TME > Audio > Stories Guide > Television Soundtracks

The Missing Stories Collection


Released
Title
Narrator
Format
Release Code
July 1992
Tom Baker
2 cass
ZBBC 1303
July 1992
Colin Baker
2 cass
ZBBC 1342
July 1993
Jon Pertwee
2 cass
ZBBC 1343
September 1993
Tom Baker
2 cass
ZBBC 1433
October 1993
Tom Baker
2 cass
ZBBC 1434

The missing episode soundtracks had long been in fan circulation before the BBC were officially aware of them. Children who had watched the programme with a tape recorder by their side would later find that they had created the only surviving audio source for many early episodes. Had they been aware of their importance at the time, the audios would probably not have been edited into compilation form (cutting all cliff-hanger reprises and theme music) to save tape, nor recorded at low speed (and therefore low quality) to squeeze more episodes onto a reel. Luckily, enough documentation (camera scripts, telesnaps) exist to help dedicated fans re-edit the archive audios into full, as broadcast episodes, albeit without moving pictures.

It wasn't until after the series had finished on BBC TV that producer John Nathan-Turner expressed an interest in releasing the complete soundtracks to several Patrick Troughton stories, to compliment his Years videos (which were making available the only surviving film episodes from many 1960s stories). Borrowing audios from Richard Landen and David Stead - the former a child fan, the latter a collector who had acquired many missing audios through business - Nathan-Turner selected stories that worked well without their visuals, and that were likely to appeal to fans and public alike. Doctor Who Magazine announced in November 1991 the confirmation that fondly-remembered "classic" The Tomb of the Cybermen was among the first three releases, with narration recorded by Jon Pertwee on October 1st. Gallifrey Guardian claimed that "Sylvester McCoy will narrate another of the forthcoming tapes but these have yet to be named as clearances have not been completed" (DWM 180).

The audios had deteriorated badly by the 1990s, but despite the technology that existed at the time, no restoration work was carried out on the recordings beyond some minor equalisation, and later releases (supervised by Eric Saward and sourced from recordings by casual Restoration Team member James Russell) were no better. Unfortunately, poor sound quality was not the only downfall of the cassettes. “As far as I can tell”, buzzed Gary Russell on The Evil of the Daleks’ release, “nothing is missing and so we now have as complete a version of the story as possible, commercially available at last" (DWM 189). This was not the case. Each story in the collection underwent at least minor editing, and despite Nathan-Turner’s claim that the cassettes were compiled from the ‘best bits’ of both recordings (as “occasionally, someone’s mum would announce that tea was ready!”, DWM 249), only one source was utilised for each, and any omissions were not patched from an alternative tape. And because of the nature of the audio sources, each episode has at least one fault with the cliff-hanger, which was often located through guesswork by the producer.

Of the first batch of releases (Evil, Macra and Tomb), the only additional edits were to the signature tune (in The Tomb of the Cybermen) and contemporary background music for which copyright could not be negotiated (in The Evil of the Daleks). The following releases, however, were edited throughout, removing any unnecessary silences that lasted beyond a few seconds and extending narrative pauses to accommodate Tom Baker’s in-character ramblings. These stories can effectively be regarded as alternative edits, for they are often highly out-of-synch with the episodes as broadcast.

The tapes were generously received, with Evil and Power breaking all records by appearing in the Gallup / CIN Top 75 album chart (at 72 and 71 respectively) and sticking to the No.1 spot in the spoken word category. Tomb was shelved, however, when film prints for the entire story were found in Hong Kong and rush-released to video during 1992, and only Jon Pertwee's insistance that the cassettes stood-up on their own forced their eventual release. In September 1992, Doctor Who Magazine reported that BBC Audio Collection producer Sue Anstruther was "delighted and impressed" with the range's success, and felt "confident that Doctor Who and the BBC Audio Collection have a good future ahead" (DWM 191). Anstruther hoped to release a further four stories, which DWM speculated would likely hail from the Hartnell era, and revealed that she had been contacted by David Whitaker's widow Stephanie with a proposal to record and release several unproduced scripts from the early 1960s - though only Power of the Daleks and Fury from the Deep joined the initial releases in 1993.

