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BBC Studios announce Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 Animation, due for release on 15 November

BBC Studios have announced that the lost 1965 Doctor Who adventure Galaxy 4, starring William Hartnell as the First Doctor, will be the latest missing story to get the animation treatment. The new animated release will be available online and in store on DVD, Blu-ray and on a Limited-Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, and is available to pre-order now from HMVAmazonZavvi and Rarewaves.

Galaxy 4 (alternatively spelled Galaxy Four) is the mostly-missing first serial of the third season of Doctor Who, which originally aired as four weekly episodes from 11th September to 2nd October 1965. 

Following the success of the existing animations, Galaxy 4 fills another gap in the missing Doctor Who content lost from the BBC’s archive soon after the programme’s original transmission. Audio-only recordings of all four episodes have survived and have been used here to create a brand new fully animated presentation of the entirety of this lost classic, alongside the original surviving Episode 3 and over five minutes of original footage from the otherwise lost Episode 1.

The story features the Doctor (William Hartnell) alongside his travel companions Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) and Steven (Peter Purves) arriving on a planet on the verge of total annihilation as it drifts too close to the three suns it orbits. Trapped on the planet with them are the Drahvins, a race of warrior women, and the reptilian Rills. The Drahvins, led by the sinister Maaga (Stephanie Bidmead), want to steal the Rill spaceship to escape the planet’s death throes and enlist the Doctor’s help, keeping first Vicki and then later Steven as a hostage to coerce him into doing so.  Even though the Doctor is determined to broker a peace deal between the two sides in this conflict and help everyone escape safely, Maaga doesn’t trust him or the Rills…

The two disc release gives fans the opportunity to enjoy the four new animated episodes of Galaxy 4, in either colour or black and white. The release will also include:

  • Remastered Surviving Original Episode 3
  • Remastered Surviving Clip from Episode 1
  • Telesnap Reconstructions of Episodes 1,2 and 4.
  • Audio Commentaries 
  • Making Of Documentary
  • Finding Galaxy 4 Documentary
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production Subtitles

Gary Russell, Executive Producer from Big Finish Creative of the 2021 production said:

“After a gap of many years, it is very exciting to bring the era of the First Doctor back into the animation world. Galaxy 4 is one of the most traditional adventures of 1960s Doctor Who and it’s been a real honour to work on this alternative version which hopefully reflects those technicolour thrills that sci-fi movies of the ’60s had but which Doctor Who’s monochrome TV limitations couldn’t yet achieve.”

Galaxy 4 is written by William Emms and stars William Hartnell, Maureen O’Brien, Peter Purves, Stephanie Bidmead, Marina Martin, Susanna Caroll, and Lyn Ashley. The original 1965 episodes were produced by Verity Lambert and directed by Derek Martinus, whilst the new animated episodes are executive produced by Gary Russell, Mark B.Oliver, Russell Minton and Jason Haigh-Ellery, and directed by Chloe Grech.

BFI Southbank will host a special screening of all 4 episodes of the newly animated story Galaxy 4 on 7th November 2021; tickets go on sale on 16th September at 11:30 to BFI Champions and Patrons, at 12:30 to BFI Members and at 16:00 to the general public.

Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 Animation is released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray Steelbook on 15th November 2021 and is available to pre-order now from HMVAmazon, Zavvi and Rarewaves.

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