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March 3rd, 2019 122 comments

Doctor Who The Macra Terror Steelbook

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BBC Studios to release brand new animation of 1967 Doctor Who missing serial The Macra Terror

The 4 x 25 min missing episodes, which were originally part of Doctor Who’s (now mostly lost) fourth season, have been animated for the first time, to be released on DVD, Blu-ray, special edition Steelbook and digital download.

Originally broadcast in four weekly parts from 11th March to 1st April 1967, and starring Patrick Troughton, Anneke Wills, Michael Craze and Frazer Hines, no full episodes of this serial are known to have survived on film.

Fortunately for fans, a complete audio recording of all four parts still exists. Now, 52 years later, the four episodes will be brought back to life through the power of animation, available on disc and digital download, in both colour and black and white, from 18th March 2019.

Anneke Wills says, ‘Back in 1967 “There’s no such thing as Macra!” was the cry; and for many years after there was no such thing as “The Macra Terror”. Now, thanks to the magic of animation, we can see the story come to life again. I can’t wait to see this adventure and how gratifying to have a little more of Ben and Polly’s time with the Doctor available to be seen by new generations.’

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions arrive on a human colony in the far flung future. The colony appears to be a giant recreational complex – a holiday camp for rest and relaxation.

Everyone looks happy and carefree but all is not as it seems. The colony has been infiltrated and brainwashed by a race of giant parasitic crab creatures called the Macra.

The Macra have only returned once since, 40 years later, coming face to face with the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) in the 2007 episode Gridlock.

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Studios says, ‘After the success of Shada, we were very excited by the possibility of further animations. We are therefore delighted to be able to bring fans these missing episodes in a completely new form.’

Doctor Who: The Macra Terror will be released on digital download, DVD (RRP £20.42), Blu-ray (RRP £25.52) and special edition Steelbook (RRP £40.84) on 18th March 2019.

A special screening of Doctor Who: The Macra Terror will be held at the BFI Southbank, London on the 16th March 2019. Tickets will go on sale to BFI members on Tuesday 5th February with public sale opening on Tuesday 12th February. Further information will be available soon via the BFI website.

Special features for the DVD and Blu-ray release include:

  • Audio Commentary: Toby Hadoke presents an audio commentary track on all four episodes of ‘The Macra Terror’, featuring cast and crew from the original 1967 production – Frazer Hines (Jamie), Terence Lodge (Medok), Anthony Gardner (Alvis), Maureen Lane (Majorette) and director, John Davies. Commentary produced by John Kelly and recorded in London on 4th January 2019.
  • Episode Reconstructions: Surviving film frames, fragments of existing footage and set photographs are brought together with the original unedited audio to reconstruct a presentation of the original now lost live-action production of ‘The Macra Terror’, as seen by viewers of BBC 1 in 1967. Produced by Derek Handley. Available to watch with or without an optional narration track read by Anneke Wills.
  • Bonus Mini-Episode: A ten-minute animated short, built around an otherwise lost Doctor Who episode from 1968 starring Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines. Directed by AnneMarie Walsh.
  • Animation Test: Prior to the project being formally commissioned, this short animation test (of a scene from episode 3 of ‘The Macra Terror’) was produced in March 2018, to investigate the feasibility of mounting the production in full.
  • Animatics: A selection of scenes showing how the new animated production of ‘The Macra Terror’ went from initial storyboards to final animation. Storyboard art by Adrian Salmon.
  • Animation Gallery: A gallery of artwork from the development, pre-production and animation of the new animated version of ‘The Macra Terror’, including character art from Martin Geraghty and background paintings from Graham Bleathman, Colin Howard and Lydia Butz.
  • Teaser Trailer: A short teaser trailer animated by Rob Ritchie, produced to promote the announcement of a new production of ‘The Macra Terror’ in December 2018.
  • Alternative Black and White presentation: The full four-part animation is also available to view in an alternative black and white format on disc 2.
  • 1992 Audio Presentation: In 1992, the BBC Audio Collection released ‘The Macra Terror’ on audio cassette, in a special release narrated by Colin Baker. It was the first time that the story had been made commercially available by the BBC and that audio-only release is included here in full.
  • Surviving Footage: Less than two minutes of original footage still exist from the 1967 production of ‘The Macra Terror’. These film fragments have been painstakingly restored and digitally remastered for this release, with considerable improvements made to the overall picture quality and resolution of this unique footage. Film restoration by Peter Crocker.
  • Behind the scenes film: In 1967, during pre-production of ‘The Macra Terror’, film cameras visited the visual effects workshop in Uxbridge where work was underway on construction of the Macra props. Special effects props and models from other Doctor Who stories can also be seen in the workshop, including parts of a Cyberman from ‘The Tenth Planet’ (1966) and an aeroplane from ‘The Faceless Ones’ (1967). This footage is accompanied by a new audio commentary track from Doctor Who visual effects designer and BBC visual effects historian, Mike Tucker, explaining some of the effects techniques and props featured in the film.
  • Censored Scene: A reconstruction of a scene from episode 2 of ‘The Macra Terror’ that was heavily re-edited by censors for the episode’s Australian television transmission in November 1967.
  • Title sequences: ‘The Macra Terror’ saw the debut of a new title sequence for Doctor Who – the first time the programme had made such a change. The title sequence is presented here in full, remastered in HD and in a number of alternative versions.
  • Photo gallery: A collection of 36 photographs taken during the production of ‘The Macra Terror’ in 1967, featuring original design department set photographs and Radio Times publicity images. All presented in HD.
  • Production Paperwork: A full set of original camera scripts, studio schedules, floor plans and other materials are available to view by accessing disc 2 via your computer’s DVD or Blu Ray ROM drive.

