On the 15th June, we wrote about the welcomed revelation that a whole host of classic Doctor Who episodes, missing to viewers since the 1960s, had returned. A whole 90 episodes in fact. There is a lot of speculation to this story, particularly the rumour that the entire William Hartnell catalogue might have been recovered. For me, it seems an awfully big coincidence that in the 50th year of Doctor Who, all those episodes, missing legends, have found their way back again. And apparently the BBC is now denying these missing episodes have turned up at all. The bitter truth? Or denying the rumour so that they can come up with a big surprise announcement last this year? I have no idea. But you know what? If it is true, then there are some fantastic stories to come our way. From all the stories and reviews Ive read, if theres one thing I could say about the 60s black and white Doctor Who, its that it had a scope far greater than anything that came after it. Fantastically constructed historicals. Giant space epics. The best of the best in Dalek stories. Theres a lot to look forward to. Obviously any Doctor Who fan wants every story. But here Im going to focus on the 10 stories that above all others should be part of this magical discovery of long lost archives. 10 stories that should have never, ever, been canned by the BBC. Im not going to focus on those stories that have (or shortly will) had missing episodes animated. While it would be great to have complete The Reign Of Terror, The Ice Warriors,The Tenth Planet or my favourite Cyberman story The Invasion, we have (or will have) access to the complete stories. Instead, Im going to look at those stories where only a fractioned remains. The 10 stories that would show Hartnell and Troughton at their best.
10. Marco Polo
The first historical and fourth story of Doctor Who, this is possibly the most epic story of all Hartnells first series. Unlike many stories, this take place over a much longer period of time. There is an entire series worth of material captured in these seven episodes. The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara join the legendary Marco Polos Caravan as it makes its way across the majestic Himalayas mountains, Pamir Plateau, the Gobi Desert, and on to Imperial Cathay, the mighty summer palace of Kublai Khan in Shang-Tu and finally the Imperial palace at Peking. So many stunning locations all recounted over a period of thirty days. There is a breathtaking scope to this story that anyone who has seen the 30 minutes reconstruction of images will see. The majesty of Imperial China is recreated in all its majesty. A fantastic villain in the Mongol Warlord Tegana. An epic sword fight finale. A story that gives Susan something interesting to do in her relationship with Ping-Cho. And for those interested in the earliest lore of Doctor Who, this is the first time where the location of his home planet Gallifrey is given (the Kasterborous System). The name Gallifrey didnt come until much later and Susan, not the Doctor, shares this nugget information, but it is a beginning The Aztecs might be my favourite historical to date. John Lucarotti wrote both these stories and may be the historical Robert Holmes of early Doctor Who. I have a feeling his earlier story, Marco Polo, may take that number one spot if we ever got to see it in all its glory.
A writer for Whatculture since May 2013, I also write for TheRichest.com and am the TV editor and writer for Thedigitalfix.com . I wrote two plays for the Greater Manchester Horror Fringe in 2013, the first an adaption of Simon Clark's 'Swallowing A Dirty Seed' and my own original sci-fi horror play 'Centurion', which had an 8/10* review from Starburst magazine! (http://www.starburstmagazine.com/reviews/eventsupcoming-genre-events/6960-event-review-centurion) I also wrote an episode for online comedy series Supermarket Matters in 2012. I aim to achieve my goal for writing for television (and get my novels published) but in the meantime I'll continue to write about those TV shows I love! Follow me on Twitter @BazGreenland and like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BazGreenlandWriter