In 1993 another child of the 60s, Graham Strong, contacted the BBC about his own collection of missing episode soundtracks. Unlike those released by the BBC Audio Collection, the Strong tapes are near-perfect quality, thanks to some ingenious wiring between his reel-to-reel recorder and television set. These tapes (DAT copies of which are now held by the Restoration Team) provided the basis for the CD re-releases of these five stories on the BBC Radio Collection/BBC Audiobooks. Colin Baker's original narration for The Macra Terror was painstakingly removed from the tapes (the masters having been destroyed) and applied to the soundtracks anew for the 2000 CD release. Yet this process was so laborious, and the new style of linking so removed from the Missing Stories' approach, that the later re-issues (of Evil and Power in 2003, Fury in 2004 and Tomb in 2006) featured completely different narration.

The Evil of the Daleks



The UK packaging was re-designed for the simultaneous American release
The Missing Stories - The Evil of the Daleks
Off-air recordings [by Richard Landen, uncredited] / Film soundtrack [episode 2 only]
Narrated by Tom Baker
Produced by John Nathan-Turner

Due to space restrictions at the BBC Film and Videotape Library, many early episodes were junked in the 1960's and 1970's, in order to make room for new recordings. At the time it was felt the programme had been exhaustively exploited in the commercial arena: yet some odd episodes were retained alongside several complete stories of the Hartnell and Troughton era. 'The Evil of the Daleks' is represented in the BBC Archives by one solitary episode - episode two. However, BBC Audio Collection has tracked down sound recordings of the entire seven-part story, and with a specially recorded commentary by Tom Baker you can relive one of Patrick Troughton's classic adventures, featuring Terry Nation's famous creations - the Daleks.

The Macra Terror



The UK packaging was re-designed for the simultaneous American release
The Missing Stories - The Macra Terror
Off-air recordings [by Richard Landen, uncredited]
Narrated by Colin Baker
Produced by John Nathan-Turner

'The Macra Terror' no longer exists at the BBC Film and Videotape Library in Brentford. As far as we know there are no copies anywhere in the world, despite exhaustive searches through the vaults of foreign TV stations, who purchased this and other Patrick Troughton adventures during the 1960's and 1970's. BBC Audio Collection has been able to obtain a copy of the sound-track however, and thanks to modern sound technology and a commentary by Doctor Number 6 - Colin Baker, you can enjoy again one of the popular stories of the Troughton era of Doctor Who. Colin Baker was delighted to contribute to these cassettes, having appeared with Patrick at numerous Doctor Who gatherings in the UK and USA and of course in the popular 1980's adventure 'The Two Doctors'. So why not join the Doctor and his companions: Ben, Polly and Jamie as they witness 'The Macr Terror'

The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Tomb of the Cybermen
Off-air recordings [by David Stead, uncredited]
Narrated by Jon Pertwee
Cassette version produced by John Nathan-Turner

The Doctor lands the TARDIS on Telos, the last resting place of the infamous Cybermen. There he discovers a band of archaeologists on a secret expedition and, in the planet's underground depths, the icy tomb of a whole Cyber army in hibernation. A threat to no one if the temperature remains low. But is there a traitor in their midst? Originally broadcast in 1967, this Doctor Who adventure is more compelling than ever on audio with a commentary by Jon Pertwee, the Doctor's third incarnation.

The Power of the Daleks

The Missing Stories - The Power of the Daleks
Off-air recordings by James Russell
Narrated by Tom Baker
Linking narration and cassette production by Eric Saward

Patrick Troughton regenerated into the guise of the Doctor for his first adventure and an encounter with his deadliest enemy... When a mysterious capsule is found lying in a mercury swamp on the planet Vulcan, the inquisitive scientist who breaks it open is completely unaware of the danger of its contents - three strange inert metal objects. He begins his experiments at once - much to the horror of the newly arrived Doctor and his companions Polly and Ben. Posing as the Examiner from Earth on an inspection, the Doctor must stop the scientist's meddling attempts to reactivate mankind's greatest threat. For only he knows the awesome terror of the Daleks...


Fury from the Deep

The Missing Stories - Fury from the Deep
Off-air recordings by James Russell
Narrated by Tom Baker
Linking narrative and cassette production by Eric Saward

When the Tardis lands on Earth, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are catapulted into the mysterious events taking place at a North Sea gas refinery. With noises emanating from its pipeline, crews disappearing and its commander refusing to turn off the gas, the Doctor finds himself accused of sabotage. And as the plot thickens only he guesses a more sinister reason for the disturbances: the deadly, parasitic Weed creatures...