Periodically I will dip into Twitter and look up the #missingepisodes hashtag, in the hitherto vain hope that somehow the key players have sorted out the horrible misunderstanding and I can look forward to explaining away the Doctor’s dubious highland accent to my wife. If you’re looking for medicinal disappointment, I can recommend no better!
I think it is time to face the situation in all its full gravity – to all intents and purposes the omnirumour is dead. And for the dedicated Doctor Who fan, that leaves around 20 empty DVD cases on the shelf placeholding where the DVDs ought to be. At present the only plan is to release The Underwater Menace, presumably with two animated episodes alongside the two recovered episodes. Aside of this, the BBC may consider upscaling the current stock for a bluray release – and we the fans will do our usual protests about being fleeced before resetting to type and crying “Just take my money already!” And … that (if true) … is that. No more. Finito. The end. The moment not prepared for.
But I refuse to believe that this is it. Below are just a few thoughts of what the BBC should consider doing post-omnirumour:
1. Release The Crusades with animated episodes
One of the few things that may keep the omnirumour alive is the complete lack of movement on this Hartnell adventure. Given that other stories have been animated with two missing episodes (longer adventures The Invasion, The Ice Warriors, and The Reign of Terror, and shorter adventures The Moonbase and The Underwater Menace) there is actually no good reason that I can see not to release this story – unless there is a real possibility they’ve found the lost episodes. But given that now seems unlikely – give us what we’ve got!
2. Animate the missing episodes
Loose Cannon is all very well, but we now have the technology to recreate many of these missing episodes – certainly creating computer models for the main TARDIS cast ought to be re-usable across several adventures! If we can’t have the real thing, then this would be a palatable second best. Perhaps with motion capture technology (think the Tin Tin movies, or Keifer Sutherland appearing in the new Metal Gear Solid) we may even get to the point where we could get David Bradley back as the CGI basis for the First Doctor’s missing episodes. Massive legal hurdles of course, to say nothing of cost – but better than nothing?
3. Colourise select episodes
I opined earlier that The Invasion would be an excellent candidate for colourisation – after they tidy up other colourised episodes like Invasion of the Dinosaurs, The Mind of Evil and The Ambassadors of Death. Once we have a complete set to watch through, I think many fans would enjoy certain stories colourised as a fresh interpretation of the show’s history. I personally think The Daleks would be another prime candidate – and of course if the BBC were animating from scratch entirely missing stories (like Marco Polo) they could exercise the luxury of initially animating in colour …
4. Animate certain Big Finish productions
Now this one will have howls of protest! I must confess that I have not listened to a single Big Finish production nor read much of the Missing Adventures literature – partly because it is unclear how it fits into the canon of the show. But there are certain adventures I think it would be great to bring in to plug the gaps – I would love to see the original Season 23 (featuring The Nightmare Fair for example), or a series of McCoy adventures linking between Survival and The Movie. Of course the BBC insist that there can only ever be one Doctor – hence they torpedoed Paul McGann returning for a mini-series, or a series of adventures jointly starring the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. But where there’s money …
What do you think dear readers? In the absence of a full set of Doctor Who adventures, what would you like to plug the gap?