on 18 December 2004
It's difficult to know where to start in my review of 'Lost in Time' as there is so much to get through on this triple disc set, it is choc-a-block full of classic sixties Who, but navigating through it all is well worth the effort.
I'll avoid talking about each individual episode (they all have their own merits) and just briefly mention the real highlight of the DVD, which rather unsuprisingly is "Day of Armageddon". I have always been fond of "The Dalek Masterplan" but I never thought in my wildest dreams that anymore footage would turn up, so imgaine my exitement when an whole episode was returned to the BBC!. "Day" does not disappoint, we get to see alot more of Mavic Chen, (played with relish by the brilliant Kevin Stoney) and best of all those weird and wonderful alien deligates!, It's a pity that it all goes by so quickly, as by the end you are left drooling incessantly for more. And that's the worst thing about this set, you really get so into these episodes, but get no closure, instead having to move on to a completely different story. But even so it doesn't really matter.
Other highlights of the disc are mainly obvious ones. "The Web of Fear" part 1 is absolutley superb, and really catapults this story instantly into my most wanted list. "The Moonbase" also looks lovely in it's new VidFIRE'd state and remains an atmospheric and thoroughly enjoyable tale. I would like to give a special mention to "The Underwater Menace" as it has been unfairly maligned over the years, and is actually great fun.
Really, all of these episodes have something to enjoy and it's a good mix of stories to represent this classic era.
As for the features I am a little torn. I would have liked to have seen some new documentary featurettes on specific episodes or maybe the sixties era as a whole, and more commentaries but there isn't unlimited space available so what we get is mainly all the existing footage from lost stories. Alot of this I have already seen, but it's nice to watch again. "The Power of the Daleks" trailer was a bit of a dissapointment as it is incredibley brief and not what I expected at all, whereas the "Fury from the Deep" footage is the exact opposite, I never would have expected it to be so good. For me this was the best thing on the disc as you get to see alot more than I had anticipated and the Weed creature looks fantastic!. As for the commentaries, basically the Hartnell era ones are excellent with particular kudos to Julian Glover and Peter Purves for their sterling work, and the Troughton ones (with the exeption of "The Wheel in Space") are rather disposable. Finally the Missing years documentary remains excellent but I thought the 'update' could have been alot better, it's very short and "Day of Armageddon" isn't even mentioned.
All in all though this is a packed set of features and provides real value for money.
There is very little to complain about here, as this is meant to be a celebration of what we have lost, and this DVD fulfills that admirabley. As a representation of The Hartnell and Troughton era it is a perfect collection of episodes, backed up with a lot of great features. And my only complaints are purely personal.
This is an outstanding DVD, and worth getting for just for "Day of Armageddon", but thankfully there is alot more to enjoy here too, so do not be put off by the incomplete nature of the episodes, instead go and buy this as soon as you possibly can, as it is essential.
I disagree with what seems to be the general consensus from my fellow reviewers the this set is for fans only. Now I am a Doctor Who fanatic and have been for 40 years and such a release as this is of course tremendously exciting, although being a fan I have had the episodes presented on this disc for many years on VHS (Day of Armageddon excepting of course), the true joy for me was seeing the material in restored form and this gave the impression of almost seeing the episodes anew.
The statement that this is for fans only riled me, why should a good release like this be pidgeon-holed into a kind of cult status only fit for the supposed minority that are interested in such things, a potential buyer will be put off by comments stating that there is nothing for the casual viewer.
Casual veiwers are not stupid and this release can appeal to anyone, for instance those interested in archive material, people wanting a nostalgia trip, people that are interested in the various actors that appear in the episodes, members of the public that watch the new series and are interested in the different style of stories from the sixties, or just the fact that it can introduce new fans to fact that there were other Doctors before Eccleston and Tennant the list is endless. If the case for fans only is true then releases like The Andromeda Anthology, The Quatermass Collection and Adam Adamant Lives have no value in being released because the ammount of people buying them does not justify the expense of making the discs. The vast majority of people that buy this set will be fans but that does not mean that non fans cannot enjoy the material on offer.
The episodes themselves are a mixed batch as one would expect coming from a wide variety of stories, the picture and sound quality have been lovingly restored and make the viewing experience extremely pleasant.
The set was inspired by the discovery of Day of Armageddon, the second episode of The Daleks' Masterplan and fortunately is perhaps one of the best episodes in the set. The episodes on this set give the viewer the chance to see a glimpse of lesser known stories even amongst many fans, stories like The Faceless Ones were for many years as big a mystery to fans as to non fans and the flavour that these bits and pieces provide are very welcome indeed.
The release sees 18 episodes presented, 6 Hartnell, 12 Troughton and are spread over three discs and are a reminder to me of the dark days in the 70's and 80's when 90% of these instalments were lost and the subsequent joy at their rediscovery.
