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New Doctor Who Titles Announced

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, out this week, had some extremely exciting news about the next set of "classic Who" stories to be released following Mark of the Rani in September.

October will see the release of Tom Baker two-parter The Sontaran Experiment. First broadcast in early 1975 as part of Baker's first year with the series, this is a significant set as it heralds the beginning of a move to issue more stories per year. Ever since the first Who DVD, The Five Doctors, fans have clamoured for the release rate to be speeded up from the current five-six titles per year. These appeals have now been answered, and from next year the plan is raise the number of new stories on disk per year to ten. However, not all disks will have the same amount of copious extras the disks currently have, with four stories per year being considered essentially "vanilla" releases, with a lower RRP than the more packed disks. The Sontaran Experiment is the first such title, although considering it, and all subsequent "lite" disks, will still have a commentary and production notes as standard, as well as the fantastic restoration work the disks are rightly praised for, they will still be considerably better value than your standard vanilla releases.

November brings another welcome innovation with the release of The Invasion, an eight-part Cyberman epic from 1968 starring Second Doctor Patrick Troughton. This story is one of the many Sixties Who stories with episodes missing, in this case episodes one and four. These will be represented on the disks by the episode soundtracks accompanied by animation from Cosgrove Hall, the people responsible for the online webcast of alternative Ninth Doctor Richard E Grant in 2003. This is an exciting development as it could enable many more Sixties stories to be released than would otherwise be the case, with missing episodes replaced by similar reconstructions. Details on extras for this release are yet to be announced.

January sees the release of the provisionally-entitled Return of the Master boxset, covering stories The Keeper of Traken, Logopolis and Castrovalva. These stories, first broadcast in 1981 and 1982, mark the end of Tom Baker's time as the Doctor, who regenerates into Peter Davison at the end of Logopolis, and also sees the debut of Anthony Ainley as the Master. A long-rumoured boxset, this release will make for a poignant addition to the Who collection as The Keeper of Traken will come with a commentary including Ainley himself, the only track he recorded before he died in 2003. Once again, further extras have yet to be announced.

More details as and when they are released. In the meantime, check out the Restoration Team's homepage for more information.

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