After some quick chasing, the very nice chaps at the BBC DVD Enquiry Line came back with the following reply to my earlier letter. It makes for interesting reading, and especially the part in bold:
Having sent the copy of your letter through to our PR department for an official response, they have provided me with the following:
“We’re hoping to release more classic Doctor Who and we’ll let you know when we have news.”
I’m sorry it doesn’t address your numerous points but appreciate they are unable to share any plans at this stage.
Sorry again you’ve waited so long for some in-depth information which, alas, even we in the DVD Enquiry Line have not got.
As with my earlier enquiries, there is no outright statement saying that the DVD range is at an end – indeed it is a word for word echo of this earlier tweet from the BBC. What’s very intriguing is that not every section of the BBC knows what’s going on (although that’s hardly very surprising) – which leaves us with three possibilities:
- Killing us with kindness – they “hope” to release more, but it is just a hope. We may find more Doctor Who, but we probably won’t. If they do recover a story, they’ll release it. But they won’t, so they won’t. But hope is good, hey?
- They know as little as we do – the PR section are briefing without specifics because while there may be more material (whether recovered/remastered/animated/other) nobody is telling what it is. There’s probably something in the pipeline, but nobody’s really sure what it is at this stage.
- The Cover-up – obviously this is the one most fans hope for. The reason the BBC hope to release more classic Doctor Who, is because they have good reasons/sources that indicate more is available. The reasons they’re not telling us what it is, presumably, relate to whatever delicate conversations are ongoing to bring the material back to the BBC.
At this stage we can only speculate which of the three options is nearest to the truth. I do hope that it is not the first, for the simple reason that if there aren’t any more recovered episodes in the pipeline, then I see no good reason not to animate the back catalogue (or for that matter to animate some of the Big Finish productions).
So it seems like business as normal – still waiting for whatever background manoeuvering that must take place to conclude. But it seems to suggest that it is worth the fans continuing to remind the BBC our ongoing desire and enthusiasm to see the classic back catalogue filled out – with reconstructions if necessary. And in the very least, I am encouraged that the DVD Enquiry team are so polite and positive!
It also begs the observation that there is a fourth option: no more episodes coming back … but more re-releases of existing episodes. Which rather begs the question of why they would be so secretive … if they were simply going to upscale normal definition episodes, colourise black and white stories, or release entire seasons on single blu-ray discs … surely there would be no need for secrecy. Which is why I am inclined to discount this fourth possibility … and wonder what missing episodes news we still have to await. Hopefully the BBC will indeed let us know when they have news … and soon!