One of the episodes is entitled The Wheel of Fortune and is one of the greatest single episodes from the series. Period. This proves my point that prior knowledge of the previous episodes is not a requirement, The Wheel of Fortune is the third instalment of The Crusade and is so good that it can be viewed on it's own, the design and acting is world class for the time, the subject matter is more adult then anything seen in Doctor Who at that point and it is without a doubt William Hartnell's finest ever performance of the Doctor bar the very first episode, tell me now there is nothing to interest non fans. The rest of the episodes all range from OK to excellent, there is not a really bad instalment on the disc.
The extras on the other hand are for fans only, I cannot see a non fan sitting down and watching 8mm Film material of fragments of missing episodes of varying quality, but to a fan moments thought lost forever are pricelessly preserved in these little film clips. There is a documentary about the missing episodes that is actually of limited interest as it was seen on VHS and audio commentaries of selected episodes are included.
The episodes were selected carefully to give a good grounding for different types of story, The aforementioned The Wheel of Fortune and Day of Armageddon are wonderful commentaries featuring guest actor Julian Glover in the former who gives a lively and informative discussion moderated by Gary Russell, a first class commentary to a first class episode. Peter Purves, Kevin Stoney and Dalek designer Ray Cusick give another great debate on Day of Armageddon with Purves' presentation and interview skills evident throughout.
The Troughton episode commentaries are not so fortunate with the exception of The Wheel in Space part 6 by director Tristan de Vere Cole and producer Derrick Sherwin, now these two people are very rarely interviewed about Doctor Who and their points of view and comments are brand new and interesting with little known facts emerging that keeps the watcher interested, unfortunately the same cannot be said of The Evil of the Daleks 2, The Abominable Snowmen 2 and The Web of Fear 1 as they all feature a track by Deborah Watling who adds nothing of interest and just repeats stories and facts that she has been telling at conventions for years, even moderator Gary Russell struggles to prompt her memory or find something interesting to say and the saving grace for The Web of Fear part 1 is that Deborah Watling is joined by Derrick Sherwin who does have something interesting to reveal.
All in all this is a brilliant boxset of vintage Doctor Who that will appeal to anyone. Buy and enjoy.
on 9 November 2004
This is a slightly unusual release in that it is not one story but an array of individual episodes. If, like myself, you never had the opportunity to watch these when they first went out you will find them most interesting as they give a real taste of what the missing doctor who episodes are like. Of particular interest are the clips including the 8mm off screen clips which I have certainly never seen before. Also, it is great to be able to see the recently rediscovered episode Day of Armageddon. the special features are slightly disappointing in a number of ways. There are no easter eggs as far as I can tell, which is a minor flaw. More importantly, there are no on screen production notes. This is a disappointment because I particularly enjoy these. Also, there are no commentaries for a lot of the episodes (although look out for Julian Glover's on the Wheel of fortune - it is great). There isn't the usual photo gallery. Otherwise, it is a good release and for the price, a real bargain.
on 5 December 2004
This is a set for the enthusiast perhaps more than anyone else. Unfortunately viewing the individual episodes just leaves you pining for the rest of the episodes. Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of this relaese is the quality of the restoration work. This was especially noticeable with episode 4 of The Moonbase, which I already have in the Cybermen video compliation. The team have worked miracles. Unfortuantely the audio presentations lack the linking narration of the CD releases which makes them a bit difficult to follow. Overall, however, a long overdue collection lovingly restored & well worth buying.
on 9 November 2004
The aim of LOST IN TIME is to present incomplete DOCTOR WHO stories where only 50% or less of the episodes have survived. Stories which are largely intact - such as THE REIGN OF TERROR, THE TENTH PLANET, THE ICE WARRIORS and THE INVASION - will presumably be released on DVD at a later date (subject to the popularity of this set, I'd guess). It's unlikely that more missing episodes will be recovered, though the return of DAY OF ARMAGEDDON earlier this year suggests there may still be a few in private hands. As things stand, this is a great opportunity to see some fascinating fragments of television history.
on 21 August 2014
Having watched Dr.Who since it started in 1963, I was keen to see again some of the episodes that I had seen so long ago.
This is a collection that is really only for avid fans, as there is no comparison between this set and the series currently being shown on TV. Saying that I found most of the episodes very watchable, but the effects, as expected, are pretty basic.
Strictly for avid fans, but enjoyable anyway. Worth owning even if just for the historical factor.
on 21 February 2006
For a dedicated Dr Who fan like myself, this is a lovely release. Its format is rather strange, however, and deserves further explanation.
In the 60s and 70s, vintage episodes of Dr Who were wiped by the BBC. The policy seems to have been rather haphazard, and a result of it is that single instalments of many Dr Who serials starring William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton, are now "lost in time", as it were - separated from the rest of the episodes in the serial. This collection showcases 18 "orphaned" episodes, all of them coming from stories of which only one or two (or in one case three) episodes survive.
For established fans who know about this stuff, this couldn't be recommended more highly. Obviously the main draw is the Hartnell material, and it is here that the highlights are to be found, specifically the first and third episodes of "The Crusade", which are wonderfully written and acted. Even the last episode of "The Celestial Toymaker", a badly-regarded story, is almost unbelievably good (given its reputation).
