Tag Archives: Underwater menace

Underwater Menace DVD To Be Released

“Nothing in ze world can stop me now!” It’s the line that was used by the mad professor in The Underwater Menace. The line (and the acting) was over the top and hammy and also completely wrong. It seemed like everything in the world was going to stop a DVD release of UWM. Like a rotting and bloated fish floating in the ocean it was being picked apart from all sides. There were famous quotes about the classic Doctor Who DVD range being dead and Doctor Who Magazine very recently printed a story that UWM had been pulled from the release schedule. Not to mention all the speculation that it was being held back while animations were done or because Phil Morris had found more episodes.

Then the petitions started.

TIMD chatted with Chris who started the #Savethefishpeople petition a few months ago. There was even talk of an organized protest at BBC headquarters where everyone dressed up like… you guessed it, fish. Luckily that never came to pass…

Now, after being declared dead in the water by the official Doctor Who magazine, we get a surprise treat. The Underwater Menace will be released October 26 in R2 (no date as of yet for R1). So, will it contain animations? Recons? Missing episodes? More than likely it will just be recons, but nothing has been officially confirmed. Stay tuned for TIMD for more details as they are released!

 

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Help Atlantis Rise! Saving The Underwater Menace!

A few days ago I came across a post online regarding the status of The Underwater Menace on DVD. BBC WW seem to have no plans to release The Underwater Menace any time soon. Fans are up in arms with the delay and want reassurance that the story will be physically available at some point. Enter Chris McAleer. He has started a petition on change.org to get the story released. I asked Chris a few questions about the whole thing.

Why did you start this petition Chris?

I started the petition because, at present, it’s incredibly unclear as to whether BBC Worldwide still intend to release The Underwater Menace on DVD. Since its announcement, it’s previously at least held a place in the DVD release schedule – even if only an intended year of release – but as far as I’ve seen, this is the first time it’s been removed from the schedules altogether. This was a potentially worrying development as it leaves no clear indication of when or if the title is planned to release. Additionally, there were suggestions that the viability of the release itself was being looked into, and with the rest of the classic Doctor Who range complete there seemed a very real danger that this release could slip through the cracks and never see the light of day. So I thought it would be useful to try to organise a way to demonstrate to BBC Worldwide the release is indeed viable, and that there is still support from fans for a DVD release of The Underwater Menace!

The decision to remove The Underwater Menace from the schedule was revealed in an email from the BBC DVD enquiry line. What led you to email them in the first place?

The DVD release of The Underwater Menace already has a history of delays. The plan to give it a standalone release with animation for the first and final episodes was originally announced in 2013, and at the time fans seemed hopeful for an early 2014 release date. It was later confirmed for a 2014 release by the BBC and even advertised on the DVD release of The Moonbase – however, subsequently no firm release date was forthcoming. The Restoration Team made it clear that work on restoration of the existing episodes had been all but completed, and that all DVD extras had been produced and were just waiting for delivery. I saw a lot of uncertainty amongst fans as to what was happening with the release, so I decided to e-mail the BBC DVD enquiry line to see if I could get some answers. At the time, the official word was that the release was still planned and was under active development.

2014 passed without any sign of the release, barring a statement given to Doctor Who Magazine in December that the release had been pushed back to 2015, and that it was still planned to animate the two missing episodes. However, with no more word since then I’d started to see a lot of uncertainty amongst fans, including frequent queries as to whether the release had been cancelled outright. For this reason, I decided to e-mail the enquiry line again for an updated statement. Given that only two months previously BBC Worldwide had stated their commitment to the release, I was incredibly surprised to hear that the DVD had been removed from the release schedule, and that the viability of the release itself was being worked on.

What do you hope to accomplish with your online petition?

My hopes for the petition are two-fold: to demonstrate to BBC Worldwide that there is definitely a market for this release, and hopefully to get a firm confirmation that they still intend to release it. Although work on the existing episodes and DVD extras is all-but-complete, there’s no indication that work has progressed on any animation or reconstruction for the missing episodes 1 and 4, so whatever form they would take, time would of course need to be spent on these prior to any release. But as far as I’m concerned this isn’t a “we want it now” situation – all we want is for BBC Worldwide to confirm that they will definitely issue The Underwater Menace on DVD and are not cancelling the previously-advertised release.

How many signatures are you hoping to get?

To be honest, as many as possible! Our current goal is 1,000 signatures, and I think it’s really important for us to break that four-figure barrier in order for BBC Worldwide to take the petition seriously. But beyond that, the more the merrier – the higher the number of signatories, the better it illustrates that there’s market demand for the release.

Why is it so important for the BBC to release The Underwater Menace on DVD?

There are many reasons this DVD’s release is important for Doctor Who fans. The most obvious reason is it would give fans he chance to own Episode 2, recovered in 2011 and still unreleased officially. It’s the earliest surviving episode featuring Troughton’s Doctor, and offers the only visual glimpse of the slightly-different take on the character from his first three serials, where he was a little more prone to clownishness, and had a pronounced love of both hats and disguises, all of which pretty much disappear as of The Moonbase.

