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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.

Doctor Season Story Serial № episodes
in serial
№ of animated
Animator DVD/Blu-Ray release
Region 2 Region 1 Region 4
First 1 008 The Reign of Terror 6 2 (4 and 5) Big Finish & Planet 55 28 January 2013 12 February 2013 6 February 2013
3 018 Galaxy 4 4 4 (all) Big Finish Creative 15 November 2021 5 April 2022 12 January 2022
024 The Celestial Toymaker 4 4 (all) TBA TBA TBA TBA
4 029 The Tenth Planet 4 1 (4) Planet 55 14 October 2013 19 November 2013 30 October 2013
Second 030 The Power of the Daleks 6 6 (all) BBC Studios 21 November 2016 24 January 2017 14 December 2016
032 The Underwater Menace 4 4 (all) 13 November 2023 9 January 2024 TBA
033 The Moonbase 4 2 (1 and 3) Planet 55 20 January 2014 22 January 2014 11 February 2014
034 The Macra Terror 4 4 (all) Sun & Moon Studios[1] (with BBC Studios) 25 March 2019 12 November 2019 17 April 2019
035 The Faceless Ones 6 6 (all) BBC Studios 16 March 2020 6 October 2020 8 April 2020
036 The Evil of the Daleks 7 7 (all) 27 September 2021 16 November 2021 10 November 2021
5 038 The Abominable Snowmen 6 6 (all) Big Finish Creative 5 September 2022 6 December 2022 2 November 2022
039 The Ice Warriors 6 2 (2 and 3) Qurios Entertainment 26 August 2013 17 September 2013 28 August 2013
041 The Web of Fear 6 1 (3) Shapeshifter Studios (with Big Finish Creative & BBC Studios) 16 August 2021 1 February 2022 22 September 2021
042 Fury from the Deep 6 6 (all) Big Finish Creative 14 September 2020 16 March 2021 11 November 2020
6 046 The Invasion 8 2 (1 and 4) Cosgrove Hall 6 November 2006 6 March 2007 3 January 2007
Fourth 17 N/A Shada 6 Various scenes BBC Studios 24 November 2017 4 September 2018 10 January 2018

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.

The serial was released on DVD in January 2013. Planet 55 would later go on to animate episode 4 of The Tenth Planet (November 2013), and episodes 1 and 3 of The Moonbase (January 2014).

In August 2013, BBC Worldwide announced that episodes 2 and 3 of The Ice Warriors would be animated by Qurios Entertainment for a DVD release later that month.

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 was the first wholly missing serial to be completely reconstructed using animation. It was 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.

In January 2022, the future of Doctor Who animations was left uncertain as BBC America were said to be withdrawing their funding. This would not affect the one project that was still in production at the time (The Abominable Snowmen) but it did leave doubts as to whether any further incomplete serials would be animated.[2] By September 2022, it was a made final by animation director Gary Russell at a BFI Q&A session that "this [was] it for us". However, the animations were not officially 'cancelled' as BBC Studios could be seeking another partner for future productions.[3]

In August 2023, it was announced that The Underwater Menace would be the next incomplete serial to be animated[4], suggesting that animations would continue to be produced.

In December 2023, the animated version of The Celestial Toymaker was announced.[5]

Unreleased and unofficial animations[]

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.

The episode chosen was "Mission to the Unknown", as it was a self-contained episode featuring the Daleks with a limited number of characters and sets, thus keeping the budget down.

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.

In 2022, Josh Snares released a full animated visualisation of the Big Finish audio story Out of Time on YouTube. To avoid copyright infringement, the soundtrack was not included; instead, fans were invited to download the Out of Time audio legally and sync it up with Snares's visuals themselves. Although it was not actually an official Big Finish product, Snares's animation was promoted by Big Finish Productions on Twitter.[6]

The Lost TV Episodes[]

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.[7]

Collection One: 1964–65

Collection Two: 1965–66

Collection Three: 1966–67

Collection Four: 1967

Collection Five: 1967–69

Special animation[]

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. It was later included as a bonus feature on the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the The Macra Terror.

Story Title Animator Original airdate
- The Wheel in Space: Episode 1 BBC Studios 15 December 2018