Additional extras exclusive to Steelbook:

  • Gridlock: The Macra returned to Doctor Who in 2007, in this episode starring David Tennant and written by Russell T. Davies
  • Audio commentary: Julie Gardner, Travis Oliver and Marie Jones discuss the making of ‘Gridlock’ in this audio commentary track from 2007.
  • Doctor Who Confidential – Are we there yet?: A documentary looking at the making of the 2007 story, ‘Gridlock’.

Categorised under: Blu-ray, DVD, Featured


  • Anonymous

    August 17th, 2019 - 6:18pm

    Does this feature the full episode of Confidential on the bonus disc? Or just the cut-down?

    • Anonymous

      August 17th, 2019 - 6:55pm


  • Rob W

    August 17th, 2019 - 12:44pm

    Currently £15.59 if you don’t have a copy/want to re-sell on eBay towards that retirement villa…

  • Richard

    April 6th, 2019 - 1:37pm

    Does anyone know the price for the steelbook in hmv?

    • The Flying Shark

      April 6th, 2019 - 5:46pm


    • Richard

      April 10th, 2019 - 12:51pm

      Hi, Will this story and the extras eventually be released as part of The Collection Season 4 Box Set?

    • Rob W

      April 10th, 2019 - 8:00pm

      Yes, if they ever get as far as animating the remaining 20 episodes of the series I’m sure it will be. It could be a long wait…

  • Daniel

    March 28th, 2019 - 12:10pm

    Looks better like this 😉

    • Rob W

      March 28th, 2019 - 8:16pm

      Yes, Panasonic TVs are great – good choice mate!

  • bts R

    March 26th, 2019 - 1:43pm

    anyone seen many steelbooks in HMV? hoping to find one today.

    • Rob W

      March 26th, 2019 - 6:19pm

      HMV Meadowhall had 2 …

    • Bts R

      March 26th, 2019 - 9:38pm

      Thanks I managed to get one in the town where i work. They usually don’t get much steelbooks. Very happy I’ve got it. Looking forward to watching it tomorrow.

    • Rob W

      March 27th, 2019 - 8:27am

      I’m sure you’ll love it…

    • Anonymous

      April 6th, 2019 - 4:21pm

      The one in Intu Newcastle had 8 at the counter when I want

  • Rob W

    March 26th, 2019 - 10:21am

    I just received an e-mail from Amazon, the lowest price for the Steelbook prior to release was £19.98 so I got a refund.

    • booboo

      March 26th, 2019 - 10:24am

      crikey never recall seeing it that low

    • Lee

      March 26th, 2019 - 11:38am

      Hi Rob, I also pre-ordered from Amazon for £24.99. It hasn’t been delivered yet so I’ll get it either today or tomorrow. I got an email today saying I’m getting a £5 refund. I’ve just been on Amazon and it’s £24.99 again.
      Their pre-order price guarantee must also count until the day it’s been delivered, not the day it’s dispatched. Because I’m sure it was still £24.99 when it was sent out to me.

      I’m not complaining. 😀

    • Rob W

      March 26th, 2019 - 11:54am

      Whenever you pre-order an item eligible for our Pre-order Price Guarantee, the price you pay will be the lowest price offered by between the time you place your order up to and including the end of the day of the release date.