Also, while I’m aware The Underwater Menace doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation among fans, in my opinion if people are content to let Episode 2 slip through the cracks and remain unreleased it could set a precedent for future releases. Hunts are still ongoing for further missing episodes, and there’s always the potential for more finds to come to light. So if you’re someone who isn’t that bothered just because it’s The Underwater Menace, ask yourself – would you feel the same if the unreleased episode was one orphaned from Marco Polo, The Power of the Daleks or one of the other better-regarded missing serials? Another reason it’s important is that the Restoration Team have already completed work on restoring the episodes and creating DVD extras, and DVD is definitely the best format on which to enjoy the full fruits of their labours. If, for example, it was decided to shelve the DVD and release the story as a digital download, comparing the iTunes release of The Enemy of the World to the DVD shows that the full extent of their restoration work isn’t done justice through the digital release, thanks to a combination of lower resolution visuals and a non-interlaced format, the latter of which destroys the effect of their VidFIRE process for restoring the fluid motion of scenes originally shot in studio. Finally, BBC Worldwide have actively advertised the DVD release of The Underwater Menace on the DVD of the following serial, The Moonbase – since they’ve advertised the product, I feel it’s only fair that they deliver it to market.

Who are you hoping will sign this petition, just fans of the 2nd Doctor?

Not at all! Fans of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor will of course have a great interest in this release, not least because it would be the first official release of his earliest surviving episode in the role. However, they’re by no means the only group that this petition is meant for – anybody with an interest is encouraged to show their support! Any fans of Doctor Who are more than welcome, as are fans of sci-fi, of archive TV in general, or anyone else for that matter! The more people who show their support, the better we’ll demonstrate to BBC Worldwide that the release of this DVD is still viable for them.

Besides signing the petition, what other ways can people let BBC WW know they want to see Underwater Menace on DVD?

It’s very important that, as well as signing the petition, people also take the time to send a direct message to BBC Worldwide, if possible, expressing their interest in this release. Although the petition is a great way of showing support in numbers, it’s less likely to be noticed right away by BBC Worldwide. However, through my contact with the DVD Enquiry line I’ve been informed that the number of direct enquiries they receive regarding specific titles are periodically passed on to the relevant departments; so the more individual enquiries they receive regarding The Underwater Menace, the more of a potential market they’ll see for its release.

With this in mind, I’d strongly suggest that anyone who signs the petition also sends a message to BBC Worldwide in one or more of the following ways:

  • Send a polite letter expressing your interest to the following address: BBC Worldwide 33 Foley Street London W1W 7TL UK
  • Send a tweet to @bbcwpress and @classicdw stating your support for the release, including the hashtag #SaveTheFishPeople

If fans who sign the petition also take the time to directly messaging BBC Worldwide in this manner, I’ve no doubt the voices of fans who want to see this DVD released will be heard!

Thanks Chris for the interview and good luck with the petition. If you haven’t signed it yet, you can head over to change.org  and do so right now.

Planet 55 Never Started UWM Animation?

The Underwater Menace seems to be the lynch pin in the entire omnirumour and that’s why information surrounding the animating of the missing episodes is such a big deal. Well, hold on to your hat because Planet 55, the studio thought to be animating episodes 1 and 4 has recently released a statement on their Facebook page.

There have been many queries about Planet 55 Studios’s work on ‘Doctor Who’ and whether we are doing any more. To date, Planet 55 Studios has completed work on three ‘Doctor Who’ animated reconstructions for BBC Worldwide’s DVD range: “The Reign of Terror”, “The Tenth Planet” and most recently “The Moonbase”. We really enjoyed creating those but they are the only ‘Doctor Who’ stories Planet 55 Studios have worked on and there are no plans to work on any more. At the moment the company is focused on animation projects completely unconnected to ‘Doctor Who’.

So there you go. But it does raise a few other questions. Were they never commissioned to do UWM in the first place? This would go against everything that we had been hearing for the past 7 or 8 months. Why then did they wait this long before making a statement regarding the UWM animation? Why not put us out of our misery months ago? There are still plenty of ways you could parse that statement, but to me I find it pretty unambiguous.  Throw in here that we have a fairly recent Doctor Who Magazine article stating that UWM would be out later this year. What then? Recons? That has been suggested over the past couple of weeks, but there is still no evidence of a UWM dvd with recons on the horizon.

So for now it seems like the Underwater Menace remains in limbo, with episode 2 being the only episode of Doctor Who still awaiting a dvd release. How much longer will the fans have to wait?

Monday Morning News Round Up- June 9

Welcome to a special edition of the Monday Morning News Round Up!

Special? You betcha. Welcome to the Dark Journey Round Up. Saturday the good folks over at amaudiomedia.com launched their fan produced Doctor Who audio adventure Dark Journey. Episode One – The Doctor Meets the Great Detective went live at 5:35pm local time. Have you had a chance to listen yet? I would recommend you take eleven minutes out of your day and check it out!

