James Whittington reviews the recent release of The Lost TV Episodes Collection One: 1964 – 1965 from BBC Audiobooks.
This superb collection of lost adventure audios is a very timely reminder of just how fabulous William Hartnell was as the Doctor. We must all remember that if it wasn’t for this guy we wouldn’t have the show we know and love today. Hartnell brought a real honesty to the character (some would say too much) and I feel his contribution is always overlooked by fandom. There are five stories in this set Marco Polo, The Reign Of Terror, The Crusade, Galaxy 4 and The Myth Makers.
This compendium highlights Hartnell’s ability of forming the Doctor into his own vision taking reference from his own character. He is ill-tempered at times, cheeky and bossy but ultimately a figure who can be relied upon. The supporting cast also come across as stronger and less stiff. William Russell’s Ian Chesterton is now fully dimensional and his heroics aren’t stifled by badly choreographed fight scenes. Jacqueline Hill was always enigmatic anyway, her presence on screen was also a delight to behold and in this form her well spoken but caring voice helps illustrate her range of acting skills.
The stories themselves are dialogue driven but its fun to see how the series slowly changes over the episodes. By the time we get to The Myth Makers the show has become a bit of a romp and humour is more evident but a darkness to it has also crept in.
Free from the constraints of primitive special effects the stories take on a new life so the historical elements of Marco Polo and The Crusade come alive whilst the fantastical worlds encountered in Galaxy 4 can be as wondrous as you’d like them to be.
Bonus Multimedia Disc
Interviews – William Russell, Carol Ann Ford and Maureen O’Brien all give up time to chat honestly about their time on the show. It’s a good collection of individual chats from people who have been associated with the show for so long it really must start to get on their nerves a bit talking about it!
Scripts – Here you’ll find colour PDF files for all of the scripts that make up this first collection. These high quality scans are of weathered and faded pieces of paper that are from another, more innocent time and are well worth looking through.
Marco Polo Map – As you may have guessed this is a map of where the TARDIS landed and where the adventurers travelled to. A nice touch.
Map Information – This accompaniment to the map describes how it was designed and accuracies it has.
Each adventure is accompanied by a full cast and crew listing as well as background information to the production of the story.
A second volume of lost stories is due in February of next year and if it’s half as good as this then you should start saving for it now.
The Lost TV Episodes Collection One: 1964 – 1965 is available now with an RRP of £69.99 – but you can get yours for just £33.99 from Amazon!