Ironically, these episodes outshine "Day of Armageddon" (the recently-discovered second episode of "The Daleks' Master Plan") the centrepiece of the collection, and arguably the reason it was released. "Day of Armageddon" itself is not the best and not the worst of the surviving episodes of this story - the best is probably Escape Switch, the worst certainly Counterplot. (As an aside, the episodes on the first disc offer more proof - as if more were needed! - that Steven, played by Blue Peter's Peter Purves, is a companion of the first rank, and not the dull cypher some seem to think he is.)
But of course, two-thirds of this material is composed of Troughton episodes, and not to recognise this would be to do them a great disservice. Thoughts on the Troughton era in Who fandom are imprecise - at first heralded as a golden age, and since, with the discovery of "Tomb of the Cybermen" and the release of the missing-episode soundtracks, quite harshly criticised. I myself, judging by the episodes here, get the distinct impression that the Troughton era taken as a whole was very good indeed. "The Web of Fear", episode 1, for example - after a rather woeful beginning which resolves plot threads from the previous story - swiftly becomes Dr Who of the very highest quality, well acted and dripping with atmosphere. This was no surprise to me, as this story has always been regarded as a classic. But the revelation of episode 2 of "The Abominable Snowmen", the original tale featuring "Web"'s Yeti, certainly was. It is strong in every respect - frankly, it rocks!
These two episodes, together with episode two of the 7-part epic "Evil of the Daleks", are amongst the strongest on what proves to be an absolutely excellent release. Of the other 2nd Doctor episodes, only universally-hated "The Space Pirates" part 2 is a real stinker, and even "The Wheel in Space" 3 and 6 are surprisingly good! Strangely, it falls to two very well thought of episodes, "The Moonbase" 2 and 4, to constitute the real disappointment.
So for fans, a definite hit. But little explanation is provided on the DVDs - beyond narration-less soundtracks of a further four episodes - for what happens inbetween the isolated episodes, who the characters are, and what, in general, is going on. To the uninitiated, this will probably be offputting, to say the least.
In conclusion, the quality of the material is, (in the main) indisputable. However, for new, or potential, Dr Who fans, I suspect this is one to avoid.
on 18 August 2006
This is a three-disc set of some rare surviving episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s. The two episodes of the Crusade are an example of superb sixties T.V. drama. Julian Glover and Jean Marsh are superb, and Hartnell turns on the style. Glover's commentary on episode 3 is worth tuning into too.
Other highlights on this set are the recently discovered Day of Armageddon from the Dalek's Masterplan, the second episode of Troughton's Evil of the Daleks and the first episode of Troughton's Web of Fear. Disappointingly, the set ends on a weak note. Episode 2 of the Space Pirates is for me, the weakest episode in the selection, and rather boring!
Another disappointment is that there is no linking narration for the audio episodes of the Crusade and the Moonbase, as on the audio releases of missing stories. This makes them harder to follow.
This is a good set for fans. In addition to full episodes there are some interesting clips from stories such as Power of the Daleks, although in some cases, blink and you'll miss what's going on! However, if you really want a taste of the Hartnell and Troughton eras, then try and get hold of the Aztecs, Tomb of the Cybermen, and the great classic The War Games. Overall though, not bad.
on 6 September 2011
I first became a Dr Who fan when I was about seven (long before the revival), and can remember reading in various books about the "missing" adventures. They sounded so much better than the black and white stories that were readily availiable on VHS at the time. Amongst fans, "telesnaps" were passed around. These were a series of poor quality images (one for every 3-5 seconds of footage) played simultaneously with the soundtrack (complete), to give an approximation of what the actual episode was like. I had several of these; they really weren't very good, but at the time, that was all that the die-hard fan could get. This DVD is the answer to the prayers of Dr Who fans everywhere.
The set comprises three discs, which contain all surviving footage from any stories that are incomplete, ranging from entire episodes to a few seconds of footage. They have been restored to an amazing standard - the images are so clear, this could have been filmed yesterday. Some of the stories do look pretty dull (although, to be fair, it is not really fair to judge on the basis of one or two episodes) but some do indeed look as interesting as I'd imagined they might be. Particularly so is the remaining snippets of "Fury From The Deep"; the scene where the two men suck all the air from the room is a chilling classic! It's just such a shame that you can't see the whole thing!
Dr Who fans the world over will be thanking the BBC on the one hand for fianlly making this stuff availiable (and to such a high standard), and cursing them on the other for chucking it away in the first place.
on 11 January 2016
Really enjoyed this. It is a pity that this is the only way to see some of the missing Doctor Who episodes- due to the BBC's misguided wiping policy of the 60's! Still, it is probably the best we are going to get. as some episodes are lost forever. Still. it was nice to see some of the old episodes again, and who knows, more episodes could be found in the years to come. I'll not hold my breath. Subtitles very helpful.