Lead cast members Andrew Chalmers (The Doctor) and Roy Miranda (Holmes) during recording
Lead cast members Andrew Chalmers (The Doctor) and Roy Miranda (Holmes) during recording

Earlier in the week I had a chance to sit down and Skype with Mike, Andrew and Clayton, three of the masterminds behind the project! You can check out that interview as well as more information about the project. And stay tuned because later today I will be posting a review of episode one!

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It was a busy week for interviews because not only did we have the Dark Journey one, but Martin Ruddock conducted an amazing interview with Neil Perryman author of Adventures With the Wife in Space!

june console

Oh, but there’s more. As a part of #FanProducedFriday, where we try to highlight fan projects, TIMD interviewed Dave, who produced the amazing tardis console you see here!

Menace

Okay, on to the real news. Or lack thereof. Have you been waiting for The Underwater Menace to come out on dvd? Well you might be waiting a little while longer. Even though amazon has it listed to preorder, Steve Roberts says the dvd range is dead.

And finally, Phil Morris surprised us all when he tweeted some more photos from Sierra Leone!

That’s all the news from this past week, check out @troughtonsmydoc to find out about it as it happens!

Underwater Menace Dead In The Water

Pass out the black armbands… The dvd range is, sob, dead! At least, that’s if you believe Steve Roberts, Restoration Team member and omnirumour ripperupper.

A couple of days ago the news hit the net, Underwater Menace was up for pre-order on amazon! Awesome, right? There was nothing listed as far as episodes one and four that are currently missing from the BBC archive. Would they be animated like we all thought and hoped? Or were they to be cheap reconstructions that would do nothing but anger fans who are sure there are more missing episodes to come? Certainly the original episodes 1 and 4 weren’t to be included. At least, they wouldn’t tell us yet even if that were to be the case. So the debate started back up on the forums, facebook groups and the amazon comments. It was an exciting step forward, progress that could be tangibly seen at last.

And then Steve Roberts had to rain on the happy parade with this comment on facebook

Well], we’re the team that remasters the episodes for DVD release and even we don’t have a clue what’s going on with TUM now. From where we’re standing, it’s looking like the range is dead.”

Taken from: http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Doctor-The-Underwater-Menace/19865#ixzz33alI6L00

So what are we to believe? If the BBC has cancelled the release of The Underwater Menace, and are not even attempting to do something with The Crusade then we as fans are being severely mistreated. I don’t think it’s entitlement to want something that you were told you were going to get. I don’t think it’s entitlement to be bitter and angry and incredibly disappointed if the BBC couldn’t get those last two dvd’s out for us and instead just arbitrarily declare the range dead.

But if we have learned anything from the ongoing omnirumour saga, it’s to take nothing at face value. I won’t be writing my eulogy on the dvd range just yet. Instead I am living in hope that maybe more episodes have been discovered and that we will see them someday.

Monday Morning News Round Up- May 5

Welcome to another wonderful Monday morning. Just in case you were out enjoying the real world and missed some of our amazing stories last week, here’s a recap for you. Don’t forget to follow @troughtonsmydoc to get the news as it’s happening!

Marco again

OMNI Denied!

We might as well start with the biggest news coming last week. In the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine they published an article with statements denying the omnirumour!

Daleks master 1

Bold Prediction?

Everyone involved with the omnirumour has been shying away from making predictions about the next announcement, but TIMD is confident that we can predict when it’s not going to happen.

UWM

Underwater Menace Update Redux

Also in that DWM article was a little snippet about the fate of Underwater Menace. Recon? Seriously?

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Omnirumour Executed

With all the serious stuff being talked about, Martin decided we needed a little laughter in our lives, so he takes a look at the ‘death’ of the omni.

German

German Bluray Update

There’s been a development in the German bluray release of Adventures in Space and Time. It had a release date and special features announced.

#FanProducedFriday

TMID decided to start its own twitter hashtag to promote some fan initiatives involving Doctor Who. If you have something you want us to talk about, just tweet that hashtag to @troughtonsmydoc and we will take a look!

Dark Journey

Doctor Who Dark Journey

Speaking of #FanProducedFriday, I talked to MA Tamburro the Director and Producer behind the project where the Doctor and Sherlock Holmes team up to defeat Jack The Ripper.

Time run

Time To Run

And here’s one more fan project, the Time Run, from @thymerun. This is a video that features footage of David Tennant running set to different songs. Today marks it’s launch, so be sure to check it out!

vortex

Last, but far from least, Al Miller brought us another Podcastrovalva, ‘Traveling the Vortex’

Underwater Menace Update

So, after everything that has been said this month regarding  Underwater Menace we get an article today from Doctor Who Magazine in which every party that might have their fingers in any missing episode pie strongly denies having ownership of any more missing episodes. Toward the bottom of the article they briefly mention UWM stating that it will be out later this year with the missing episodes reconstructed using production stills.

This of course has led to many questions like, is the omnirumour dead? If they are just putting out a reconstruction why do we have to wait so long? What about the animation that was rumoured to have been started and abandoned? And what about The Crusade? All very valid questions that aren’t answered in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine.

Kudos has to go to the Doctor Who and the tardis- Classic Years facebook page that broke this story a couple of weeks ago, even if they took it down quickly. All their info turned out to be right!