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) encounter a devolved version of the once intelligent species attempting to feed on the humans trapped in a motorway for lying vehicles on the planet New Earth.
Actress Anneke, 77, is absolutely thrilled that fans are now getting to finally see the missing classic story and get to see more of the Second Doctor on screen.
She said: “Back in 1967, ‘There’s no such thing as Macra!’ was the cry; and for many years after there was no such thing as ‘The Macra Terror’. Now, thanks to the magic of animation, we can see the story come to life again. I can’t wait to see this adventure and how gratifying to have a little more of Ben and Polly’s time with the Doctor available to be seen by new generations.”
The new animation will be available to buy on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download from 18th March 2019 and it follows the success of last year’s ‘Shada’ release which saw the never broadcast Fourth Doctor story - written by Douglas Adams - completed with animated sequences filling in where there were missing scenes with Tom Baker and the surviving cast providing new voice recordings.
‘The Power of the Daleks’ is another story with missing episodes to be completed with animation and animator-and-director Charles Norton - who was responsible for heading up the project - admits he has a wish list of other ‘lost’ ‘Doctor Who’ serials he wants to bring to back to life.
He previously told BANG Showbiz: “There are certain stories that are perhaps more doable than others. ‘The Crusade’ is an interesting one, because it’s one we’re missing two episodes from ... Nothing’s impossible.”
BBC Worldwide is always actively searching for the other lost episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ with a significant find coming in 2013 when all six episodes of ‘The Enemy of the World’ and five installments of ‘The Web of Fear’ were found by Phillip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive, in a television relay station in Jos in Nigeria.
Pre-orders for ‘The Macra Terror’ will be available from midnight on December 5 on Amazon and HMV and a special screening of the episodes will be held at the BFI Southbank, London on the 16th March 2019. Tickets will go on sale to BFI members on Tuesday 5th February with public sale opening on Tuesday 12th February.