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March 7th, 2013 122 comments

Preview – The Aztecs Special Edition DVD

The Aztecs Special Edition DVD – Preview

With improved picture quality and clarity the Aztec Special edition DVD is released on 11th March 2013.

This 15th century story, first broadcast in 1964, is set in Mexico and features a wonderful array of costumes. It explores the theme of “changing history”.

The visual improvement alone is well worth the investment but of course this DVD also contains the recently discovered “Air Lock”, episode 3 of Galaxy 4 making it a must buy. Watching this episode is a real treat – especially as most of us have never seen it before!

“Air Lock” is surrounded by short reconstructions of the other episodes in Galaxy 4 using stills and audio to complete the adventure.

Recently found footage of one of the The Dalek Movies being filmed is well worth a look as is clive Dunn as the 1st Doctor!

Collectors of Merchandise will be interested in Doctor Forever! – Celestial Toyroom – the first of a new five-part series looking at Doctor Who toys.

Alasdair Dewar (Character) pushes a button on a previously unseen classic figure varaint that collectors will love i’m sure!

Dapol, Product enterprise and other early toys are all featured.


The Aztecs Special Edition DVD

The TARDIS arrives in fifteenth century Mexico inside the tomb of one-time Aztec High Priest Yetaxa. The travellers become cut off from the ship when they explore the temple outside and the tomb door closes behind them. Barbara is proclaimed by the High Priest of Knowledge, Autloc, as Yetaxa’s divine reincarnation. However, she incurs the enmity of the High Priest of Sacrifice, Tlotoxl, when – against the Doctor’s advice – she attempts to use her new-found authority to put an end to the Aztec practice of human sacrifice.

Events reach a climax on the Day of Darkness – the time of a solar eclipse. Ian’s unwilling conflict with the Aztecs’ ‘chosen warrior’, Ixta, ends in a fight in which the latter falls to his death from the temple roof. The Doctor manages to reopen the tomb door using a wheel-and-pulley that he has carved (the Aztecs not having mastered the use of the wheel) and the travellers make good their escape.


Disc 1

  • 4 x 25 mins approx monochrome episodes with mono audio. Optional Arabic soundtrack for episode four only.
  • Commentary – stereo. With actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, producer Verity Lambert OBE.
  • Remembering The Aztecs – Actors John Ringham, Ian Cullen and Walter Randall recall the production of the story and of television production in the sixties in general.
  • Designing The Aztecs – Designer Barry Newbery talks about his work on the story, illustrated with many never-before-seen production drawings and photographs from his personal collection.
  • Cortez and Monezuma – An extract from a 1970 Blue Peter, introduced by Valerie Singleton on location in Mexico, giving historical background to the Aztec belief in human sacrifice.
  • Restoring The Aztecs – A short featurette demonstrating the restoration and videoisation effects used for the release. With subtitles
  • Making Cocoa – An animated guide to making cocoa the Aztec way, voiced in character by John Ringham as Tlotoxl and Walter Randall as Tonila, with both characters animated and presented in South Park style.
  • TARDIS-Cam no.3 – The third of BBCi’s TARDIS-Cam shots.
  • Photo Gallery – production, design and publicity photos from the story
  • Easter Egg – An animated BBC Enterprises logo recovered from the end of one of the prints sold overseas.
  • Intro Sequences – The umbrella story title The Aztecs does not appear on any of the episodes, so for (outdated now) BBFC compliance a caption card with the title has been provided. To add interest, six versions have been provided, each with a different voiceover, in character, from three of the actors involved in the production. The intention is that the disc will randomly select one of these six sequences and play it out at the appropriate point.
  • PDF Material – Radio Times listings in Adobe PDF format for viewing on PC or Mac
  • Programme subtitles.

Disc 2

Galaxy 4 (dur. 64’ 43”) – a shortened reconstruction of the missing story Galaxy 4, using off-screen stills, audio recordings and animation plus the recently recovered complete episode three to tell the story.


Chronicle – The Realms of Gold – John Julius Norwich’s superlative 1969 retelling of the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the Aztecs, which also features music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop .

