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Future Doctor Who DVDs Announced

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has revealed a large number of Classic Doctor Who DVDs scheduled for release in 2009 by 2Entertain. In addition, an interview with the range's Commissioning Editor Dan Hall at Doctor Who Online has revealed a further title, the William Hartnell-starring The Keys of Marinus.

The most exciting of the releases so far revealed is the announcement of a Frontier in Space/Planet of the Daleks box set. This will see the recolouration of Episode Three of Planet, an episode only held in the archives in its black and white form, using the same technique as was used to great success on an episode of Dad's Army which was broadcast over Christmas. For more information on this, the Restoration Team have put up this article which explains the process used. The extras on this set will include a biography of Roger Delgado who played the first Master, an A-Z of Gadgets and two episodes of the ongoing feature on the Classic Who DVDs looking at the comic strip adventures of the Doctor, Stripped for Action one of which will take as its subject the Daleks. The set's release date has not yet been revealed.

February's release will be another box set of two stories, the William Hartnell-starring The Rescue and The Romans. First screened in 1965 The Rescue is a two parter which saw the introduction of new companion Vicki (Maureen O'Brien) and sees the Doctor, Ian and Barbara rescuing their new friend from the clutches of the mysterious Koquillion. This story was immediately followed by the four-parter The Romans a light-hearted romp in which the TARDIS crew get caught up in various adventures during a holiday in the Empire, culminating in the Doctor encountering Nero himself. Not all the extras have been announced for this story but will include a feature on writer Dennis Spooner, an extract from a 1973 Blue Peter looking at Roman cuisine, and Girls, Girls, Girls, the first in an occasional new series looking at the Doctor's companions, this one focusing on those in the Sixties. The box set is scheduled for release on 23rd February.

March sees the release of Attack of the Cybermen, the first two-parter from Season Twenty-Two, originally broadcast in 1985, in which Colin Baker's Doctor takes on the metallic monsters. There are no extras officially announced for this DVD yet, which is scheduled for release on 16th March.

Following the recent release of Battlefield Sylvester McCoy's Doctor will make a quick return to the schedules when Delta and the Bannerman appears on DVD, date as yet unannounced. This story, the first from his debut season to make it onto DVD, sees the Doctor and companion Mel (Bonnie Langford) encountering the eponymous Delta in a Welsh holiday camp in 1959 and stars, amongst others, Don Henderson, Stubby Kaye and Ken Dodd as the Tollmaster. Extras for this release are said to include an extended version of the first episode and a Stripped for Action examining the Seventh Doctor's comic strip adventures.

Two Tom Baker stories are included in the upcoming releases. The ever-popular The Deadly Assassin which revealed for the first time much of what we now know about Gallifrey society, will come with extras called The Gallifreyean Candidate and The Frighten Factor amongst others Also heading to a DVD near you soon is the gothic Image of the Fendahl. Neither has a confirmed release date as of yet.

Finally, there's a big helping of Patrick Troughton due to materialise with the release of his epic final story The War Games. This three-disc set will include a Commentary on all ten of the episodes, a Making-Of, Talking About Regeneration, Shades of Grey (which will look at "the pleasures and pressures of black and white film making") War Zones (a look at the history of the different conflicts seen in the story) a Stripped for Action covering the Second Doctor's illustrated escapades, another of the occasional feature Now and Then, conversations with Dudley Simpson and make-up designer Sylvia James, and the first in a new series On Target which will look at the Target range of Who novels, with this first episode examining the work of Malcolm Hulke, co-writer of the story. We are also promised a comic spoof starring the "Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre." Again, no release date for this story has been announced as of yet.

EDIT: As said above, The Keys of Marinus has also now been announced. The six-parter, dating from Doctor Who's very first season, was written by Terry Nation and sees the Doctor and his companions Ian, Barbera and Susan set off on an eventful quest to recover the titular items which hold the key (no pun intended) to defeating the evil Voord. Again, there's no date or official word on extras for this set yet, but in the interview Hall says that we can expect commentaries, deleted scenes and a documentary entitled A Set Piece.

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