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Top 7 Doctor Who “Lost Stories” That We Want to See Animated

With the recent release of “The Power of the Daleks”, which was given a full animated recreation in celebration for its 50th Anniversary, I have gotten my hopes up that this is a clear sign that the BBC may be considering animating the remaining “Lost Stories”.

A few years back I wrote an article about “The Lost Stories” and touched upon the tragedy of it all and also talked about how the BBC could use animation as the best possible solution of bringing back the missing serials (having already worked in the past with incomplete Classic Episode releases). Now it seems like my wishful thinking could become reality and this article is dedicated to me counting down which of “The Lost Stories” I’d love to see animated first.

7. “Fury from the Deep” – Season 5, 6 Episodes


This serial is unfortunately one of the most damaged “Lost Stories” having been left with no episodes existing after they were erased from the BBC Archives. “Fury from the Deep” is an unusual narrative as it goes against the usual science-fiction tropes, especially when it comes to the depiction of sea monsters. In this serial the sea monster wasn’t a giant crab or Black Lagoon type creature but instead sentient seaweed which could control the minds of everyone it came into contact with.

Already you have a completely different adversary for The Second Doctor to face as well as a different kind of story, which was definitely unique for its time. It went against the typical base-under-siege narrative that was common during The Second Doctor era and went for something more psychological and menacing. It’s certainly a serial that would be much welcomed back because it would be such an enjoyable experience because of its unique elements.

Also the serial is important because it has the departure of companion Victoria Waterfield. From my understanding her departure is subtle but effective through her wanting a normal life, having grown tired of being placed in mortal danger in every story. But unlike Tegan Jovanka’s departure Victoria leaves on a happy note, with The Second Doctor being mutual in her decision to leave, thus granting her a family again after her father was exterminated by the Daleks.

6. “The Abominable Snowmen” – Season 5, 6 Episodes


With having one episode remaining it is a tragedy that we cannot witness the very first encounter between The Second Doctor and the sinister Great Intelligence and his robotic army of Yeti’s. Thankfully we were rewarded back in 2013 with the return of “The Web of Fear” which acted as their second appearance, a mere two serials after “The Abominable Snowmen”.

I think this serial speaks for itself in us fans wanting to see the first appearance of The Great Intelligence and the Yeti, especially after receiving their second appearance and having The Great Intelligence playing a major role in Series Seven. It would complete the adventure.

“The Abominable Snowmen” has a wonderful setting (the Himalayas) and sounds very mystical with its inclusion of Buddhist monks and temples. And then there’s the first appearance of The Second Doctor’s infamous fur coat as well as him playing “twinkle, twinkle little star” on his recorder.

5. “The Celestial Toymaker” – Season 3, 4 Episodes


This is certainly one of The First Doctor’s “Lost Stories” that we want to see returned to us. Despite The Celestial Toymaker only appearing once within the show (though he was meant to make a return against The Sixth Doctor during Season 23 before the show was placed on hiatus) his name marks as an important element and is known by most members of the fandom. So it is tragic that his one and only appearance is lost to us. I would love to see him do battle against The First Doctor.

What is great about this serial is that the battle is a massive game concocted by The Celestial Toymaker, to which would cost the Time Lord his freedom if he lost. Whilst that went on his companions, Steven Taylor and Dodo Chaplet, had their own challenges to face within The Celestial Toymaker’s realm of toys and games.

Another interesting note is that this serial was originally going to be William Hartnell‘s last narrative due to the producers feeling his poor health was becoming an issue during filming. When his character was made invisible at the conclusion of “The Ark” they were going to make him reappear as a different actor during “The Celestial Toymaker”. This didn’t obviously happen but it did build the foundation for what eventually became “regeneration” and was finally carried out at the conclusion of “The Tenth Planet”.

4. “The Macra Terror” – Season 4, 4 Episodes


“The Macra Terror” featured the Macra, a creature that went on to make a confusing cameo in Series 3s “Gridlock” where they were sadly underused. Despite the Macra only featuring once in the Classic Series and they are well remembered for their imposing design, despite feeling like a typical creation within the sea monster category. But the narrative itself held a great theme, one that nearly everyone can relate to and that is the fear of being controlled.

It’s always a treat on Doctor Who to see a bleak future where humanity is under the control of a higher being. Despite the higher-beings being giant crabs it is still a solid Doctor Who narrative and one I would certainly enjoy. A good old fashioned rebellion story of humanity gaining control back over their planet, not to dissimilar to “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”.

3. “The Wheel in Space” – Season 5, 6 Episodes


Who doesn’t like a good-old Cybermen story? “The Wheel in Space” is another Patrick Troughton serial that fans desperately want returned to them. As well as featuring the fourth appearance of the Cybermen, it is also remembered for its claustrophobic space-station environments and the return of their menacing minions, the Cybermats (first introduced in “The Tomb of the Cybermen”).

Following on from “The Tomb of the Cybermen” it was always going to be hard for the writer’s to top themselves, so they wanted a serial that featured a cross-over of the show’s most popular villains: the Daleks and the Cybermen. Sadly this never came to pass (with us fans having to wait for this legendary cross-over till 2006 during the events of “Army of Ghosts/Doomsday”) and the eventual serial resulted in a safe story where the Cybermen simply attempt to take over a base, which sounds all too similar with “The Moonbase”.

