For die-hard Doctor Who fans who have wondered about the missing 1960s episode featuring William Hartnell called “Mission to the Unknown,” today is a monumental day. Today is the day when you find out that episode will be remade by students at University College of Lancashire.
According to Fansided, Peter Purves, who played the companion to the First Doctor, released the exciting news via his Twitter account recently.
“‘Mission to the Unknown’ — a complete remake by UCLAN students,” Purves wrote in a tweet.
“The sets are built, the costumes made, the 3-day multi-camera shoot begins this morning at 8:30 a.m. It is hoped the BBC will release it on DVD. This is serious painstaking work.”
“Mission to the Unknown” was an episode of Doctor Who which was broadcast in 1965. Designed as a standalone episode, none of the regular cast was optioned in this piece. As the Lancashire Post points out, the episode was originally designed to help give the regular cast of Doctor Who at that time an extended break between filming. So, William Hartnell as the Doctor was not included in this episode, and neither were his companions at the time, Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) and Steven Taylor (Peter Purves). In fact, not even the TARDIS was present for this episode.
Purves also included some pictures from his time on set when filming the lost Doctor Who episode.
OMG – all set to shoot. It looks brilliant pic.twitter.com/VIukmpTQpG
— Peter Purves (@purves_peter) February 20, 2019
The original episode was designed as a teaser of what was to come in the following 12-episode serial that involved the Daleks called “The Daleks’ Master Plan.” According to the Lancashire Post, “Mission to the Unknown” tells the story of Space Security Agent Marc Cory and “his attempts to warn Earth of the Daleks’ latest plan.” The original episode ran for only 25 minutes, which is considered one of the shortest episodes in the Doctor Who serial.
Filming will occur over three days and is designed to recreate the episode of which the visual component was wiped in July 1974. While the video was erased, audio still remains of the episode and it is likely this will be used as a guide in the remake of the episode.
Edward de Souza, who played Space Security Agent Marc Cory in the original episode, and Nick Briggs, who is known as the voice of both the Daleks and the Cybermen, joined Purvis on set.
And, if you are wondering how the episode will be filmed, whether it will be updated to follow current episodes of Doctor Who or attempt to remake the original episode as it was seen in the 1960s, Purvis had this to say.
“It is being made as authentically as possible. The cameras are slightly later, but no zoom shots, only tracking and fixed size shots.”
As yet, it is unclear when this remake will be made available to the public.