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Never broadcast in the US, these episodes offer an enticing glimpse into 'lost' stories that have achieved legendary status. Fans can relish rare appearances of the Daleks, Cybermen and Yeti, as well as an episode from the second Doctor Who story by Robert Holmes, the series' most influential writer. Includes episodes from: The Crusade, The Daleks' Masterplan, The Celestial Toymaker, The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase, The Faceless Ones, The Evil of the Daleks, The Abominable Snowman, The Enemy of the World, The Web of Fear, The Wheel in Space and The Space Pirates.
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A number of episodes and stories from actor Patrick Troughton's turn as Doctor Who (1966-69) are either incomplete or missing altogether, much to the dismay of series fans. However, this two-disc set attempts to reconstruct the "orphaned" stories through episodes and clips culled from a variety of sources. For Who historians, the most important footage here is from Troughton's first appearance as the Doctor in season 5's "The Power of the Daleks," which is missing in its entirety; a rough glimpse of the transition from actor William Hartnell to Troughton is included, along with other surviving fragments. The complete episodes offered here are the sole remaining episode from season 4's "The Underwater Menace" (fragments from this story are included in the extras), episodes 2 and 4 from "The Moonbase," which features the return of the Cybermen (audio from episodes 1 and 3 is featured in the extras), episodes 1 and 3 from "The Faceless Ones," and episode 2 from "The Evil of the Daleks" (which includes commentary by actress Deborah Watling, who played the Doctor's companion, Victoria). Disc 2 marks the only episode from the Yetis' debut in "The Abominable Snowmen" (Watling again provides commentary), two episodes from "The Wheel in Space" (with commentary by director Tristan de Vere Cole and story editor Derrick Sherwin) and just one apiece for "The Web of Fear," "The Space Pirates," and "The Enemy of the World."
Chief among the extras is the 1998 documentary The Missing Years, which interviews several of the film collectors responsible for rescuing these lost episodes and fragments (the doc has been updated to reflect the 2004 discovery of two William Hartnell episodes); the supplemental features offer fragments and behind-the-scenes footage from "The Macra Terror" (with a rare clip of the monsters), "Fury from the Deep" (which includes a scene reconstruction), "The Highlanders," and the aforementioned stories. As with the William Hartnell disc, the Patrick Troughton Years is available for U.S. buyers as a stand-alone two-disc set and as part of a three-disc box with the Hartnell disc, while U.K. buyers will receive only the box; either scenario is sure to please the die-hard Doctor Who fan. --Paul Gaita
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