Despite this repetitive sounding narrative “The Wheel in Space” does sound a lot more developed than “The Moonbase”, having a longer narrative and even having a slow, thriller based first episode to set the tone of the serial. “The Wheel in Space” introduced us to the Cybermen becoming more menacing through sneaky behaviour, hiding in the shadows as they slowly devised their plans through the manipulation of others (something “The Invasion” would also do in the following season).

“The Wheel in Space” is also known for introducing companion Zoe Heriot, who is a fan favourite for good reason. What’s most interesting about her arrival aboard the TARDIS is the fact that she stowed away at the end of the serial, only for The Second Doctor to warn her of the dangers of his travels through showing her footage of the Daleks (which then linked into the re-run of “The Evil of the Daleks” the following week).

2. “The Evil of the Daleks” – Season 4, 7 Episodes


This serial was originally supposed to be the last ever appearance of The Doctor’s deadliest foe, the Daleks, and so were given a narrative to compensate that factor. To start with The Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon are left stranded at Heathrow Airport at the conclusion of “The Faceless Ones” after the TARDIS is taken.

This eventually leads them to Victorian England where they discover the Daleks latest plans to conquer the universe. They attempt to trick The Second Doctor to discover the meaning behind the Human Factor through putting Jamie, and new companion Victoria, through twisted tests.

The result of the Daleks plan is to use The Second Doctor to spread the Dalek factor throughout time. This brings the Time Lord into his first encounter with The Dalek Emperor, which judging from set photos (and what little footage remains) is a magnificent set piece.

The serial ends in an explosive conclusion when The Second Doctor spreads the Human Factor into the Daleks and begins a civil war that brings about the “final end”. Though as history went this wasn’t the Daleks conclusion after the producers didn’t wish to go through with their destruction and had the director give the impression that the Daleks may have survived The Second Doctor’s attack.

It is clear that fans want this particular Troughton serial brought back the most, and with what I stated above you can hardly blame them. The serial may seem long at seven episodes but I usually find that longer episodes mean a more fleshed out narrative with many twists and turns. From what I’ve read of this serial it has many different layers, and sub-plots to entertain us with, spreading its creative story neatly across the seven episodes.

I really do love the idea of this serial and the expansion of the sly Dalek that was introduced in “The Power of the Daleks”. The Daleks are crafty again in this narrative and their plans are more ambitious than ever with their out of the box type thinking, similar to their schemes within “The Daleks’ Master Plan”.

And then The Second Doctor equally returns the favour by manipulating events in his favour and was the first incarnation to come close to actually bringing about the Daleks’ destruction. I think everyone just wants to watch “The Evil of the Daleks” for its many iconic moments and ideas, and to at last see the Dalek civil war just so we can witness The Second Doctor declare the Daleks’ final end.

1. “The Daleks’ Master Plan” – Season 3, 12 Episodes


Speaking of “The Daleks’ Master Plan” this is my most wanted of “The Lost Stories” to be brought back to us. It was a tough decision between this particular serial and “The Evil of the Daleks” (frankly I want them both brought back). But I had to pick this serial because of its legacy.

“The Daleks’ Master Plan” is a twelve part epic that has The First Doctor battle the Daleks in their darkest story, at that point, in which the deadly creatures from Skaro wanted to build the Time Destructor, a device capable of destroying time itself. The narrative spans over many different locations, and planets with obstacles and death awaiting them at nearly every turn.

The serial is remembered for a lot of key reasons. One of the most notable elements is the first onscreen death of a companion, Katarina. Having only been introduced at the end of the previous serial, “The Myth Makers”, to replace Vicki (who left in the same serial). But the producers quickly came to realise that she would become a problem within the writing process in having to have all the scientific terms explained to her due to her being from a time before technology. So they opted to kill her off at the beginning of Episode 4, “The Traitors”.

However, death didn’t end there. We were given the first onscreen appearance of Nicholas Courtney as character Bret Vyon (who would later go on to play the infamous Brigadier) but was murdered at the end of Episode 4, “The Traitors”. Ironically, he was killed by his sister Sara Kingdom who went on to become a temporary companion for the remainder of the serial, having realised that she had been manipulated by Mavic Chen who was in-league with the Daleks. However, in Episode 12, “Destruction of Time”, Sara was also killed off, with her death being a slow and brutal swan-song having been aged to death by the Time Destructor after she went back to help The First Doctor.

Other notable aspects come with the return of The Monk, who was first seen in “The Time Meddler”, and the first, and only, occasion where The Doctor broke the fourth wall (which happened during Episode 7, “The Feast of Steven”, a Christmas themed story to which The First Doctor wished everyone at home a Happy Christmas).

“The Daleks’ Master Plan” definitely feels like an epic journey, and a true test for The First Doctor as he literally battles to protect the universe from the Daleks’ threat. It’s a narrative that is dark, full of twists and turns, and feels long and tiring which results in many casualties along the road which only adds to the conclusion in which the stakes where incredibly high.

And that’s my list of which “Lost Stories” I desperately want returned to us in animated format. But of course, as always, this is just my opinion. Please share your thoughts in the comment section or on our Twitter page on which Hartnell and Troughton lost serials are on your priority list to return in the form of animation (or potentially found)!

About the author

John Hussey