An animated episode is a missing episode of Doctor Who that has been "completed" by use of animation. In several cases, producers of the Doctor Who DVD range have commissioned original black-and-white animation, synced to the programme's original audio tracks.
Early commissions served to "complete" serials with only one or two missing episodes, allowing the full serials to be sold as a commercial product.
Later, BBC Worldwide and BBC America commissioned a full animation of The Power of the Daleks for broadcast and commercial release, beginning the trend of animating whole missing stories going forward.
The first such effort, Cosgrove Hall's animation of The Invasion episodes 1 and 4, was released to DVD alongside the surviving episodes in November 2006. The animation had been paid for by an earlier surplus in the Doctor Who website budget, allowing it to be used in the DVD release as a test for the concept, at no extra cost. Despite the DVD's success, the sales were not high enough to offset the animation cost for any future collaboration.
Eventually, other animation studios were commissioned to continue the reconstructions. In June 2011, 2|entertain announced that the missing episodes 4 and 5 of The Reign of Terror would be animated by Planet 55 Studios, using the "Thetamation" process.
In December 2013, 2 Entertain commissioning editor Dan Hall mentioned that Planet 55 had again been commissioned to complete The Underwater Menace, for what he hoped would be an early 2014 release. However, in September 2015 Doctor Who Magazine confirmed that the much-delayed DVD, now scheduled for 26 October, was instead to contain tele-snap reconstructions of the missing episodes 1 and 4.
In September 2016 it was announced that the completely missing serial The Power of the Daleks would be animated and released via the BBC Store on 5 November 2016, the 50th anniversary of the serial's first broadcast, before it was released on DVD (21 November) and Blu-ray (6 February 2017). This is the first wholly missing serial to be completely reconstructed using animation. It is also the first animated reconstruction to have a Special Edition release which was released on 27 July 2020.
In 2017, the unfinished Fourth Doctor serial Shada was released with animation of the scenes not yet filmed, using new voice recordings by the original actors.
Unreleased and unofficial animations[edit | edit source]
In 2008, after future collaboration with Cosgrove Hall had been rejected due to expense, 2 Entertain was approached by David Busch of US animation studio Titmouse, Inc., who offered to do the work more cheaply as a result of the favourable exchange rate between the UK and the US, and put together a test trailer of scenes animated from various missing serials, including The Power of the Daleks, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror, The Web of Fear, and Fury from the Deep.
While 2 Entertain decided not to commission anything from Titmouse, the trailer was eventually seen by Ian Levine, who offered to try and raise the money for a full episode reconstruction to serve as a prototype.
Although completed, the animated version of Mission to the Unknown has never been officially released, although it has been posted on various video streaming sites.
With the advent of ever-more-powerful home computers and more specialist programs for them, many fans are also working on unofficial animations of the missing episodes, and this is widespread with many clips being shown online.
The Lost TV Episodes[edit | edit source]
From 2010 to 2012, five audio box sets were released by BBC Audiobooks. The sets collected the full, unaltered soundtracks to the Doctor Who stories which did not exist in video form up to that point. A small number of the episodes included linked narration, and all of the five sets contained exclusive interviews with former cast members. The first collection was released on 5 August 2010 and the fifth was released on 1 August 2012. BBC Audiobooks – which later became AudioGo – went into administration in 2013 and ceased production officially in 2014.
Collection One: 1964–65
Collection Two: 1965–66
Collection Three: 1966–67
- The Smugglers
- The Tenth Planet
- The Power of the Daleks
- The Highlanders
- The Underwater Menace
- The Moonbase
Collection Four: 1967
Collection Five: 1967–69
- The Enemy of the World
- The Web of Fear
- Fury from the Deep
- The Wheel in Space
- The Invasion
- The Space Pirates
Special animation[edit | edit source]
On 15 December 2018, for the 25th Anniversary event of Missing, Believed Wiped, a special animation of the currently missing The Wheel in Space was made. It was neither a reimagination nor an animated restoration of the actual story, but rather a cut-down mini-episode based on the first episode.
|-||The Wheel in Space mini-story||15 December 2018|