Sunday 30 September saw the latest Doctor Who Appreciation Society event, dubbed Doctor Who Recon, take place at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London. I was sadly unable to attend due to other commitments, but plenty of snippets of news about forthcoming classic Doctor Who DVD releases from BBC Worldwide have been reported by those who were there. Here's a round-up...
- Dan Hall (Commissioning Editor on the classic DVD range) has said that there will be a full schedule of releases in 2013, running all the way through to November, with a release approximately once every three weeks. The first batch of these titles will be revealed in the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, on sale from 18 October.
- One of the two animated episodes of The Reign of Terror, the partially-existing finale of Doctor Who's first-ever series, was premièred at the event. It is believed to have taken roughly a year to finish the animation work on this story, which was chosen as the first to have missing episodes represented using animation since The Invasion in 2006 due to its strong storyline. However, it is unlikely that more than two missing episodes of a single story will be animated, due to costs.
- Air Lock, the third episode of the 1965 William Hartnell serial Galaxy 4, is still in the process of restoration. Recovered last year, it is planned to be included with another (unspecified) story next summer. There was no word on how or when the second episode of the Patrick Troughton story The Underwater Menace (also found last year) will be released.
- Hall didn't definitively answer an audience member's question about whether Spearhead from Space (Jon Pertwee's 1970 début) will be released on Blu-ray. Spearhead is one of only two Doctor Who stories to be shot entirely on film (the other being the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann), and so could potentially be presented in genuine high definition.
- The new restoration of 1970's Inferno (starring Jon Pertwee) is also in progress for the story's Special Edition re-release next year. It was originally intended that the new restoration of one of the episodes would be showcased at this event, but this was replaced with an episode of 1971's The Claws of Axos (the Special Edition of which is due for release on 22 October).
- DVD releases of The Mind of Evil and Terror of the Zygons were confirmed for next year.
- Exactly what form the unfinished 1979 Tom Baker serial Shada will take when released alongside 1994 documentary More Than Thirty Years in the TARDIS (a trailer for this Legacy Box is expected to appear on the Special Edition of The Claws of Axos) has yet to be confirmed. However, it was said that the story has not been 'completed' for the DVD. This follows the controversial rejection of the version produced by fan Ian Levine, featuring animation of the unrecorded sections using the voices of as many of the original cast as possible (and vocal impersonators for the rest). It was felt that producing 'new' Doctor Who was not the job of the DVD range (and probably couldn't be done satisfactorily with the budgets available). Hall also felt that editorially, Shada should remain incomplete, reflecting its original production.
- There are no plans to convert classic Doctor Who to 3D.
- Four re-releases are currently scheduled for 2013 (two of which were not originally planned). One of these is Inferno (as mentioned above), while the other three are not yet confirmed. It is possible that another title may soon be added to the list.
- Only one box set is currently planned for next year.
- Finally, Hall said that he has already planned his "dream release" for the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, in November 2013...
It looks like we have another exciting year of DVDs to look forward to!