Dr. Forever! – Celestial Toyroom – the first of a new five-part series introduced by Ayesha Antoine looks at Doctor Who toys. With original series producer Verity Lambert, new series creator Russell T Davies, writers Mark Gatiss, Rob Shearman, Paul Cornell and Joseph Lidster, BBC Worldwide product licensing executive Richard Hollis, product approval executive Dave Turbitt and ex- range editor Steve Cole, AudioGO commissioning editor Michael Stevens, Character Options’ Alasdair Dewar, DWM’s toy reviewer Jim Sangster and last, but by no means least, Doctor Who’s very own Winston Churchill, actor Ian McNiece.

It’s a Square World
– the very first Doctor Who skit (as far as we can ascertain), with Clive Dunn in full First Doctor costume as a scientist demonstrating his new space rocket to Michael Bentine, resulting in Television Centre being launched into space! Features cameo appearances by Patrick Moore and Albert Steptoe.


  • A Whole Scene Going – an excerpt from a recently recovered edition of the sixties music and arts programme, featuring an interview with director Gordon Flemyng and a behind the scenes look at filming of his movie Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 AD.
  • Coming Soon – a trailer for a forthcoming DVD release.
  • Radio Times Listings in Adobe PDF format.
  • Programme subtitles.

With thanks to BBC Worldwide.

Categorised under: Reviews


  • pathdw98

    March 13th, 2013 - 5:48pm

    galaxy 4 was just amazing. i really enjoyed it just wish we had all the eps. I have a question. The long clip at the beginning of the recon, how come that survived and not the ep because its quite long?

    • gordon

      March 13th, 2013 - 6:09pm

      The clip was shown as part of a documentary.

    • drjakeyoung

      March 13th, 2013 - 8:22pm

      it was on the lost in time box set, they explain how it survived on there.

    • pathdw98

      March 13th, 2013 - 11:36pm

      just watched it, thanks a lot. lets hope more missing eps turn up

    • Joe

      March 14th, 2013 - 8:55pm

      Got it today have to wait to watch it as I’m still watching other stuff and need to finish it I will watch the Aztecs first then galaxy 4 (including reconstruced eps) then the claws of Axos speacil edition (which I got for my birthday)

  • matparks08

    March 13th, 2013 - 2:31pm

    part 4 of Galaxy 4, when we see the four rills together near the end – was this part made especially for the dvd, or is it taken from official telesnaps? I can’t find anything online! Anybody know – it looks amazing either way, took my breath away when they say – ‘come in Doctor’ and they are all stood there.

    • gordon

      March 13th, 2013 - 6:12pm

      There ain’t any telesnaps for galaxy 4. It was created for the recon

    • matparks08

      March 13th, 2013 - 8:20pm

      Thanks for that Gordon – I remember seeing the telesnaps in the Dr Who Magazine and Dr Who classic comics back in the early 90s and wasn’t sure if Galaxy 4 was amongst them. So it was all artistic licence then for Galaxy 4 – makes it even more impressive

    • gordon

      March 13th, 2013 - 11:54pm

      I believe Ian Levine made drawings and notes when the show was broadcast and that was used for reference when the recon was made in 2007 (the recon was originally planned for time medlar but was rejected for various reasons)

  • matparks08

    March 13th, 2013 - 2:14pm

    What an absolute treat this dvd is! Sat down to watch some of it last night. Of course, the highlight is Galaxy 4. I’ve watched DW since 1981 (earliest memory is Warriors of the Deep!) and am happy to have seen the discoveries of many scrapped Who stories during that time. Galaxy 4 always seemed that elusive unknown – apart from the target novel I knew nothing about it. Despite being only 1 recovered episode I feel I’ve seen the entire story thanks to the reconstruction. I must be honest, I prefer this type of release above the animation

  • The Greater Intelligence

    March 12th, 2013 - 11:12pm

    I couldn’t afford to buy this, so I just ordered a copy from my local libray who just got it today (which is weird because they haven’t updated their ‘Doctor Who’ DVD collection since 2006); Going to be able to pick it up in a few days. Much rather own it, but better than going without it for months.

  • Anonymous

    March 11th, 2013 - 9:44pm

    nice adition to the collection

  • Connor

    March 11th, 2013 - 9:42pm

    Can someone please put a link so i can seee the ice warrior trailer. I cant find it any where and i live in Australia so we dont get the dvd till the 20th of march.


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