    • Lee

      March 26th, 2019 - 12:24pm

      I know you’ll always pay the lowest price before release, but the only time I’ve seen it go below £24.99 was the day after release. I don’t recall ever seeing it go below that price before release date.
      If it did, then it must have been very briefly.
      £19.99 is a great price! 🙂

    • Daniel

      March 26th, 2019 - 4:27pm

      I got the refund, glad I did as some parts weren’t animated….

    • Gordon

      March 26th, 2019 - 5:05pm

      But it wasn’t supposed to be a full on reconstruction Daniel. It was billed as a reimaging by those that worked on it. It was never supposed to be a 1:1 recreation of the macra terror as seen in 1967. Just look at the promos photos of the city and you can tell it was never going to be exactly like the original 1967. There was going to be changes. It’s not like the cut footage isn’t on the dvd as it is on the very watchable reconstruction. Did you ask for a refund for the invasion? That had bits cuts out

    • Duncan Parsons

      March 26th, 2019 - 5:32pm

      Don’t get dragged into a silly argument Gordon. Some people expect everything to be perfect. But that’s not going to happen. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. And as for the invasion that’s one of my favourite stories of all time. Love it.

    • Phillip C Niethe

      April 4th, 2019 - 11:23pm

      Is this region locked?

    • Rob W

      April 10th, 2019 - 8:04pm

      No region coding but I believe it is 1080i/50 so your player/TV must be comparable.

    • Anonymous

      April 10th, 2019 - 8:57pm

      One, Daniel. I mean. It’s like complaining a novelisation doesn’t have a part of the story that was originally transmitted and sending it back because it never had a tiny bit of it in it. It’s honestly werid logic. It’s meant to be a completely different version of the story and to complain it’s incomplete and send it back because it never had less than a minute of footage that didn’t really effect the plot is silly. It’s on the dvd in reconstruction form. You can watch it. And the animated version is still got 98% of the actual episode. Us humans we never focus on the 98% always the 2%. We whovians we complain at everything like 5 year olds sometimes that includes me and many others.

    • Anonymous

      April 10th, 2019 - 9:50pm

      I’m in the US and the blue ray plays fine on my tv.

  • Rob W

    March 25th, 2019 - 11:50am

    HMV have the SteelBook – £24.99 for those he didn’t get a good price elsewhere!

    • Rob W

      March 25th, 2019 - 3:02pm

      Amazon have price matched both the blu-ray editons.

  • Lee

    March 23rd, 2019 - 4:42pm

    Just got an email from Amazon to say it’s been despatched by Royal Mail. They’re quicker than Amazon shipping so hopefully I’ll get it Monday.

    • Rob W

      March 23rd, 2019 - 5:25pm

      Tuesday at the latest they tell me

    • Exdalek

      March 24th, 2019 - 10:44pm

      Mines due Monday, which is my Wife’s birthday. She’s thrilled

  • The Jamie

    March 23rd, 2019 - 11:09am

    Just been delivered now, can’t wait to watch this

  • DalekAgent

    March 23rd, 2019 - 10:29am

    Just got mine in the post, i cant wait to watch it :D, I kinda wish this got advertised more like TPOTD did because that had about 5 trailers and there was a lot of hype for it but all we got for this was a 20 second teaser

  • James

    March 18th, 2019 - 11:38pm

    Only a tiny thing but I noticed at the BFI that the animation has a small error in episode 2. During the section where the Doctor is in the Pilot’s office, he dismantles a circuit in the wall but a minute later the circuit is undamaged. Only a small error and not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

  • James

    March 16th, 2019 - 4:48pm

    Just back from the BFI screening. Macra looks amazing. Got my dvd copy signed by Anneke.
    Hoping they have already commissioned the next one and are just keeping a lid on it for the time being.

    • Rob W

      March 16th, 2019 - 4:53pm

      Glad you enjoyed it James. Looking forward to buying a copy from Meadowhall HMV.

    • Anonymous

      March 16th, 2019 - 7:09pm

      I imagine it will be quite a while until we hear about the next one but I do hope it is successful enough to encourage them to keep the range going through the less obvious choices.

    • James

      March 16th, 2019 - 10:27pm

      The animation team confirmed that their requisite was completely missing stories and that this time it was a choice between The Highlanders and Macra. So given that there were rumours that the BBC want Fury From The Deep next, I think The Highlanders may be the one after that. That would complete all of Troughton’s completely missing serials for visual media.
      Anneke said today that her favourite stories that she would want to see animated are The Smugglers or Highlanders as her and Patrick Troughton loved doing the historical stories.

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