Could the recently-found 1960s episodes, Air Lock (part three of Galaxy 4) and episode two of The Underwater Menace, be available to watch online before their release on DVD?
The two episodes were discovered last year, with clips shown at the Missing Believed Wiped annual event. But early hopes that they’d see their way onto DVD this year were dashed when it was announced that, due to restoration work and a packed release schedule, audiences wouldn’t be able to see them until sometime in 2013 – at the earliest.
Air Lock and The Underwater Menace: Part Two got a special screening by BAFTA Cymru & BBC Wales, presented by Anneke Wills (Polly), Frazer Hines (Jamie) Peter Purves (Steven), Steven Moffat (current showrunner), Caroline Skinner (current producer) and Doctor Who brand manager, Edward Russell. And according to attendee, Emrys Matthews on his Wonderings in the Fourth Dimension blog, Russell hinted at the episodes being accessible to anyone with an Apple device or software:
“For those of you, who couldn’t make it, couldn’t get tickets or like me couldn’t wait to see the episodes, you may not have to wait until 2013. Edward Russell alluded to a possible iTunes release of both Air Lock and Episode 2 of The Underwater Menace in the coming months. Nothing has been officially confirmed, but this certainly sounds hopeful.”
Even if this isn’t the case, Matthews has given us a glimpse at the episodes, which haven’t been seen by the masses since their initial transmissions in 1965 and 1967. Talking of Air Lock, he writes:
“There’s a beautiful flash back sequence where we see Margaa, commander of the evil/sexy Drahvins, killing one of her own injured soldiers all from the point-of-view of one of the kind/hideous Rills. Stephanie Bidmead who played Margaa has a very impressive 2-minute monologue which is delivered directly to camera. It’s is just so impressive, especially when you consider it was all done in one take.”
And there’s also a bit of an update on how The Underwater Menace: Part Two is being restored:
“The picture in this episode was excellent as it had already been vid-fired and had its censored clips reedited back in.”
It’s such an exciting time to be a fan of Doctor Who, and Matthews encapsulates the wonder of this discovery as he recalls the end of Air Lock, with Steven trapped in an oxygen-starved room:
“The little girl sitting behind me was so scared as she asked her mum, “Is the Doctor’s companion going to be okay?” Even though she was watching a 47 year old episode, totally out-of-context from its story, she invested in it, got scared and was genuinely worried for Steven’s safety; even though she didn’t even know his name. It was thrilling to see one so young totally loving and buying into this vintage episode.”