No Animation for The Underwater Menace?

Prepare to get annoyed.

Planet 55, the company responsible for previous DVD animations of missing episodes, including William Hartnell’s regeneration story, has issued a statement that appears to dispel rumours that they’re working to bring The Underwater Menace to DVD:

There have been many queries about Planet 55 Studios’s work on Doctor Who and whether we are doing any more.

To date, Planet 55 Studios has completed work on three Doctor Who animated reconstructions for BBC Worldwide’s DVD range: The Reign of Terror, The Tenth Planet and, most recently, The Moonbase.We really enjoyed creating those but they are the only Doctor Who stories Planet 55 Studios have worked on and there are no plans to work on any more.

At the moment the company is focused on animation projects completely unconnected to Doctor Who.”

As most of you will know, as of 2011, two out of four episodes from the Second Doctor tale now exist in the archives; previously, when only two episodes were missing, those were animated. This could mean a number of things.

Firstly, a new company could be involved. That seems unlikely, however, seen as Steve Roberts of the Restoration team previously stated: “[W]e’re the team that remasters the episodes for DVD release and even we don’t have a clue what’s going on with TUM now. From where we’re standing, it’s looking like the range is dead.”

Has the BBC just forgotten about The Underwater Menace, and if so, why?! There’s certainly call for an as-completed-as-possible collection!

Similar to the DVD release of The Web of Fear last year and the shoved-together Galaxy 4, we could be in for a reconstruction, comprising of audio and telesnaps. If that’s the case, I’m quite disappointed.

Otherwise, this could add further fuel to the ‘omnirumour’; that many more ‘missing’ episodes have been found by Phillip Morris and co., so the BBC don’t want unnecessary expense, when they could simply wait for the two other episodes to be fully restored.

It does seem that something, uhm, fishy is going on, especially as it was reported in the past that animation of The Underwater Menace was being carried out. Heck, there was even a DVD trailer for the story…!

Your thoughts, as ever, below please.

(Thanks to DrWhoNews.)


When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates (Kasterborous' former Editor) pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. He is the co-founder of The Doctor Who Companion:

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